Gear of the Year
In mountain sports it is a utopia to believe, that you could reach a stage where there is nothing else to buy. I used to believe that for a while. Today you can get ingenious equipment that lasts long and is very versatile – you just have to purchase it.
“The simpler you make things, the richer the experience becomes.”
– Steve House, USA –
“The more you know experience, the less you need.”
– Yvon Chouinard, USA –
Gear of the Year 2016:
Terra Nova Bivi bag Discovery
You need a GoreTex bivouac bag, if you want to stay warm while sleeping under the stars in damp weather. Staying dry is the most important thing. The 530 g light Discovery consists of GoreTex Flow2 fabric (waterproof rating > 20000 mm) and is waterproof, breathable and Gas permeable, which is particularly important for a fully closeable Bivi bag. With a size of 225 x 88 cm, there is enough space inside the bag for boots, Gas cartridges and other equipment, which can be dried and preheated overnight.
Gear of the Year 2015:
Arc’teryx Backpacks Alpha FL 30 and FL 45
A good example of excellent design through a winning combination of reduction, lightweight and functionality. The backpack from the Alpha-FL series (Fast & Light) is designed for fast trips with less weight when climbing in ice and rock. Who ever knows the carrying system of an Arc'teryx backpack, will love it. The weight distribution is very pleasant and balanced, through the small contact area, the backpack is highly breathable. The highly weather-resistant climbing backpack Alpha FL 30 (23 – 30 liters, 575 g) is the optimum size for alpine climbing tours with cabin accommodation. The larger version Alpha FL 45 (33 – 45 liters, 650 g) provides extra space for cooker, sleeping bag and mattress.
Gear of the Year 2014:
MSR Stove Reactor 1,7 Liter
This radiant burner is the fastest stove with the lowest gas consumption on the market. The 1.7 liter version for one or two people is the ideal size for melting snow. Cooking time without wind protection at 18.0 °C for 1 liter of water at sea level: 2 minutes and 50 seconds – you have be careful that the water doesn’t get burned!
Gear of the Year 2013:
Therm-A-Rest Mattress NeoAir XTherm
Warmest mattress at the smallest pack size, but unfortunately also very expensive. To ensure that no moisture gets into the mattress, the fastest way for inflation is a trash bag (is lightweight and has a large volume) and some practice. With about three fillings, the mattress is ready to sleep.
Gear of the Year 2012:
La Sportiva Mountain Boot Batura 2.0 Gore-Tex
With integrated gaiter, this mountain boot is really light and also really good. Compared to version 1.0 it is finally waterproofed.
Gear of the Year 2011:
Salewa Backpack Apex 28 and Peuterey 32
In the eternal quest for the perfect climbing backpack with the given size, that is currently my state of affairs. The backpack is tough, has no lap belt or other frills, but pleasant thin shoulder pads and a deliberated organized lid compartment, which can be used very nicely. The backpack restricts climbing not a bit. Unfortunately, the Apex 28 is no longer produced.
Gear of the Year 2010:
Black Diamond Ice Tool Fusion II
The Fusion II is ergonomic and has a more balanced head as the first Fusion. In my opinion the measure of all things since many years. However, I recommend the Laser pick (CEN-B certified) – the tip is thinner and has less explosive force in the ice as the CEN-T certified Fusion pick.
Gear of the Year 2009:
Petzl Visor Vizion
The realization comes after countless face cuts while ice climbing: only with face protection. The visor makes ice climbing much more relaxed. Retrofitted not only for Petzl helmets, but also for most helmets on the market. You only may have to replace the screw length.
Gear of the Year 2008:
Source Hydration System Convertube and Camelbak Bite Valve
This is not a hydration system in the traditional sense, but a tube adapter for all water bottles (standard PET, Sigg, Nalgene and Evian) or water reservoirs of Platypus. In combination with the great Camelbak bite valve you get the lightest, cheapest and most hygienic drinking system, because the PET bottles can be exchanged randomly. By dividing the fluid on several bottles you have a good overview of the currently available amount of water.
Gear of the Year 2005:
Arc’teryx Jacket Alpha Comp Hoody
This hybrid jacket from the Alpha series (optimized for climbers and mountaineers with the best ratio of robustness and weight) consists of very thin Softshell (Fortius 1.0) with Gore-Tex (N40P three layered) gussets at hood, shoulders and arms. It’s the great deal. In my opinion the best jacket design on the market at high exercise intensity, because the super lightweight Softshell fabric is extremely breathable and works fine without any underarm ventilation. Because of its gussets the jacket keeps me dry for a surprisingly long time in bad weather. In the winter it is warm enough as long as I move. Since 2005 the jacket is in my constant use and unbreakable. In addition it has a great impregnation and a cut, for which Arc’teryx has always been well known. Since spring 2014, the model is back on the market in a slightly revised version.