The Art of Shaving: Gear Guide

As promised in last weeks article we present you with the Alister & Paine Guide to Shaving Gear. We’ve spent the past several weeks testing the goods from brands all over the world and, many nicks and cuts later, can finally take you step by step through the ritual of shaving.

After reading a ton of literature on mens grooming we’re pretty sure there are six steps to the perfect shave… step one is purchasing the right gear for the job, which is different from one man to the next.

Anthony Logistics Pre Shave OilAnthony Logistics | Pre Shave Oil

Step Two is preparing for the shave. We’ve heard it both ways: do and don’t shave with hot water. Some experts claim the hot water signals the oil glands to pump out more oil than necessary, something a man with oily skin doesn’t need. They claim hot water also causes over stimulation of blood circulation resulting in damage of fragile blood vessels close to the skin’s surface. We’ve also been told that hot water softens the beard, opens pores and cleanses the skin. Either way, softening the beard is a good thing. The Pre-Shave Oil from Anthony Logistics is fragrance free and suitable for all skin types. I was weary of adding another step to my shaving ritual but now I don’t shave without this stuff. MSRP: $20

The Art of Shaving | Shaving Cream

Step Three is pretty simple: lather up! Of all the shaving creams I tried I couldn’t find one I liked better than the glycerin based shaving cream from The Art of Shaving. It’s made with coconut oil and other essential oils and has a great silky texture that moisturizes the skin and leaves your face smooth as Kelly Rippa’s bottom. The one I fell in love with was unscented… but it also comes in lavender, lemon, and sandalwood. MSRP: $22

Art of Shaving Swirl Silvertip Badger BrushThe Art of Shaving | Swirl Silvertip Badger Brush

A good badger brush is an integral part of Step Three. We found that it was best to apply some water to the brush to help keep the skin moisturized and avoid the dreaded razor burn.  I like the Swirl Silvertip Badger Brush not only because it’s a small work of art but if the stock market crashes again I’ll be glad I own this chunk of sterling silver manliness. Whatever brush you go with you’ll find they help you get a rich and warm lather that softens and lifts the beard, opening pores and bringing water to the skin while exfoliating with the tenderness of a newborn puppy. If you want to impress whoever shares your bathroom space we suggest picking up this $1,200 masterpiece while it’s on sale. Presently on sale for $600

Art of Shaving Straight RazorThe Art of Shaving | Bocote Wood Straight Razor

Men have been defining themselves by the blade they carry for thousands of years… and for Step Four of the perfect shave it’s no different. In an attempt to be more of a Gentleman I picked up one of these straight razors by The Art of Shaving. Let me forewarn you that shaving with a straight razor is a lot like restoring an antique car: it requires a substantial investment in time and money and in the end you realize that technological advancements happen for a reason. That being said, there is something timeless about riding in a Model T Ford… and being able to shave yourself the way your grandfather did. These carbon steel razors are made by Thiers-Issard, a French razor manufacturer since 1884. MSRP: $225

Anthony Logistics After Shave BalmAnthony Logistics | After Shave Balm

Moisturizing after you shave is every bit as important as moisturizing before you shave. I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know that you don’t need to throw alcohol on your face after you’ve shaved… in fact, you should probably leave the alcohol to Thursday night shenanigans in the Meat Packing District and opt for something, well, a little less alcoholic for your skin. Alcohol based after-shave dehydrates and irritates the skin. Anthony Logistics’ After Shave Balm is made of a complex of natural plant extracts in a greaseless quickly absorbed emulsion that moisturizes, soothes skin and calms razor burn. MSRP: $19.50

Menscience Post Shave RepairMenscience | Post Shave Repair

Sometimes all the pre-shave and post-shave moisturizers in the world won’t stop you from getting razor burn. Maybe you used a dull blade… maybe you rushed the morning ritual… or maybe you just have that one trouble spot that’s constantly catching fire.

