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The tester racks up for some winter rock climbing in the Eastern Sierra (traditional lands of the Paiute, Mono and other Indigenous groups) to test the movement and breathability of the Patagonia Dual Aspect kit. [Photo] Miya Tsudome collection

Patagonia Women’s Dual Aspect Jacket and Bibs: Stay dry in the mountains without sacrificing comfort or function

If you want to fantasize about snow in the middle of summer, check out Miya Tsudome’s review of the Patagonia Dual Aspect Jacket and Bibs. She reports that the company’s proprietary H2No performance standard for waterproofing is lightweight and passed “the hose test,” but it does give up some durability compared to Gore-Tex. Added pluses are that the garments are made from recycled materials and do not contain any perfluorinated chemicals in their waterproof finish, and the bibs are “bathroom compatible” for women. Tsudome writes: “I would recommend this kit to the serious alpinist who sees herself spending a lot of time climbing or skiing in mountain environments where water resistance and maneuverability from a hard shell are paramount.” Five stars.

With different modes and color settings, the BioLite AlpenGlow Lantern was able to match the mood to this sunset in the Eastern Sierra (Mono/Monache and Paiute/Numu land). [Photo] Miya Tsudome

BioLite AlpenGlow Lanterns: Functional mood lighting for your tent, car or campsite

Mountain Standards Gear Review: Miya Tsudome is a former rock climbing guide who now makes a living as a photographer, and she’s also a van-life veteran who can appreciate camping accessories like the BioLite AlpenGlow Lanterns. She writes: “After I’ve lived with [them] for over six months now, [they have] definitely improved my camping game…. Each lamp features eight light modes: cool white, warm white, single color, multi-color, and candle flicker. There are also some fun options if you shake the lamp in each mode.” Four stars

Lance Colley leads the Grand Traverse on the West Buttress (VI 5.9 A3) of El Capitan (Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La), Yosemite, with the Edelrid Neo 3R rope. [Photo] Lance Colley collection

Edelrid Neo 3R: A quality rope made with recycled pre-consumer materials

Mountain Standards Gear Review: Lance Colley tested the Edelrid Neo 3R rope while living and working in Yosemite this past autumn. Colley enjoys speed climbing on big walls and has a few records to his name, and he was able to put some heavy mileage on Edelrid’s new rope design, which is made with 50% recycled pre-consumer materials. He writes: “The durability, handling and price of the Neo 3R matches any of the other ropes on the market, but the Neo 3R packs technology that could make those ropes obsolete. This rope is built for climbers ready to embrace a sustainable future.” 5 stars.

Derek Franz on the rim of the Black Canyon in 2020 after finishing a route during which he wore his new Black Diamond Crack Gloves for the first time. [Photo] Morgan Williams

Black Diamond Crack Gloves have it covered from hand cracks to offwidth sizes

Mountain Standards Gear Review: Alpinist Digital Editor Derek Franz has been using the Black Diamond Crack Gloves to jam cracks across the west for the past several months. He writes: “I’ve used these gloves in Yosemite, Black Canyon and Utah desert, and also crammed them into some sharp, crumbly choss cracks near my home on Colorado’s Western Slope, and they’re holding up well, much better than I predicted based on how thin they felt when I first tried them on…. I found these puppies to perform well in thin hand cracks as well as for offwidth teacup fist jams.” Five stars.

The author was thankful for the slick sheath of the Sterling Ion R 9.4 XEROS rope, which helped reduce rope drag on long pitches in the Tetons without the gummy feel that is characteristic of so many dry-treated ropes. [Photo] Noah Bergman

Sterling Ion R 9.4 XEROS rope: Every filament is dry-treated and made for the alpine

Mountain Standards Gear Review: Corey Buhay, a member of the US Ice Climbing Team, has been testing the Sterling Ion R 9.4 XEROS rope. The new XEROS technology is the first of its kind in which every filament of the rope is dry-treated, a process that adds a deeply integrated level of protection from water absorption. Buhay writes: “While I haven’t been using the rope long enough to vouch for its long-term durability, the new XEROS technology exceeds expectations on all counts so far. If you’re looking for a rope that’s meticulously dry-treated and reliable in all conditions, the Ion R 9.4 XEROS is a safe bet.” Five stars.

