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.

Volkl Blaze 106 product shot

Volkl Blaze 106 – A Daily Driver

Carve or Slarve – The Blaze 106 is Right at Home By the numbers, the Volkl Blaze 106 is an intersting ski. It specs out with a 146mm tip, a 106mm waist and a 128mm tail for all lengths. It’s wide shovel and strong sidecut are the first details to jump off the page, but upon closer inspection, it features… Read More

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Atom SL Hoody – Ultralight Insulation and Wind Resistance

Lightweight Insulation for the Uptrack and More So compact and light, there’s no reason to leave it behind, the Arc’teryx Atom SL Hoody is a superlight shell for ski touring and active pursuits. It’s also the lightest weight model in the Arc’teryx Atom jacket line up – a collection of synthetic-insulated shells designed for moving. At first touch, the Atom… Read More

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BCA Hybrid Climbing Skins

BCA Hybrid Climbing Skins

Easy On, Easy Off — Hybrid Climbing Skins Most of us have struggled at one time or another while attempting to pull apart climbing skins stuck glue-to-glue. Sure, they eventually pull apart. But it’s no fun to struggle with them. That’s where the BCA Hybrid Climbing Skins come into the picture. The word hybrid in the name has double meaning…. Read More

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ortovox diract voice beacon

Ortovox Diract Voice – Voice-Guided Avalanche Beacon

Ortovox Adds Voice Direction to the Beacon Search Equation The advent of digital signal processing was a game changer for avalanche beacon technology. Directional arrows and distance readouts are standard fare. There are a few more pieces to the puzzle — like multiple antennas — but the point is that technology has made using avalanche beacons faster, easier and more… Read More

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patagonia snowdrifter ski pack

Patagonia SnowDrifter 30L Ski Pack Review

The Best Backpacks Keep it Simple Backpack design is a funny thing. Designers are always looking for new ways to reinvent the wheel. When, in my opinion, the hallmark of a great backpack is simplicity. The newest Patagonia SnowDrifter 30L ski pack nails it with a clean, user-friendly and ski-ready design. It also happens to be made with 100% recycled… Read More

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Pagoda Tour ski review

DPS Pagoda Tour 112 Review

Light, Playful Powder Touring Machine – The Pagoda Tour 112 RP In the words of DPS, “The best untracked snow is worth walking for.” And that’s the motivation behind the new DPS Pagoda Tour skis, including the Pagoda Tour 112 RP. Following in the playful powder tracks of their lightweight Tour 1 skis, the design wizards at DPS bring us… Read More

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scarpa maestrale ski boot product shot

Scarpa Maestrale Review – Versatile and Utilitarian

The 2022 Scarpa Maestrale AT Ski Boots Renowned for balancing uphill walkability and downhill ski performance, the Scarpa Maestrale ski boot is like the Toyota Tacoma of ski boots. It’s versatile, utilitarian and appeals to a wide range of skiers. You can find bigger, burlier boots. In fact, too many people overlook the Maestrale in favor of the stiffer Maestrale… Read More

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Sportiva Vanguard ski boot

La Sportiva Vanguard Ski Boots Review – Uphill Efficiency and Downhill Power

Lightweight and Powerful with a Wide-Ranging Walk Mode Alpine touring ski boots need to balance weight, power and durability with walkability, flex and comfort. Generally speaking, the more powerful the ski boot, the less walk-friendly and heavier the design. The new La Sportiva Vanguard ski boots break that trend by being lighter and more powerful than similar boots while setting a… Read More

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Big Ski Mountain Products Climbing Skins Kit

Big Sky Mountain Products Climbing Skins – Made is USA

Essential Backcountry Equipment — Climbing Skins Climbing skins don’t get nearly as much attention as skis, boots and bindings when building out a backcountry ski kit. Nonetheless, skins are essential equipment for backcountry skiing and deserve some real consideration. The big questions when looking for skins are: What’s the best plush — nylon, mohair or a blend? What’s the glue reputation?… Read More

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DPS R10 Tech Binding

DPS R10 Tech Binding – Lightweight and Fully Featured

Featherweight Tech Binding DPS adds to their touring binding lineup this season with the DPS R10 tech binding. It’s a lightweight yet descent-minded AT binding that weighs in at a featherweight 260 grams (9 ounces) each. It’s a binding for all-day tours and quick skin track laps alike.  The R10’s weight and appearance might lead you to assume that it’s… Read More

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on the skin track in arxteryx procline ski pants

Made for Ski Touring – Arcteryx Procline Jacket and Pants

Go Light. Go Breathable. Go Far. You can backcountry ski in a fully waterproof, breathable hardshell ski jacket and pants, but I’m not sure why so many people do. Waterproof membrane shells like traditional two- and three-layer GORE-TEX — or any of the myriad of alternatives — are essential when skiing at the resort. However, they’re just not necessary for… Read More

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backcountry ski pants

Purpose-Built Softshell Backcountry Ski Pants

Outdoor Research Trailbreaker Ski Pants Review As the song goes, “You gotta get up to get down,” and skinning uphill tests more than just your legs. It tests your outerwear, too. Unlike a jacket that you can change as needed for the up and down, you’re gonna wear the same pants all day. As a result, backcountry ski pants need to… Read More

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DPS Pagoda Tour 112 – Overview

Made in Utah – The New DPS Pagoda Tour DPS Skis set a high bar for dedicated backcountry ski performance when they launched their Tour 1 ski construction in 2015. The Tour 1 skis married their proven profiles with a lightweight paulownia wood and carbon laminated core. The result is some of the lightest skis in their width class. They… Read More

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mr grippy ski waxing and tuning stands

Home Ski Waxing and Tuning Stand – Mr. Grippy

Happy Norwegian Ski Waxing and Tuning Stand If you don’t wax your own skis, it’s time to start. Thanks to the creative folks at Happy Norwegian, Mr. Grippy makes setting up a home ski tuning stand easier than ever. Mr Grippy is a portable ski waxing and tuning stand designed for home and travel use. It works almost anywhere. Works For… Read More

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classic-giver-leather-glove-product shot

Backcountry Ski Gloves – Give’r Classic Leather Gloves

Give’r Leather Ski Gloves A typical day of backcountry skiing requires a lot of our gloved hands: open your pack, close your pack, put your skins on, take your skins off, buckle your boots, switch your bindings, take a photo, assemble your shovel. The list goes on. Good backcountry ski gloves need to be weatherproof, dexterous, durable and reasonably warm —… Read More

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