10/29/2014
 
Overall: Five Stars for one of the very few certified climbing helmets that provide some additional protection for skiing. Only caveat is that fit can be more finicky than most climbing helmets, and only two different sizes are available unlike most ski helmets. Background on product familiarity: I bought my Pulse helmet in Spring 2008 and used it on some tours. The size Small fit me perfectly with either the winter kit or without. But without the winter kit yet with a wafer-thin sun hat underneath – ...
10/29/2014
 
Overall: Five Stars for a certified climbing helmet that is deservedly popular for skimo, even among lots of newer competition. Background on product familiarity: I bought my Speed helmet in Spring 2009, and wore it almost exclusively for about four years. Over these past two seasons, I’ve mainly used some lighter competition. But I still use the Speed for training and some shorter tours. First, the first impressions out of the box: If you’ve previously worn only heavy ski helmets or traditional har...
10/29/2014
 
Overall: Three Stars to reflect some sort of weighted average for, well, first and foremost, Five Stars to . . . Skimo Co for the only honest etailer listing I’ve ever seen for this beacon! And Five Stars to the product if you intend only to slip it inside a zippered lycra suit pocket for races. But if you ever try to find someone else with it, One Star. Background on product familiarity: I owned one for a while, ran it through many tests, thought about using it for just some late-season tours in a pan...
10/3/2014
 
Overall: Five Stars for by far the lightest metal-bladed shovel. If your only goal is to meet the ISMF reg, then you can save about an ounce and a half (plus some $) by buying the CAMP Crest. And if you want a larger blade for moving unconsolidated winter snow, then the CAMP Plume might be a better choice with a relative weight penalty of less than four ounces. But the ARVA Ultra offers an amazing combination of a fully functional “real” shovel at rando race weight (or rather, lack thereof). Background...
9/28/2014
 
Five Stars for BD Gold Label Adhesive: a spare tube of this is an absolute must for any skimo racer with our tail-less skinny mohair skins, often with relatively weak European skin glue. Even with strong glue, the tail end of the skin will take a beating since the lack of any tail attachment hardware means that the glue will be handled there much more. You can get in many touch-up renewal jobs with a single tube. Major caution though: these fumes are serious, so use outdoors only (e.g., screened-in por...