November 24, 2013

Scott Cosmos

Scott Cosmos

There’s a bit of a leap of faith involved in buying a pair of Scott Cosmos ski boots. Just a year ago, the Cosmos was made by legendary but now-defunct Garmont USA. Garmont’s parting gift was at least one and possibly two critical design/manufacturing flaws embedded in the otherwise-stunning Cosmos. Early adopters (including me) thus found themselves not once but twice burned (more…)

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August 29, 2013

Look Pivot

Look Pivot

Where Alpine equipment is concerned, I generally believe nearly all modern bindings are safe and effective. That said, there is still variation in performance and durability. Look’s Pivot has a reputation for excellence even in the relatively homogeneous realm of Alpine bindings, thanks to its outstanding durability and its remarkable 40mm lateral travel (toe) and 28mm elastic travel (more…)

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August 13, 2013

La Sportiva Xplorer Mid

La Sportiva Xplorer Mid

La Sportiva’s lightweight Xplorer Mid is not at all the shoe I was expecting. In terms of weight, stiffness, and structure, the Xplorer is almost an anti-boot. The Xplorer Mid is minimalist to the point of being primitive. In fact, the shoe reminds me most of my Pearl Izumi Peak XC trail runners—they both have the same natural, almost ‘barefoot’ feel. That’s going to be highly appealing to some hikers, and, admittedly, (more…)

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August 1, 2013

Between Me and Gu

Between Me and Gu

Sports drinks have been making various claims of superiority to plain water for a long time, and I’ve been generally skeptical of the whole lot of them. Still, if you’re chasing someone who’s got a pocketfull of Gu gels (and you don’t have any), you do tend to wonder how much of a benefit there is to the various energy-boosting and/or electrolyte-replacing products available today (more…)

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July 16, 2013

Airhead Na Pali

Airhead Na Pali

If you’ve ever driven up to a scenic mountain lake and found yourself wishing you had a paddleboard or a sea kayak, Airhead’s inflatable Na Pali is worth a look. When not in use, the Na Pali rolls up into a reasonably compact package—about three feet by one feet—certainly small enough to fit in your trunk. Inflate the Na Pali via the included high-pressure hand pump or better yet (more…)

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June 27, 2013

Trust Issues: Steripen Freedom

Trust Issues: Steripen Freedom

I’ve been twice burned by Steripen’s Adventurer hydrophoton water purification device, so forgive me if I’m a little less than glowing in my comments. No, the problem wasn’t that the light came on when it wasn’t supposed to—it was that it never came on at all. The Steripen, in its various incarnations, uses ultraviolet light to kill waterborne pathogens. When all goes well, there seems little doubt the Steripen (more…)

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June 3, 2013

OR Cirque Pant

OR Cirque Pant

At some point I realized my backcountry ensemble was starting to enter a Mao phase. To combat the trend, I’ve begun seeking cheerier gear and clothing choices. So I was drawn to Outdoor Research’s Cirque pant not so much because of my high regard for OR’s Igneo pant, but because of the Cirque’s ‘glacier’ blue option. How are the pants themselves? Who cares—the color is awesome! Seriously, I was looking (more…)

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May 27, 2013

The Bonafide Strikes Back

The Bonafide Strikes Back

While I had a fine time breaking in my new Soul 7’s two weeks ago, I ended that trip worried I’d just killed my Bonafides. How do the two skis compare, and can they coexist (peacefully) under one roof? There was only one way to answer that question—head back to Mammoth Mountain for some extended head-to-head testing (more…)

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May 13, 2013

More Thoughts On the Soul 7

More Thoughts On the Soul 7

Rather than update my Soul 7 review, I think I’m just going to add some additional thoughts here. As expected, I did go ahead and buy a pair, and I paid with my own money. First of all, there’s nothing I hate more than ski manufacturers making me bleed my own blood, but it does give me a liberating sense of freedom when it comes to making public comments about their gear (more…)

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April 24, 2013

GoPro Hero3 Black

GoPro Hero3 Black

GoPro’s Hero3 Black Edition is easily one of the most interesting video cameras of the year—and not only within the helmet-cam category. If you were hoping for big advances in video imaging, here they are, and they are impressive indeed: an advanced sensor capable of shooting 1080P footage at 60 frames per second, or 2.7K Cinema at 30 frames per second, or an incredible 4K picture (more…)

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