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
Marmot Essence Jacket
Posted on: July 26, 2005
At 7 oz, this uber-light shell Marmot engineered has upped the ante of the revolutionary PreCip by cutting its weight nearly in half. When rain shells were heavier, I would often leave one out of my kit. But now a days, there is no need ever to leave one behind. It doesn't take up any space in a pack, and the weight-to-protection value rocks. All the details are tech and trimmed down specifically for the minimalist climber. Spicy colors to boot, but the bonus is the cool glow-in-the-dark detailing that helps clients follow my lead on early morning starts.