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Whether it’s your first time climbing or your 100th, when the slope is steep or there’s ice and hard pack underfoot, there’s one thing you need more than anything: crampons. Crampons are a series of sharp metal teeth that attach to your boot and bite at ice or hard snow for added traction. You need them when ice climbing and for rugged backcountry skiing because you may not be able to ascend without them. Quite literally, crampons could save your life. 

With such a life-saving piece of equipment, the last thing you want is a cheap pair of crampons that breaks halfway-up the mountain and leaves you stranded with now way to descend. Fortunately, to ease that worrying mind of yours, we here at The Adventure Junkies have put together a list of the ten best crampons out there. Read through the options below to find out which crampons will be the best for you.

For more of our top mountaineering gear recommendations, check out the Best Mountaineering Boots.

 

Quick Answer - The Best Mountaineering Crampons

  1. Black Diamond Sabretooth Pro
  2. Petzl Dart Crampons
  3. Grivel G10 New Classic
  4. Camp USA Stalker
  5. Black Diamond Cyborg
  6. Petzl Leopard FL
  7. Petzl Lynx
  8. Black Diamond Neve Pro
  9. Grivel G-12 New-Matic
  10. Petzl Vasak

 

Comparison Table - Best Mountaineering Crampons

PictureNameEntryMaterialWeightPriceRating
Black Diamond Sabretooth ProBlack Diamond Sabretooth ProStep-InStainless Steel890 Grams$$4.7
Petzl Dart CramponsStep-InSteel/Nylon820 Grams$$$4.7
Grivel G10 New ClassicStrap-OnChromoly Steel822 Grams$4.9
Camp USA StalkerStrap-OnChromoly Steel940 Grams$4.2
Black Diamond CyborgStep-InStainless Steel1,078 Grams$$4.6
Petzl Leopard FLStrap-OnAluminum360 Grams$$4.3
Petzl LynxStep-In, HybridTempered Steel1,080 Grams$$$5.0
Black Diamond Neve ProBlack Diamond Neve ProStep-InAluminum593 Grams$$4.8
Grivel G-12 New-MaticHybridChromoly Steel950 Grams$$4.8
Petzl VasakHybridTempered Steel810-875 Grams Depending On Style$$4.5
PictureNameEntryMaterialWeightPriceRating

 

Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Crampons for Mountaineering

Black Diamond Sabretooth Pro

Specs
  • Weight: 890 Grams
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Entry: Step-In
Features
  • Increased Rocker On Front To Better Accommodate Modern Boots
  • Micro-Adjust Heel For Precision Fit
  • Anti-Stick Snow Plates On Rear And Front Of Crampon
Black Diamond Sabretooth Pro

BEST FOR: SNOWY ENVIRONMENTS

Black Diamond has been a leading producer of mountaineering gear since the birth of the sport itself and their crampons are no exception. The Sabretooth Pro Crampons are a phenomenal all-around crampon built to function highly on alpine faces and snowy ascents. Outfitted with two steel plates underfoot that prevent snow from sticking to your tread and an adjustable heel to guarantee precision fit, these crampons will fit snug and strong for your climb. 

We highly recommend these to climbers and mountaineers of all ranges looking for a crampon that they can take into any environment with confidence.

Petzl Dart Crampons

Specs
  • Weight: 820 Grams
  • Material: Steel/Nylon
  • Entry: Step-In
Features
  • Lateral Reinforcements Provide Stability On Different Kinds Of Ice
  • Easy-To-Change Length And Width
  • Replaceable Front Points

BEST FOR: ROUGH CLIMBING

With replaceable front points and a lightweight, streamlined fit, these crampons are best in dry, icy environments where you may have to battle through some black ice and rocks. The additional lateral points provide added stability for thin and invisible ice while the unique design means you can use this crampon on a wide variety of surfaces. 

Though capable of getting you up and over any terrain, we highly recommend these crampons specifically for rough and rocky climbing because once worn down, you can replace the front section and extend their lifespan.

Grivel G10 New Classic

Specs
  • Weight: 822 Grams
  • Material: Chromoly Steel
  • Entry: Strap-On
Features
  • Usable With Leather, Plastic, Or Synthetic Boots
  • Single Strap Closure Keeps Binding In Place
  • 10-Point Cramp For Maximum Traction

BEST FOR: BACKCOUNTRY SKIING

Great for deep powder and backcountry skiing, the Grivel G10 New Classic Crampons are often referred to as an excellent hill-climbing crampon. Built to withstand mild ice and prevent snow build-up, these 10-point crampons will work with any type of mountaineering boot and should stay flexible in cold temperatures as well. 

