HomeCategory Gear Reviews

Everyone wants to know about the latest advances in gear. We don’t currently have the time or the resources to test every piece of ski equipment, but we do our best to review all the gear that comes our way. We encourage you to send us reviews of equipment as well. Let us know if there is a specific piece of gear you would like to see us cover.
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When you’re out exercising, the last thing you want to be thinking about is your clothing. There are any number of more important thoughts that should be occupying your mind, like: “Don’t trip on that rock;” “Look at that beautiful view;” “What’s my heart-rate?” and so on. Unfortunately, all too often, clothing malfunctions can get in the way of a perfectly good outing. Maybe your shorts are chafing, or maybe they keep riding down as...

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Thinking about a summers-end backpacking trip and wondering what shorts to bring? Or perhaps you are searching for the best pair of shorts for a run/hike/lake-dip outing? Look no further than the Norrøna’s Loose Shorts. These shorts top the ratings in terms of versatility and offer plenty of good pocket options to boot.  Made of more than 50% recycled synthetic fiber, the shorts are breathable, lightweight, and durable. Weighing in at 140 grams (that’s just...

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I am a woman of many jackets, combine my down jacket and exercise jacket collection and you could fill a respectably sized closet. In the months since the lofoten hiloflex200 jacket by Norrøna entered my wardrobe, it has risen through the jacket ranks to become one of my favorite options. That being said, I tend to run warm and since the number of cold days seems to be decreasing here in south-eastern France, the opportunities...

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Residing in “dry” climates the past two decades — I’ve eschewed heavy-duty Gore-Tex products. Even after spending considerable time in high alpine snowstorms, and mid-summer rain, I’ve functioned perfectly fine. My only go-to rule for inclement weather gear is this – if the weather looks anything other than high-pressure and bluebird – no down. I’ve kept it basic when the sky spits precip. I rely on synthetic insulation topped with a feather-light windbreaker. (Essentially a...

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Depending on where you live, rollerskis may seem like a distant memory, retired to a storage closet not to be looked at again until next May. For others, sliding on snow might not be the agenda for another month. Perhaps you are foregoing Thanksgiving travel to snow this year due to the pandemic, or you are an urban-dwelling weekend warrior whose usual routine of traveling regularly to snow has come to a halt. Regardless of...

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Nathan VaporHowe Review by: Casey Collins As cross-country skiers we’ve all defaulted to running with a standard drink belt. The sort we’ve skied with for years: a foam insulated vessel covered in nylon with a small zipper pocket up top – just enough room for a bar and phone. Suitable for skiing, not exactly the smooth water carrying companion you’d want on a trail run with the undue bouncing. The standard go-to for longer trail runs...

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As summer training hours trend toward a peak, many athletes are looking for ways to support their nutritional needs, matching high volume training with high volume eating. A new product that should be on your radar is Drink Wholesome protein powder, created by former Williams ski racer Jack Schrupp. This protein is basically the RXBAR of protein powders: all natural without artificial flavorings or sweeteners, packing a high nutrient protein dense punch in each scoop.  The...

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Here in the Rockies near Carbondale, Colorado, June is often a transitional month. Low elevation trails are dry and surrounded by lush vegetation and spring blooms, while jagged peaks and ridges remain encrusted with receding snowfields. Roaring creeks and flooded riverbanks hint the speed with which these sun-cupped features melt away.  As someone whose preferred form of movement in the summer is running in the high country, it is the season of preparing my legs...

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“You should probably wear something over that.” That was my husband’s witty response when I asked what he thought of the Brynje RaceBase long sleeve shirt and 3/4 tight base layers. No, most people don’t ski in just their long underwear, but these, in particular, would be quite revealing.  Why? Unlike traditional base layers, the RaceBase is made out of a polypropylene mesh, designed to allow maximum breathability while reducing air turbulence between the outermost...

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We’ll be publishing a few select gear reviews moving forward. It’s not business as usual for FS or readers: we are posting gear reviews as a brief respite from grim news. We know minds are on more serious Coronavirus related issues.  The sock drawer: part no-person’s land, part nod to orderliness with pairs folded using techniques like the roll & tuck, the fold over, the konmai, and part Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds kaleidoscope...

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We’ll be publishing a few select gear reviews moving forward. It’s not business as usual for FS or readers: we are posting gear reviews as a brief respite from grim news. We know minds are on more serious Coronavirus related issues. ‘Tis the season for layering. Here in Colorado, the high altitude sun wrestles with the snow packed mountains to create highly variable temperatures. One moment the sun is shining and I’m stripping down to...

So many ways to shine a light this holiday season. Do good unto others is the most basic. And if you’re a certain reindeer with a red nose, shine your nose-light as you venture out tonight. And if you’re a go-getter in the early AM or dodging around ski trails after sunset: maybe it’s time for a headlamp upgrade.  We tested two Black Diamond headlamps for approximately three months. Both on and off snow and trail/road...

This review is based on three weeks of product testing. During this time, the pack was used on ten outings, approximately 80 miles of running and one 20k rollerski.  Since my introduction to endurance sports in high school, my two loves have been running and cross-country skiing. After moving to the Roaring Fork Valley in Colorado in 2012, a mecca for trail running, I took to running in the mountains and dipping my toes in...

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Before diving deep into this review let’s get over the sticker shock: retail price $129.00 for the Black Diamond Distance Wind Shell. (But you can find it on sale.) $129.00 may not seem much if, for example, you’re stocking up on perfluoro wax. But take the weight of the Black Diamond Distance Wind Shell, 98 grams, and the cost seems disproportionate to the mass. Working the wax angle, the BD Distance Wind Shell actually might...

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  If you are still running with a traditional drink belt strapped to your waist — listen here: It’s time to give up the drink belt for running excursions. The fight is over and the running vest is miles ahead of you, already sipping a refreshing recovery drink at the parking lot––heck they might have even swapped their cold, sweaty top layer for a warm, dry one by now. Instead of spending time catering to your...

Over the last eleven years, Skida has taken off from its humble beginning as cross-country skier Corinne Prevot’s side hustle. Prevot began sewing hats and headbands for her teammates and friends in 2008 while attending Burke Mountain Academy. While at Middlebury, she continued to squeeze in production around her classes and ski training, with some help from her mom. After graduating in 2013, she officially started Skida in Burlington and her hats, headbands, neck warmers,...

Black Diamond has been around in several iterations for decades. First, there was Chouinard Equipment. Yup, that Chouinard. The emerging alpine climbing gear powerhouse was sold to employees and became Black Diamond Equipment. A few bumps on the proverbial road to growth and prosperity and now Black Diamond is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. But, the Salt Lake City based company has remained true to their core users: alpinist and rock climbers, backcountry...

The Black Hole product line has been hauled and dragged around for a generation. They are timeworn. New as of this summer, the Black Hole line is made from 100% post-consumer recycled material. Back in August, during a ten-day stint of solo parenting while my husband led an outdoor education trip, I decided to take my ten month old daughter and four year old mutt on a two-day camping and hiking mission in the Fryingpan...

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Snow has melted out or is melting out, and it may be time to sharpen the rollerski ferrules. For those looking for ski-specific workouts, the go-to is often rollerskiing. It goes without saying that the poles, rollerskis, bindings, and boots should all be checked before heading out. The safety gear should include some hi-vis items. And it should literally be topped off with a bicycle helmet. That’s where the engineers at Virginia Tech (VT) come...