Westbeach Backcountry Test
We recently sent Westbeach photographer Sam Strauss and crew out to test our latest backcountry kit for next season. Armed with 2 sets of 30K/30K ultra lightweight backcountry Cove 2 jackets and Birch bib pants, 2 x down filled Showdown vests and 2 x down filled reversible packable Tabor jackets as well as our new Merino base layers, backcountry socks, beanies and water bottles the guys had everything they needed.
We had been waiting for the conditions to drop right in Europe for this mission and left it up to Sam to make a call on the go date, with a monster weather front moving in and dropping more than a meter of fresh in late March it was time to make the trip.
We wanted this to be a proper test, so it was to be a full splitboard mission carrying full kit for 3 days unassisted on the mountain.
To ensure the crew would be able to sit out any changeable weather they might encounter we were able to use 2 x Heimplanet tents from our friends at Heimplanet, quite possibly the most forward thinking tent manufacturer around at the moment.
With all the kit needed the guys set about the mission and put the kit through its paces in its natural habitat.
Hiking for hours on a splitboard is hard work , your fitness levels can be sky high but if the clothing you are in is substandard the experience will be poor.
Ensuring you have good quality layers right down to you first underwear layer is essential, our Merino underwear is perfect for this.
Our 30K/30K Backcountry jacket and pant are extremely breathable and water proof to allow it to be worn when hiking, however if it is too warm its packs down to a small 640 gram package that can be easily stowed.
This allows the Showdown vest to take its place over the bib pant and give you core warmth but still allowing heat to disperse.
After 3 days of hiking, banter, meals around the camping stove and fresh lines off the beaten track the kit had been put to the test in full winter conditions and is officially signed off for bulk production. Available on the Westbeach store September 2016.
- Dominic Federici