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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 new GriGri+ is heavier and packed with new features, such as a switch for toprope/lead-belay modes and an anti-panic function. Chris Van Leuven learns why the GriGri+ doesn't replace the GriGri 2 yet still adds a worthwhile option to the family of Petzl belay devices. Four stars.
Alpinist Digital Editor Derek Franz generally avoids the packaged, freeze-dried or dehydrated meals when he goes camping, but he sampled several Good To-Go meal varieties in the backcountry with his wife, and they agreed the recipes were the best they'd ever tried for this type of food. The meals were flavorful and nutritious, replenishing tired bodies after long days of playing in the mountains, but still had the usual drawbacks of dehydrated ingredients, such as texture and digestion. Five stars.