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Klättermusen – The mouse that’s going places

by Neil Summers.

Klättermusen is an outdoor company located in Jämtland Sweden where bear, moose and brown trout populate the mountains, forest and streams. Translating as ‘climbing mouse’ after a well-known Swedish children’s book character Klättermusen’s unusual name was chosen when founder Peter Askulv first started up the business and wanted his products to be desirable for their quality and performance rather than a cool name. Being a biologist and chemist as well as an avid ice climber and cave diver Peter took a scientific approach to creating his outdoor gear, literally putting threads, fabrics and prototypes under a microscope in order to achieve maximum safety and durability.

Designed for conquering mountains as well as the daily commute into the city, Klättermusen’s super technical fabrics are made from predominantly organic and recycled materials in order to lessen their impact on the environment. So don’t be surprised to see fishing nets or bean oil in the product description of your new item of Klättermusen clothing alongside Recco detectors for locating you in an avalanche or fabric that has an actual SPF50 UV factor in order to stop you getting burnt by the midnight sun.

Conquer with Klättermusen at The Sporting Lodge.

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Filson – Best of the Best

Staying true to their ethos of ‘might as well have the best’ American brand Filson have chosen one of Britain’s best designers, Nigel Cabourn to create their special edition adjustable hunt coat.  Made in the USA this substantial corduroy collared coat features a detachable hood and is constructed from 16 oz paraffin waxed cotton that will keep the rain out and provide each coat with it’s own unique and beautiful patina. The inspiration comes from a WWI jacket from Nigel’s extensive archive of military clothing, which has provided the basis for much of Nigel’s own collections and garnered him global recognition and acclaim for his incredibly detailed and accurate work. Combining his forty years of expertise in making specialist outerwear with Filson’s expert manufacturing this jacket is as much a collector’s piece as it is a fully functioning and practical item of outdoor clothing. So if you’re looking for the ultimate coat then you might as well have the best (of the best).

The Adjustable Hunt Coat is available in many sizes, get the best today! View the full FIison range.

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Barbour, for Queen and Country

Although Barbour has an impressive and illustrious history dating way back to 1894 it was during the 1980s that the family owned business became a household name in the UK. Prior to then their reputation for incredible outerwear had tended to be something of a well kept secret by those who enjoyed country pursuits or riding motorcycles. Though the combination of their second royal warrants arriving (this time for the queen herself) and the first of their iconic Bedale and Beaufort jackets being produced meant that the cat was well and truly out of the (wax) bag.

During this aspirational decade one of the true signs that you’d really ‘made it’ was having a place in the country to go to at the weekend that had to include an AGA oven, a range rover, a chocolate Labrador or two and of course a wax jacket. With the upwardly mobile city-slickers soon realising that if Barbour was good enough for the royal family then it was good enough for them too. In fact the South Shields based brand made such an impact back then that their reputation for this old-fashioned yet still incredibly effective form of waterproofing means that it’s still impossible to think of a wax jacket without also thinking of Barbour at the same time even now. This is no doubt helped by the fact that when you buy a Barbour it becomes more than just an item of clothing, it becomes a part of you that improves with age and with the right amount of care and the odd re-waxing will last you a lifetime.

Browse the wonderful world of Barbour at The Sporting Lodge.

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Grenfell – The ‘Clapton’ Jacket

by Neil Summers.

Though Grenfell are world renowned for using their ‘wonder cloth’ to create classic British outerwear you may be surprised to know that for this season they’ve created a ‘hybrid’ garment that’s named after a legendary Rock-star. Combining two of arguably the two most iconic garments in menswear ever, the Clapton jacket seamlessly blends the three-button British blazer with the trench-coat using water-repellent Italian gabardine cotton and fine merino wool. Legendary rock and blues musician Eric Clapton appreciates fine luxury outerwear that’s made in Britain almost as much as he does a Fender Stratocaster, hence Grenfell bestowing the honour of naming their latest jacket after him. So with the clocks in the UK due to go back this weekend with a Clapton jacket on you really will look wonderful tonight from as early on as 4.45pm.

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We’re so pleased to be stocking Grenfell clothing at The Sporting Lodge, we hope you like it as much as we do!

