Stubai Twin Peaks Universal (2014)

The front points on crampons are intended to provide grip when tackling steeper slopes, but on level ground they aren’t really needed and they can be a real menace, as it’s all too easy to catch a front point on your trousers or a rock and trip over. The Stubai Twin Peaks Universal crampon has no front points, thereby avoiding the above problem. There are eight spikes on the base to provide grip on level ground. Each spike is 2cm long, which is ideal for cutting through snow on level ground, and also for the novice who may find that the longer 3cm spikes of other crampons lead to trips or unstable footing on uneven ground. Each spike has a pair of points to improve grip further, and four spikes are rotated through 45 degrees to give better grip on gentle slopes. Anti-balling plates are pre-fitted to prevent snow from sticking to the base of the crampon, and the crampons are held in place with straps that link plastic toe and heel cradles. The Stubai Twin Peaks Universal is ideal for walkers sticking to the easier paths, but if you stray off those tracks then it’s important to remember they don’t have front spikes for tackling steeper slopes.

Classification C1
Materials steel
Sizes regular (39-45) and XL (46-48)
Weight 782g (pair size regular with anti-balling plates)
Website www.trailwise.co.uk

 

Verdict

The Stubai Twin Peaks Universal was voted the crampon that was best for novice hillwalkers in this test.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine January 2014

 


Camp Magix 10 (2014)

The Camp Magix 10 is a well-priced general-purpose crampon with 10 points (including two front points), providing good grip on a wide variety of terrain. Anti-balling plates are pre-fitted, to help prevent snow from sticking to the base of them. The spikes are 2.5cm in length so they’re effective at cutting through a layer of snow to the ice beneath, while not being so long that they easily snag on rocks or trousers. The eight downward-facing spikes are all rotated through 45 degrees so they provide better grip on gentle slopes. The crampons are easily adjusted lengthwise via a central bar and fit securely on boots thanks to the straps that link the toe and heel cradle. At 855g, including the anti-balling plates, they’re heavier than an eight-point crampon, but relatively lightweight compared to some other 10- or 12-point crampons. For this type of crampon the price is very good too, so overall they’re ideal for most hillwalkers who will step off the easier paths occasionally, but won’t be tackling the steepest winter slopes. For a crampon that offers a kind of halfway house, they are pretty tough to beat.

Classification C1
Materials steel
Sizes one size fits 36-48cm
Weight 855g (pair including anti-balling plates)
Website www.allcord.co.uk

  

Verdict

The Camp Magix 10 was voted the crampon that offered the best of both worlds in this test.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine January 2014

 


Camp Magix (2013)

To get a good grip on snow and ice in almost any situation a pair of Camp Magix crampons is ideal, and it’s a good-value option too at £85. One problem with any traction device is that they tend to clog with snow and ice, known as ‘balling up’, but the Magix come fitted with a pair of anti-balling plates that prevent snow from sticking to the base. To keep a grip the Magix have 10 points, including two front points for tackling steep slopes. The eight remaining points are rotated through 45 degrees to prevent them sliding through soft snow and to further reduce balling up, which again improves performance. The spikes are 2.5cm long, so they are more than capable of biting into ice that has a covering of snow. Fitting is via a toe and heel cradle plus some straps, and length adjustment is easy. They are rated as C1, which means they are best used on a boot that has some stiffness such as 3-4 season boot or a 4-season boot. At 855g including the anti-balling plates they are also relatively lightweight. So for most people the Camp Magix will be an ideal crampons for bagging Munros and exploring the winter fells.

Materials steel
Sizes one size fits 36-48cm
Weight 855g (pair, including anti-balling plates)
Website
www.allcord.co.uk

 

Verdict
The Camp Magix crampons are the best value for hill and mountain walking in this test.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine January 2013


Stubai Twin Peaks Universal (2013)

The Stubai Twin Peaks Universal crampon is designed for novice hillwalkers who are walking over easier frozen terrain. There are no front points, which means these are very much intended for paths and level ground rather than steeper slopes where the absence of front points will enable wearers to safely walk over the hills without tripping up, as can happen with full crampons. The crampon has eight spikes and these are 2cm long, which is ideal for level ground and also suitable for the novice, who may find that the longer 3cm spikes on other crampons lead to trips and unstable footing. Each spike does have twin points through to improve grip on ice, and four of them are rotated through 45 degrees to provide better grip on slopes. The Stubai Twin Peaks Universal comes with anti-balling plates fitted to prevent snow from sticking to the base, and is easily adjusted without tools. The plastic toe and heel cradle allow them to be easily fitted to most boots. As a basic crampon for easier hill terrain, Twin Peaks crampons provide the ideal transition from traction devices designed for the valley to the full crampons designed for hill and mountain walking.

