The Lowdown

Extraordinary stories and technical knowhow
  • Bags you can stretch out in are quite a rarity. But why? And why are we making them?
  • Mostly, we do down…but we do fleece too. And we don’t just use any old fleece, we use Taiga. But how different can fleece really be? Good question…
  • Sorry, couldn’t really resist that. Anyway, it’s true…

  • Let’s have a look at what we brought you in 2019…
  • John Cameron wanted to tell us about his trip to Nepal with the RAF Mountaineering Association. We keep telling you: we love hearing the stories and seeing the photos!
  • When we say to keep in touch and tell us about your trips, we really mean it! And a lovely number of you lovely folks have told us lovely stories about our (we think) lovely Double Suit. Which is lovely…

  • Hold onto your hats (and your jacket, trousers & socks, while you’re at it): we’re about to revolutionise your camping experience. In a good way. A nice, sensible revolution.
  • Adventurers doing something adventurous? Maybe it’s not so big a coincidence after all…

    Photo: Sergey Pesterev/CC-BY SA 2.0

  • Although we’d like to think of something intriguing to say here, all we can think is how cold his hands must be. Now that’s suffering for your art…
  • Should you turn your back on down bags for UK camping? It’s a (fairly) commonly held belief, but it’s not really true. Let us explain…
  • The Spine Race, tracking north up through the Pennines – ‘the backbone of England’ covers 268 miles and lasts a week. Well, it used to. It’s still 268 miles, but it just got a lot quicker…
  • Rosie Swale-Pope has just finished a run from Brighton to Berlin. But, as she once ran right around the world, that’s perhaps not all that surprising…
  • This has been mentioned elsewhere, but it’s an important story – perhaps the most important one we have – so we’ll mention it here too.
  • The Original Mountain Marathon: testing mountain mettle since the 60s. OK, it doesn’t always look this lovely, but don’t be put off giving it a go! One of our number has done just that, more than once. Maybe you could too: you might be surprised…

  • Why temperatures mean different things to different people, why it’s important, and why it needn’t be confusing.
  • Having reached the summit of an 8000m peak, it’s not unheard of to want to do another. However, after climbing one, heading straight to the top of a second one the following day is rather more unusual!
  • As we introduce our Ventile-shelled PHD Outwear collection, we thought we’d give you a bit of a rundown on what makes Ventile so special.
  • Since ancient times, “The Silk Road” has been redolent of adventure… Seems it still is, as it happens.

  • How do we know our gear works in the places we say it will? The answer is as simple as you might think. We send it there.
  • Surprise birthday parties are a thing, obviously, but surprise birthdays? Not so much. We managed it though.
  • When you need help in the mountains, you put your faith in the Rescue Teams. And who do they put their faith in?
  • What do you do when you’re stricken with ill health and bereavement? That’s right, you go and run the toughest races in the world.
  • Not best known for idling around and dodging a challenge, it’s not too surprising that Ben Fogle & Victoria Pendleton fancied a crack at Everest. Before that though, they had to make the perilous journey north to see us at PHD.
  • Margaret, the lady in charge of the PHD sewing room, has been with us since the very beginning. So if you’ve ever had anything to do with PHD gear, chances are you’ve had something to do with Margaret! Now she’s retiring, we hope you’ll all join us in saying goodbye and good luck.
  • When Roger Cook set out for Cho Oyu – the world's 6th highest mountain – a PHD Double Suit and Sleep System went with him: gear for every occasion without having to take different gear for every occasion. It’s all about the layers!
  • Given his impressive track record of oxygen-free ascents in the Himalayas, when Horia Colibăşanu contacted us about kit, we were intrigued as to what he was up to! He didn’t tell us exactly what he was intending, but this is what we found out…
  • Some people are size Medium, some are Large. But many are neither, and many are both! We’ve made custom size gear for years, by request, but now it’s started to make its way onto our main website.
  • When Carl Alvey came back from guiding a 57-day ski expedition to the South Pole, he very kindly got in touch to tell us about the equipment he took with him.
  • Although he’d spent a lot of time in the mountains skiing, it never occurred to Alex Pancoe to actually climb one until a trip to Africa inspired him to try Kilimanjaro. Thinking he’d bitten off more than he could chew, he trained as hard as he could and surprised himself by taking it in his stride…and so decided to climb more.
  • We’ve heard from a couple of folks who’ve been off on very different trips, but both using our Wafer clothing, so we thought we’d let you know what they had to say about it.
  • 160km – 100 miles, if you prefer – in under a week is quite an undertaking. Even more so when you do it at altitude. Even more so when you consider that the height gain is upwards of 28,000m. So, it’s not really surprising that competitors in the Everest Trail Race like to keep the weight in their bags to a minimum!
  • We were approached, a little while ago, by a chap called Will Rowland, who wanted to talk about sleeping bags. This stuck in our minds, thanks to an old family connection.
  • The Fire & Ice is one of the toughest races in the world (even the five-times winner of the Marathon des Sables reckons it’s tough). It takes in 250km of volcanic ash, glacial river crossings, barren rock, grassy meadows, and everything else the Icelandic terrain can possibly throw at you.
  • We thought it would be interesting to hear what Peter Hutchinson, the founder of PHD, has to say about the freedom and the sense of adventure that come from the bivouac.
  • We know why we think Half Bags are a good idea, but it’s always worth our while finding out what you guys think! We asked a load of our Half Bag devotees to tell us about them. Find out what they said.
  • Right from the beginning, off-the-peg solutions have never really been our style. So, when Anja Blacha asked us for something for her Himalayan trip which she couldn’t get anywhere else, we were all ears. Find out more.
  • The Seven Summits: the highest peaks on each continent. Fewer than 500 people have climbed all of them and, of those, just 9 British women have managed it. Well, last month, with her success on Denali, Jo Bradshaw came a step closer to being the 10th.
  • Adele Pennington has just returned home after summiting Dhaulagiri, breaking the British Women’s record for 8000m ascents. And that record had been hers anyway!
  • When it comes to down suits, Tim Mosedale is something of a connoisseur. After dozens of Himalayan expeditions (including five summits of Everest, two of which in one season) and over 50 previously unclimbed peaks in Greenland, you start to get an idea of what your gear needs to be able to do!
  • Sir Ranulph Fiennes has announced an expedition to traverse the Antarctic continent in the polar winter of 2013. No one has attempted such an expedition before, and PHD are proud to be official suppliers of Down Jackets, Down Sleeping Bags, Down Trousers and Down Mitts and Boots to the expedition.