Favourite Gear: Katy Whittaker Picks

Words by Katy Whittaker. Photos by Alex Haslehurst.

Everybody has that one favourite piece of gear. You know, that one item that you’re reluctant to wash because it means you can’t wear it for a whole 24 hours; the jacket that never gets put away because you are constantly using it or the one that now resides in your rucksack ready for every outing. Grubby, worn, battered but well loved and like a second skin.

Here are my favourite pieces of Arc’teryx kit:

Nuclei FL

This jacket comes everywhere with me when I am trad or multi pitch climbing. I have been using the same one for years and although it’s now a little grubby, it has withstood the test of time, which is surprising with the amount of Fulmar (vomiting sea bird usually found on the sea cliffs in the UK) infested sea cliffs it has been up with me. I get cold easily so just taking a Squamish Hoody up with me never feels like enough. The Nuclei FL is insulated, light weight and has a stuff sack to clip to the back of your harness. The helmet compatible hood means its easy to get up and over, keeping you extra warm.

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Cerium LT

I got my first Cerium a couple of years ago and haven’t really taken it off since. It is a beautifully made down jacket with a great fit and articulation in the arms, meaning that often very tempting to boulder in! The cuffs and collar by your mouth have synthetic insulation in to stop moisture and dirt ruining the down. On those freezing gritstone days in the UK it is usually so toasty that I often end up warming up in it. Being scrapped around the grit doesn’t seem to faze it though, it still looks good as new and means I can go straight to the pub after climbing and not look like I have been wandering the moors for weeks on end.

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Zoa Hoody

I never really had a ‘climbing top’ until the Zoa hoody came along. I mixed between various models but never found anything perfect. This now comes everywhere with me – bouldering, sport or trad climbing. The main reason why I like it so much is because the material is really soft and easy to move in, it also has a three quarter length zip that is good for regulating my temperature. I usually get pretty chilly when I am sat at belays but this top has thumb loops, hood and the zip comes right up under your chin to keep you snug.

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Quinn top

This is one of those tops I love so much! I have it in every colourway just so I can wear it every day. It is made with a merino wool blend and has a relaxed but smart cut with a comfy boat neck. I wear it when I am chilling at home, in the van on rest days, at pub or for tea and cake outings with friends.

Tolu Tank

These tank tops are relatively new to the range but a great addition and now my main climbing top under the Zoa Hoody. It is made from a stretchy jersey material that isn’t clingy and feels really soft and light to wear. This top has been great for training, bouldering and sport climbing in. It has a long but shaped cut that means it never rids up when you have a harness on. It feels like it has been designed for a climber with a low cut under the arms, racer back and built in bra making it comfy and easy to move.

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