The idea of the "Real Weight" post back on 5/2/10 was to get you to think about your own gear and the options available. The dumbest thing anyone can do is copy what you see in the magazines or what the "pros" are using in the ads. Trust me, I've done it myself. (again and again) Generally it is gear given to them. It may or may NOT be the best available. Or the best for what they are using it for. Free gear means more money for the next airline tickets. These days most any of the gear available will work. Think about that before you buy the next, best, "anything".
It is obvious from the blog I go through a lot of gear. Very few things I write about are given to me. Only one item in the entire blog to date has been free. I had asked to buy that piece of gear on a pro deal first. I only write about things I really like. So if you think the reviews about the "good gear" I like are harsh, imagine what I would write about things I think are shite?
The blog is here to make you aware of things you might not have seen. I'll tell you what does or doesn't work for me and why generally. But for heaven's sake (and your own) don't take my words as gospel. They are just one guy's opinion and observations.
Why am I telling you this?
I look at pictures in the magazines and on the Internet just like everyone else.
I also have a very cool network of friends and close associates, all exceptional climbers, that I can ask about specific gear. And just as importantly I ask questions on the same blogs you likely do.
I get suckered into buying gear that may well be state of the art but doesn't actually work very well or has an obvious design flaw . Two very recent examples have sorta stumped me on how the design flaws made it into production. I've mentioned that in the reviews but may be not harshly enough. I'll leave it up to you to figure out what the gear was and what was fubar imo. Pays to be aware, educate yourself, and always buy with the doctrine of caveat emptor in mind.
5 weeks ago