Unlike other boots, you can also remove their anti-stick snow plates for drier climates. We highly recommend them to beginner or intermediate climbers looking to attack moderate terrain.

Camp USA Stalker

Specs
  • Weight: 940 Grams
  • Material: Chromoly Steel
  • Entry: Strap-On
Features
  • 12-Point Crampon For Superior Traction On Slippery Rock And Ice
  • Universal Binding Fits Most Boots
  • Carrying Case Included

BEST FOR: MILD MOUNTAINEERING

This sturdy, 12-point crampon is made from chromoly steel for excellent strength, grip, and durability on the mountain side. The unique design requires no tools for adjustment and these crampons even come with a carrying case to separate them from your clothes while they’re stored away in your backpack. 

Like most other crampons, the anti-balling, or anti-stick, plates prevent snow and ice from building up in your tread while the nylon straps hold these crampons tightly to your foot. We highly recommend these crampons for all mild mountaineering adventures.

Black Diamond Cyborg

Specs
  • Weight: 1,078 Grams
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Entry: Step-In
Features
  • Semi Rigid Construction Allows For Two Bases Or One Underfoot
  • Micro-Adjust Lever For Precision Fit
  • Anti-Rust Metal

BEST FOR: ICE CLIMBING

These jagged edged crampons are strong, sharp, and long-lasting. Made without the toxic coatings of other crampons that wear off in the elements, the Black Diamond Cyborg crampons are built to prevent rust and other corrosion. Their low-profile wheel adjustment on the rear enables quick tightening and loosening while climbing and the aggressive design ensures firm traction to any surface, no matter how vertical. 

We highly recommend these to ice climbers looking to tackle some serious terrain. These will hold up against any sheet of ice, no matter how dense.

Petzl Leopard FL

Specs
  • Weight: 360 Grams
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Entry: Strap-On
Features
  • Crampons Condense To A Smaller Size For Transportation
  • Carrying Pouch Included
  • Usable With Shoes And Mountaineering Boots

BEST FOR: MINIMALISTS

If a lightweight crampon is what you need for your next expedition, then look no further. Petzl’s Leopard FL Crampon may not be the most durable model out there, but weighing only 360 grams, this is by far one of the lightest crampons on the market. With a compact design that squeezes together for easy transportation and a tool-less, adjustable structure, you’ll be able to store these away for any trip and adjust them as needed on the fly. 

We highly recommend these crampons to minimalist hikers and climbers looking for an extremely lightweight crampon that will pack away in the tiniest corners of their bag. The only aspect to note is that the drop in weight may result in less durability, so if you’re anticipating putting a lot of stress on your crampons, you may want a tougher model.

Petzl Lynx

Specs
  • Weight: 1,080 Grams
  • Material: Tempered Steel
  • Entry: Step-In, Hybrid
Features
  • Interchangeable Front Bindings Adapt To Most Boots
  • Anti-Snow Plates Prevent Snow From Sticking To Foot
  • Modified With One Screw

BEST FOR: EXPERT CLIMBERS

As one of the more expensive models on our list, the Petzl Lynx Crampons are built for high-level ice climbers and mountaineers adventuring in extremely rugged terrain. These crampons come with interchangeable front bindings so that you can wear them with several different variations of boots. You’ll also notice that they have a thin, but well designed under-plating that prevents snow from balling up on your foot. 

These are by far one of the most versatile and durable crampons on the market and we highly recommend them to expert mountaineers looking to tackle difficult terrain.

Black Diamond Neve Pro

Specs
  • Weight: 593 Grams
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Entry: Step-In
Features
  • Anti-Snow Plates Prevent Snow From Sticking To Foot
  • Lightweight, Flexible Design
  • Adaptable For Various Boots
Black Diamond Neve Pro

BEST FOR: INTERMEDIATE MOUNTAINEERS

Constructed with an aluminum frame and a flexible design, the Black Diamond Neve Crampons are an extremely lightweight choice with enough adaptability for any adventure. The 10-point crampon design provides climbers with enough traction to get up most any slope while the steel, wireframing (or bails) provides extra security at the front and rear of the boot. This feature also means that you can use these boots not only while mountaineering, but with telemark and alpine boots as well. 

You should note, however, that these crampons are made with aluminum so they probably won’t hold up in the most rugged of conditions. Therefore, we recommend them to intermediate alpinists looking to climb or cross moderately difficult terrain.

