Best Gear In 2014… Outdoor Retailer ‘Best In Show’ Awards (part II)

Mini Mountain Axe — The Pocket Spike from Ortovox weighs just 95 grams but could save you on steep terrain. Made for ultralight mountaineers and backcountry skiers, the mini ice axe can be used alone for grip on steep snow.

For added reach and purchase, the axe head mounts to an Ortovox shovel handle. The hybrid tool is sold as an “emergency axe” and was built to be “tucked away in your backpack or pants pocket [but] quickly retrieved in dicey situations.”

One of our editors, a climber, loved the idea of bringing the tiny axe head on ultra-light ascents and ski-mountaineering tours “just in case.” $TBD; available fall 2014.

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.