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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
As a lightweight gear freak (and an aging alpinist), I am always looking for the latest and greatest in the ultralight world.
Although I found that the PSolar BX made breathing super-cold Alaskan air more comfortable, I have always been skeptical of any techy do-dads like flux capacitors and time machines.
Sometimes you have to try new gear that's really good to realize that your old stuff just isn't as effective as you thought. This was my experience when trying out the new Black Diamond LiveWire Quickdraws. Though not light, BD's deluxe sport rig offers big and beefy 'biners with features that enable quick and efficient clipping. Whether pushing tricky sport clips or extending ice and mixed protection with a gloved hand, this quickdraw truly makes the job easier.
As part of Julbo's Speed Series the Race is a great choice for high-speed activities such as skiing, biking, running and for windy mountain conditions.