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.

Backcountry Ski Testing

Praise be to Ullr for providing us with outstanding snow conditions the past couple of weeks here in the Northwest for our annual testing of backcountry skis. Following a rather lackluster winter in these parts, Ullr stepped up to the plate with a great mix of cold storm cycles and bluebird ski conditions. Surprise, surprise, skis keep getting fatter and… Read More

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2010 backcountry ski and powder ski testing

2010 Ski Testing

It is ski testing season here at Off-Piste. Backcountry and powder specific skis are rolling into our office every day. The recent blast of winter here in the northwest gave us an opportunity to get out in some good deep snows on on the Armada JJ and the Voile Drifter. Both skis served up fine perfomances and both are incredibly… Read More

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Dynafit Stoke Backcountry Ski

New Skis from Dynafit, Voile, BD

  The coolest new skis at the OR show were lightweight touring-minded skis with mild rocker in the tips and powder-minded widths underfoot. Dynafit Stoke – 129-105-119 ; 3.1kg pair (173cm); 164/173/182cm Voile Charger – 134-110-123 ;  2.8kg pair (171cm); 171/181/191cm Voile Vector – 118-94-107; 2.7kg pair (170cm); 160/170/180cm Black Diamond Drift – 136-100-121 (176cm) 3.31kg pair; 166/176/186cm We skied… Read More

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Trade Show Round Up

The annual Outdoor Retailer Trade Show (OR)  took place in Salt Lake City last week.  The show offers an opportunity to see what’s new for next season. Just about all of the backcountry ski related companies are there showing everything from skis and boots to packs, beacons, and socks. The Wasatch received some badly needed precipitation during the week sending… Read More

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black diamond Prime AT boot

Lightweight Alpine Touring Ski Boots

The go-light AT scene appears to be on the rise. Black Diamond showed four new lightweight AT boots (all tech binder compatible) . The new line includes one women’s model and three men’s boots – Quadrant 4-buckle, Prime 3-buckle, Slant 3-buckle, and Swift 3-buckle (w’s). I actually had the opportunity to ski several of these boots last summer during development…. Read More

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Crown Skis - Kensho

Handmade Ski Movement

The boutique or handmade ski movement is gaining momentum. Numerous smaller manufacturers are popping up in North America. From Ski to 333 Skis to Wagner Custom to ON3p, small manufacturers run the gamut of variety and approach. I hesitate to use the term handmade skis because even the big ski operations use plenty of hand labor in laying up… Read More

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Ski Trab Stelvio XL

Ski Trab Stelvio Light XL

A pair of the new Ski Trab Stelvio Light XL’s showed up just in time for the holidays here at Off-Piste Mag HQ. If you are not familiar with Trab’s Stelvio line, it is a bit of a departure from their standard ultra-light rando race fare and features what I think is a very cool, traditional wood veneer topsheet. The… Read More

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The Best Socks for skiing

Socks are low on on the gear glamour scale, but a fresh pair of quality socks feels mighty nice sliding into a pair of boots. A good pair of ski socks can mean the difference between a good day and a bad day of skiing. From comfort to longevity, quality socks out perform cheap socks. The tight weaves and durable… Read More

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backcountry ski reviews - off-piste magazine 2009 ski reviews

2009 Backcountry Ski Review

2009 ski review The holidays are upon us and it seems everyone is shopping for skis – at least given the requests for copies of our annual ski review. Well, here it is the 2009 Off-Piste Mag Ski Review. We have been doing an annual ski review for ten years. After looking over our current review and the reviews from… Read More

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New used gear site

New used gear site

Strike out at the local ski swap this year? Still trying to sell some ski gear? is a new internet based classified ad outlet that is looking to become your goto spot for ski gear sales; call it a ski-centric Craigslist. The site was created to provide the best venue by which people who are passionate about skiing and… Read More

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mammut i-phone inclinometer

Inclinometer fun

I don’t own an i-phone. I am not a big advocate of safety through gadets, and I’m not so sure I would tote my i-phone in the backcountry if I happened to have one. I know, they are great cameras, you can make short movies, some day they may even save the world from self destruction, blah blah, blah. For… Read More

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Slacklines Skiing may be scarce in the northern hemisphere right now, but there are plenty of options for staying tuned up. My latest pursuit is slacklines. I am no pro in pursuit of heart dropping highline antics, but I was keen to get good enought to actually walk a decent line. I have set up a few lines with one-inch… Read More

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This corn is a little soft . . .

Voile Drifter

I recently got some interesting photos from Wally over at Voile. I won’t take it personally that he did not call me to head up on Hood (or the Clolumbia River) with him, but it looks like he was able to have fun without me (imagine that) while testing Voile’s new Drifter ski. Voile showed an early rendition of the… Read More

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Solio Solar Charger

Portable Solar for the Backcountry

In this day and age, it is pretty normal to take some level of electronics into the backcountry with you. From cameras to gps units and mobile phones, there are a multitude of gadgets to help fill your pack. Said gadgets require batteries and or charging. On a multi-day trip keeping your gadgets charged can pose a problem. A few… Read More

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dynafit speed skin

Climbing Skins

Climbing skins are, obviously, essential equipment for backcountry skiing. For a piece of gear that we use as much as we do, climbing skins do not get a lot of press. Skis are more fun to talk about, for sure, but a good skin is key to a good day. I have a variety of skins going at the moment…. Read More

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