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4 5

This shovel combines several features that I find key when looking for a backcountry shovel:
-Small, light blade
-Removable shaft that easily slides into the blade
-Telescoping shaft with T-handle

Overall really, really like this shovel and because of those features I find it perfect for backcountry skiing. It easily fits in my pack and assembles very quickly. The shaft is small when collapsed but extends so that the user is not constantly bending over, and I prefer the T over a full handle. The blade is strong enough to make snow shelters or dig out plowed-in cars, whichever one floats your boat.

The single reason why it is not rated 5 stars is because the button that holds the shaft into the blade has a bad habit of rotating inside the shaft and disappearing when the shaft is shoved into the blade too quickly. This renders the shovel useless as the shovel won't stay together anymore. It is a relatively quick fix but is annoying and prevents it from being flawless. As long as the user is gentle the problem should be easily avoided.