Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Backcountry Gear Check

Ready to go.
As the first winter Nor'Easter of this season bears down on us it's time to make sure you have all the equipment needed for your backcountry adventures.

To that end, I've compiled a few of our most recent gear charts to help you evaluate boots, bindings, and skis.

Here is the boot comparison chart.

Here is the touring binding comparison chart.

Here is the backcountry ski comparison chart.

Normally I don't like to play favorites, but I saw a few deals at the Outdoor Gear Exchange that you should check out if you're looking for some new gear.

There is this deal on the K2 Backup Ski.  I like the dimensions on this ski for East Coast skiing, and the metal topsheet to help with dampening vibration while your're chattering across a wind-blown no-fall section on a high peak.  For the price, this is a great ski.

There's also the Black Diamond Vodooo deal (also at OGE).  Lighter and with a wider tip, this is a great ski for powder filled glades.  I have my own pair for just such occasions.

And Garmont Radium boots for $300.  Are you kidding me?


  1. If you had to choose one ski for New England backcountry, what would it be? I've made due with my alpine skis but I am looking to make the leap to a dedicated AT set up this year -- I've been looking strongly at the BD Aspect (also available at a steep discount on gearx) and the G3 Tonic.

  2. I like the dimensions of the Aspect however the lack of a metal layer to dampen vibration is a negative factor. If you plan on using these exclusively for trees and piste powder days it shouldn't be an issue. G3 is wider and heavier, which really pigeonholes these into the powder category. Having not skied either of these it is hard to say, but if I had to pick one it would be the Aspect.

  3. Thanks for the input. Considering the backup now -- not in my size at gearx but seems to be deeply discounted everywhere. A little narrow for a one ski BC quiver maybe but rather err on side of bite than width and chatter in New England!

  4. Those big powderboards are for west-coasters anyway. We like a little shape in our skis back East. I think the Backup is an excellent choice. It should still give decent float and be solid enough for some cirque skiing come Spring. Let us know what you think about it.

  5. Got the Backups and last years BD Quadrant boots at REI for just over $500 combined...even if I end up adding a fatter ski for the soft stuff, I don't think I'll have any complaints :)
    Now just to wait for the snow...

    1. Well done. That sounds like a great setup and you should be able to use that combo on-piste as well. What kind of backcountry binding are you using?

    2. Not sure at all to be honest.I was originally thinking the Dynafit Radicals because they seem to be a reliable go to that is also a quite hardy but the brakes are too wide and you can't remove or replace them as far as I've read.

    3. I use the G3 Onyx. They are a little heavier than the Dynafits, and originally had a couple issues, but they seem to have things ironed out. I haven't had any major issues, and like the ability to switch them between the plates on several sets of skis. I hear good things about the Dynafits though, and even the Marker Baron/Duke with the step in mechanism have their advantages. My recommendation if you get the Onyx is to use the leashes. I like the added security in powder deep in the backcountry or when I'm on the steeps where not being able to find a ski could have much more dire consequences.