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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.
Mountain Standards: IFMGA/AMGA guide Mike Lewis tested the heavy yet durable Trango Cirrus helmet. He writes: "I have first-hand experience of working for a guide service that made the mistake of purchasing a full fleet of lightweight helmets, many of which didn't make it through the first month. The Cirrus is an excellent choice for program use.... The Cirrus is built not only for top impact, like most climbing helmets, but also for side and rear impacts as well, making the Cirrus a viable option for ski-mountaineering.... Expedition mountaineers, riggers, and other users will appreciate the toughness of the Cirrus as well." Five stars.