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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 Grivel Lambda HMS Twin Gate is an unusual auto-locking carabiner that can be clipped with one hand and provides extra security on critical protection points. Just don't try to use it with gloves.
Mike Lewis awards the Dynafit Yotei GTX Jacket five stars for its light weight, versatility and thoughtful design. There was but one tiny flaw...
Chris Van Leuven takes the Metolius Ultralight Master Cams on a cragging tour from New York to Colorado, and awards them four out of five stars.
The DMM Apex ice tools hold up to abuse and work well in a variety of terrain. Vermont climbing guide Tim Farr awards them four stars out of five.