Jan 11, 2012 at 6:08 pm #1284037
@klagsLocale: Northeast US
I was just at EMS and picked up a pair of Hillsound Pro crampons for $67. I thought it was a sweet deal so I figured I'd post it. Here's a link:
They look solid, fit my salewa boots perfectly, and the ratchet system is really simple. The only thing is they need an included mini allen wrench to resize them. The front spikes are a little bit too short for ice climbing but for general peak bagging in the northeast or for those who want a little more than microspikes, these things look killer! And pretty light for steel at around 23-24 oz.Jan 11, 2012 at 6:25 pm #1823540
@lotuseaterLocale: Colorado Foothills
Did you keep the Ravens or go with the Rapace?Jan 12, 2012 at 7:27 am #1823719
@klagsLocale: Northeast US
I returned the Raven's and I went with the Rapace boots, which I can say have been amazing so far. Unfortunately there's been NO SNOW yet so I've only been using them for snowless hikes to break them in. The problem with the Ravens was that there is a little neoprene backing on the top rear of the boot back. It would technically to a good job keeping snow out. However, my calf comes down kind of far, and the stitching at the top of the neoprene does not stretch. (How silly.) So that seam was biting into my leg. People with more normal/skinny calf should have no problem with that. However it is worth also pointing out that the cuts on these boots are very different, and I much prefer the Rapace. My foot is just barely bridging on the wide side where the toes meet the foot. The toe box on the Raven was fine and had some room for me. I had found there to be an issue along the side of my feet where the toes meet the foot. With liners and mountaineering socks it was just too narrow and I couldn't go up another size. I settled on the Rapace at 1 full size up and that works perfectly. They tighten up nicely so you can remove the liners and use one thick ass pair of socks instead on slightly warmer days. Contrary to advertising, these boots do have a very small amount of insulation. I can feel that they are warmer than some of the other boots I've owned and tried on. Overall they are solid, have great support, and seem to be breaking in quickly. I have no complaints yet, and I like the removable footbed option – it has 2 layers and you can take one out for more volume in the boot. That is key to the fit with double socks/single socks. Anyway I'm looking forward to using them in the snow with my new RAB stretch neo pants!
EDIT – forgot to compare all sizes. I spoke to Salewa and they told me the rapace is cut on the same footbed as the mountain trainer GTX, whereas the Raven is cut on the same footbed as the alp trainer GTX. So that means you can go to EMS and try those on for an almost exact fit. There was just the tiniest difference between the rapace and the mountain trainer, so it was pretty effective when I did this for sizing myself. If I had to rate the width of the boots from narrowest to widest I'd say its' Raven, Alp trainer GTX, Rapace, Mountain trainer GTX. Overall all the boots were all well made, and personally I didn't have any problems with the toe boxes on any of the boots. Hope this helps because I spent a lot of time comparing and trying and waiting and shipping boxes back and forth. :)
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