And the best Outdoor Online Retailer is………

Last Friday saw me head up to the Outdoors show at the NEC, both to look at the show and to attend the Walk reader awards as we were up for best Online Outdoors Retailer. The Walk awards have been running for a number of years now, and they are the only awards worth their salt as an outdoor retailer. As Webtogs has been on the go for just three years, we were pretty pleased to get nominated and the guys at walk had let us know we had posted in the top three.

The show itself was pretty good with a fair selection of brands and destinations all on display. I particuarly liked the bushcraft area, the presenters were excellent and the community vibe in the area was the best at the show. Having had a pootle around the show, I sat down at the back of the Cicerone walking stage to watch Simon King presenting the awards. Butterflies grew as we duly got to the best Online retailer, at which point my jaw dropped down to sea level when the Webtogs name was read out in first place!!

We never expected to do as well as we did for this our first year being nominated and we just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who voted for us. We’re super chuffed that we have won and we promise that we will carry on delivering the best online experience, the best products and the best customer service of any outdoors retailer. It means a great deal to us that we have made it on to so many peoples radar as the place to shop for outdoor gear.

So thanks again to the Ramblers and Walk magazine, all their readers and all our customers, we’re deeply humbled you all think we are the best online retailer in outdoor – Cheers!

Gold award for the best Outdoor Online Retailer at the Walk magazine awards.

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Kuhl is rocking our world right now..

Believe it or not, with the weather throwing down cats and dogs in the car park, our march in to spring summer has been on the go for some time now. Out of all the brands that have come in over the last couple of weeks though, our buyer Keith has really hit gold with the Spring Summer range from the lovely guys at Kuhl

Describing what a brand is like and what products are like over the internet can sometimes be a little tricky, and especially with a small brand like Kuhl, they can sometimes sneak under the radar. They are definitely worth a special mention though as everyone in the office has got excited about them and nearly everyone has bought a piece before they even went on the website. They remind me a little of Howies in terms of design although their focus is completely on stylish, practical mountain wear. That comparison is probably not completely accurate one though as Kuhl are REI’s largest selling trouser brand. We are on a mission then to let the UK know about just how damn good these guys are!

Kuhl Eiger long shorts

The whole range can be viewed here although we are still expecting some bits and bobs in for April. Stand out pieces for me have to be the Eiger long short and Moda Ped for women, excellent long shorts with ariculated knees that are going to be great for indoor climbing walls and light scrambling. The other pieces that really grab me are the Jeans and Pants as they are just so comfortable on. Great for walking, climbing or relaxing back at the campsite, they are light, breathable and incredibly durable.

Kuda Canvas Pant

Anyway, can’t stop to chat more, I need to go and raid the warehouse before any more dissapear in to the grubby hands of my colleagues!

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Power Ranger love Keen

One of our favourite brands over the last couple of years has been Keen, the American outdoor footwear brand. We love them so much, you can usually see at least 2 or 3 of us wearing them each day in the office and warehouse. They are also the only brand we actually back up with a special Keen comfort guarantee

Apparently though we are not the only ones to have heard how special they are, and alledgedly, those crazy Power Rangers dig them too. We finally received photographic evidence however this week…..

Power Rangers love Keen!

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Climbing Game

Goodness gracious me, there was I thinking about heading out for a bit of a wander and a scramble this weekend, when I spotted the fact that I will no longer need to go outdoors at all very soon, and can start climbing all over my telly in fact.

I’m sure that the lure of taking a totally rad route up Pixel Mountain, whilst having your eyes dried by a solid 4 hours in front of the telly will soon replace the wind in your hair, the physical challenge of climbing and the beauty inherent in the mountains we play with.

Now where’s me Wii pad.

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Shiny new Warehouse

There has been a fair amount of shaking going on at Webtogs HQ right now, so much so that it feels like we are working on the bridge of the Starship enterprise. The reason for this, is our shiny new warehouse is getting built just behind us. The diggers have been laying the concrete foundations last week and this week the steels went up behind us.

New Warehouse
It’s been incredible to watch just how quickly it has gone up, it has literally been two weeks for them to get to the stage above us in the photgraph. We can’t wait for the new warehouse to come online, especially our warehouse manager Sue, as things are a tad tight in the current one.

We’ll keep you posted as we progress……

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Start your fires at 1300 C

Something for all you closet Pyros out there, this bad boy cooks up a heat that would not be out of place in a volcano! They reckon it can get to 1300 c in temperature, perhaps a slight overkill for getting your waterproof matches lit but frankly I don’t care. I want one :)

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Nemo Morpho – blow up tent!

I’m off to the Brecons this weekend, and Keith gawd bless him, got an advance copy of the tents we are stocking for next year, the Nemo Morpho. I am now officially super excited about this as we pumped it up in the back garden of the offices to take a look.

