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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 admit it. I'm a shoe whore. When it comes to cragging, certain climbs require a very specific shoes. Currently my cragging quiver consists of about five shoes (that I can remember off the top of my head). Shoes range from super tight sporty edging shoes to finger-crack shoes to quick on-and-off bouldering shoes. I now have one shoe for just about everything. When I first tried out the Vision V at Blacktail Butte outside of Jackson I was a little skeptical. I felt a little weak but that is probably because I climbed too many moderates in the Bugaboos the two weeks before.
This is an ultra light, incredibly compact and highly breathable storm shell that I found to be ideal for a variety of uses. Featuring Gore-Tex Paclite fabric with narrowly taped seams, one chest pocket and a hood perfectly cut to use with a helmet, it had everything I needed and nothing more.
It was obvious as soon as I removed the OR Exos from their packaging and took one look at all the crucial features that I had never seen on gaiters before, that these were by far the most bomber gaiters imaginable. In the past, the instep strap on other gaiters has always been the first thing to go for me, rendering the gaiter useless, so I was particularly happy to see how reinforced these ones were.