2018 has been a great year for adventure and adventure kit. You've been sharing your time outdoors with us all year on the #iGOoutdoors hashtag, so it's no surprise that you came out in your thousands to show your support for your favourite brands, bloggers, National Parks and more.
We're delighted to say that the results have been calculated and we can announce the best of 2018..
The categories were as follows:
'Time to get out' was the message that Berghaus preached throughout 2018, urging people to put their phones down and go explore life without the Instagram filter. It was sure to be a campaign that hit home with a lot of people, and this coupled with their usual fantastic range of outdoor clothing, footwear and packs makes Berghaus a firm favourite in this vote each year.
A win in this category this year marks the second year in a row that you have selected Berghaus as your top brand of the year, and with pieces such as the Ulvetanna and Nunat insulated jackets alongside the Fellmaster IA waterproof jackets, Berghaus continues to bring timeless looking products into their range while introducing new and exciting technologies.
Berghaus Brand Director Kev McFadyen, said:
"We are delighted to receive the Best Outdoor Brand award. For over 50 years we’ve been passionate about creating the most innovative outdoor equipment available, and are pleased to hear that so many customers trust us every time they go outdoors.”
2017 Winner: Berghaus
WINNER: Adventures of Kate - http://adventuresofkate.co.uk/
Runner up: The Outdoor Dad
Runner up: Lisa and the Beast
This category is hotly contested each year, but this year there was a mere 4 votes separating the top two blogs as we entered the final day of voting. Each blog in this category was selected because they were using their space on the internet to inspire others to get outdoors through stories of their own adventures and tips for others. All 15 blogs are worth a read, but there could only be one winner.
Each blogger campaigned for votes from their readers, and we loved reading some of the replies and messages of support from people who may not have known the blogger personally but wanted to show support for the great work they do on their blog. One blogger among them all stood out with such positive feedback from her readers, and that was the Adventures of Kate.
Here's what Kate had to say about her win:
"I'm so excited to have been voted GO Outdoors Outdoor Blogger of the Year. To even be nominated, in the company of some amazing influencers I've followed for years, is fantastic. I've spent the past 3 years blogging as I love both writing & getting outside. I feel privileged to be able to share my love of the outdoors with my followers and am always trying to inspire people to have fun in the great outdoors; be it in the mountains, the forests or on the water, and to know so many people have read and enjoyed my blog is an honour"
2017 Winner: Paul Kirtley's Blog
WINNER: The Lake District
Is it any real surprise that the Lake District takes the crown in our inaugural National Park award? The Lake District is by far the most popular National Park in the UK, and with good reason too. Its relative central location makes it just a drive away from most places in the UK.
A trip to the Lake District is for all ages, there is something for everyone in the National Park. Whether you're looking for a relaxing stay in stunning scenery, visiting the landscape that has inspired authors such as Beatrix Potter, climbing England's tallest mountain, or checking out why Helvellyn came top of ITV's Britain's Top 100 walks. It's not just a popular location for walkers either, as its name suggests, it also attracts those looking to take part in water sports.
If you've never experienced the Lake District, we've got just the article for you: 50 Things to do in the Lake District, just to get you started.
Congratulations to the Lake District, voted the UK's favourite National Park 2018.
WINNER: Rab Microlight Alpine Down Jacket
Voted the best clothing product the last two years in the GO Outdoors Awards, we think it's absolutely the right choice to induct the Microlight Alpine into our product Hall of Fame.
2018 marks the 10 year anniversary of the Microlight, Instantly embraced by climbers, mountaineers, walkers, and those looking for a layer of warmth around town for its fit, versatility and warmth, the Microlight was a game changer in its own right and quickly became an icon.
You don’t have to venture far to find another Microlight owner, that knowing glance and nod you’ll give or receive as you pass, it’s an exclusive little club.
Most jackets end up in the bin or to the local charity shop when they’ve seen better days, but you’ll often find well-aged Microlights with scuffs and patches or duct tape holding bits together and you know they’re badges of honour of adventures gone by.
So congratulations to Rab, as we welcome the Microlight Alpine to our product Hall of Fame.
2017 Winner: Craghoppers Kiwi Trousers
WINNER: Rab Valiance Waterproof Down Jacket
The Valiance has to be in the conversation of 'Ultimate jacket for British winters'. Down jackets are known for their warmth, they make ideal insulation layers, but it's no secret that their performance can suffer in a downpour. The Valiance is a fully waterproof down jacket, which in our eyes makes it an ideal jacket for the unpredictable British winter weather.
It would always take a special jacket to topple the popular Microlight Alpine from this category (it had won the last two years running) but the Valiance is proving to be a real favourite among our staff this year, and one that is well worth checking out if you're looking at upgrading your winter coat.
