10 Best Mountaineering Crampons of 2021 (Buyer’s Guide & Reviews)

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Everybody knows that crampons are a vital accessory for any mountaineering during winter that you cannot afford to go without. But with the market flooded with different types of crampons, how would you be able to know which one to go for and which ones to avoid? 

I admit that finding the right crampons for you can be tricky simply because different crampons are best depending on different factors. 

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In fact it could mean more fun; you just need to have the right equipment.

Here you will find out all the answers and tips that you will need to know before setting out to buy the best crampons for mountaineering.

Best Crampons For Mountaineering

#1 PETZL – VASAK

The Petzl Vasak is one of the most sought after crampons for mountaineering as well as one of the best crampons on the market. 

It is designed for specifically for mountaineering. 

The Petzl-Vasak crampons fit boot sizes  36-50 for European size and about a US Men’s 5-15.

Lightweight on the legs and comfortable to walk on and is made of steel and is made of good quality set to last you a long time.

Super sturdy front points that will make it easy to use in hard snow.

You will have the option to choose any bindings of your liking whether you prefer leverlock or flexlock bindings. 

It comes with anti-snow system, which are plates on the bottom that help to reduce snow build up on the foot.

It has a wide extension between the heel and the toe. It has a heel attachment that can fit on any boot.

Comes with an M linking bar as well a great quality closure strap.

Finally, this is our winner. If you want the absolute best crampon you can find then this is it without question.

#2 Black Diamond Contact Crampon

You will not go wrong with this crampon as it is designed for quality and made to fit most shoe sizes. 

This eliminates any doubts anyone may have concerning fitting and overall performance.

Made with environmentally friendly material that maintains build quality for a long time even in harsh conditions. 

It comes with a fast adjustment system that makes it suitable for anyone with different variety of footwear. It features a 10 point design.

Features:

  • It has dual-density ABS
  • Flexible toe strap compatible with most footwear.
  • Made with rigid stainless steel.
  • Very lightweight
  • Prevents rusting
  • Anti-balling

It is a good quality crampons that will definitely last long without compromising on performance.

It’s also great if you are on a budget.

#3 Camp USA Stalker Crampon

If you are looking for a crampon that is anti-balling and provides maximum traction on both hard and fragile ice, this is it. 

It has a semi-automatic binding that is designed to secure your heel to attach on your mountaineering boots. 

Made with durability in mind and incorporates a rustproof material to ensure it lasts long.

Made of a tough steel to withstand hard conditions, it can be used in wet conditions without  fast wear as it is built with chromoly steel to prevent rusting.

Anti-balling plates at the bottom to reduce snow build up on the feet.

Very flexible and sturdy allow comfortable foot movement.

It is very lightweight and suitable for climbing and mountaineering.

It comes with a storage bag that helps you avoid damaging your backpack when you carry it.

This is an awesome product that is built for durability and comfort. I highly recommend this product.

#4 Grivel G10 Crampon

This is a great product designed to be lightweight and flexible for easy compatibility and for various shoe sizes.

Designed to fold easily, which makes it to take minimal space on your backpack. Does not require additional tools to adjust.

Features

  • Light-weight
  • Compatible with most shoe sizes
  • Very portable
  • Made of durable steel

It works great and requires little effort to put on or remove. Has quality and long lasting material suitable for mountaineering.

#5 PETZL – Lynx

This crampons pack a punch in their built design. It is designed to be highly adaptable and can perform amazing in diverse activities, which makes it useful in ice and mixed climbing.

This crampons feature detachable features designed to enhance adaptability that will suit most climbing requirements.

Features

  • It has interchangeable front point to be used in any condition from snow to dry tooling.
  • Compatible with most mountaineering boots
  • Has more points for maximum traction; about 14 points on each crampon
  • Designed to prevent balling
  • Has a variety of dual-points that can be switched depending on the type of climbing
  • Comes with a cool storage bag
  • Fits on boots with or without welts

Although the Petzl Lynx modular crampons are on the pricier side , they are a good quality product that can be used for multiple scenarios, with this product you don’t have to purchase different products for different use, they are very adaptable. 

I highly recommend this product.

#6 CAMP USA – Cassin Alpinist Pro

This is a product that is made with Alpinists in mind and is geared better for vertical climbing although its awesome features make it a go to product for any sort of terrain.