Front of the tent with side mesh opening.

Back of the tent.

Side ventilation.

You may have gathered that the special feature with these tents is that the poles are air poles or air beams, you blow them up. Now before I saw these, I was worried about the robustness of the air poles themselves. Having seen them in the flesh now I have no such worries. They resemble two half tires going around the tent and are just as thick and solid. Design wise it has some lovely touches with a collapsible inner and a really flexible front mesh that can be opened from the front or side. It’s also huge and at just over 2kg it looks like my new fav lightweight two man tent.

I’ve got a couple of photos for you to take a look at above along with the short video clip below, I’ll let you know how I get on this weekend – next week!

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Chmonix Trip – the lowdown

Well it’s been a while in the writing but I’ve finally managed to get around writing the story of our trip to Chamonix. The weekend started less than auspiciously with damp, inclement weather gathering overhead. We packed like there was no tomorrow to enable us to shut up shop at 12 to give us enough time to get to Heathrow. Leaving Matt and James in charge to pick the final orders, the Webtogs convoy churned up the A303 and in to Terminal 5’s car park. Things didn’t get much better for Jenny, our warehouse manager,as the Bus that took us to the terminal passed in front of her car. There was a yelp of “noooooooooooo” that reverberated around the bus as Jen realised she had left her sunroof open. Suffice to say, we were all incredibly sympathetic and we queued up to console her, just after we had all stopped laughing.

The flight was instantly forgettable and we soon made our way along the motorway to Chamonix with the mountains rearing up ahead of us. Mont Blanc was hidden behind some meaty wisps of cloud and so we found ourselves in town without a good glimpse of it. The night passed swiftly after a couple of sherbets and we gathered the following morning ready for the main event, the traverse of the Vallee Blanche. For those of us who had never been to the Alps before and only been walking / scrambling in Blighty, it was like having your Lego Duplo set taken away before being handed the latest Technics box instead. You know that there will be snow on the peaks, but the sight of it really hammers home that you are no longer in Kansas.

We all kitted ourselves out with the relevant boots, crampons and Ice axes. For a lot of the team, this was the first time they had used any of these and we spent a good 40 mins at the hotel fitting and trying everything on. We then headed to the cable car at the Aiguille du Midi and headed up the Mountain. Taking the cable car itself is not the most comfortable as it heads up very quickly and those with a delicate stomach were left looking inwards. There was a stop half way up where we changed cars and it was then up to the top where we got the first view of what we were about to undertake.

Simply put, it was awe inspiring with sheen of cloud underpinning the Aiguille, views across to Mont Blanc and to Switzerland. We also got our first view of the narrow ridge leading down to the Glacier below with a 1500 drop to one side and 300m on the other. Without further ado, Matt our guide got us locked and loaded with harnesses, ropes, crampons and axes and away we went down the ridge. Jenny and Richard our Tech director had already walked down so Tom and I came down with Matt. Matt cheerfully regaled us with the fact that he and Nick had seen a couple of climbers fall down the glacier side of the ridge the week before at which point Tom who had never been in crampons before was heard to mutter “Perhaps you could mention this at another point, maybe in a couple of years….”

The route down from Aiguille du Midi

We're laughing now we're down....

Making it down safely to the glacier, we struck out for the Italian side of the Alps all roped up. Starting off in jackets, we were soon in shirt sleeves and feeling the sun burning through the thin sky. We passed underneath the cable car that would bring us home later that day that crosses from the Glacier de Geant to Point Helbronner on the Italian side. What struck me having never been on a glacier before were the crevasses that we came across and in some areas had to journey across. The glacier was not the smooth unbroken snowy landscape I had anticipated but more a living, moving animal. We passed a few Italian groups coming from the other side before stopping for lunch. I could describe the journey as a whole, but I think the pictures will tell a better story than I ever will!

Mid way across the Valley

Looking up at the cable car home!

Views across to Mont Blanc

Looking out to Switzerland

Suffice to say we finished the day exhausted but with a smile on our faces. Now where’s that Mont Blanc ascent info…. You can view the rest of the photos on Facebook and the video is on you tube

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We’re looking for a Customer Service star….

We are currently looking for an enthusiastic and diligent customer services representative who can deal with all aspects of customer interaction via, Telephone, Skype and E mail. The ideal candidate will have a never say die attitude to ensuring customer satisfaction, and have a serious attention to detail. As an internet company we would welcome someone who has a good understanding of the internet, computers plus a passion for the outdoors. Attractive Salary, training and discounts on all our gear offered. If you are reading this and interested, please mail your CV to in the first instance with a covering letter telling us why you would be great for the job!

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