Materials steel
Sizes regular (39-45) and XL (46-48)
Weight 782g (pair, size regular with anti-balling plates)
Website
www.trailwise.co.uk

 

Verdict
The Stubai Twin Peaks Universal are the best crampons for novice hillwalkers in this test.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine January 2013


Black Diamond Contact Clip (2013)

The Black Diamond Contact Clip is made from stainless steel, which means it does not rust like most other crampons, and snow and ice do not stick to the crampon so readily. Stainless steel is also more durable than carbon steel so the points of the spikes are more likely to stay sharp even if you spend some of the day scraping them over rocks rather than ice when traversing mixed ground comprised of rock, snow and ice. There are 10 points that are 3cm long, which allows them to easily provide grip on ice that is covered in snow. The two front points allow this crampon to provide grip when ascending slopes, while the four spikes that are rotated provide some braking power to prevent slipping on descent. Anti-balling plates are pre-attached to ensure snow does not cling to the base of the crampon. The standard Contact Clip is fitted to a boot using a front toe cradle and a rear heel clip, meaning it can only be fitted to boots that have a heel lip. However, it is also available with a heel strap for boots without a heel lip. The Black Diamond Contact Clip is rated as C1, meaning it can be used with semi-flexible 3-4 season boots and 4-season boots.

Materials stainless steel
Sizes one size fits 34-46cm
Weight 876g (pair, including anti-balling plates)
Website
www.blackdiamondequipment.com

 

Verdict
The Black Diamond Contact Clips are the best crampons for mountain and glacier walking in this test.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine January 2013


Stubai Trekking 10 Point Universal 2012

The Stubai Trekking 10 Point Universal is a 10-point crampon that is exceptionally compact, and for its price fairly light, making it ideal for those who tend to carry their crampons in their rucksack and use them only occasionally on their boots. The crampon has two points that are turned through 90 degrees to help with stability on slopes. There is also some 3D stamping towards the front points to add some extra strength. The crampon is easy to adjust and fit with the straps combined with toe and heel mouldings. This year’s anti-balling plates are pre-fitted and very lightweight, shaving a few grams off the whole package. The spikes are of a longer and more traditional length, which is good for use in snowy conditions, but they can feel a tad clumsy over mixed ground of exposed rock combined with thin snow or ice. The Stubai Trekking 10 Point Universal is a functional crampon with generally good features for winter walking, but some others have the edge in dealing with technical terrain.

Materials NiCroMo steel
Classification C1
Size one size (fits 34-51cm)
Weight 906g (pair including anti-balling plates)
Website www.trailwise.co.uk

 

The Stubai Trekking 10 Point Universal is best for occasional use.

Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine January 2012


Camp Magix 2012

An interesting crampon offering 10 points, of which two are normal curved front points and the remaining eight vertical ones are rotated at 45º. This set-up is designed to reduce snow balling. The flex is fairly relaxed and the spikes are not too long, a combination which makes walking easy. Fitting is via toe and heel cradles with a nylon strap, which makes a very accommodating set-up that will fit an extensive range of boots. The length is adjusted by a spring-loaded pin and again is easy to adjust, even with gloved hands. Walking in them does take a little bit of getting used to, particularly if have used more conventional spike designs in the past. However once you become accustomed to the nuances of the required action they give a very positive grip on all forms of winter terrain, and at all gradients. These crampons are perfect for the weight-conscious mountain walker, and will on odd occasions prove useful for steeper ground.

Materials steel
Classification C1
Size one size (fits 36-48cm)
Weight 855g (pair including anti-balling plates)
Website www.camp.it

The Camp Magix is best for value hillwalking.

Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine January 2012


Black Diamond Contact Strap 2012

The Black Diamond Contact Strap is a superb stainless steel crampon offering low weight and high build quality. It comes with anti-balling plates – an elaborate design to improve resistance to snow balling. You get 10 points, and four of these are rotated through 90º to improve grip on slopes. Some 3D stamping adds strength. Adjustment is simple and the crampons can be easily fitted to boots with the straps. Trail has used Black Diamond stainless steel crampons for two years now and so far we think it’s an excellent material. It sheds snow well, takes the knocks and seems very resilient. The Contact Straps are a very clean design, easy to use and ideal for general winter walking. They offer a good level of stability so when paired with the right boots they will tackle steeper terrain. The Black Diamond Contact Strap is a quality lightweight walking crampon that will allow you to tackle winter trips to the Lakes and Wales, full-on Munro-bashing in Scotland and glacier tours in the Alps.

