I will start off by saying I am a huge fan of the base unit design, it is incredibly comfortable and the 97% survival rating is fantastic. That being said there are a few things I don't like about this design. The ski carry needs to be redone, I am planning on changing the diagonal carry a bit. I would like to see a way to compress the pack that does not cross the airbags. I also would prefer a from shovel pocket that is more easily accessible. I just purchased the Dakine Altitude 40L for longer tours and I am extremely happy with it. Over all I will always ski with an ABS pack for the safety it provides but this needs some minor tweaks.
I just got this today and Have yet to put it to use, however I am already impressed. I have the ABS Vario 25L and it is a good pack, there are a few specific things I don't like about it but I plan to make some modifications. This Dakine pack makes up for a lot of the Vario downfalls. It has plenty of room for a long trip, I wantd something that could easily pack a rope, crampons, and maybe a Jetboil. I am much happier with the ski carry on this pack, this is something that I feel is seriously lacking on the Vario. The front shovel compartment is a huge plus, the vario I find is hard to get into. Overall this is a great pack, Dakine knows what they are doing. I have to give huge props to ABS though because of the airbag design is fantastic.
I am kind of on the fence when it comes to helmets. At a certain point a helmet becomes useless. At around 15-20 MPH a helmet is not going to protect your brain (believe me). For a long time I refused to wear one, I have seen people die from head trauma while wearing a helmet. However I do see a purpose to them when it comes to low speed incidents in an area where there is a very real possibility of hitting a rock or tree. Don't think that because you have a helmet on means you can crash hard with no consequences.
That being said, this is a very comfortable, well vented helmet. I would highly recommend it.
I am on my second pair. My first gave up last summer while walking across campus. The first pair lasted 4 years and were threadbare. I use these year round, I hate shoes and wear these even in the snow. They have good arch support and the traction is fantastic. I have hiked with these in the spring when approaching snow because they fit well in the bottom of my pack.
I love this product! Not only is it warm but it also holds up incredibly well. I have used the same 2 R1's for the past two winter all day everyday working in every different condition imaginable and they still have a long life ahead of them. I love the hood, it fits well under a helmet and comes up high enough to keep your face warm, it enables you to leave the balaclava at home.
If you are using it for anything other then ski patrolling it should be adequate. For the price I would not recommend it. In one season of ski patrolling I destroyed 2 pairs of these gloves, by the time I was done with them there was more duct tape on them then fabric. If you want a durable ski/work glove go with the Kinco ski glove, for what you pay for 1 pair of Patrol gloves you can buy 3 or 4 pairs of kinco's and a jar of Snoseal. I have used one pair of Kincos and they are still going strong (with a little help from some duct tape). If you are a weekend warrior with extra cash to throw around then go for the Patrol glove otherwise look elsewhere.
I am now on my second pair or T-race's (the first were the white and red model). This is an amazing boot, I wore my last pair all day everyday for the last 2 winters. Somedays I wore them for 13 or 14 hours a day without ever having to take them off. I will say that the one down side is that it does seem a little bit softer then the previous model, I am not sure if this is due to the walk mode of the new shell material. I have been meaning to switch out the power blocks and see if that makes a difference. For as long as I tele ski I will always use Scarpa and as long as they are making the T-race I will be using them. Great product!
I skied the Axl's and snapped them in half after a month, the Bomber Bishop which looked like it would de indestructible snapped like a twig, the G3 Targa broke more times then I can count and I can't stand the Bdel binding. I have skied every binding on the market and broken every binding on the market. My favorite binding by far is the Voile Switchback, It is a light easy to use binding that skis great on the descent. I have certainly broken this binding many many time but I keep going back to it because I love the feel and flex of this binding. If you want just a resort binding I would definitely go with the SX (same binding minus the tour mode). Another huge factor for me is the fantastic customer service at Voile, they are very quick to get replacement part to me and are actually concerned about their product and satisfaction of their customers (this is quite unusual for a company). If you want an amazing touring binding look no further then the Switchback. If you want just a resort binding Look at the Voile SX. You will not be disappointed!
This jacket is amazing! Perfect for walking across campus or taking along on a long tour. This jacket has never let me down.
These are not my first choice for free pivot bindings. I thought these bindings were ok until I skied the Voile Switchbacks they are far and away better then the Ascents.
I have used many different tele binding but these are by far my favorites. The one downside of this binding is that it switches itself into tour mode unexpectedly. It has happened to me 6 or 7 times now and always catches me by surprise. I now only use this binding in the backcountry because it does not release like it does in the resort. If you want a great resort binding get the Voile SX.
I have had 3 pairs of Black Diamond Patrol gloves and while they are warm they fall apart quite easily. Almost everyday I found my self having to rap them in duct tape to keep them together. I am a ski patroller and I don't see how they can call these patrol gloves. Go to the hard wear store and get some winter work gloves. they will hold up a lot better and are a LOT cheaper.
This is far and away the best boot I have ever used. I am in these boots every day for work often up to 14 hours at a time and they are still comfortable. The fact that Scarpa has designed a boot that is comfortable and out performs all other tele boots is awesome. I used these for a season and a half and have beaten them into the ground; I will certainly be getting another pair for the upcoming season.
I bough this pack for work but after loading it with skins and avalanche gear there is no room for anything else. The pack is poorly designed. They claim its for patrollers and avalanche professionals but there is no way that I can use this for patrol. Don't spend your money on this item, there is barely enough room for a day trip. I personally like the Black Diamond Anarchist Avalung pack.