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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 9.2mm Edelrid Topaz Pro Dry CT is a skinny rope that handles like a mid-weight. Chris Van Leuven has put thin cords to the test before, and he was mostly pleased with this one, awarding it four stars.
The La Sportiva TX2 approach shoes shine brightly on fast-and-light rock missions when you need to carry your approach shoes with you on the climb. Alpinist Digital Editor Derek Franz awards them five stars.
The VOORMI River Run Hoodie keeps Chris Van Leuven comfy in all kinds of conditions, from rainy trails and toothy offwidths to social scenes. He awards it five stars.