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 North Face Redpoint Optimus Jacket
Posted on: August 1, 2005
While not the lightest or warmest insulating layer on the market, the Redpoint Optimus from The North Face shines as an extremely versatile piece. It provides the perfect amount of insulation for those stop and go activities when layered over or under your hardshell/softshell. The Primaloft fill compresses nicely and the quilts in the torso area keep it where it was intended to be after multiple stuffings into the pack. The sample I received has accompanied me on numerous "worker turn" runs in "the park" (GTNP) and on "the pass" (Teton) this past winter. I love how it is "low bulk" and rather trim fitting, a great layering piece.