I am lucky enough to see a lot of new gear. The "new" generally gets started at the Outdoor Retailer show in January where products are shown for Fall delivery of that year, 9 or 10 months later. But that is only half the story as many of the European manufactures don't import everything in their production lines (or show them at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City) into North America or sometimes just not into the USA. You have to keep up on the Web sites or make a visit to Chamonix to see what is really being used and collecting a buzz..
For the first time and not the last here is my list of the best gear of 2010/2011. My season is generally broken up by the Fall delivery of new ice gear so I'll try to do update the list every year just as summer gets started.
But unlike the yearly picks of some of the magazines once you make the list it is going to take a new and most importantly, a better piece of kit. "in my opinion" to get knocked off THE list.
My list here is gear I actually choose to use over all the gear I have available to me. Nothing listed here that I don't have multiple choices of and have tried or still use some of those other options. But when pushed what I have listed is the "best of the best" for my own use. Once in a while price point helps make that decision but not often. But it has on this list so it is worth mentioning. What is listed here is what I would cut my gear room down to if I have to make the hard choices choices or just own one. No surprise if some of this stuff isn't on your own list. That is what makes a horse race and keeps every one in business. Feel free to share your list as well in the comments or tell me why I missed the mark. Some categories are still missing, stoves, tents and sleeping bags for instance. And some times I have just skipped categories as it gets really confusing even to me. If there is not category listed I have yet to make up my mind or haven't used the gear enough to make a knowledgeable comment.. At some point I'll get to those as well but in a blog effort first before adding them to the list.
If you haven't read this blog first for context, you should:
"Remember what works for me may not work for you. Always take my comments with a grain of salt and trust your own observations. I can only write what I see or experience. I don't pretend to know much, let alone know everything. Do your own research...learn through your own experience when you can what works for you. Then compare notes with anyone you can find that has similar interests, experiences or goals. Type it into Google. And always consider the original source."
If you have read much of the blog...few of these will come as any surprise.
What I have reviewed on the blog is marked (reviewed). You should be able to find those reviews with the search function.