Mountain Standards

Posted November 8, 2016

Montane Hi Q Luxe Pro Pull On: Breathable enough to approach, warm enough to belay

Corey Buhay finds the Montane Hi Q Lux Pro Pull On jacket to be a versatile piece of equipment for staying warm and dry in the mountains. She awards it four stars out of five.

Posted October 27, 2016

Grivel Lambda HMS Twin Gate: Comforting If You're Not Wearing Gloves

The Grivel Lambda HMS Twin Gate is an unusual auto-locking carabiner that can be clipped with one hand and provides extra security on critical protection points. Just don't try to use it with gloves.

Posted October 24, 2016

The Dynafit Yotei GTX Jacket: The Ideal Jacket for Ski-Mountaineers and Beyond

Mike Lewis awards the Dynafit Yotei GTX Jacket five stars for its light weight, versatility and thoughtful design. There was but one tiny flaw...

Posted October 14, 2016

Metolius Ultralight Master Cams: Mostly Solid, Sometimes Wobbly

Chris Van Leuven takes the Metolius Ultralight Master Cams on a cragging tour from New York to Colorado, and awards them four out of five stars.

Posted October 5, 2016

DMM Apex Ice Tool Review: Heavy-duty and Ready to Rumble

The DMM Apex ice tools hold up to abuse and work well in a variety of terrain. Vermont climbing guide Tim Farr awards them four stars out of five.

Posted September 30, 2016

The DMM Pivot: Innovation Worth the Effort

The DMM Pivot shines as a simple, all-around assisted-braking belay device.

Posted September 21, 2016

Mammut Wall Rider Helmet Review

"Smaller rocks inevitably rained down. Just as the barrage ceased, a small rock whacked me in the head.... On the hard shell of the helmet, where the rock had hit, was a small ding. No cracks, no mess, just one clean dimple." Drew Thayer reviews the Mammut Wall Rider Helmet.

Posted September 10, 2016

Light, Low Profile and Hard to Break In: Arc'teryx Acrux AR Mountaineering Boots

Chris Van Leuven reviews the Arc'teryx Acrux AR Mountaineering Boots, crafted to be the "lowest volume weatherproof double boot ever made," the company says.

Posted September 2, 2016

Adidas Terrex Solo Approach Shoe 2016

YOSAR team member Josh Huckaby reviews the Adidas Terrex Solo approach shoes: "The Terrex Solos felt light on my feet, and have just enough support for extended carry outs down the dusty trails around Yosemite National Park."

Posted August 12, 2016

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Ultamid 4 shelter: a lightweight, versatile and rugged pyramid tent

Reviewer Drew Thayer notes, "The Ultamid 4 is currently the lightest option for a spacious, four-person shelter that can adapt to just about any conditions.... It's a great shelter for backcountry pursuits where versatility and light weight are necessary. And it's made right here in the USA."

Posted August 10, 2016

Mammut Belay Chain: Strong Personal Tether for Anchoring

Climber and guidebook author Stewart M. Green reviews the Mammut Belay Chain: "Unlike the personal anchor systems made by Metolius, Sterling and Black Diamond that use six links of the same size, the Mammut chain links are of two different sizes. The first three links are 11 inches long, and the last three links are 3.5 inches long. These differing lengths allow you to attach to different anchors at a belay station easily and quickly."

Posted July 12, 2016

Trango Piranha Knife: Sharp, Low Profile and Opens Bottles

As a guide, I'm often asked what I carry on my harness. In addition to standard climbing hardware, plus prussic cords, a Tibloc, and a Micro-Traxion for glacier travel, I carry a knife. Once my clients see the knife, they often reference Joe Simpson's classic mountaineering epic, Touching the Void. Unlike the moment of decision in the book when Simon cuts the rope to free himself while letting Simpson fall into a crevasse, I carry a knife for other reasons: these include to cut tat, add cordage to existing anchors, and cut the free ends from a stuck rope.

Posted June 17, 2016

Brooks-Range Drift 15 Down Sleeping Bag: Lightweight, Water-Resistant

The insulation in the Brooks Range Drift 15 sleeping bag is treated with DownTek, a down coating that prevents the feathers from absorbing water. Since water rolls off the down, the feathers stay light and fluffy—keeping you warm. Unlike synthetic sleeping bags, which are typically bulkier and heavier than down, treated down sleeping bags offer the lightweight, low bulk warmth found in down bags without sacrificing packability.

Posted June 3, 2016

The Merino Air Hoody: A Most-in-One Base Layer

Recently I added Patagonia's Merino Air Hoody base layer to my collection. Unlike my other merino wool items, The Air Hoody, with its fluffy appearance, resembles a thin, non-itchy sweater more than a typical next-to-skin layer.

Posted May 25, 2016

Mammut 8.7mm Serenity Dry: Light, Stiff and Specialized

Although rope technology has greatly improved in the twenty-some years since I started climbing, I was still skeptical when a lime-green Mammut 8.7mm Serenity rope showed up on my doorstep. The manufacturer states this rope is designed for single, double and twin configurations. Mammut also says the rope is designed to stretch 31 percent when arresting a fall. When used as a single, the Serenity is the thinnest-diameter cord in Mammut's line.

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