2017 Backcountry Bindings: A Tech’s Perspective

After a week in the trenches wrenching bindings at Backcountry Magazine’s annual Family Camp (also known as their annual Gear Party…err…Test) at Powder Mountain, I can tell you a few things about which AT bindings were liked and which were not.

Boardroom: A look into the life of a Rocket Scientist splitboard revolutionary

Phantom Splitboard Bindings, designed to be used with lightweight alpine touring ski boots, have quickly become a go-to for splitboard mountaineers around the world. In addition to Phantom providing a cool new product, its story is unusual. With a marketing plan based almost entirely on word-of-mouth sales, Phantom has successfully grown in the years since its founding. What’s even more interesting about this revolutionary company is that founder John Keffler is a full-time rocket scientist.

From Axes to Jackets: SIA Snow Show 2016 gear highlights

SIA 2016 was full of new toys and fun gear for the snowier months. Associate Editor Lucy Higgins and Assistant Editor Louise Lintilhac scoped the halls of the Denver Convention Center looking for the latest backcountry invention to grace the slopes in the winter of 2016/17. Here are some highlights, from jackets to avalanche shovels. Patagonia’s […]

Gear Preview: 2016 Outdoor Retailer Highlights (Part 2)

Each year, for a few days in January, outdoor retailers, brands and media take over Salt Lake City, Utah, for a maelstrom of new technology, flashy gear, buzzwords and big news. Wade through it all and there’s a lot to talk about for backcountry skiing and riding, from new boots and beacons, to noteworthy innovations in skis, shovels, screwdrivers (yes, screwdrivers) and more. Here are more highlights of next year’s gear from the trade-show floor in Salt Lake City.

Gear Preview: 2016 Outdoor Retailer Highlights (Part 1)

Each year, for a few days in January, outdoor retailers, brands and media take over Salt Lake City, Utah, for a maelstrom of new technology, flashy gear, buzzwords and big news. Wade through it all and there’s a lot to talk about for backcountry skiing and riding, from new boots and beacons, to noteworthy innovations in skis, shovels, screwdrivers (yes, screwdrivers) and more. Here are some highlights of next year’s gear from the trade-show floor in Salt Lake City.

Airbag Assessment: This winter’s avalanche safety packs and accessories reviewed

Avalanche airbag and backpack choices can be hard to navigate with a range of prices, safety features and sizes to pick from. While not definitive, these selects have caught our eye. From vests to battery-powered inflation, we looked at the ins and outs of five avalanche safety tools for winter 2015-16. Mammut Alyeska P.A.S. Vest […]

Field Tested: Fischer Transalp Vacuum TS

In last year’s Gear Guide, we reviewed Fischer’s new—indeed, their first—AT boot, writing, “Like all Fischer Vacuum boots, the Transalp liner and shell are moldable to accommodate an enormous range of foot shapes.” (97-107 last width.) The testers included myself and then-Photo Editor David Crothers, both of us a 28.5 shell. The similarity ended there. […]

Hard versus Softboots: Which Setup is Right for You?

This month’s cover features splitboarder Mark Hartley descending a puckering face outside of Revelstoke, B.C. And Hartley, who proudly rips on a hardboot setup, is intimate with the debate between traditional, soft snowboard boots versus plastic-shelled alpine-touring ski boots. As Hartley puts it, that debate can be quite controversial. “Softbooters seem to see hardbooters as […]

Testers’ Choice: DPS WAILER 99 TOUR1

“DPS, you have done it again. The Wailer is the ski I would like to walk away with. You ask, they do. This ski is the fountain of youth—they make everything feel easy. Turn initiation is effortless; they are incredibly light; they cut through the chunder and make you feel all-around sexy. I would equate the Wailer to my Subaru, the all-terrain vehicle, a true one-ski quiver.”

Testers’ Choice: BLACK CROWS CORVUS FREEBIRD

Tory Hayssen is clear about her preferred direction of skiing, saying, “I like the downhill best.” When asked what conditions she most enjoys, she told Backcountry that she prefers to go to “Pow Town,” but that “it’s all fun”—a good attitude to have no matter where you choose to shred. Here is what she thinks of the Black Crows Corvus Freebird.

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