Features:

It comes with interchangeable front points that can fit any mountaineering boots and can be switched for maximum performance depending on the terrain and the type of climbing.

  • Built with durable material that is, chromoly steel that doubles up as a rust prevention.
  • It has anti-balling plates that help to reduce snow  build up on the feet.
  • Very lightweight
  • It has an interchangeable toe bail which makes it fit for advanced mountaineering.
  • Can fit boots with or without welts with its auto heel clip that provides tight grip on the boot.
  • It has serrated front points that make them ideal for vertical climbing.

This is an all round product that would easily grow with you from beginner to a higher level and still provide value.

#7 GRIVEL G14 Crampon

This product is built to provide strength and traction. It has a low-profile design to enhance stability.

They come with dual low point setup that can be customized to mono point configuration depending on your preference.  

The points are made of chromoly steel for maximum strength and increase durability.

 Features:

  • It is flexible and allows for feet adjustment
  • Great quality
  • Lightweight
  • It has customizable dual point configuration
  • Fit a wide range of boot sizes; form 36 -47
  • It comes with antibot plates to prevent snow build up underfoot

This is a great product with a sleek design and would look, feel and perform great for mountaineering.

#8 Camp USA Skimo Nanotech Crampon

This is another product that puts more control in the hands of its customers. 

Although is designed more for alpine mountaineering it is highly customizable and can adapt to suit your needs for various mountaineering activities. 

Different levels of height settings for more customized fit made to provide maximum traction and comfort. 

Comes with a fully adjustable linking bar with a wide variable range that would suit most boot lengths.

Features:

  • Made of quality material; aluminum alloy and stainless steel
  • Has dual front point
  • Has anti-balling that would prevent caking of snow on your feet
  • Fits a wide range of mountaineering boots
  • Very lightweight
  • Comes with a torx key to easy adjustment
  • Comes with a carrying case.

This is a great product with a wide range of adjustments compatible with most boots in the market. 

It provides a lot of value at a good price and I would recommend it to anyone after a quality product at a good price.

#9 Cassin Blade Runner Crampons

This is a great crampon that can perfume amazingly in any terrain either in ice climbs or in mixed climbing. 

It is also a great product of alpine climbing and can be used by both beginners and advanced climbers.

Has v-shaped chromoly steel front and eliminated all flexibility that would compromise on the stability of its users.

Features interchangeable dual and mono point setup which allows it to be flexible depending on the users preference.

Features:

  • It is lightweight
  • The patented heel slide adds flex for more comfort
  • It comes with an interchangeable dual and mono point setup
  • The pint setup can be easily adjusted between a centered of offset position to accommodate various surfaces

Although these have a  high price, they provide very good value for your money.

#10 BRS Professional Edition Fourteen Teeth Ice Crampons

These crampons are designed for maximum traction for a variety of icy surfaces.

Made of high density material such as manganese steel to increase durability. It has nylon which acts as a waterproof material making it suitable for use in wet conditions.

Features:

  • It has tooth length to about 4 cm for maximum traction.
  • Has durable elastic harness for tight grip
  • Good built quality
  • Sleek design

Considering the price and the features of this product I would recommend it to anyone.

Choosing The Best Crampons For Mountaineering

Here is all you need to know before choosing the right crampons for you.

The most important thing is ensuring that you are buying from trusted manufacturers to avoid the cheap ones that could be expensive and still compromise on your safety. 

It is also very important to buy quality crampons if you want something that can last you a long time and at the same time be enjoyable and safe for use.

What type of climbing are you going to be doing?

Some people are confused on the type of traction device that is needed for the type of climbing they do and whether they need crampons, microspikes or snowshoes or not.

The first thing you need to consider before heading for new crampons is the type of climbing you’re going to be doing. 

Crampons have different kinds of front points that you should be looking for when choosing the best crampon. Different crampons as suited to work best for different actions that is:

  • Alpine climbing

Vertical front points are great if you are going to be doing a lot of vertical climbing. 

Crampons with vertical front point especially the ones with serrated edges grip firmly in ice, which makes them great for anyone doing alpine climbing.

  • Steep ice climbing

Vertical front points are sharper and look more aggressive and are great in penetrating steep ice.

