Author: Spencer Dillon

Black Diamond’s Firstlight tent series, torchbearer of the venerable Bibler lineage, has been a mountain shelter staple for years. The newest iteration promised to shore up the leaks in previous design and make the shelter a more versatile and comfortable tool while retaining its ultralight, minimalist roots. Black Diamond FirstLight 2P Tent Features:  Two-person design with single door entry and optional vestibule for gear storage Two internal DAC Featherlite® poles Two interior mesh pockets Zippered mesh panels at rear and door for ventilation Proprietary NanoShield™ single-wall fabric and 70D poly floor in Carbon color way Sil-Net seam sealer required (one…

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When I ski tour with a newbie, one of the things that appears most challenging is gloves. Most people come from a resort background and bring their big, insulated resort gloves. Gore-tex, primaloft, cuffs, hand warmers and the like. And within five minutes of starting the tour, their gloves are tucked into a pocket, already sticky with sweat. What I’ve come to recommend to people is a lightly insulated softshell glove, like Black Diamond’s Tour Glove, and their effort has satisfied most, if not all of my needs. Black Diamond Tour Gloves Features: 100% goatskin leather Super soft 150 g…

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When I told a friend I was getting a new pair of alpine pants, he responded immediately: “Softshells? How surprising…” It’s true. I’m a softshell apostle. For most single day adventures on snow, softshell pants are they way to go. They feel better on your skin without leggings than hardshells, they’re typically more streamlined and are generally more uphill-oriented than most hardshell ski pants. Many brands make ski-touring and alpine specific softshell pants engineered for the send. So, how does the new Outdoor Research Trailbreaker II pant stack up to my lofty expectations? And, how much better are they than…

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The hard softshell is having a moment in the alpine world. With light and fast carrying the day for big-mountain players and ‘totally waterproof’ not the commandment that it used to be, many manufacturers are making beefier softshells, softshells that can handle being the only thing in your pack if the weather turns sour. Black Diamond’s offering is the First Light Stretch Hoody. Black Diamond First Light Stretch Hoody Features: Migration-resistant PrimaLoft® Silver Insulation Active Lightweight Schoeller® face fabric with Eco-Repel Bio® PFC-free DWR Technology Lightweight, stretch lining for added breathability Insulated windflap Adjustable, climbing-helmet-compatible hood with drawcord adjustment Underarm…

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