Mike Lewis wears the Phantom Down Parka on a cold day of ice climbing in the Colorado backcountry last winter. [Photo] Yaroslav Lototskyy

Mountain Hardwear’s Phantom Down Parka: Warm, Lightweight, Compressible

Mountain Standards Gear Review: IFMGA/AMGA guide Mike Lewis has been using the Mountain Hardwear Phantom Down Parka for several months. He writes: “Its 800 fill down is really warm, making it a good choice for the 6000-meter objectives such as Denali, Aconcagua, Ama Dablam, Cotopaxi, Elbrus–basically, anything that is not an 8000-meter monster…. It appears that few products compare to the Mountain Hardwear Phantom Down Parka in terms of its warmth-to-weight ratio at 619 grams (20 oz.)” Five stars.

Nina Williams--who is sponsored by Gnarly Nutrition--climbs in the background of the author's BCAA supplement at Rifle Mountain Park, Colorado. [Photo] Derek Franz

Gnarly Nutrition BCAAs: A dietary supplement geared especially for vegans, alpinists and older athletes

Mountain Standards Gear Review: Digital Editor Derek Franz has been using the Gnarly Nutrition Pre and BCAA (branched chain amino acid) dietary supplements for the past year. Though unable to definitively say how much of a difference, if any, the supplements have made for his fitness, he writes: “What I do know, is that my fitness has been on an upward roll lately, and Gnarly has been one of many ingredients along the way, so I can’t discount it.” As with most any dietary supplement, Franz notes, there can be serious side effects if they aren’t used properly. Four stars.

The Dragon Alliance PXV2 Snow Goggles shed fog as the author wears a nose and mouth covering to comply with COVID-19 protocols this past winter at Loveland Ski Area, Colorado. [Photo] Catherine Houston

Dragon Alliance PXV2 Goggles: Sun protection for a range of activities and conditions

Mountain Standards Gear Review: IFMGA/AMGA guide Mike Lewis has been using the Dragon Alliance PXV2 snow goggles this past winter. The goggles come with two fog- and scratch-resistant lenses, and feature a Swiftlock changing system that allowed him to swap out the lenses with gloved hands on a ski lift. He writes: “My suggested ideal uses for the Dragon PXV2 goggles include downhill resort skiing, heli and cat skiing, backcountry skiing, high altitude mountaineering and polar exploration.” Five stars.

Mike Lewis stacks the Trango Agility on a rope tarp in Clear Creek Canyon, Colorado; the red rope ends are clearly distinguished from the rest of the rope. [Photo] Mike Lewis

The Trango Agility 9.1mm Rope: Red Flags are a good thing

Mountain Standards Gear Review: IFMGA/AMGA Mountain Guide Mike Lewis has been appreciating the Trango Agility 9.1mm rope for its handling and added safety feature of prominent red markings on each end of the line. He writes: “I believe the red ends will likely become a standard in rope design and manufacturing, and…the tight ‘Spider Wear’ construction allows [the Agility] to run through a device as smooth or smoother than any rope I’ve ever used.” Five stars.

The author can be seen as a tiny dot in middle of the prow, halfway up the Tower of Babel in Arches National Park during his solo ascent of Zenyatta Entrada (5.8 C3-, 450') in February (Anasazi, Hopi, Navajo, Ouray, Paiute, Uintah, Ute, Zuni land). [Photo] Mikenna Clokey

Metolius Ultralight Offset Master Cams: A good choice for desert aid climbing

Mountain Standards Gear Review: Alpinist Digital Editor considers the merits of the oft-overlooked Metolius Offset Master Cams during a solo aid-climbing trip to Arches National Park (Ancestral Puebloan, Hopi, Navajo, Ouray, Paiute, Uintah, Ute, Zuni land). While he generally prefers the other brands, Franz notes that the Metolius design has its place on the rack. He writes: “Each design lends itself to being more suited for different situations. That’s why I think it’s important to ‘diversify your portfolio,’ as investment bankers say, and carry a variety of brands and styles. This is especially important when aid climbing because small variances can make all the difference between a solid placement and a sketchy one…. The Metolius Ultralight Offset Master Cams turned out to be the MVP (most valuable piece) during a solo ascent of the Tower of Babel (5.6 C3-, 450′).” Three stars.