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The Alpinist Mountain Standards reviews apply Alpinist's tradition of excellence and authenticity to gear reviews by providing unbiased, candid feedback and anecdotal commentary to equipment tested (hard) in the field. Our panel is comprised of climbers who use the gear every day as part of their work and play. Only the gear they would actually buy themselves, at retail price, qualifies for the Alpinist Mountain Standards award. The five-star rating system is as follows:
One Star = Piece of junk.
Two Stars = Has one or more significant flaws, with some redeeming qualities.
Three Stars = Average. This solid piece of gear is middle-of-the-road on the current market.
Four Stars = Better than most comparable gear on the market. It has one or two drawbacks, but still 90% positive.
Five Stars = Is there such thing as perfection? An Alpinist Mountain Standards award-winner.
The rest of the MS Team
I spent over a week in the Canadian Rockies and the R1 Granular Jacket hardly ever left my body. I don't think I can say enough about this piece from Patagonia. As someone who has eliminated many fleece garments for typical layering in recent years I've found that the R1 is already indispensable for me.
This harness is a Cadillac for comfort and Petzl's slick buckle system helps keep you safe without having to double back the waist belt or leg loops. This feature also makes it super fast to change layers on the move. I've used the Corax extensively for rock climbing, ice climbing and alpine routes.
I put these boots to the test on Denali. They sailed me up and down the mountain attached to snowshoes, skis and crampons. I wore them nonstop for 21 days (when I wasn't sleeping or lucky enough to be in my down booties) and never got a single blister.