Sep 25 2017

Arva Reactor 32/40 liter airbag packs

Arva's Reactor 32 airbag pack

Arva’s Reactor 32 airbag pack

Arva has done a good job of balancing opposing goals with their Reactor avalanche safety packs. They provide ample touring utility while minimizing the weight of the airbag plumbing. The ingredients are a text book example of how to synthesize the best features currently available for cartridge systems:

  • inert gas,
  • a mechanical trigger for simplicity
  • dual airbags extending the length of your torso
  • It was an easy decision for Arva to stick with cartridges; besides having years of experience working with ABS as their pack manufacturer, electrically powered airbags don’t really have a long track record to prove their reliability.
    Keep earning your turns

    Aug 07 2017

    Review: Dynafit Radical 2.0

    When it comes to the Dynafit Radical 2.0 the current version is almost a no-brainer decision for anyone earning turns who wants to save weight without sacrificing frills like brakes and easy to flip climbing posts. The only feature you need consider is the toe that rotates a few degrees in downhill mode to add some elasticity to a pin system known for pre-release. The question is do you need the extra elasticity and is it worth the cost? Cost is less about price and more about the consequences of that rotation. Below, a review of the undisputed benefits.

    Dynafit's Radical 2.0 on a rental frame. Erase the rental frame and you

    Dynafit’s Radical 2.0 on a rental frame. Erase the rental frame and you have the culmination of 30 years fiddling with the Dynafit concept. TUV Certified for reliable release.

    The Radical 2.0 is the culmination of all that Dynafit has learned in pioneering their revolutionary low tech binding system which, to those who have attempted to copy it have learned, it is anything but low-tech. In fact, the simplicity of Dynafit’s tech system is due to extra precision in the control systems required to manufacture it. This yields a binding that, within the inherent limits of a 2-pin tech binding, can be relied upon when you’re far from help. And in the alpine world of reliable release, the Radical 2.0 has achieved the coveted TUV certification for this ability.
    Keep earning your turns

    Mar 07 2017

    Review: G3 FINDr 86/94/102

    Skis are a funny business. They are a combination of what one might consider mere mechanical construction, yet they are also part art. A portion of that is certainly due to the delight we experience when shussing through the snow, but the real magic is how ski designers can take what are essentially a common set of ingredients and combine them in such a way that every design is unique, like songs that rely on the same notes, but are infinitely variable. And the song some skis sing is magical.

    FINDr skis from G3 in three widths: 86, 94, 102 mm.

    FINDr skis from G3 in three widths: 86, 94, 102 mm.

    G3’s FINDr is one of those skis that starts out steady and solid, gaining your confidence before you dare to turn ‘em loose. When you do, they fairly leap into action, goading you along with a playful pop at the end of each turn that has the net effect of encouraging you to rev the engine and give ‘er a little more gas.
    Keep earning your turns

    Feb 27 2017

    Review: Scott Sports Minerva/Voodoo NTN

    Scott Sports Minerva NTN - women's version of Voodoo NTN.

    Scott Sports Minerva NTN – women’s version of Voodoo NTN.

    Last year my review of Scott’s Voodoo NTN was considered pretty harsh by Scott Sports. I received an email from Paul Parker, Scott’s boot advisor telling me as much, and that I was unqualified to review the boot. Some of the criticism I stand behind, but I must also admit that Paul Parker’s criticism of my criticism raised a point I couldn’t deny. I knew the specific pair of Voodoos tested was too large implying that my conclusions were at least suspect. Last month I managed to get into a pair that fit better – in this case a pair of size 25.5 Minerva NTN, a Voodoo in women’s colors. When I realized the boot wasn’t just one size too large, but two, the conclusion that some of my claims were flat out erroneous was unavoidable.
    Keep earning your turns

    Feb 19 2017

    Review: BD Ultralite Mo-mix Skins

    Reaping the rewards of turns earned with Glidelite Climbing Skins.

    Reaping the rewards of turns earned with Ultralite Climbing Skins.

    Like any decent pair of climbing skins, Black Diamond’s Glidelite Ultralite climbing skins, the mohair mix variety, is a product guaranteed to get you to the goods and plaster your face with at least a smile, if not a giggle of delight for the face shots.

    As with most climbing skins, the grip and glide quotient of BD’s Glidelite Ultralite Mo-mix skins fall in the range of what you ought to expect and won’t disappoint. However, when one looks beyond the plush you might prefer another brand for either the tackiness of the glue or the tip hardware, but not the tail; the STS tail hook still rules.
    Keep earning your turns

    Feb 14 2017

    Review: Scarpa’s NEW F1 AT boot

    Scarpa's improved F1.

    Scarpa’s improved F1.

    As much as I liked the concept of Scarpa’s F1 Evo the automatic mode switch seemed a bit too gimmicky. Scarpa’s lawyers agreed. This year’s revised F1 keeps everything else that was great about the F1 and replaces the mode switch with a simple, reliable, manual lever on the spine of the heel. Which makes this year’s F1 even more desirable than its predecessor.
    Keep earning your turns

    Dec 13 2016

    Review: Tecnica’s Zero-G AT boot

    Tecnica's new king o' the hill: Zero-G. Light. Powerful. Skintastic.

    Tecnica’s new king o’ the hill: Zero-G.
    Light. Powerful. Skintastic.

    Every year now the bar gets raised for Alpine Touring boots that play as well in-bounds as out. A dedicated rando race boot will always outrun or an alpine race boot will always outgun a dual-function work horse, but the work horse consistently delivers untracked pow where the others dare not go. That’s why there’s a really good chance you might want to change boots this year to Tecnica’s Zero G because it borrows the best of uphill and downhill racing boots with a form fitting shell that is comfortable to walk in and is reliable when driving a downhill line.
    Keep earning your turns

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