Every company wants to claim their gear is Award Winning. When you see an award winning piece of gear it goes with the assumption that it must be the best. But what does that really mean? The best in it’s category? The best new piece? The best value? What really separates the best pieces of gear from the not-so-best?

These were some of the questions we had in mind when we went to the American Alpine Institute (AAI) to talk to Jeff Voigt, the Manager of their International Gear Testing Program and the guy who runs the Guides Choice Awards. He was nice enough to give us the low-down of how their award program actually works. Check out what Jeff had to say in the video above.

Watch the video above or check it out on Vimeo or YouTube. Or subscribe to our Vimeo and YouTube channels to see more videos. 

The conclusion is: an AAI Guides Choice Award means that a product is outstanding in performance and durability.

With such vigorous testing going on to choose the winners, we wanted to hear more details about the products that were worthy of the Guides Choice seal of approval. We’ll be showcasing those video’s on the corresponding WeighMyRack gear pages. Or you can watch them on our Vimeo or YouTube channels.

American Alpine Institute Guides Choice Logo

Alison Dennis

Alison Dennis

Alison (she/her) runs WeighMyRack from her 17' travel trailer. She is currently touring the US and would love if you contacted her to meet up to talk about climbing, climbing gear, or if you have any fun and/or ridiculous adventure in mind.

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We’re @weighmyrack


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We’re a bunch of gear nerds who set out to level the playing field. Screw the media bias of marketing budgets, we treat all brands equally. You won’t find elitist or gatekeeping writing here, we welcome all climbers.


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