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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
The DMM Pivot shines as a simple, all-around assisted-braking belay device.
"Smaller rocks inevitably rained down. Just as the barrage ceased, a small rock whacked me in the head.... On the hard shell of the helmet, where the rock had hit, was a small ding. No cracks, no mess, just one clean dimple." Drew Thayer reviews the Mammut Wall Rider Helmet.
Chris Van Leuven reviews the Arc'teryx Acrux AR Mountaineering Boots, crafted to be the "lowest volume weatherproof double boot ever made," the company says.
YOSAR team member Josh Huckaby reviews the Adidas Terrex Solo approach shoes: "The Terrex Solos felt light on my feet, and have just enough support for extended carry outs down the dusty trails around Yosemite National Park."