Materials stainless steel
Classification C1
Sizes one size fits 34-46cm
Weight 820g (pair including anti-balling plates)
Website www.blackdiamond equipment.com

The Black Diamond Contact Strap is best for hillwalking.

Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine January 2012


Stubai Trekking 10 Point Universal 2011

The Stubai Trekking 10 Point Universal is a 10 point crampon that is exceptionally compact, making it ideal for those who tend to carry their crampons in their rucksack more than they wear them. The crampon has two points that are turned through 90 degrees to help with stability on slopes. There is also some 3D stamping towards the front points to add some extra strength. The crampon is easy to adjust and fit, with the straps combined with toe and heel mouldings. This crampon is supplied with anti-balling plates that have to be fitted by the user, following the instructions provided. This is a good all-round crampon with adequate features for the hill-walker. But other crampons offer a little more. For example, the instructions are relatively basic, while the anti-balling plates are not the best in terms of their ability to shift snow. The heel and toe cradles are on the soft side too, which can impair comfort.

Classification C1
Materials NiCroMo steel
Sizes one size fits 36-48
Weight 960g (pair, including anti-balling plates)
Made in Austria
Stores in the UK 29

The Stubai Trekking 10 Point Universals are functional crampons with some good features for winter walking, but some others have the edge in the details of performance and these should be better at this price point.

Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine January 2011


Black Diamond Contact Strap 2011

Now made from stainless steel, the Black Diamond Contact Strap is an outstanding crampon that is low-weight and has top-notch build quality. It also comes fitted with anti-balling plates and these are an elaborate design to improve their resistance to snow balling. You get 10 points, four rotated through 90 degrees to improve grip on slopes. Some 3D stamping adds strength too. Adjustment is easy and the crampons can be easily fitted to boots with the straps. The stainless steel is an excellent choice of material. It sheds snow well and certainly takes the knocks and seems to be very resilient. The Contact Strap is a very clean design that is easy to use and ideal for general winter walking. It offers a good level of stability so when paired with the right boots it will tackle steeper terrain. But stainless steel still has its critics and so far Black Diamond is the only mainstream manufacturer to use it. It is a bit ‘blingy’, but we think it performs well.

Classification C1
Materials stainless steel
Sizes one size fits 34-46
Weight 820g (pair, including anti-balling plates)
Made in USA
Stores in the UK 250

The Black Diamond Contact Strap is a quality lightweight walking crampon that will allow you to tackle the odd bit of steep stuff. It was adjudged the best walking crampon in our test.

Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine January 2011


Grivel G10 New Classic Lux 2011

The very flexible plate and substantial thermoplastic cradles make the Grivel G10 New Classic Lux an ideal crampon for winter hill-walking. The 10 spikes are arrayed well to deal with moderately angled snow and the odd venture onto ice. There’s 3D relief stamping throughout for extra strength too. The crampons are supplied with Grivel’s nifty AntiBott anti-balling plates, which pop out the snow before it has a chance to ball up under you. These plates can also be replaced without the need for tools, which is an asset. The binding system involves two thermoplastic cradles fastened with a  strap, which makes fitting simple, as do a good set of instructions with diagrams. But the Grivel G10 New Classic Lux is an out-and-out walking crampon that is a little too flexible for steeper terrain.

Classification C1
Materials NiCroMo steel
Sizes one size fits 36-47
Weight 835g (pair, including anti-balling plates)
Made in Italy
Stores in the UK 50

The Grivel G10 New Classic Lux is a crampon that’s perfect for winter hill walking, glacier travel and high-altitude trekking.

Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine January 2011


Climbing Technology Nevis 2011

Designed specifically for British hills, the Climbing Technology Nevis is a good basic 10 point walking crampon with a robust build quality. It is easy to adjust and fit, and it compresses to fit neatly in your rucksack. The spikes are mid-length, which suits movement over the thin mixture of snow and ice over rock usually experienced under British winter conditions. For added strength the front points have 3D contouring. These crampons are well-suited to walkers who tackle peaks rather than climbs, and ideal for glacier travel. But the anti-balling plates are very basic, which means you may still have to check for them balling up when moving through soft snow.

