In 2009 the Austrian Alpine Club published results of a rigorous, independent, shovel test. They used and abused shovels from several manufacturers. Voile shovels stood out as the clear choice for functionality and durability, especially the shovels using T6 aluminum. While other shovels failed catastrophically, the Voile shovels showed no signs of damage. On top of their performance, they are also reasonably priced... and oh yeah, they're also made in Salt Lake City , Utah. They certainly are not the cutest shovel out there, but do looks really matter when your bud is buried alive?