Engineer by day...skier and a biker by free time
Fantastic base layer. Not too warm and not too cold. I bring this layer touring all the time. When its really cold I throw my shell over this and am good to go on the up. The chest pocket is a nice touch, though I rarely use it. The zip is large and comfortable / doesn't chafe your neck. The merino wool magic keeps the shirt relatively funk free on week long backcountry trips. Did I mention thumbholes? There isn't a thing I would change about this shirt.
Not the lightest carabiner, but its also not the smallest. Ample space to clip in and really easy to use with gloves on in the winter. The price is right.
Versatile, reasonably light. It handles whatever you throw at it. A great step up from the traditional ATC.
The same old water bottle that can take the abuse. BPA free with the backcountry.com logo. Got this from backcountry.com as a part of their top 100 reviewers program and couldn't be happier.
Unlike some of the competition this saw folds up into a nice compact package, which makes it that much easier to manage. This saw is super sharp and has some features that just show how much attention to detail Brooks Range has. The crystal hard on the saw blade is a nice touch...and a bottle opener?!? Heck yes. The saw is absolutely bomber. I havent cut down any trees with it yet, but I'm sure it wouldn't flinch.
Bottom line-it does its job and goes above and beyond.
After blowing out my zipper on my quantum I had to act fast prior to a big trip I had lined up. I snagged the Lab Coat at my LSS and couldn't be happier.
Many of the same features I grew to love about the quantum are still present in the lab coat. The roomy hood shelters your head with a helmet on in the nastiest of storms and still allows your plenty of range of motion. The skin pockets are included as well. Well placed hand pockets and a freeride fit help make this a great ski shell. The shop did not have any smalls, but I found that the medium fits me just fine and allows for plenty of room for layering.
There are two incredibly obvious new features of this jacket that are a great improvement. The main zipper is a much beefier than the older style with small head. I was skeptical of the Neoshell's waterproofness...until I took it out in the harsh weather. This jacket is the perfect balance between shedding water and remaining breathable. If its still too warm just open up the massive pit zips and tour on.
I'm never stoked about dropping a ton of money on gear, but if you had to invest in a ski shell this would be the only one I'd recommend.
I was a bit skeptical to get another iteration of the BD Factor boot after breaking 4 ski walk mode pieces, which were a chore to repair in the backcountry. Ended up getting these on holiday sale through BD and was pleasantly surprised.
These are a much warmer boot than their predecessors, however almost too warm. The boots make my feet sweat more than any other I have owned, which can be problematic on multi-day excursions. Its also a shame that BD decided to axe the half sizes. I prefer a performance fit and will have to purchase an intuition liner to bring the boot down to a true 25.
These are lighter and more comfortable than the 2010 factor as well. No issues with the walk mode thus far, though I have had a few more issues with buckle icing in extreme cold than I did with the original.
Kudos to BD for re-engineering a boot and addressing many of the problems the field users were experiencing.
Abused these for a full season and they have held up great. Not the most comfortable if you are walking long distances, but not many flip flops are. My Reef Fanning flip flops were much more comfortable. They form to your feet quickly.
These shoes literally fit like a glove the first time I put them on. Extremely comfortable. Great in the mud, snow, and ice. Pair these with a set of gaiters for some speedy approaches in the spring ski season. They have the best traction of any shoe I have ever owned. Lugs will wear down fast on abrasive surfaces, but the control received is worth it. People seem to be constantly asking about the shoes and really dig the colorway. Good job backcountry.com on a great co-lab shoe.
These axes are primarily focused on moderate ice. They do that excellent. Pretty good for mixed. Tools sink super easy and are extremely lightweight. The bottom pommel is pretty annoying and personally the Quantum light suits my needs much more for steep snow ascents. Very low vibration.
If you are looking for a lightweight comfortable harness you can put on without taking your skis off you have come to the right place. Super packable when its off, barely noticeable when its on. I would highly recommend this to anyone that finds themselves roping up in an alpine environment.
The only downfall of the harness is difficulty feeding the waist strap back through the buckle in the extreme cold, but thats a problem for most.
Dropping in 3...2...1...
Switched from an old Dakine Heli Pro to this bag for longer days and multi day tours. It does a good job, but it feels small for 34L. The bag fits incredibly well on the back and I like how it is longer and sits closer to the body. The lashing points could use a bit of work, and the bag is completely missing loops on the underside. Material seems to be incredibly durable and the crampon pocket on the bottom is a very nice touch. Plenty of space for your BSP and layers. I would definitely only recommend this as a day pack.
This tool is great if you plan on spending your time ascending steep snow routes or occasionally encounter some slab ice. If I could do it again I would forgo the Raven and go straight to the Venom. Venom is much more versatile, granted more expensive. No issues after a few seasons.
You cant beat the portability of this setup. Don't expect speedy charging of the switch 8 with a panel this small. Realistically it will take 5 hours in good sunlight and much longer on a cloudy day, but that can be the difference between running out of battery when you are crushing big lines, or capturing the moment. Manage your electronics properly and you can keep an iPhone+GoPro going for days and days on end. Ive gotten exactly two GoPro battery charges off 1 full switch 8 charge and 1.5 full charges on my iPhone 5. Essential tool for the modern day backcountry traveller thats looking to keep capturing footage.
Its hard to imagine how I got by without one for so long. This watch is super handy for determining altitude while traveling in low-vis conditions, provided you have calibrated the watch. Any barometric altimeter has its limitations with drastic changes in barometric pressure, but as long as you calibrate the altitude at the base and at the summit, you will have accurate results. The log feature doesn't hurt either.
Ive been using these heavily on the east coast for the past 2 seasons on and off. The setup is heavy, but the reward on the down is excellent. I always feel secure in these bindings. Honestly its not a bad way to go even on the longer tours (had a few 15+ mile 10K+vert days) The stronger you are the more rewarded you will be with this setup. On the deeper days I have had some buildup problems, which is a problem with all frame style AT bindings. This can be alleviated to a point by periodically cleaning as you go.