Archive | Gear Reviews

Check out Off-Piste Magazine’s expert ski gear reviews including backcountry skis, tech bindings, avalanche beacons, avalanche safety gear, avalanche shovels, ski jackets, backcountry ski pants, ski packs, headlamps, AT ski boots, crampons, climbing skins and more. We use the gear we write up and the reviews here represent the best of the gear we have tested.

black diamond cirque 30

Black Diamond Cirque 30 Backpack Review

Black Diamond Cirque 30 Pack Review Finding the right ski touring backpack is a combination of balancing personal preference, primary use and fit. Personally, I’ve long subscribed to the less-is-more philosophy when weighing the right design options and choosing a ski touring pack. The fewer zippers, buckles and accessory pockets, the better in my opinion. The clean top-loading style of the… Read More

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mt hood spring ski testing

Spring Ski Testing – Elan RipStick 106 and more

Elan Ripstick 106 and Elan Ibex carbon 94 xlt Theres a healthy snowpack in the Northwest and it’s been a great spring for ski testing.  We’ve been putting skis from Voile, DPS, Black Diamond, Salomon, Elan and others through the paces on Mt. Hood. Yes, you heard that right Elan is entering the backcountry ski market.  It’d been decades since I jumped on… Read More

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Arc'teryx proton lt hoody

Arc’teryx Proton LT Hoody – more active insulation options

Arc’teryx Proton LT Hoody – Active Insulation  In my quest to test and understand active insulation, I’ve been putting the Arc’teryx Proton LT Hoody through the paces backcountry ski touring. The Proton LT falls right in line with the Patagonia Nano Air and the Outdoor Research Ascendant hoodies. If you missed what I’ve said about the Ascendant or the Nano Air,… Read More

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outdoor research ascendent hoodie

Active Insulation – Outdoor Research Ascendant Hoodie

Active Insulation – Outdoor Research Ascendant Hoodie One of the more interesting outerwear innovations in the last couple of seasons has been the advent of active insulation. This year’s OR show was abuzz with the term. What is active insulation, you ask? Well, it refers to insulated jackets that maintain breathability and air permeability, giving you the ability to wear them… Read More

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Fritschi Tectron binding

Outdoor Retailer 2017: Tech Bindings

Tech bindings have evolved quickly over the past few years and the 2017 Outdoor Retailer (OR) show in Salt Lake offered a glimpse of the latest innovations on the tech binding front. Dynafit and Fritschi unveiled new AT tech bindings at OR, while G3 and Salomon continue to refine their offerings. Here’s quick overview: DYNAFIT: The brand that literally invented the… Read More

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Scarpa Maestrale RS and Maestrale Ski boots

Outdoor Retailer 2017: SCARPA Maestrale RS AT Boots

Following up the last post about an industry ski day spent testing the latest SCARPA Maestrale RS AT boot and the new G3 SENDr 112 ski, lets look at the latest edition of the SCARPA Maestrale. Testing new gear is always a good time, but being able to test gear with the very people who helped bring the product to market is… Read More

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G3 SENDr Scarpa Maestrale RS

Outdoor Retailer 2017: G3 SENDr 112

Outdoor Retailer, the annual gathering of outdoor gear/clothing manufacturers and industry pros, was held in Salt Lake last week. We checked out a wide variety of cool new and upcoming products at the show, but one of the highlights was a day of skiing in the Uintas Mountains with SCARPA, G3 and Park City Powder Cats to test the new… Read More

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patagonia stretch nano storm

Insulated Jackets – Patagonia Stretch Nano Storm vs Nano Air

Patagonia Stretch Nano Storm vs Nano Air An insulated jacket is on the must-have list for backcountry skiing. It’s the layer that keeps you warm during breaks or transitions and offers a safety margin should you end up having to wait out a repair, deal with an injury or adjust to changing weather. I’ve developed a preference for synthetic insulation… Read More

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ski crampons

ski crampons

When the snow conditions are firm, nothing offers uphill security like ski crampons or, as they say in German, ”harscheisen”.  Check out the video from the American Mountain Guide Association about when to use ski crampons. Ski crampons attach to your bindings (or ski as in some aftermarket telemark solutions) and pivot under foot as you skin up the hill,… Read More

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dps lotus 124 spoon

DPS Lotus 124 Spoon powder skis

DPS Lotus 124 Spoon When asked for backcountry ski recommendations, I often turn the conversation to where the ski will see most of its use. And for most of us, this means mixed snow conditions, which usually leads to talking about skis in an all-purpose backcountry range of something like 100-114 mm underfoot. It’s the rare person who is looking for a… Read More

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scarpa f1

Scarpa F1 Ski Boot Review

Scarpa F1 Ski Boot Review I’m no rando racer, but I still have a solid appreciation for the trend in lighter backcountry ski gear. Following design innovations pioneered in the randonee race world, alpine touring boots have, perhaps, benefited the most from slimmed down, lighter designs born of the rando race world. These new svelte boots still offer strong downhill performance and are gaining momentum… Read More

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outdoor research deviator hoodie

Outdoor Research Deviator Hoodie

Outdoor Research Deviator Hoodie Dressing for a balance between warmth, breathability and wind protection while on the uptrack is part of the art of ski touring. Everyday presents its own weather conditions and demands, but the Outdoor Research Deviator Hoodie handles the job of climate control on the uptrack in a wide variety of conditions. It’s a versatile uphill layer that offers stand-alone protection… Read More

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2017 editors' choice ski reviews

Off-Piste Mag Editors’ Choice Ski Reviews 2017 – Round II

Off-Piste Mag 2017 Ski Reviews – Editors’ Choice Round II Here is our second round of 2017 ski reviews and Editors’ Choice picks. We’ve got three boards that you should consider for your backcountry touring needs. We’d gladly consider any of these boards for a day of slashing the pow and you should too. DPS Wailer 112 Tour 1 141-112-128;  178cm, 3kg, $1050 The Wailer 112… Read More

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