We’d like to show you to the final step of the perfect shave: Treatment. There is no shortage of post shave treatments out there for razor burn. We found powders, serums, creams, sprays and styptic pens. This Post-Shave Repair from Menscience sprays a fine mist of salicylic acid, tea tree extract, azulene and allantoin to soothe the skin while combating razor burn and clogged pores. It’s 100% alcohol and oil free and evaporates almost immediately leaving your face feeling fresh and burn-free. MSRP: $28

Mountain Hardwear – EV2 TentThe EV2 tent by Mountain Hardwear is one burly tent. Inspired and designed for one of America’s most accomplished alpinists the ‘Ed Viesters’ signature tent weighs in at only four pounds 14-ounces. Unlike most heavier double-walled tents the EV2 blocks hurricane-force winds, rain and snow with only a single wall—drastically reducing the weight on those long approaches. One of our favorite features of this two-person alpine-assault tent was how easily the EV2 set up when we arrived late at camp above tree-line. The final verdict? Perfect for long multi-day alpine climbs but overkill for car-camping at the local crag. Save this tent for the real mountains. MSRP: $599

Patagonia Stretch Ascent Jacket

Alpinism is all about being light and fast—cutting ounces of cosmetics in favor of old fashioned function. Patagonias’ Stretch Ascent Jacket fits the bill perfectly and still looks good. It’s made of 100% recycled stretch-woven polyester and cut longer in the torso than most jackets we’ve tried (you’ll appreciate this when you’re up on the mountain or if you decide to do some glissading). Patagonia claims the jacket has a slim fit but we found it to be a little big—even with layers underneath—so you may want to order a size down or just try it on before you buy. We wore this puppy split-boarding up the Grand Teton and walking the dog to the local deli during a May snowstorm… whatever adventure you decide to take this jacket on we’re sure you won’t be let down. MSRP: $299

LaSportiva Trango S EVO GTX

Footwear is one of the most important pieces of gear on any backcountry excursion. The LaSportiva Trango S EVO GTX (that’s a mouthful, we know) is built for long, rocky, abusive hauls up steep terrain and provides all the stability we’re used to in bulkier boots but without all the weight. We liked how rigid the sole was when it came time to do some technical climbing—it edged really well and doubled as a climbing shoe on moderate routes at high altitudes. The Trango S EVO GTX isn’t compatible with all crampons so if you decide to try your luck with this 3-season boot during the winter months you’ll want to make sure you have semi-automatic crampons… and extra warm socks. MSRP: $290

Sterling Ropes Marathon 70m 10.1

A climbers’ rope is his (and her’s) life-line and one of the most important gear choices an alpinist has to make. Not every rope is right for every climb and with all the ropes on the market it can get a little overwhelming. For most alpine routes—especially those with long rappels like the one found on the Grand Teton—we prefer ‘twin’ or ‘half’ ropes but for every day cragging and routes with shorter rappels we love the Marathon 10.1 single rope. We picked up one that was 70 meters long for our ‘rest days’ at the local crag—but these burly ropes are also available in 60 meter lengths. The extra 10 meters, while heavier, is great to have on routes with longer rappels under a hundred feet. Our favorite part about the Marathon Pro was the extra sense of security we had when things got a little sketchy. MSRP: $232

Origo Granite Peak Watch

Let’s face it, sometimes a Rolex just isn’t appropriate. Thirteen thousand vertical feet up Americas’ most recognizable  mountain with a storm heading in is one of those times. We tried a few different watches while exploring the mountains of Wyoming and our all-around favorite was the Granite Peak from Origo. It has a built in Compass, Barometer, and Altimeter to help you navigate your way through unfamiliar terrain while keeping an eye on the weather. There’s literally an ‘electronic weather center’ with a visual display and forecasting ability (we thought only our Android was cool enough to do this for us…). Origo claims this swiss-army style watch is water resistant up to 165 feet… which we plan on testing soon. As far as the mountains go this watch is perfect—just remember to read the instruction book before heading out, seriously. MSRP: $230

Justin’s Nut Butter

Finding good eats in the backcountry is always a challenge. Nutritious trail food usually doesn’t taste good and tasty trail snacks usually aren’t nutritious. Problem solved: Justin’s Nut Butter makes single serving packets in eight different flavors including our two favorites, Chocolate Peanut & Maple Almond.

Justin’s Nut Butter is an all natural source of protein, fat, salt, and all the healthy things that keep you moving when times get tough.

Added bonus? The jars are perfect for Chocolate-Peanut butter protein shakes after an intense workout at Mountain Athlete. MSRP: $1.20