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The History of Musto

Neil Summer, our guest blogger digs into the history of Musto.

When it comes to performance engineered clothing British brand Musto having both the land and sea covered. As the world’s leading offshore sailing brand with 50 years of making cutting edge apparel behind them their fabric technology and ergonomic design has also made them major players worlds of both equestrian and shooting clothing.

The brand arose from the slightly built Keith Musto who as a member of the British sailing quad found that by training as hard as Olympic athletes he was able to win a silver medal in a heavyweight boat by simply being fitter than his opponents. It was during the relentless training for the olympics that he realised Guernsey sweaters and flannel trousers were inappropriate attire and so set out to create a line of ground-breaking technical sailing apparel.

Having set up a workshop in an old WWII prisoner hut in Essex Keith started teaching himself the basics of design and fabrics by making sails as Musto & Hyde with his friend Edward Hyde. By 1980 Keith went solo in order to turn his hand solely to clothing manufacture as ‘Musto’ a name that was quickly acknowledged as being makers of the best sailing kit available. Worn and endorsed by the world’s most celebrated sailors with the red silhouette of Keith’s Olympic winning Flying Dutchman boat emblazoned on the sailing apparel instantly recognised mark of excellence.

A family business it was Keith’s son Nigel who took up shooting that opened up the opportunity for Musto to develop their shooting range. As with his discovery with sailing Keith recognised there was a similar demand for technical clothing that would keep shooters warm, dry and comfortable. By fusing performance fabrics alongside timeless, classic styles the Musto has also become the leader in British country sporting wear.

We’re delighted to now be stocking Musto products, we hope you like them as much as we do! Browse the full range here.

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Review – Kanken No. 2 Laptop

Brand new for 2016, Neil Summers shares his thoughts.

If you’re looking for something smart, stealthy and Swedish to safely store your supplies in then you need the Kanken No.2 Laptop bag in your life.  Comprised of Fjallraven’s signature heavy duty G-1000 fabric with leather detailing this super smart looking backpack opens up to reveal a separate padded compartment to place your laptop in as well as a handy business card holder. You’ll also find a handy seat pad in there that can be quickly pulled out to provide you with somewhere clean and comfy to sit down when all the seats on your train compartment, conference centre or park bench have all taken.  This is more than a backpack, it’s a mobile office!
If you’ve been bitten by the Kanken bug or just want to find out more about this various incarnations of this versatile Swedish icon then head over to our newly re-branded site (previously called I Love My Kanken) which is now called My Kanken Bag that’s totally dedicated to this dynamic backpack.

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Filson – Built to last

If you’re new to Filson, Mark Smith digs into the history.

Filson may have been around for several lifetimes, but it’s a new introduction for us here at the Sporting Lodge.

Clinton C. Filson spent the early part of his working life as a railroad conductor, before moving to Seattle, Washington in the 1890s. It was here where the real roots of Filson began, when Clinton set up a small loggers’ outfitting store. In a scene which was mirrored in many parts of the U.S in this era, Filson made its name meeting the needs of prospectors passing through Seattle on their way to the Klondike Gold Rush. The brand eventually got itself on a solid footing in 1897 and although the gold rush was relatively short-lived, it cemented the brand as a reliable supplier of clothing and accessories which would stand the test of time. After the gold rush ended around 1899, Filson shifted to providing gear for outdoor oriented activities and occupations including hunting, fishing and logging.

In the modern day, Filson continues to enjoy an unrivalled reputation in its field. In the early 90s, its heritage in canvas luggage was revived, while more recently in 2010 it fittingly partnered up with another brand born of the gold rush to create Levi’s Workwear by Filson.

With slogans such as ‘Unfailing Goods’ and ‘Built to Last’ running through their veins, Filson have a unique confidence in the gear they make. It’s perhaps their best known tagline which sums them up most accurately though – “Filson – Might as well have the best”.

We’ve handpicked products we think you’ll love. View the full range here.

