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4 Star

With different modes and color settings, the BioLite AlpenGlow Lantern was able to match the mood to this sunset in the Eastern Sierra (Mono/Monache and Paiute/Numu land). [Photo] Miya Tsudome

BioLite AlpenGlow Lanterns: Functional mood lighting for your tent, car or campsite

Mountain Standards Gear Review: Miya Tsudome is a former rock climbing guide who now makes a living as a photographer, and she’s also a van-life veteran who can appreciate camping accessories like the BioLite AlpenGlow Lanterns. She writes: “After I’ve lived with [them] for over six months now, [they have] definitely improved my camping game…. Each lamp features eight light modes: cool white, warm white, single color, multi-color, and candle flicker. There are also some fun options if you shake the lamp in each mode.” Four stars

Nina Williams--who is sponsored by Gnarly Nutrition--climbs in the background of the author's BCAA supplement at Rifle Mountain Park, Colorado. [Photo] Derek Franz

Gnarly Nutrition BCAAs: A dietary supplement geared especially for vegans, alpinists and older athletes

Mountain Standards Gear Review: Digital Editor Derek Franz has been using the Gnarly Nutrition Pre and BCAA (branched chain amino acid) dietary supplements for the past year. Though unable to definitively say how much of a difference, if any, the supplements have made for his fitness, he writes: “What I do know, is that my fitness has been on an upward roll lately, and Gnarly has been one of many ingredients along the way, so I can’t discount it.” As with most any dietary supplement, Franz notes, there can be serious side effects if they aren’t used properly. Four stars.

The author wearing the Ombraz Classic sunglasses on a hike last spring. [Photo] Mandi Franz

Ombraz Sunglasses: “Armless” and highly functional

Alpinist Digital Editor Derek Franz has been wearing the unusual “armless” Ombraz Sunglasses since last spring. Instead of the typical rigid arms that are on most glasses, they are worn with an integrated lanyard that keeps them around the face or allows them to hang around the neck. The glasses also pack flat, allowing for easy stowing. Franz reports that Ombraz are highly durable with quality Zeiss Optics lenses. They are comfortable to wear with a variety of helmets but are less fashionable than traditional sunglasses. Four stars.

The author showing off the Scarpa Ribelle HD boots in the Canadian Rockies. [Photo] Kate Erwin collection

Scarpa Ribelle HD: Boots that can keep up in the mountains

Kate Erwin has been using the Scarpa Ribelle HD boots in the Canadian Rockies. The crossover style is similar to Scarpa’s Ribelle OD but with a leather upper and no ankle gaiter. Erwin’s Ribelle HD boots performed well in the Bugaboos while carrying a heavy pack. She reports that the balance point of the boots took some getting used to compared to other mountain boots she’s used, but ultimately she concluded, “I really like it.” Four stars.

Chris Kalman sporting the Acopa JBs on his and Zach Harrison's new route, Pump Drunk (5.12-, 115') in Northern Arizona's Pumphouse Wash (ancestral homelands of Pueblo, Sinagua, Hohokam, Hopi and Western Apache, among others). [Nelson Klein]

Acopa JB: A high-top climbing shoe that competes with the TC Pro

Chris Kalman continues his quest to find the best all-day, all-around climbing shoe. Everyone knows that a certain brand’s TC Pro has set the standard in this category. Can the Acopa JB–named after the climbing legend and late Acopa executive John Bachar–compete? “It’s a toss-up,” Kalman reports. Four stars.

Clint Helander using the Mystery Ranch Tower 47 backpack in Alaska. [Photo] Clint Helander collection

Mystery Ranch Tower 47: A dream pack for climbers who like organization

Alaskan alpinist Clint Helander tested the Mystery Ranch Tower 47 backpack for all sorts of activities. The pack is designed as a crag pack for rock climbing—for which it shines—but Helander also used it for ice climbing and skiing. The pack is big and bulky, he reports, but its durability and functionality make it worth the extra grams. Four stars.

Derek Franz sets up his Zenbivy bed during a backpack trip in Colorado's Elk Range. [Photo] Mandi Franz

Zenbivy Light: A quilt that pairs with a sheet to become a cozy bed

Alpinist digital editor Derek Franz has been using the Zenbivy Light bed system for the past year. As a guy who prefers to avoid the constriction of mummy sleeping bags, he sleeps comfortably with the Zenbivy in a variety of environments. His only critique is that the setup can be a little tedious. Four stars.

Tad McCrea storms the ice cream factory with the new Petzl Quark ice tools on Super Domo (WI5 M5/6, 500m), Cerro Domo Blanco, Patagonia. [Photo] Jon Griffin

Petzl Quark ice tools: An alpinist’s dream tool that handles it all

Alpinist Tad McCrea has been using the latest model of the Petzl Quark ice tools for the past year. As a longtime user of the earlier models, he reports that the tools continue to live up to his expectations. He writes, “If you already have a set of the last Quarks, maybe you don’t need to jump to an upgrade just yet, but if you want a set of axes that handle it all, and are in the market for an alpinist’s dream tool, look no further.” 4.5 stars.

Whitney Clark emerges from a couloir on Carson Peak in California. [Photo] Tess Smith

Lowa Alpine Expert GTX boots: Light, comfortable and sensitive

Whitney Clark used the women-specific Lowa Alpine Expert Gore-Tex boots in her snowy stomping grounds of the Sierra Nevada Range. She appreciated their lightness and comfort. The boots weren’t as warm as she would’ve liked, however, and on one occasion the supposedly waterproof boots soaked through while she was postholing and her feet got wet while her partner’s feet stayed dry. Four stars.

Scott Coldiron stays warm in the Valandre Troll jacket while sorting gear in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, Montana. [Photo] Brian White

Valandre Troll jacket: As warm as a down coat can be

Scott Coldiron has a lot of experience when it comes to staying warm on frozen alpine routes. He’s been using the Valandre Troll jacket in Montana’s Cabinet Range and reports, “Simply put, this jacket lofts better under all conditions than other down jackets I’ve used, and the resulting warmth it creates is impressive.” It’s also more expensive, however, and it lacks a couple features he would’ve liked to have. Four stars.