12/1/2014
 
Light, comfortable, and secure-fastening. What's not to like? Well, to be fair, I'm not 100% sold on the durability and protectiveness it offers. If it wasn't so unwearably fugly, the Petzl d***helmet bests both durability and weight of the Vapor, for which I'm deducting a star. IMO it should extend further down the occipital area for better protection.
12/1/2014
 
This was my first beacon, because I got it at a too-cheap-to-pass-up price. I bought it well aware of the limitations of single-antenna tech, but ended up practicing with it a fair amount anyways. I was able to find 2-3 victims inside of 5 minutes, repeatedly, on the test course. Is this representative of real-world conditions? I'm not sure. That said, the average buyer on Skimo.co has a different purpose: meeting skimo racing regulations, in an environment where avalanche burial is a negligible or minimal...
12/1/2014
 
BD Gold Label is easy to use and stickier than some others out there. Originally I was intimidated by re-gluing skins because it seemed messy and time-consuming, but after trying it it's not bad at all. So far I haven't redone the glue on an entire pair of skins, just beefed up the tip and tail sections with Gold Label. Remove glue with a paper shopping bag + hot waxing iron (iron the paper, with skins stuck to the other side). This removes skin adhesive quickly and mess-free. BD tip and tail attachments ...
12/1/2014
 
These skins are bombproof. My limited experience with mohair suggests it's somewhat delicate, but I don't hesitate to rub skin wax into these with vigor. Rocks, trees, whatever - they don't really seem to get damaged and grip pretty well. Glide improves with break-in, and hot waxing seems to improve it, though I'm not sure if hydrocarbon + fluorocarbon is much better than plain hydrocarbon waxing. BD skins seem to be highly popular with tourers because of their quality, robustness, and availability.
12/1/2014
 
These are my first mohair/race skins and so far, so good. They definitely leave something to be desired in grip, but I'm coming from wall-to-wall nylon, so that's to-be-expected. Fitting your own tip attachment with bungee cord is easy if you can figure out a needle and thread (was my first time trying to sew anything and it turned out ok). Use seam grip to make the stitching abrasion-resistant. Pro tip: the glue isn't super strong, so if you're running these without tail attachments (as most are), you can...