Lightweight helmets, easy-change lenses and groundbreaking avi gear
In the world of goggles, lenses are either quick-changeable or reactive once you get above £100, with Dragon, Atomic, Scott and Oakley committed to easy-in-and-out lenses, plus all the above and Julbo with their photochromatic lenses, which are getting ever closer to covering a full three grades of light blocking. Salomon bagged an ISPO award for their XT-One goggles, which use Custom ID-Fit, a new technology that precisely matches the wearer’s face. Serious comfort guaranteed.
Julbo are continuing their assault on the helmet market. The Freetourer has achieved certification in both the climbing and ski safety standards, and along with its lightweight in-mold construction and generous venting makes it a good choice for tourers and ski mountaineers.
Touring kit has got a lot lighter with Petzl’s introduction of its new RAD system – a truly light harness (the Altitude), feathery Ride ice axe and innovative (though controversial, because front and rear spikes are connected by Dyneema cord rather than metal) Leopard crampons. Backcountry editor Martin Chester has grabbed the full set-up for further testing. He’ll also be reviewing Grivel’s new front-locking crampon – one of those ideas that’s obvious when you think about it, but isn’t on the market elsewhere. Maybe there’s a reason why? If so, we’ll find it.
The most startlingly-light object found was Black Diamond’s carbon Helio pole, which weighs essentially nothing: rubbish for those who like something with a bit of swing weight, and correspondingly excellent for anyone who wants the lightest pole on the market.
Finally, in avi gear, Arc’teryx have entered the market with their new Voltair airbag (see issue 139), and Ortovox have pulled off the lightest airbag system around with the Avabag, which weighs in at just 640g. Bravo.