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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 Firetail GTX could be the ultimate all-in-one Teton or Rocky Mountain National Park shoe, with enough hiking chops for long approaches and plenty of climbing prowess for moderate routes.
For its price tag, the Togir Light has a great set of features. But a few drawbacks are hard to ignore.
Nearly as light as aluminum crampons yet much more technical, the Nanotechs will sit lightly on the pack for the approach and still perform decently on a section of steep ice or mixed.