Nov 25, 2013 at 7:24 am #1310205
@ejcfreeLocale: off grid
I am trying to decide which of these would be best for use with trail runners on moderate angle glacier travel. Can anyone speak to the differences in the bindings? Is one more secure? Why is the KTS 50% more costly? Any experiences or insight that you can share will be appreciated.Nov 25, 2013 at 7:30 am #2047856
KTS seem to be aluminum rather than steel.. which is lighter and more expensive.
I'd really like to get a pair of the Hillsound Trail pro crampons. i know you can't front point in them.. not sure how steep they are useful to.
http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4134503Nov 25, 2013 at 7:42 am #2047859
The KTS comes in both aluminum and steel.
The K10 is steel only.
The KTS has an additional strap across the metatarsals, as well a slightly longer spikes.
I have no experience with any of them.Nov 25, 2013 at 8:34 am #2047881
@philip-akLocale: Kodiak Alaska
I have the KTS in aluminum and also a set of the K10.
I don't know why the KTS cost more. They are sort of laborious to put on due to the strap arrangement, but it's not the end of the world. I have slightly bent one of the aluminum front points on a rock, and they do wear very quickly when you use them on non-snow/ice surfaces. I wish the heel had more of a 'cup' to it as the side-to-side ability to hold your boot could be improved. But they fold down tiny and work pretty well overall.
The K10 crampons are quick to put on and adjust. They do have longer points but the difference in traction is not that noticeable. They are extremely bulky when you are not wearing them since the straps are fairly rigid plastic and don't fold down at all. The heel is actually too wide between the strap attachment points, so that some narrow heel footwear (my light mountaineering boots) actually will work their way out the back of the crampon when walking up steep slopes. I fixed this by adding a loop strap between the heel vertical bars. I have not bent any of the points on these.
In most non-technical conditions I find my Kahtoola Microspikes are good enough, plus very light and convenient. The KTS and K10 are decent for some slightly more demanding terrain, but get out of their depths pretty fast when a true alpine crampon works better. They fill a pretty narrow niche IMO. I have not worn them much on shoes softer than hiking boots, but I wonder if the straps would cut in or feel restrictive where the Microspikes would be far more comfortable.Nov 25, 2013 at 9:11 am #2047891
@andrew-fLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I have the K10's. I haven't used or seen the KTS in person. I got the K10's instead because a 2.5 oz weight penalty for a steel crampon seemed like a good trade-off. With steel you don't have to worry about wearing down the points walking over a few rocks between snow patches. I haven't had any problems with shoes coming out of the bindings like Philip mentioned. For me, they've stayed on all day with no slippage or loosening. My experience is that they do an excellent job of keeping your foot in place and even side hilling your feet won't roll out of the binding. They come on and off very quickly. They are significantly more comfortable with a mid-height boot than a trail runner because of the ankle strap, but usually if I need them I'm wearing my WPB boots anyway.
They do take a fair amount of effort to collapse them down to a small size, but if you do it right you can nest one crampon into the other and collapse them about half way. If you do that they will fit in the Kahtoola crampon bag just fine. This is how I carry them to avoid poking a hole in my pack.
I think the choice is easy for the K10's versus the KTS because of the lower price and the steel crampon at nearly the same weight. Like Philip said, they fit a niche between where you can get away with microspikes and when you need real alpine boots. They have a lot more traction and stability than microspikes, but you certainly cannot front-point in the K10's. I have climbed higher angle hard snow (45-50 degrees) in them and it was OK.
Crossing the 'scrhund on the Lyell Glacier. All three of us were using K10's in this photo.Nov 25, 2013 at 12:03 pm #2047951
I haven't used or seen the K10s, but have used the Kahtoolas a ton – both aluminum and steel. I always use them with running shoes, no boots, even on Rainier and Aconcagua. I think they are very well designed and well constructed. They go on easily and I've never had any problem with them being loose or falling off. The steel crampons have more aggressive points and are also more durable. As I recall they are something like 9oz per foot for the aluminum and 11oz for steel. For the purpose you mention (low angle glaciers) I'd go with the aluminum to save weight, unless you anticipate that you might be walking on rocks with them quite a bit. For comparison, the Kahtoola Microspikes are, I think 5oz per foot, but the traction is not nearly as positive – the spikes are tiny by comparison to those on the KTS crampons. I consider Microspikes good for running/hiking on icy trails, but not so great for glaciers unless really low angle.Nov 25, 2013 at 1:21 pm #2047965
I have used the Kahtoola KTS steel crampons over trail runners on 30-35* snow fields (not ice). They worked very well and I felt secure in them. I was happy to have the longer spikes of the steel version even though they were slightly heavier than aluminum.
The KTS come in 2 or 3 different sizes and each size is adjustable to a variety of shoe sizes. If your shoe size is right on the cusp of two sizes you may want to try them out in a store with the shoes you intend to wear them on to see which size feels best.
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