Grivel G-12 New-Matic

Specs
  • Weight: 950 Grams
  • Material: Chromoly Steel
  • Entry: Hybrid
Features
  • Anti-Snow Plates Prevent Snow From Sticking To Boot
  • Straps Anchor Toes While Clip-In Design Secures Heel
  • Adjustable Without Tools

BEST FOR: ALL MOUNTAINEERING

A unique hybrid construction affords the Grivel G-12 New-Matic Crampons a more secure fit to the boot. Whereas other crampons may come with only two points of security, the G-12 crampons utilize a front strap, ankle strap, and rear clip-in design to secure the crampon to your boot. And to make matters easier, if you do need to adjust them on the fly, a tool-less design means you won’t need to carry a screwdriver while trekking. 

Stronger than aluminum crampons but not quite as strong as tempered steel, the G-12 crampons are a high-level, durable crampon that will work well in just about any environment.

Petzl Vasak

Specs
  • Weight: 810-875 Grams Depending On Style
  • Material: Tempered Steel
  • Entry: Hybrid
Features
  • Anti-Snow Plates Prevent Snow From Sticking To Boot
  • 12-Point Crampon For Superior Traction On Ice And Snow
  • Compatible With Or Without Toe Welts (Small Bump On Boot)

BEST FOR: CLASSIC MOUNTAINEERING

Compatible with hiking, ski, and alpine boots, the Leverlock Vasak can attach to your foot with either a clip-in or strap-in design. This gives you the freedom to adventure into otherwise inaccessible territories and the freedom to do so with any boot on your foot! The 12-point and tempered steel construction makes these some of the most durable and gripping crampons on the market.

Surprisingly lightweight for such a strong, versatile, and extremely durable crampon, we highly recommend these to classic mountaineers in snowy and icy environments.

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING MOUNTAINEERING CRAMPONS

When things get serious, crampons will keep you rooted to the ground or rockface, so you should definitely take your time picking them out. Some do better on rock, others on ice or snow, and a few moderately on everything. Take a moment to read through what REI has to say on how to buy crampons and what Rock And Ice suggests on buying crampons as well. Once you’re all set with that, take a minute to read through some of the key points to consider when buying the best mountaineering crampons for you below. 

 

MATERIAL

What are the crampons made of? Aluminum, chromoly steel, tempered steel? Make sure you know exactly what your crampons are made of and relate that back to the environment you plan on using them in. Aluminum crampons are going to run lighter than others, but won’t be as durable. Tempered steel crampons, on the other hand, are much heavier but by far the most durable. And finally, chromoly steel crampons sit somewhere in between. If you’re heading into really rugged terrain, you’re going to want the most durable crampon possible, which would be crampons made of tempered steel. 

 

ENTRY

How does the crampon attach to your boot? Do you clip-in or use straps to tighten it in place? The attachment style will have an affect on which pair of boots you choose to use for your mountaineering adventure. Hiking boots don’t have toe and heel welts (attachment bumps), so if you plan on hiking, you’re going to need a strap-in style crampon. Consider the same points for alpine, telemarking, and mountaineering boots as well. Make sure the crampon can attach to your boot. 

 

WEIGHT

Weight doesn’t factor in too much with crampons, but if you’re a minimalist looking for a light model, recognize that in most cases, you’ll be sacrificing some of the crampon’s rigidity and durability for that light weight. 

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

WELTS

The small bumps on the heel and toe of your boot meant to secure crampons in place by clipping into them. 

STEP-IN OR CLIP-IN

The crampon attaches to your boot by means of a clip-and-lock system that attaches to the toe and heel welts of your boot. 

BAIL

A small bar, often metal, that hooks over and around the toe and heel welts of your boot to help secure the crampons to your feet.  

HYBRID

A hybrid attachment system means that the crampon will utilize both straps and clip-in features to attach to your boot. 

READ MORE

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About The Author

While at the University of Virginia, Nate studied Spanish literature and contemporary philosophy and started for its Division 1 lacrosse team. At 20 years old, he began writing about his experiences attempting the world’s most insane adventures. From backcountry skiing in Patagonia to living in a Brazilian favela and high-altitude ice climbing in the Himalaya, Nate sheds light on parts and cultures of the world that remain widely unknown. He’s been featured on the top-rated travel podcast Extra Pack of Peanuts and has published work in a variety of outdoor publications. Currently Nate works as a freelance writer and explorer and competes for the Israeli National lacrosse team at tournaments around the world. He is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Nepali and proficient in French and Arabic. This past Spring, Nate became the first ever foreigner to porter in the Himalaya.

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