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Fjallraven Kanken – evolving with the times

Founded in 1960, Fjällräven is a veteran at coping with the outdoors. The brand began like many of its counterparts, with problem-solving at its heart. That simple backpack created by Ake Nordin all those years ago has been joined by a full range of serious outdoor clothing and accessories, and while jackets like the Greenland have become iconic, it’s that original bag which lends its DNA to the brand in the current era.

When things are ubiquitous, it’s usually for a reason. The Kånken bag enjoys worldwide popularity, perhaps due to having nailed the middle ground between function and style. Like any good design, whether it be a car or an item of furniture, the Kånken has been gently evolved with the times, and there are now variations which include laptop compartments and other useful additions. The Kånken also comes in a number of subtle styles, from the well-known bright colours to a more understated, grown up version which utilises leather and more muted colours. There’s something for everyone. It’s a clear example of form following function and looking great as a by-product. Everything about the Kånken is clear, considered and concise. The same can be said for Fjällräven in general, in fact the only thing we can’t quite get our heads around is how to pronounce it correctly, which is fitting for a brand born in Örnsköldsvik. Try saying that with a mouthful of Kendal Mint cake!

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We have a long lasting relationship with Fjallraven and have a fantastic range of products, tried and tested by The Sporting Lodge. Check out Fjallraven’s AW16 collection.

BERETA

Beretta Since 1526

by Neil Summers.

In 1526 Bartolomeo Beretta sold 185 of his cutting edge, high quality ‘arquebus’ barrels to the arsenal of Venice and in doing so started up what is now the oldest active firearms manufacturers in the world, Beretta. A world renowned brand with an incredible history with a Beretta gun even finding its way across the Atlantic on board the Mayflower’s legendary journey alongside the founding fathers of modern America. Unsurprisingly this legendary ‘Mayflower Gun’ can now be found  itting proudly on display at the NRA’s museum in Fairfax, Virginia.

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‘Arquebus’ meaning ‘hook gun’ was Beretta’s first gun ever made.

Over the centuries to follow Beretta have successfully remained a family run business as well as keeping their reputation as a brand totally dedicated to quality and beautiful Italian design. Based in Brescia in the North of Italy, the Beretta Headquarters boasts it’s very own museum featuring more than 900 pieces on display including guns previously owned by John Adams and Napoleon. In addition to making some of the world’s finest firearms, accessories and clothing Beretta also produce a number of renowned Italian wines as well as running a non-profit organisation dedicated to cancer research. It’s hard to think of another brand (even one outside of the world of shooting or sport) that have consistently made  incredible products over such an impressive amount of time and who knows where the next 500 years will take this fantastic Italian company…

We can’t wait to see. View the full range of Beretta at The Sporting Lodge.

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Epic Failsworth

by Neil Summers.

Though it started off as the Maypole Hat Works back in 1881 it was early the following century when it’s more recognised name the New Failsworth Hat Manufacturing Company arrived. The name coming from the location of the factory premises at Claremont Street in Failsworth, Manchester with the slightly punchier title of ‘Failsworth Hats Limited’ being adopted later on in 1940. During which time due to the war, production of normal headwear was put on hold and Failsworth were actively employed making leather helmets for commando frogmen and RAF pilots as well as various parts for aircraft.

Once the war was over, the company picked up the pace by signing a major contract with the John B Stetson company in the USA to manufacture hats bearing the famous Stetson name. On the back of this success they continued to forge ahead with their own brand and by the 1950s Failsworth were making 5,000 dozen hats a week, several of which could be spotted on a myriad of famous heads including local legends the Busby Babes.

By the 1980’s Failsworth hats was an early leader in fabric development using micro fibre sporty types of materials as well as fleece to create pioneering warm, lightweight and waterproof products. A far cry from their early days of using fur felt although their traditional hat and cap styles saw a real resurgence with several versions made using Harris tweed, cashmere and lambswool being introduced during this luxury conscious decade.

Having celebrated their centenary in 2003, the brand still has a keen eye on the future and innovation whilst still being incredibly proud of the traditional values of quality, fine attention to details and supreme craftsmanship that they have kept too. Their incredible hats and caps are still made in Failsworth too, just down the road from their old premises where they started off making just 25 dozen hats per week. Failsworth, I take my hat off to you!

View the fantastic range of Failsworth right here at The Sporting Lodge.