The Alpinist Mountain Standards reviews apply Alpinist's tradition of excellence and authenticity to gear reviews by providing unbiased, candid feedback and anecdotal commentary to equipment tested (hard) in the field. Our panel is comprised of climbers who use the gear every day as part of their work and play. Only the gear they would actually buy themselves, at retail price, qualifies for the Alpinist Mountain Standards award. The five-star rating system is as follows:
One Star = Piece of junk.
Two Stars = Has one or more significant flaws, with some redeeming qualities.
Three Stars = Average. This solid piece of gear is middle-of-the-road on the current market.
Four Stars = Better than most comparable gear on the market. It has one or two drawbacks, but still 90% positive.
Five Stars = Is there such thing as perfection? An Alpinist Mountain Standards award-winner.
The rest of the MS Team
OR Zealot storm shell packs perfectly
Posted on: August 15, 2006
This is an ultra light, incredibly compact and highly breathable storm shell that I found to be ideal for a variety of uses. Featuring Gore-Tex Paclite fabric with narrowly taped seams, one chest pocket and a hood perfectly cut to use with a helmet, it had everything I needed and nothing more. Weighing in at a scant 7.7 ounces (less than half a pound) for a size large, and compressing to the size of my fist, there was rarely a reason to leave it behind on my daily climbs in the Korakoram.
While climbing and trekking around Pakistan, I found that water beaded off it nicely during snow and rain and all the openings cinched tightly to keep the wind out. In France, I put the Zealot in a tiny stuff sack and clipped it to the back of my harness for long multi-pitch rock climbs, as thunderstorms were a daily threat. The waist length contoured cut worked well and seeing my footwork was never an issue. Basically, this jacket was made for fast-moving adventure, and I'm totally psyched every time I put it on.