Sporting Kit Reviews: How They Work & Preview

February 12, 2014

Flypad-cartridge-drawers-SLIDEREvery sportsperson, whether elite athlete or weekend warrior, knows that having the right kit is critical to performance and enjoyment. I’m constantly on the lookout to perfect my assemblage of must-have gear while paring down kit to the essentials (or so I keep reassuring No.2). And I’m more than happy to share my achieved wisdom with you.

Much of what I review is kit I’ve purchased with my hard-earned pence…you can identify these reviews by the £ sign at the bottom. Occasionally, I’m lucky enough to be handed a bit of kit and asked to review it (these reviews have no £).  This request No.2 says I interpret as ‘test to destruction’…but if it doesn’t withstand the demands of my rigorous use, how can I arrive at an opinion about it or recommend it, much less buy a second one for myself?


Over the next month or so, I’ll be taking up the invitation to test a pair of Vertx trousers (pictured above) supplied to me by Nightgear. Vertx’s slogan is ‘For the Operational Athlete’, and they say, “These products are for the operator who wants the combination of low visual profile and function of a battle garment.” I’m looking forward to putting that approach to the test with a range of activities from travel to hosting days planned for these.


Fly boxes are the bane of my fishing life. I keep purchasing and trying them in the hopes that I can find the perfect solution to house everything from tiny midges to beetle and frog patterns. I first saw the Flypad when it was still in development almost two years ago, and have watched as Thinkfish launched the system in North America to great acclaim.

The Flypad is based around parent box, cartridge trays of flies, and a single plastic transporting box, into which a single cartridge fits, small enough to stick in the pocket of your jacket, chest waders or fishing vest.

So the minute they let me know Leeda were distributing it in the UK, I was determined to have a Flypad of my own. When I told the team at Leeda the story, they were kind enough to post me one of

my very own to review. Although most hotly anticipated bits of gear end up being a let down (the boot driers that can’t dry the feet of both boots at the same time because the cord is too short, for example) so far it’s more than lived up to its billing. I’m systematically filling the trays by situation in which I might use those flies, and the minute the season opens I’ll be off down the river bank to use the Flypad in anger.
Primos Trigger Stick

I was out in Spain stalking moufflon when the guide handed me his Primos Trigger Stick and it was love at first sight. I have to ‘fess up: I’ve been using two plastic coated garden canes and an elastic band for years…sad but true. All it took was one stalk and I was hooked: I bought my very own trigger stick from Swillington Shooting Supplies the minute I landed back at Gatwick and haven’t looked back.

If you’ve got a bit of kit you think the world and their brother should know about, or maybe you’re launching something innovative and life changing, we’d love to know.