2017 Winner: Rab Microlight Alpine
WINNER: Scarpa Terra GTX Walking Boots
It's no secret that at GO Outdoors we adore the Scarpa Terra GTX walking boots, and it's not just us either, they're a firm favourite among our customers as well. These boots continue to deliver year after year and in 2018 Scarpa went away and improved on an already great walking boot.
Terra boots are comfortable straight out of the box, which is a big plus point when you want to get out and use them rather than having to bed a new pair in. The classic look and the durable finish of the boots make these a great choice for the avid walker. A winner in this category in 2017 as well, Scarpa must be doing something right!
2017 Winner: Scarpa Terra GTX
WINNER: OEX Phoxx 2
The big brother of the popular single person Phoxx 1, the Phoxx 2 offers more space for kit, or even your four-legged friend to join you on your next wild camping trip. OEX continue to bring value for money in all their expedition ready camping kit at affordable prices. The Phoxx 2 comes in at under £80 which makes it an ideal starter tent for any budding wild camper.
We heard from OEX ambassador Ben Maxfield about the win:
"When I met with the OEX team over 4 years ago we agreed that we wanted to create an expedition brand that we could all be proud of and our priorities were fairly simple: To create great innovative expedition gear for all experience levels and to make the outdoors more accessibly priced."
"Just one vote from GO store staff to us is an honour, but to win a category in the end of year awards shows testament to how hard everyone works in unity to make a brand like OEX work. Thanks everyone and happy camping. As you can imagine there is lots more to come from OEX and even an old friend in next years range, so keep an eye out!"
2017 Winner: Coleman Mosedale 5 Tent
WINNER: Calibre Bossnut Evo Mountain Bike
The Calibre range continues to go from strength to strength, with a loyal band of followers awaiting their every new release. 2018 saw the release of the Bossnut Evo, the third iteration in the Bossnut range and the third Bossnut to win not only this category but also the Editors Choice in MBR Magazine.
As you can imagine, it's a pretty popular bike. The reason it scores so highly with its fans is the sheer value for money, the components on the Bossnut Evo simply don't exist on most sub-£1000 mountain bikes, it's a real King in its category and we know that Calibre are planning more huge releases in 2019. We can't wait!
2017 Winner: Calibre Bossnut V2
WINNER: Osprey Farpoint/Fairview Range
Rucksacks are often the unsung workhorse of the outdoor pursuit. A comfortable pack can make or break your travels or your walk. Osprey have always produced high-quality packs, and much of the votes in this category were made up of varying models from the Osprey range, however one name stood out time and time again. The Farpoint and Fairview.
The Farpoint (men's sizing) and Fairview (women's sizing) are a range of packs that are the ultimate travel companion. It's a great pack for day rambles, but it's also the ideal size for carry on luggage. The best feature of the Farpoint/Fairview is that it can be carried like a backpack, but packed like a suitcase. The best of both worlds!
We caught up with Vicky from Osprey, who had this to say:
"We are thrilled that the staff at GO Outdoors voted the Farpoint/Fairview series to be their Rucksack of the Year. This is a great accolade for Osprey and testament to the close relationship we have with each individual store through years of extensive training sessions and events. "
2017 Winner: OEX Vallo Range
WINNER: Nebo Big Larry Torch
Last year the Lil Larry stole the hearts of our customers and colleagues alike, so when we heard that its big brother was coming into the range, well it's no surprise to see it win this category again.
The Big Larry at 400 lumens offers a super bright light which is ideal to draw attention when in danger, but also for use to light up the area around you when out on camp. At under £15, you'd struggle to find a brighter torch for the price.
We caught up with Dylan on behalf of Nebo, who had this to say:
"I am delighted that the Nebo Big Larry 400 Lumen Flashlight has been voted Gadget of the Year by GO Outdoors. This is particularly thrilling as its little brother Lil Larry won the vote last year. Thanks to everyone at GO Outdoors for their support."
2017 Winner: Nebo Little Larry Torch
WINNER: GO Outdoors Chester
With such a large range of kit available in our stores, it can often be quite daunting for a beginner to know what is suitable for their needs, at GO we prides ourselves in being able to offer great service and our in-store teams are always on hand to offer up some advice if you need it. This category is entirely voted for by the public, so the winning store is always very proud to take the crown of favourite GO store of the year.
GO Outdoors Chester sits on the border of England and Wales, and is often used as a gateway store for those travelling into North Wales. We caught up with store manager Sarah about the win:
"We are incredibly proud to have been voted GO Outdoors favourite store of 2018, voted for by our lovely customers. From myself and all the team at the Chester branch we would like to say a huge thank you and look forward to seeing you all again in 2019."
2017 Winner: GO Outdoors Edinburgh