12/21/2014
 
Overall: Five Stars for an excellent ratio of surface area to weight, with the float that would be expected from its wide rockered tip, and unexpectedly strong firm-snow performance given its nearly triple-digit waist and nearly unbelievable weight. Background on product familiarity: So far I have skied on the 2014-15 version in a 168cm for a little over 24,000 earned vertical of backcountry powder plus about half a day of lift-served in various conditions. Mounted with ISMF-prohibited combination ...
11/13/2014
 
Overall: Five Stars for an excellent alternative to a full one-piece lycra suit for racing or to a soft shell for touring, with pockets a plenty. Only possible downsides for this type of clothing article are the lack of a hood for extremely cold weather and the lack of full-zip ventilation for extremely warm weather. Background on product familiarity: Purchased in Fall of 2014. I’ve also used three different models of lycra full race suits for comparison. First, the first impressions out of the box: ...
11/11/2014
 
Overall: Five Stars for sitting nearly weightlessly in your pack to meet ISMF race regs (Section 9, Appendix 2). But as an avalanche safety instructor for AIARE and NSP (as well as an American Avalanche Associate governing board member), I feel compelled to subtract a star for backcountry companion avalanche rescue as assembly is potentially less easy than for more mainstream models, so Four Stars overall. Background on product familiarity: I bought the ARVA Carbon 240 Light probe during the 2012-13 ski...
11/2/2014
 
Overall: Five Stars for an excellent smaller-capacity ski mountaineering pack that it also light enough for skimo racing. Background on product familiarity: I’ve put the original version through all sorts of abuse. I’ve also compared/contrasted my pack with the more streamlined version that came out in Fall 2013. First, the first impressions out of the box: The capacity is skimpy from the viewpoint of midwinter insulation layers and/or large avy rescue gear. However, for warmer temperatures and/or...
11/2/2014
 
Overall: Four Stars for a skimo race pack that would be amazing were it not for the superior competition from CAMP and Dynafit. Background on product familiarity: I bought the Trab pack but was rather underwhelmed by it at first, so I gave it to a buddy. First, the first impressions out of the box: The weight is competitive, but at the expense of reduced carrying capacity. Plus instead of a sealed side-access lower compartment, the Trab’s separate lower compartment has only an elastic closure in the...