Mountain Standards

Posted August 10, 2017

Good To-Go backcountry meals: Nutritious and as good as dehydrated recipes can get

Alpinist Digital Editor Derek Franz generally avoids the packaged, freeze-dried or dehydrated meals when he goes camping, but he sampled several Good To-Go meal varieties in the backcountry with his wife, and they agreed the recipes were the best they'd ever tried for this type of food. The meals were flavorful and nutritious, replenishing tired bodies after long days of playing in the mountains, but still had the usual drawbacks of dehydrated ingredients, such as texture and digestion. Five stars.



Posted July 31, 2017

Front and Center: Patagonia's 850 Down Sleeping Bag 19F/-7C performs well, starting with the unusual zipper location

Mike Lewis spent 58 nights in the Patagonia 850 Down Sleeping Bag (19°F/-7°C) and slept well enough to award it five stars. He noted that there are some features that could be improved but he is otherwise impressed with the company's first sleeping bag designs.



Posted July 20, 2017

The La Sportiva Kataki: A great shoe for vertical to moderately overhanging rock climbs

Derek Franz stepped into the new La Sportiva Kataki rock shoes and is impressed with their performance on "tiny little nothings." He found that the shoes functioned well for their intended purpose of climbing vertical to moderately overhanging terrain. Five stars.



Posted July 11, 2017

Boreal Stetind: Light and comfy for slogging, but not well designed for technical climbing

Mike Lewis used the Boreal Stetind boots for six weeks of guiding on snowy mountains in the Pacific Northwest and reports that the boots have some significant shortcomings in technical terrain. In this review he explains in detail why he awarded them two stars out of five.



Posted June 29, 2017

Patagonia Ascensionist 40L Pack: Light, comfortable and functional

John Easterling used the Patagonia Ascensionist 40-liter backpack for backcountry ski-mountaineering, desert climbing and a few things in between. He was initially skeptical of the pack's minimalist internal frame, but he found that the pack had the right balance between burliness and weight for technical day climbs or light overnight trips, and he awarded it four stars.



Posted June 16, 2017

Black Diamond Access Hoody: Simple, warm and compact

The Black Diamond Access Hoody has kept Alpinist Digital Editor Derek Franz comfy in a variety of temperatures and conditions since January. He's happy with the jacket except that the zipper started having trouble after one month of light use.



Posted May 17, 2017

One Flashy Hoody: Ortovox Merino Fleece Light

Chris Van Leuven wears hoodies often and has tested his share of them. His latest review awards the Ortovox Merino Fleece Light Hoody four stars. Van Leuven reports that the Ortovox is lighter than many other tops, but in terms of loft and warmth it's similar to heavier ones.



Posted May 8, 2017

NW Alpine Eyebright Jacket: Burly and ultralight

Alpinist Digital Editor Derek Franz tested the NW Alpine Eyebright ultralight shell jacket, one of the lightest and most durable in its class because of its Dyneema construction. The jacket was structurally and functionally sound but it left some things to be desired when considering the hefty price tag.



Posted April 27, 2017

Arc'teryx Procline: One boot for skiing and ice climbing

An ice climbing boot that handles skis as well? Jess Roskelley tested the Arc'teryx Procline Carbon Lite boots and enjoyed their versatility for approaching and climbing routes in the snowy backcountry. He used the boots on mixed pitches and WI 6, and cruised out in full control of his skis on the way down—no more sliding into tree wells with soft boots mounted into Silveretta bindings! He awarded the Proclines four stars.



Posted April 18, 2017

The redesigned Five Ten Quantum: Versatile, high performance climbing shoes

The Five Ten Quantum rock shoes were designed to be an all-around, high performance shoe. Chris Van Leuven tested them on slabs, cracks and steeps, and on a variety of rock types: he scampered up them all, and was so pleased he awarded the redesigned Quantums five stars.



Posted April 3, 2017

Julbo Explorer 2.0: A worthy new member to a long, proud lineage of sunglasses

Julbo sunglasses continue to stand the test of time and perform as well as ever with modern technology. The Explorer 2.0, which is complete with photochromic lenses that rarely fog up. Alpinist Digital Editor Derek Franz would have awarded them a perfect five stars if it weren't for one shortcoming. Four stars.



Posted April 1, 2017

The Emperor Jacket: so lightweight and breathable, you'll hardly know it's there

Alpinist Fashion Editor Paula Rumpelshorts reviews the latest in alpine outerwear: the Emperor Jacket (so lightweight and breathable, you'll hardly know it's there).



Posted March 28, 2017

The Patagonia Hybrid Sleeping Bag: unconventional and efficient

Patagonia introduces a modern version of an old idea for an unconventional alpine sleeping bag—the Hybrid, which is intended to be used with an insulated jacket to avoid redundant layers and save precious space in your alpine kit. Ryan Wichelns awards it four stars.



Posted March 10, 2017

An Innovative Balance of Strength to Weight: Petzl Irvis Hybrid Crampons

Part steel, part aluminum, and with Dyneema cord in place of a metal bar to connect the two halves, Mike Lewis finds that the Petzl Irvis Hybrid Crampons hit a nice balance between durability and lightweight packability. He would have awarded them five stars if not for one shortcoming.



Posted March 4, 2017

Alpine Luddites White Light/White Heat backpack: custom-made to contentment

Alpinist Associate Editor Paula Wright puts the Alpine Luddites White Light/White Heat backpack to the test, awarding it four stars. The company takes an a la carte approach to the gear it sells so that minimalists will have only the accessories they want, such as the foam layer that comes in a customizable thickness and doubles as a "bivy pad."



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