/ OI NEWS: INTERVIEW: Crux and Lightwave Founder Carol McDermott

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X2 Storm (£450), 3 kbCarol McDermott founded Crux in 2002 to design, manufacture and sell gear developed purely for climbers, and Lightwave to do the same for backpackers. His aim was to create high-quality, functional and honest equipment uncluttered by unneccessary extras. In a market increasingly characterised by complex design features, Crux and Lightwave stand out and are already possessing that coveted status of brand for those 'in the know'. Here, Carol McDermott talks about the philosophy behind the brands and introduces some key products.

"Rucksack design has just become over-engineered and over-featured over the years and I wanted to return to the simplicity of products from 20 years ago..."


Rob Johnson - on 30 Jun 2011
In reply to UKC Gear: I use Crux rucksacks, the Flak Jacket and Event Trousers, the Crux Plasma jacket (waterproof down jacket) and rate them all. As Carol says in the interview they are simple, bomb proof, uncluttered and the Ron Seal of outdoor kit - they do exactly what they say on the tin.

With daily use the Flak jacket has withstood 3 years of abuse and still remains waterproof and is one of my all time favourite pieces of kit.

TobyA on 01 Jul 2011
In reply to Rob Johnson:
> the Crux Plasma jacket (waterproof down jacket)

I think Kev reviewed that one for UKC and noted the hood isn't helmet compatible. That struck me as odd - particularly considering otherwise everything is so designed for climbers.
Sarah Stirling - on 01 Jul 2011
In reply to TobyA: Yes, Kev's review of the Plasma is here:

And Jack reviewed the Torq:

nz Cragrat on 02 Jul 2011
In reply to UKC Gear:
For some reason instead of the pictures I did see of the gear eg Tent, Pack etc I now see large UKC placement banners
Sarah Stirling - on 04 Jul 2011
In reply to nz Cragrat: Have you tried force refreshing the page? (ctrl F5 on a PC)

Rob Johnson - on 04 Jul 2011
In reply to TobyA: I regularly wear mine over a helmet without any problems so I'm not sure where that has come from.

TobyA on 04 Jul 2011
In reply to Rob Johnson: Weird eh? Is it a good fit?

From Kev's review that Sarah linked above:

The Plasma has an insulated hood which features a wired visor and drawcord. It is removable via a zipper and velcro and whilst this is a secure system, I can't really think why I would want to take the hood off a jacket of this type. A simple stow system, such as a drawcord or velcro tab, would suffice to stop it flapping around. Also, Crux say that it is ",not sized to fit over a helmet." This I find particularly baffling on a garment that is marketed for Alpine climbing and mountaineering. It does actually go up over my helmet, but not satisfactorily and this is my only real gripe with the whole jacket.
Rob Johnson - on 04 Jul 2011
In reply to TobyA: Yes it fits fine and I would be the first to admit that I have a big head, made even bigger with a helmet over the top! I use it as a belay jacket in winter or for Alpine bivvies and when huddled down on a belay its great.
henrik1224 on 05 Jul 2011 -
In reply to UKC Gear:

A very, very big thumps-up for Crux designs from here as well.

The AK-47 is rucksack perfection. Definitely best in class, and at a more than fair price too.

Have abused the Flak Jacket and Trousers for some years. Glad to see the new design has a much better hood and now comes in longer lengths just as the torq - my only gripes with the old set. Again, a lot of money, but a real bargain compared to materials, design and production quality,

Loved the halo top - gave it to colleague, who has used it daily through the winter season for 2 years afterwards. He is very fond of it too.

The Plasma is much lighter for its performance than anything out there. Not warm enough for me for winter climbing Glad to see they have made some models now with more down, though i now prefer cheap synthetic myself.
The hood fits fine over a helmet for belay duties - approx. the same size as a neutrino hood, which Rab happily sells as helmet-compatible.

Really, really liked the Torpedo 700 a LOT - check out my comments on PTC's blog.

BTW, no affiliation with crux. Bought my stuff at retail.

In summary: best kit if you want bombproof, light and simple for winter climbing and touring. You may save a few hundred grammes on ultralight but only by compromising durability or performance. Clearly Carol McDermott has a first-hand perspective on the needs of winter conditions - and has thought a lot about stripping down his designs, instead of adding clutter.

Kind regards,

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