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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
Because of its ability to hold up in the rugged, perform well on peaks and offer superior suspension in all conditions, this little pack gets an Alpinist Mountain Standards medal.
If you like a stiff and aggressive shoe that offers supreme advantages for edging and toeing in pockets, then this is the shoe for you.
These hot-forged 'biners are so sleek and small that friends have asked if the Nano Wire is designed for a key chain. To their surprise, I say these little guys are full-strength.
Having used the Apollo ski touring and climbing in the Canadian Rockies, I am so impressed that I feel the need to give this bright guy some hype.