11/13/2013
 
Overall: Five Stars for sitting nearly weightlessly in your pack to meet IMSF race regs (Section 10, Appendix 3). 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 couple stars lest anyone be tempted to bring along the CAMP Crest shovel for backcountry companion avalanche rescue, at which it would fare very poorly. So Three Stars overall. Background on product familiarity: The Crest shovel mainly j...
11/13/2013
 
Overall: If you plan to stay on snow exclusively, then the EVO certainly rates Five Stars. If you plan on any sustained off-snow use, then the EVO is truly a zero (matching up with the remaining boot sole perimeter lugs and your chances of passing ISMF regs). So Three Stars for some sort of weighted-average compromise. Background on product familiarity: I bought the EVO toward the beginning of the 2013 season and loved it so much that I used it over 244,000’ vertical, for almost half my earned vert...
11/13/2013
 
Overall: Despite some non-race environment inconveniences, fit modification limitations, and potential durability concerns for a Whereveristan mountaineering expedition, the Alien 1.0 rates Five Stars – and only because the website won’t allow fifty or so stars. The ratio of skiability to weight is so seemingly impossibly high that it even validates Scarpa’s alien technology marketing theme. Background on product familiarity: I bought the Alien 1.0 toward the end of the 2013 season but kept using the Dy...
11/13/2013
 
Overall: Four Stars, reflecting a weighted average of Five Stars after some modifications (and tedious length adjustments) combined with something less than that straight out of the box. Alternatively, if you want to save almost as much weight as the Race 290 yet combined with a traditional attachment system, then consider the Tour 350. For a little more bite (from 12 points instead of 10), then consider the XLC 390; for even more bite (from steel front point inserts), then consider the XLC Nanotech. ...
11/13/2013
 
Overall: Five Stars for the second-lightest option among CAMP’s four different aluminum crampon models. The bite of the Tour 350 is a bit compromised compared to a 12-point crampon – see my reviews of the slightly heavier XLC 390 and the steel-insert XLC Nanotech. But the attachment system is still traditional – see my review by contrast of the Race 290. This brief review focuses only on what distinguishes the Tour 350 from the XLC 390, so see my review of that “baseline” model for more details on the c...