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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.
I would recommend the Distance as a great lightweight, durable hiking boot—not as a true approach shoe. Its performance as a hiking boot earned them a spot inside my duffle for my fall climb of Cho Oyu.
Six months ago I unpacked a new 60-Liter WorkSack made by CiloGear, and it was love at first sight. I marveled at its simplicity and then loaded it up to find a number of basic-but-brilliant features: a removable frame sheet and bivy pad; lightweight, strong techy materials such as SilNylon; removable compression straps; simple suspension; all the right pockets and no extras; a single interior compartment; a dense foam hip belt: PERFECTION!
The Corsa is ideal for low-angle glacier travel, moderate ski mountaineering and adventure racing but, if there's a chance you might find yourself in more serious terrain, you'll wish you packed something more hefty.
The Millet Peuterey 40 is marketed as a “versatile summer/winter mountaineering pack for one-to-two day excursions,” but at 4.2 pounds, this little pack weighs in heavy for its limited capacity.
This jacket is ideal for colder, higher-altitude alpine climbs like those found in the Canadian Rockies, Alps and Andes, making it an amazingly versatile jacket for cold-weather use.
The Enclosure survived two months in the Chugach, two weeks in the Alaska Range, and a week rock climbing at the local crag with only slight abrasion marks, one pinhole, and a lovely stain pattern.