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Paddling tips, tricks, news and gear reviews from an Unsponsored point of view

Tag: First Look (page 1 of 4)

Black Rapid Sport Breathe Camera Strap – First Look

Since making a move to a new Nikon Camera five years ago I have been using Black Rapid camera straps. The strap of choice to date has been the RS Sport 2 camera strap. The strap is designed to be worn across the body and allows the camera to be carried to the side yet be easily brought up to the eye to take photos. The big advantage of such a system is that the shoulders take the weight of camera gear rather than the neck. I have found this to be a really critical factor when I have been taking photos at an all day event.

Black Rapid Sport Breathe Camera Strap - First Look

The RS Sport 2 has performed faultlessly over the last few years. The Sport strap has been recently updated with a new profile and new materials therefore we have just made the switch to the new Sport Breathe.

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Suunto Ambit Peak 3 – Review Updated

We love tech here at Unsponsored HQ and when we can combine that love with the great outdoors it gives us a warm glow inside. So getting hold of the new (at the time) Suunto Ambit Peak 3 was quite a day.

MY GPS of choice up until very recently was a Garmin Foretrex 401 (as favoured by many members of the armed forces). It did its job well but I didn’t use a great deal of its features apart from getting a GPS location fix when things got a bit sticky. Although it did what I needed it to do technology has moved on and it’s always great to have an excuse to upgrade some tech. The Ambit Peak 3 came recommend from a friend of mine who had used pretty much everything else that was on the market at the time. I have owned the Sunnto Ambit Peak 3 since December 2015 and have used it weekly since that time.

Suunto Ambit 3 Peak - First Look

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Peak UK Deluxe Drysuit – First Look

Just like the other Peak UK gear we had in recently the Peak UK Deluxe drysuit was first seen back in 2015 at the Paddle Expo in Germany.

Peak UK Deluxe Drysuit

After having some time time checking the suit out and discussing its design with Snakey it was clear that Peak UK had taken some time to develop there next generation of drysuits.

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Sweet Protection Sabrosa Dry Top – First Look

The Sweet Protection Sabrosa Dry Top has landed here at Unsponsored HQ. This may well be an exclusive, it’s not even on the Sweet Protection website yet. It would be fair to say that I have been waiting sometime for Sweet to put a short sleeved paddle top into production and it’s finally here.

Sweet Protection Sabrosa Dry Top - First Look

I think that originally the Sabrosa was not designed to be a full on dry top and was billed as a spray top. However on arrival at Unsponsored HQ it is clear the the Sabrosa is a full on short sleeve dry top. It even states it on the swing tag.

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Immersion Research Shawty Drysuit – Review

It’s no secret that in the world of paddling, females are the minority. Therefore it is very hard for us to find comfort in most paddling kits, as they are generally tailored to a male figure. I’m sure many ladies will agree with me that finding a snug fitting yet practical drysuit is probably one of the most challenging parts of being a paddler. But as the female paddling community continues to grow, the increase in women’s kit means a huge improvement in the overall experience for us all.

Immersion Research Shawty

When I first began kayaking, I was 13 years-old and strongly against cold weather paddling. It only took a couple of winter club trips to persuade my Dad that a wetsuit just didn’t cut it. When choosing my first suit, I felt DamX was the best option, as their suits are made to measure. I loved my suit, but as I progressed, I found it to be restricting, mainly due to its weight.

Immersion Research Shawty

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Waka Gangsta – First Look

As soon as I’d heard about the release of the Waka Gangsta I put down a deposit at my local kayak shop so I had one guaranteed for the first shipment. This year I’ve paddled the mark one Tuna quite a lot on a mix of steep creeks, class3/4 river running and the odd day on something big and bouncy. I’ve also managed to get my hands on a mark 2 Tuna on numerous occasions and seen the improvements that have come through from the mark one.

Waka Gangsta - First Look

I’d got wind of a larger design coming from Waka early in the summer so I held off buying a mark 2 Tuna on the basis that the mark 1 and 2 always worked for me but felt a little bit like they weren’t performing to their full potential.

Waka Gangsta - First Look

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Gopro Hero 5 Black Edition Hands On Review (UK)

Friend of Unsponsored Dale Mears has put together a neat little walkthrough review of the new GoPro Hero 5 black edition.

Gopro Hero 5 Black Edition Hands on Review (UK)

Here is my GoPro Hero 5 Black edition hands on review. Features a walk through of the cameras features and some stills taken whilst whitewater kayaking and some raw footage.

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GoPro Hero5 Black – First Look

We have both the GoPro Hero5 Black and Hero5 Session here at Unsponsored HQ for review. Since the release of the Session we haven’t used the Unsponsored Hero4 Black edition so I was interested to see how the the new Hero5 compares.

GoPro Hero5 Black

Firstly the Hero5 takes on some of the features of the Session. This includes the lack of case and the use of the frame, one button video/photo and improved sound capabilities. The footage capability of the Hero5 is reportedly not that much different to the Hero4, it does have a better sensor and is supposed to be much better in lowlight so we’ll have a good compare once we have a set of side by side shoots. The biggest improvement has been with image stabilisation and we are looking forwarding to checking that out.

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Petzl Vertigo Wire Lock – First Look (2016)

We’ve had an original Petzl Vertigo here at Unsponsored HQ for a few years and have really liked it’s performance. Petzl have been on the case and have updated the Vertigo using i-beam technology. Just like the original the Petzl Vertigo has been primarily designed for ease of clipping in with the added bonus of having a locking key gate. The new construction has shaved off 2 grams.

Petzl Vertigo

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Osprey Zealot 15 – First Look

We are big fans of Osprey gear at Unsponsored HQ. So when a new bag was required for mountain bike duties the Osprey website was consulted.

Osprey Zealot 15 - First Look

15 litres or there about seems to be the right kind of size for the bulk of riding that we do. Plenty of room for the essentials but not too much room that you end up filling because you can. The Osprey Zealot appeared to fit the bill nicely.

Osprey Zealot 15 - First Look

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Palm Equipment Lightning Throwbag – Hands On

Palm had a lightning bag shipped to Unsponsored HQ as soon as the production models were available. Retail customers will be able to get hold of a bag from good kayak/canoe retailers over the next few weeks.

Palm Equipment Lightning Throwbag - Hands On

Since the bag arrived we have had a good look over it and have tested but the feel, throwing and repacking ease with a number of different paddlers. Since the Lightning bag has already been compared to the HF Weasel by many it also makes sense to make some further comparisons during this initial look at the Lightning.

I have had the chance to have a close look at the Lightning bag a few times but this is the first time that I have been able to have not only a look but actually use the bag.

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Whetman Sea Kayak Contact Line – First Look

We have a Whetman Equipment Sea Kayak contact line in for review from Whetman Equipment. The system is designed to safely tether two kayaks together for short line contact rescue.

Whetman Sea Kayak Contact Line

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