Mountain Standards

Posted December 6, 2019

Edelrid Bulletproof quickdraw: The burliness of steel with the lightness of aluminum

Alpinist Digital Editor tested the Edelrid Bulletproof quickdraw at Rifle Mountain Park, a world-famous sport crag where the volume of traffic frequently destroys carabiners. The Bulletproof showed hardly any signs of wear after hanging on one of the canyon's most popular routes for four months, earning five stars. "Wait! This review is for Alpinist, what the hell is this sport climbing equipment doing here?" Franz writes. Read the article at for his answer.

Posted November 14, 2019

Sea to Summit Flame IV: A warm ultralight sleeping bag tailored specifically for women

Kate Erwin used Sea to Summit's Flame IV women-specific sleeping bag in British Columbia's Purcell Range last October and found that the mapped-baffle design was effective in keeping her warmer than other bags she's used of comparable weight. 4 stars.

Posted October 22, 2019

Salewa Wildfire Edge: Technical approach shoes to keep up with the mountain goats

Alpinist Digital Editor Derek Franz has been wearing the Salewa Wildfire Edge approach shoes everywhere for the last several months. He reports that the shoes provide excellent support, feature very sticky rubber and are best described as "technical." Five stars.

Posted October 15, 2019

Peak Refuel Meals: setting a high bar for freeze-dried food

Clint Helander recently discovered a new personal standard when it comes to freeze-dried food. In this review he explains why Peak Refuel meals are in a different category from other backcountry food products that he has tried over the last 20 years. Five stars.

Posted October 3, 2019

Unparallel Up Lace: A new company presents a new take on a familiar shoe

Chris Kalman checks out a little-known shoe company named Unparallel that makes climbing shoes eerily similar to the well-known designs made by Five Ten. He found that even Unparallel's proprietary rubber is similar to the famous Stealth C4 rubber that Kalman has loved for many years. The fit and sizing of the Up Lace felt slightly different to him compared to the Anasazi, however. Four stars.

Posted September 25, 2019

Lowa Rocket: climbing shoes made for heel/toe hooking

After extensive testing, Alpinist Digital Editor Derek Franz reports that the Lowa Rockets are best suited for toe- and heel-hooking, with a secure fit that ensures they won't slide off the heel. Franz had trouble finding a size to fit his foot comfortably, however, and there is some bagginess over the top of the big toe. Three stars.

Posted September 13, 2019

Mystery Ranch Scepter 50: a comfortable pack for hauling loads in the mountains

Whitney Clark tested the Mystery Ranch Scepter 50 backpack in Patagonia and in the Sierra Nevada Range. She reports that the pack provides a comfortable suspension system and is great for hauling loads. "I think that the Scepter 50 does really well if you have just the perfect amount of gear, but it does not adjust well to smaller or bigger loads," she writes. Four stars.

Posted September 3, 2019

Scarpa Maestro Mid: A worthy all-around shoe that rivals the TC Pro

Chris Kalman put the Scarpa Maestro Mid through the paces on different styles of climbs to see how they compared to his La Sportiva TC Pros, which have set the standard for this type of shoe for several years. Kalman notes some differences between the shoes, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, and concludes that the Scarpa Maestros are a solid alternative, especially for people who have not found an ideal fit in the TC Pros. Four stars.

Posted August 20, 2019

Sea to Summit Alpha Pot Cookset 2.1: Light, compact, self-contained and user friendly

Alpinist Digital Editor Derek Franz tested the Sea to Summit Alpha Pot Cookset and awarded it five stars for its "lightweight, compact, self-contained and user friendly" design.

Posted July 18, 2019

Osprey Mutant 52: A worthy pack for just about any pursuit in any season

Drew Thayer tested the Osprey Mutant 52 backpack on ski tours, cragging days and even a three-week packraft trip in the Amazon rainforest. While the pack isn't the most ideal option for serious alpine climbing, he found that it works well for a variety of missions. Four stars.

Posted June 28, 2019

Beal Escaper: A scary but handy tool for when you need to rappel with one rope

Alpinist Digital Editor Derek Franz tested the Beal Escaper, which the company describes as a "detachable abseil system" that enables climbers to rappel on a single strand of rope and then still be able to retrieve the rope from below. Franz reports that if used properly the Escaper can be a handy tool to facilitate a fast retreat, but he also found that the device has some limitations. Three stars.

Posted June 11, 2019

D4 Octapod: A unique portaledge that is lightweight, low-profile and easy to set up

Chris Kalman details his experience with the D4 Octapod, a unique portaledge designed by the legendary big-wall gear inventor John Middendorf. Kalman tells the story of his early frustrations with the D4 ledge and how he ultimately came to love it, awarding it five stars.

Posted June 4, 2019

Cnoc Vecto and Versa Flow Gravity Water Filtering System is light, efficient, compact

Tad McCrea used the Cnoc Vecto and Versa Flow Gravity Water Filtering System on an expedition to Aconcagua where the rivers ran thick and brown with sediment. The simple, lightweight Vecto-Versa system worked well and kept Tad healthy. He awards it four stars.

Posted May 30, 2019

Maxim Personal Escape Rope: A tag line made for alpinists

Chris Kalman recently took the 7mm Maxim Personal Escape Rope to the big wall jungle of Cochamo, Chile, where he used the tag line to haul gear and rappel while exploring new routes. The Maxim PER is designed to be strong, light, water-resistant and its stiffness makes it less prone to getting snagged. Kalman reports that the rope is a great tool for alpinists, though they should be careful hauling with it to avoid core shots. Four stars.

Posted May 14, 2019

Ocun Crack Gloves: Save your skin as well as time and tape

Alpinist Digital Editor Derek Franz used to make fun of people who used rubber gloves to protect their hands while crack climbing, but now he's become a convert with the Ocun Crack Gloves. He likes that he can easily take them on or off, as opposed to wearing a pair of tape gloves all day, and no time or materials are wasted by making tape gloves that often expire after a day. Four Stars.

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