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  1. Lightweight Down Jacket – Full Zip or Half Zip?

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    Lightweight Down Jacket - Full Zip or Half Zip?

    When choosing a lightweight down jacket one of the most important decisions you will need to make is whether to have a full length zip or a half length zip. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so ruminate on our list before you make a decision.


    Full Length Zip Positives

    Easy to take on and off

    Vent yourself easily if the zip is two-way

    Can be opened out and used as a blanket

    Access inner pockets quickly

    Possible to join it with other jackets

    Full Length Zip Negatives

    Larger zip area leads to greater heat loss

    More surface area for wind and rain penetration

    More wear and tear on the zip


    Half Length Zip Positives

    More down area, so warmer

    Less zip wear and tear

    Better fit around the stomach

    Less zip area for wind and rain penetration

    Half Length Zip Negatives

    More difficult to take on and off

    Harder to access inner jacket pockets

    Harder to vent your body during intense exercise

    Lightweight Down Jacket – Full Zip or Half Zip?

    At the end of the day both half zip and full zip lightweight down jackets are going to keep you warm. The decision you will need to make is do you want a jacket that is versatile – full length zip, or one that is slightly warmer and better fitting – half length zip.

    If are poor at regulating your body heat and are constantly placing on and removing jackets then the full length zip is the style of lightweight down jacket best suited to you. If you feel the cold and very rarely remove a jacket over long periods of time outdoors, then the half zip version is going to be more useful.

    And finally, what about your hair? If you like to look perfect and are constantly preening yourself then a half zip jacket is going to cause you untold grief, so they are best avoided!

  2. Royal Geographical Society Expedition Planning Weekends

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    Start your expedition journey with the Royal Geographical Society

    Geography Outdoors, at the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) with IBG, is a great resource supporting field research, exploration and outdoor learning This year, the annual Explore expedition and fieldwork planning weekend (18-20 November) will be kicked off by the Atlantic Rising team, winners of the RGS-IBG Land Rover ‘Go Beyond’ Bursary. The team travelled around the edge of the Atlantic documenting the effects of sea level rise on coastal communities and will be sharing their stories in an inspiring opening lecture on Friday evening.

    Over the rest of the weekend, over 100 speakers will be hosting a series of lectures, workshops and one-on-one advice desks, offering expertise and inspiration to those looking to carry out their own overseas project. To launch Explore 2011, a new web page, a new facebook fanpage and a new YouTube video have been created. Have a look to find out more.

    New for this year is the ‘Vehicle Safety Course for Expedition Leaders’ – 11 October – organised in association with Fieldskills. The one day workshop aims to give those using vehicles abroad the relevant knowledge to assess and manage vehicle safety and will look at pre-planning vehicle safety, what checks can be done to vehicles in the field and how to develop practical and effective risk management strategies. It is particularly well-suited to group leaders and supervising staff, helping them to recognise and minimise risks associated with the use of vehicles overseas.

    Alongside corporate benefactors Land Rover, the RGS offers a practical two day driver training course covering driving and safety techniques for those undertaking research, expeditions or fieldwork in remote areas 24-25 October and 13-14 December. 2010 participant review:
    “A most enjoyable, informative and practical course, providing a no-nonsense approach to planning and developing safe, off road driving skills.”

    For details of either course, see


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