By: randosteve|Posted on: July 22, 2009|Posted in: Gear, Gear Reviews | 7 comments

Just a quick blast before another day of roaming the aisles and checking out new products. Fortunately, although it’s summer time, there is still some good stoke to provide for us skiers.

Though unnamed at the current time and undergoing the test phase this winter, B and D Ski Gear
is trying to enter the binding market with it’s lightweight heel piece.

For years now, B and D Ski Gear out of northern California had been making cool ski tools and accessories for the for some of products we use as backcountry skiers. I was mighty surprised when owner Bill Bollinger showed me his incarnation of a lightweight “tech” heel piece. Interestingly enough, these types of products are found by multiple manufacturers in Europe, but Bill is the first one in the states to enter the market.

B and D heel pieces will have two, fixed and adjustable, mounting options.

A couple things will differ from Bill’s heel pieces compared to others. The first is that by changing spring in the heel piece, there will be three options, the DIN, or release settings will be adjustable. Other options out there only have one setting, and often…though not that big of a deal, must be skied with the toe piece in the locked position. The other thing that make these bindings different is that they can be mounted fixed, for those that want the lightest option and are confident in the mounting abilities, or with an extra plate that will allow for about 10mm of forward/rear adjustment. This is nice for someone that might want to swap out different boots, as well as provide less stress when mounting.


brooks-range-mountaineering-razor-tent-tie-in-holeThere were all kinds of skiing goodies over at the Brooks-Range Mountaineering booth. Their new Rocket tent uses your 300mm avalanche probe and adjustable ski poles to weight in at an ultralight 1lb 6oz! Though I’m more fond of a shelter that I don’t have to collapse when I’m out skiing, the Rocket Tent is the perfect option for those skiers doing multi-day traverses. For the ultra sicko stuff, the Rocket also has a “tie-in” hole, which allows the inhabitant to run a rope through the wall for anchoring purposes.


brooks-range-mountaineering-scientist-saw-100In the way of avy gear for those snow science buffs, Brooks-Range has a huge array of snow saws, shovels and accessories. The Compact Snow Density Gauge stands out as a lightweight option for measuring water content in the snow. Besides being light and compact, and because it’s sample tube is only 1 inch in diameter, the tool will also allow for better testing results when snow accumulations aren’t very deep. While some of the Brooks-Range snow saws have super aggressive teeth, others have fine ones for more precise cuts and cleaner snow pits. The saw that truly stood out though was the Scientist Saw 100. With the growing popularity of the “Extended Column Test”, this 1 meter long saw will make long and deep cuts a breeze.

CamelBak Flow Meter.

Some say one of the downsides of using a hydration bladder is that you never really know how much you’re drinking and how much water you have left. CamelBak now addresses those critics with the introduction of the “Flow Meter”. Not only can you program the meter to tell you how much water you have drank out of you 50,70 or 100 oz bladder, you can also program the devise to tell you if you are ahead or behind a preset drinking regime or schedule. This is cool in that it lets the user really be efficient in their water intake rate, avoiding under-hydration…as well as maximizing the water they have on board by not drinking more than their body can really metabolize. Very tech for those anal about their training regime…and I know a few of those.