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.

Snow Shed Topsheet Wax

Snow Shed Topsheet Wax

Snow Shed Topsheet Wax   We’ve all been there – breaking trail with a healthy layer of snow on our ski topsheets, cursing the added weight with every step. It does not seem to matter what your ski topsheet material is or it’s texture; given the right conditions, snow builds up and adds weight to every step as you head… Read More

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Scarpa F1 ski boot

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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Patagonia backcountry ski pants

Patagonia Snowdrifter Softshell Ski Pants

Patagonia Snowdrifter Softshell Ski Pants If you’ve ever ski toured in a pair of Gore-Tex ski pants, you know how little they really breathe when you’re working hard on the uptrack. Unlike our upper layers, no one changes leg layers while out skiing. Backcountry ski pants require breathability to manage the demands of the skin track. Waterproof and breathable sounds… Read More

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Deuter Rise Lite backcountry ski pack

Deuter Rise Lite 28

Deuter Rise Lite 28 Backcountry Ski Pack Review The rise of the avalanche airbag pack has taken some attention away from traditional backcountry ski packs. Airbag packs are a solid innovation in avalanche safety and have proven to be true life savers, but the reality is that most of us still use regular, non-airbag ski packs for human powered ski… Read More

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Dynafit Speedfit binding Voile SuperCharger ski

Dynafit TLT Speedfit Binding – Review

Dynafit TLT Speedfit Binding As the snow stacks up in the hills, so does the test gear in the Off-Piste Mag shop. The latest new tech for testing is the new Dynafit TLT Speedfit binding. The Dynafit tech binding design has seen a steady evolution from the original Dynafit TLT to the now feature-rich Radical 2.0 and Radical ST bindings…. Read More

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thermos vacuum bottle

Essential Ski Touring Gear – The Thermos

As backcountry skiers, we carry a variety of “essential gear”: beacon, shovel, probe and skins. But, in keeping with my it’s-the-little-things-in-life mantra, a hot drink on a cold day in the mountains goes a long way and has become part of my essentials list. For the most part, I’ve replaced carrying cold water on a typical day tour with carrying… Read More

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Voie supercharger ski profile

Voile SuperCharger

Voile SuperCharger Ski Review As ski season approaches, we’ve got a few more ski reviews to share. First up is the Voile SuperCharger. It’s a carry-over ski from last season, but it would be crazy to leave the SuperCharger off our list of favorite backcountry powder skis. Voile launched the SuperCharger last season and Off-Piste chose it as one of… Read More

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Outdoor research trailbreaker pants

Outdoor Research Trailbreaker Pants

Outdoor Research Trailbreaker Pants Review As the song goes, “you gotta get up to get down” and breaking trail tests more than just your legs; it tests your outerwear, too.  Backcountry ski pants need to breathe while you go up and protect from the elements on the up and down. I’ve long been an advocate of softshell materials for backcountry skiing… Read More

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G3 SENDr 112 Ski

G3 SENDr 112 – Ski Review

G3 SENDr 112 – Ski Review We have been fans of the G3 Empire for several seasons. It’s lightweight carbon build plus healthy width and rocker combined to deliver a surfy and playful ride in any soft snow conditions. Well, the next evolution is here and it’s a lot of fun, too: the 2018 G3 SENDr 112. The SENDr 112… Read More

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Dynafit Skis

Dynafit 2018 Backcountry Skis – Speed 90, Tour 96, Beast 98

Dynafit has revamped their ski lineup to include three distinct categories: Speed, Tour, and Beast. Speed, as you might guess, is the lightest category and targets the light-is-right crowd. The Tour category is the do-it-all ski for general backcountry skiing. And the Beast category is for skiers most concerned with damp predictability and speed on the descent. We picked a… Read More

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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 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 Black Diamond… Read More

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TechCrampon 250

TechCrampon 250 – Gear Review

Ultralight Boot Crampon – TechCrampon 250 Being more skier than mountaineer, the slogan, “If I can’t climb it, I won’t ski it,” helps keep me out of trouble. But there are situations when a steep slope may be too firm to climb, but in time will soften into good skiing. Climbing steep firm slopes just requires the right tools, namely… Read More

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roller ski bags

Roller Ski Bags

Roller Ski Bag – the only way to travel A minimalist at heart, I have travelled for many years with the most basic of ski bags for air travel; a single zip bag with a shoulder strap. I’ve looked on with envy at those with roller ski bags as they effortlessly negotiate the airport and car rental counters but have… Read More

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Free The Powder leather Ski gloves

Free The Powder Leather Ski Gloves

Free the Powder Short Cuff Glove $79 www.freethepowder.com I love leather ski gloves; some might even say I have a leather glove fetish. Kind of like socks, gloves are easy to collect and justify one more pair without really rattling the budget too much. Of course, gloves can be really expensive. I remember telling my mother about my first pair… 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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