Classification C1
Materials hardened steel
Sizes one size to fit 36-46 (long extension bar to 50 available)
Weight 945g (pair including anti-balling plates)
Made in Italy
Stores in the UK Cotswold Outdoor, Tiso’s,  Joe Brown’s

The Climbing Technology Nevis is an ideal entry-level crampon that is good value for money.

Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine January 2011


Camp Magix 2011

The Camp Magix is an interesting crampon offering 10 points, of which two are normal curved front points and the remaining eight vertical ones are rotated at 45º. This set-up is designed to reduce snow balling. The flex is fairly relaxed and the spikes are not too long, a combination that makes for an easy-to-walk-in crampon. Fitting is via toe and heel cradles with a nylon strap that is easy enough to fix, which is handy as the instructions are a tad vague. The length is adjusted by a spring-loaded pin and again is easy to achieve. They will accommodate wide-fitting boots. But the quirky spike pattern might not appeal to those used to more conventional patterns.

Classification C1
Materials steel
Sizes one size fits 36-48
Weight 855g (pair, including anti-balling plates)
Made in Italy
Stores in the UK 70

Good value and very lightweight, the Camp Magix are perfect crampons for the weight-conscious mountain walker.

Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine January 2011


Edelrid Swing 2011

Substantially built 10 point crampons with some excellent features, the Edelrid Swing is a good all-round option that should give many years’ service. Although it’s essentially a walking crampon the spike layout will allow you to tackle the odd bit of steep stuff. Of particular interest are the asymmetric front point and the slightly flared sole spikes, which combine with reverse barbs to give excellent balance and traction on steep ice snow and rock. They come with removable anti-balling plates, front point length adjustment and one-touch size adjustment. But the Edelrid Swing’s strong build quality and potential long life come at the cost of a bit of extra weight.

Classification C1
Sizes 36-47
Weight 930g (pair, including anti-balling plates)
Made in Germany
Stores in the UK no info provided

The Edelrid Swing is deal for walkers who fancy taking in an easy winter climb now and again. They are not the lightest 10 pointers around, but they are well-made and should last for ages.

Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine January 2011


Grivel G10 New Classic 2009

The very flexible plate and the substantial thermoplastic cradles make the Grivel G10 New Classic an ideal crampon for winter hill-walking. The 10 spikes are arrayed well to deal with moderately angled snow and the odd venture onto ice. There’s 3D relief stamping throughout for extra strength too. The crampons are supplied with nifty Grivel AntiBott anti-balling plates, which pop out the snow before it has a chance to ball up under you. These plates can also be replaced without the need for tools, which is useful for travellers through the mountains. The binding system is two thermoplastic cradles fastened with a strap, which makes fitting simple. A good set of instructions with diagrams also ensures fitting is easy. But the Grivel G10 New Classic is an out-and-out walking crampon that is a little too flexible for steeper terrain.

Classification C1
Materials NiCroMo Steel
Sizes one size to fit 36-47
Weight 850g pair with anti-balling plates
Made in Italy
Stores in the UK no info provided
Stockist details tel. (0191) 296 0212, www.mountainboot.co.uk
Verdict
The Grivel G10 New Classic is a perfect crampon for winter hill-walking, glacier travel and high-altitude trekking.

Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine January 2009

Stubai Trekking 10 Point Universal 2009

The Stubai Trekking 10 Point Universal is a 10-point crampon that is exceptionally compact, making it ideal for those who tend to carry their crampons in their rucksack more than they wear them. The crampon has two points turned through 90 degrees to help with stability on slopes. There is also some 3D stamping towards the front points to add some extra strength. The crampon is easy to adjust and fit with the straps combined with toe and heel mouldings. This crampon is supplied with anti-balling plates that have to be fitted by the user, by following the instructions provided. This is a good, all-round crampon with adequate features for the hill-walker. But others offer a little more than the Stubai Trekking 10 Point Universal in many ways. Firstly the instructions are rather basic compared to others. The anti-balling plates are not the best in terms of their ability to shift snow from the base of boots. And the heel and toe cradles are on the soft side, which can impair comfort.

Classification C1
Materials NiCroMo steel
Sizes one size fits 36-48
Weight 960g including anti-balling plates
Made in Austria
Stores in the UK 29
Stockist details tel. (0161) 343 6166, www.trailwise.co.uk
Verdict
The Stubai Trekking 10 Point Universal is a functional crampon at a low price with generally good features for winter walking, but some others have the edge in the performance details.

Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine January 2009

Camp Magix 2009

The Camp Magix is an interesting crampon with 10 points, of which two are normal curved front points and the remaining eight vertical ones are rotated at 45º. This set-up is designed to reduce snow-balling. The flex is fairly relaxed and the spikes are not too long, a combination which makes for an easy-to-walk-in crampon. Fitting is via toe and heel cradles with a nylon strap that is easy enough to fix, which is handy as the instructions are a tad vague. The length is adjusted by a spring-loaded pin and again is easy to achieve. They will accommodate wide-fitting boots. But the Camp Magix’s quirky spike pattern might not appeal to those used to more conventional designs.

Classification C1
Materials steel
Sizes one size fits 36-48
Weight 800g including anti-balling plates
Made in Italy
Stores in the UK 70
Stockist details tel. (0191) 284 8444, www.camp.it
Verdict
The Camp Magix crampon is a good value and very light, perfect for the weight-conscious mountain walker.

Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine January 2009

Petzl Charlet Irvis Spirlock

This is a very lightweight crampon at just 780g per pair, making it ideal for when you’re not sure if you’ll encounter snow or are just crossing a plateau. There are 10 points, and two of these are turned through 90 degrees to provide extra traction on slopes. There is some 3D stamping in the crampon too to add a little extra strength. The crampon comes pre-fitted with anti-balling plates to prevent snow from sticking to the base. The binding system is very lightweight, thanks to a simple wire frame around the toe and heel that combine with straps to hold the crampon in place. Most noticeable of all is how compact these crampons are when packed away, making them ideal for stowing in a rucksack. The instructions are particularly clear and helpful, and make the use of these easy to understand.  But you only get 10 short points, while others have 12 long points, so these are not the grippiest of crampons. Some other anti-balling plates are arguably better at shifted the snow. The sidelock binding requires a boot with a lip at the toe for the front wire which means it won’t fit as many boots as some other crampons will. Annoyingly, a screwdriver is needed to fit new anti-balling plates. 

Vital stats

Classification C1
Materials NiCroMo steel
Sizes 27-42 (medium); 35-46 (large)
Weight 780g including anti-balling plates
Made in USA

Verdict A lightweight crampon that is ideal for certain boots, particularly for ski touring, glacier travel or when ice is only going to be crossed for a shorter level section of the route.

 


Stubai Trekking 10 Point Universal

This is a 10-point crampon that is exceptionally compact, making it ideal for those who tend to carry their crampons in the rucksack more than they wear them on their boots. The crampon has two points that are turned through 90 degrees to help with stability on slopes. There is also some 3D stamping towards the front points to add some extra strength. The crampon is easy to adjust and fit, with the straps combined with toe and heel mouldings. This crampon is supplied with anti-balling plates that have to be fitted by the user, by following the instructions provided. This is a good all-round crampon with adequate features for the hill-walker. But other crampons offer a little more in many departments. Firstly the instructions are rather basic compared to others. The anti-balling plates are not the best in terms of their ability to shift snow from the base of boots. A C2 crampon with heel clip is easier to fit. Some other crampons have more points rotated through 90 degrees to increase grip on slopes, while others have 12 points for better grip too.

Vital stats
Classification C1
Materials NiCroMo steel
Sizes one size fits 36-48
Weight 995g including anti-balling plates
Made in Austria
Stores in UK 29

Verdict: A functional crampon at a low price with generally good features for winter walking, but some others have the edge in the details of the performance

 


Camp Stalker

Trail has reviewed this crampon favourably for a couple of years. It is a great all-rounder with a good price and a good weight coupled with all the key features needed for a day on the winter hills. Anti-balling plates fitted straight from the box. Four of the 12 points are arranged to prevent slipping forwards or backwards on snow slopes. The spikes are a good length for general use too, being neither too long (which would encourage snagging) nor too short (which would reduce grip). I also like how you can easily replace the anti-balling plates with a fresh pair, as they don’t require tools to remove them. The instructions are very clear, allowing you to easily fit and adjust these crampons to your boots. You even get a reasonable crampon bag thrown in for the price. That makes these absolute winners in terms of value for money. But some C2 crampons have a heel clip, which makes them faster and easier to fit. The anti-balling plates are better on some other crampons as those fitted here are stiff, flat rubber and so do not actively displace snow. Some crampons have a more elaborate spike arrangement to improve grip even further, while other crampons are lighter.

Vital stats
Classification C1
Materials NiCroMo steel
Sizes one size fits 36-48
Weight 972g including anti-balling plates
Made in Italy
Stores in UK 70

Verdict: The best value-for-money C1 crampon on the market and ideal for general winter walking and easier mountaineering