Best Crampons

Ice climbers wearing crampons

There is nothing as day-ending as taking a bad fall on ice. It simultaneously bruises your ego and you butt. A good pair of crampons can ensure that your day out goes smoothly and that you reach your objective. When it comes to crampons there are many variables and some crampons are better suited for certain objectives than others. In this guide we’ll break down the best crampons for hiking, the best crampons for mountaineering, and the best crampons for ice climbing.

Best Hiking Crampons

In this section; we’ll be breaking down the best hiking crampons and microspikes. Microspikes are like crampons but aren’t as rigid. They can easily be folded up and put into a bag. They’re also extremely easy to slip on over traditional hiking boots. When it comes to these types of traction devices the main factors to consider are storage size and ease of use.

Best Mountaineering Crampons

In this section; we’ll be breaking down the best mountaineering crampons. Mountaineering crampons have got to be able to handle mild-moderately pitched ice and snow climbs. These crampons should be able to fit snugly to mountaineering boots. Th best mountaineering crampons need to be both lightweight and durable for long days out on mixed terrain.

Best Ice Climbing Crampons

In this section, we’ll be breaking down the best ice climbing crampons. Ice climbing crampons need to have a combination of stability and solid ice purchase. This often means mono or dual vertical serrated front points. These crampons need to be lightweight to make sure that climbers don’t get tired midway up the most difficult multi-pitch climbs.

Best Hiking Crampons and Microspikes

1. Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System ($69.95)

5/5

Weight: 312g

Binding Style: Elastomer Harness

Material: Stainless Steel

Number of Points: 12

Features

  • Harnesses stay flexible to -22°F 
  • Heel tabs help you easily get them on/off
  • Integrated toe bales keep spikes from sliding

2. Hillsound Trail Crampons ($69.00)

4.8/5

Weight: 445g

Binding Style: Elastomer Harness with Strap

Material: Carbon Steel Spikes and Stainless Steel Chain

Number of Points: 10

Features

  • Ergonomic plate system to prevent muscle fatigue
  • Storage bag to prevent spikes from digging into bags
  • Carbon steel spikes hold up to extreme-wear

3. Black Diamond Contact Crampons ($129.95)

4.7/5

Weight: 808g

Binding Style: Strap-On

Material: Stainless Steel

Number of Points: 10

Features

  • Dual-density ABS plates to avoid snow/ice buildup
  • Horizontal front-points for steeper terrain
  • Flexible toe-straps for a great fit on most boots

4. Yaktrax ICEtrekkers Diamond Grip Traction System ($49.95)

4.4/5

Weight: 340g

Binding Style: Rubber Harness

Material: Steel

Number of Points: 100’s

Features

  • Steel alloy beeds have tons of edges to ensure a great grip
  • Self-clearing design to prevent snow/ice buildup
  • Fold-up to a small size to easily fit in bag

5. Kahtoola KTS Steel Crampons ($169.95)

4.1/5

Weight: 661g

Binding Style: Independent Front and Back Bindings

Material: Chromoly Steel

Number of Points: 10

Features

  • Extremely long 1 inch spikes for extra grip
  • Dual-layered stainless bars flex in a natural way
  • Folding heal support to make storage easier

Best Mountaineering Crampons

1. Petzl Irvis Flexlock Crampons ($139.95)

5/5

Weight: 765g

Binding Style: Strap-On

Material: Steel

Number of Points: 10

Features

  • Flexlock bindings provide a great fit on boots with or without toe and heel welts
  • Linking bar can be set to flexible or semirigid mode depending on boot
  • Wide front teeth for additional traction on steep terrain, secondary points for aid in front-pointing

2. Black Diamond Sabretooth Pro Crampons ($184.95)

4.9/5

Weight: 890g

Binding Style: Step-In

Material: Stainless Steel

Number of Points: 14

Features

  • Rocker in the front rail for a better fit in mountaineering boots
  • Micr0-adjust heel bail to ensure a great fit on the boots
  • Dual secondary points for technical foot placement on precarious terrain

3. Grivel G-12 New-Matic Crampons ($179.95)

4.7/5

Weight: 950g

Binding Style: Hybrid, Step-In with Heel Adjust

Material: Chromoly Steel

Number of Points: 12

Features

  • Semi-Ridgid construction works well on full and 3/4 shank boots
  • New-Matic bindings give a great fit even if the boots don’t have toe-bindings
  • Serrated rear points for stable grip on icy-terrain

4. C.A.M.P. USA Alpinist Universal Crampons ($219.95

4.4/5
camp ascent universal crampons

Weight: 729g

Binding Style: Strap-In and Step-In

Material: Chromoly Steel

Number of Points: 10

Features

  • Available in Strap-In and Step-In varieties (Auto, Semi-Auto, and Strap) to fit any boot
  • Asymmetric design and flexible linking bar fit boots much better than traditional bars
  • Adjustable with 3 heel bail heights, 2 heel bail positions, and 2 front bail positions for excellent fit

5. Grivel G-10 New-Classic Crampons ($139.95)

4.1/5

Weight: 822g

Binding Style: Strap-On

Material: Chromoly Steel

Number of Points: 10

Features

  • Strap-On deisgn allows them to fit anything from semi-rigid boots to ski boots
  • Serrated rear points for solid purchase on icy terrain
  • Adjustable binding that ensures a tight fit and prevents crampons from falling off

Best Ice Climbing Crampons

1. Petzl Lynx Leverlock Modular Crampons ($249.95)

5/5

Weight: 1080g

Binding Style: Hyrbid, Step-In with Adjustable Heel and Toe Bail

Material: Tempered Steel

Number of Points: 14

Features

  • Interchangeable front bindings to fit boots with and without toe welts
  • Adjustable front points can be made to be mono or dual points at any angle
  • Anti-balling plates prevent snow accumulation on the approach

2. Black Diamond Snaggletooth Pro Crampons ($219.95)

4.8/5

Weight: 890g

Binding Style: Step-In

Material: Stainless Steel

Number of Points: 14

Features

  • The secondary shorter front point gives you precision and stability when you need it
  • Horizontal front point is great for mixed routes
  • Serrated teeth are excellent on ice

3. Cassin Alpinist Tech Crampons ($249.95)

4.5/5

Weight: 811g

Binding Style: Step-In

Material: Chromoly Steel

Number of Points: 11

Features

  • Extremely light technical design for long days out
  • Mono point design with a small secondary point for stability
  • No connection points reduces flex and stability

4. Grivel G20 Plus Cramp-O-Matic Crampons ($249.95)

4.4/5

Weight: 890g

Binding Style: Step-In

Material: Chromoly Steel

Number of Points: 12

Features

  • Stainless steel straps mounted on the front bales prevent crampon from falling off
  • Center points give stability on downclimbs
  • Removable front point can be swapped

5. Petzl Dart Crampons ($229.95)

Weight: 820g

Binding Style: Step-In

Material: Steel

Number of Points:

Features

  • 4 modular front points that can be changed and adjusted for your mission
  • Lateral secondary points make cauliflower ice easer
  • Compatible with lighter weight Cord-Tec replacement cords

FAQ

Different types of crampons will come with different types of bindings that enable them to fit to different types of boots. In general step-in bindings will give you the most flexibility in the type of boot they’re compatible with. The only downside is that you may not get as snug of a fit.

Crampons are best for continuously icy or steep snowy conditions. If you are afraid that you won’t get solid foot purchase in winter conditions, it is best to pack a pair of crampons. 

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