  • General mountaineering

Horizontal front points are good for snow riches. It’s good for general mountaineering such as hiking across glaciers. 

Crampons with horizontal front point are great for general mountaineering but they do not penetrate stiff ice that well. 

Though you can use crampons with vertical front points for general mountaineering, they tend to be heavier and don’t work as well on soft snow and are also expensive.

Quality/Material

  • Steel

Steel crampons are going to be significantly heavier; however, they’re going to be much more durable. 

Still crampons are very easy to sharpen. 

They can be sharpened numerous times and would easily last you a long time to about 15 years of use.

  • Aluminum

Aluminum crampons are lighter but are not as long lasting as steel crampons. 

Out of the box, they do not come already sharpened as you would with steel crampons and they cannot be sharpened as many times as steel without wear. 

They are also not great if you would be climbing in areas with hard rock.

Frames

There different crampons on the market, some are made with fixed frames while others have interchangeable features so you can switch different parts such as the front points from dual to mono configuration. 

I would recommend the ones with switchable frames because they adapt to your needs plus if any parts get worn out then you have the chance of buying new ones.

Vertical front points are made of steel, and sometimes are modular, meaning they can be moved around and are interchangeable.

Dual or Mono front points

This is a consideration depending on whether you will be doing a lot of vertical climbing.

Horizontal front point crampons usually have a dual point setup and are good for general mountaineering. 

If you will be doing a lot of mixed climbing then going for mono point crampons might be the best option for you because they will give you easy maneuverability especially if you climb in a rocky area.

Bindings

Crampons come with different kinds of bindings that is:

  • Universal Binding

Universal crampons have two plastic cages and one of the toe one of the heel. This means that they can be bound to nearly any mountaineering that’s stiff enough to support a cramp.

  • Semi automatic Binding

Semi Automatic crampons are going to have a plastic toe bail on the front. However, a metal heel lever in the back with some Sort of plastic lever.

The advantage of a semi automatic binding system is that it tends to be a little bit more secure, particularly in the heel. 

This is the most common type of binding attachment you’ll find because it can attach to nearly any mountain you remove on the market and it’s very secure.

  • Automatic Binding

They have an attaching lever which resembles the semi automatic attachment but requires hard and stiff boots especially in the heel and toe section to fit well. 

Not all boots are compatible with this design of crampons.

There are three kinds of bindings that you should be looking for.

  • The strap binding

They are easy and quick to put on to any boots which makes them the most popular design. 

However, they may tend to be loose which might be ok for light mountaineering like glacier hiking but for advanced climbing they are not the best.

  • The clip binding

For tough climbing situations such as climbing slopes or general alpine climbing, clip bindings are better than strap binding because they provide tighter grip and do not get loose easily, but would require specialized boots to grip on.

  • The pro binding

It is the best for vertical and steep ice climbing because is provides maximum grip on the boots, however, you will need to have specialized boots to this kind of crampon.

Boot Compatibility

There are three main types of crampons, strap on step in and then hybrids. 

Basically, the difference between the three is what kind of boot and primary use they have. These are going to be more universal with boots. 

A strap on crampon are going to be more universal with boots.

What you’re looking for when you’re going for a crampon boot would be one that has a little bit more of a rigid soul. if the boot has flex, the crampon will not fit well with tight grip. 

You should choose mountaineering boots that are very rigid and farm plus look for welts on the heel and the toe front for crampon attachment. 

A mountaineering boot usually uses a step in crampon and will strap into this back part and make them really snug.

If you will be doing extreme mountaineering, something with a pretty intense angle, vertical ice climbing, you will need a mountaineering boot with a step in crampon. 

But for less intense mountaineering a strap on crampon will do the job fine.

Final Thoughts

Crampons are a fundamental piece of equipment so getting a good quality product is crucial. 

The risk level for any outdoor activity increases during winter and mountaineering definitely tops that list, however, more risky does not mean less fun. 

They are used for more technical terrains and usually depend on the buyer’s preference. However, you would be best suited to choose the right product with the right information.  

You will need a product that is durable and can withstand tough conditions so that you don’t have to worry about damaging it. 

Knowing how to choose the right crampons for you will help you to purchase the right equipment and avoid wasting time and money in a flooded market.

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