Oct 15, 2007 at 9:12 pm #1225452
Any use Kahtoola KTS Steel Cleats, MicroSpikes, Yaktrax, Yaktrax Pro, or Stabilicers for traction on trails?
Can anyone recommend light safe crampons for non-vertical use, both for flat and for steeper trails, but not for vertical mountain climbing use?Oct 15, 2007 at 11:46 pm #1405624
Eric St. MaryMember
I use Stabilicers during the winter to prevent sliding around work. They are MUCH more robust than Yaktrax and you can replace the cleats on them when they wear out.Oct 16, 2007 at 7:09 am #1405649
Peter KingBPL Member
@pkingLocale: N. Nevada
The Camp 6 point light crampons have worked really well for me with running shoes, though it took awhile to learn how to strap them on securely.Oct 16, 2007 at 7:29 am #1405650
@quoddyLocale: New York/Vermont Border
The best traction for non-techical use I've found is, by far, the Kahtoola crampon. I use them whenever any ice is involved on winter treks. The aluminum version is lighter, but for long term or extended use, go for the steel.
From their blurb:
The Kahtoola TRACTION system: Flexible, lightweight crampons for nontechnical mountaineering applications
For sure footing on ice and snow, Kahtoola’s footwear fits over your trail running shoes, hiking boots, and snowboarding and ski boots using straps and quick-release buckles. Our Kahtoola TRACTION SYSTEMS are made from the strongest aluminum alloy and chromoly steel for maximum durability and minimum weight.Oct 16, 2007 at 7:38 am #1405653
The Kahtoola Crampons rule. Everybody can use them, they provide excellent traction and they really fit every shoe or boot out there. I use Yaktrax as well but find them insuperior compared to the Kahtoola, they never seem to stay on my boot or shoes the whole time, very annoying and on ice their traction is very marginal.
The Kahtoola are expensive (never managed to find one on sale) and heavier than the Yaktrack but if it is icy and dicy it is the best investment you made.
With the kahtoola my girlfriend feels really confident on icy tracks where without them she would freak out.Oct 16, 2007 at 7:49 am #1405654
My wife grew up as a flatlander down South and is still getting her feel for ice – I grew up running for the bus to school over icy streets and learned to balance on ice in motion. Not that easy with a pack on uneven sloped ground though, even with a light pack.Oct 16, 2007 at 8:38 am #1405660
Depending on the activities and conditions in which you'll be using a traction system, you might want to check out the new Kahtoola MICROspikes. I've yet to try a pair as they are being released this week, but they look like a great product for icy conditions. I'd put them the same product category as yaktrax or stabilicers, as they look like they'll be light and can be crumpled to fit in a pocket. With the quality and innovation of Kahtoola's previous products, I'm looking forward to hitting some icy Shenandoah trails this winter. At around $60, the microspikes are also much more affordable than the full Kahtoola crampons.
As of the time of this post, it's not obvious on Kahtoola's website where to find info on the microspikes, so here's a direct link: http://www.kahtoola.com/documents/KahtoolaMICROspikesLaunch.pdfOct 16, 2007 at 1:24 pm #1405707
Bryon, I'm also looking at the MICROspikes. I've used both versions of Yaktrax as well as the Stabilicers and am not really satisfied. The Yaktrax and Yaktrax Pro are not nearly durable enough for my taste and the Stabilicers, while durable and effective, are just too heavy. If you decide to get them, please keep us posted as to how they work for you.Oct 16, 2007 at 1:49 pm #1405712
My MICROspikes should already be on the way… now I just have to wait for the ice. I'll be sure to give some feedback when I receive them (I'll surely slip them on and run around the backyard) as well as after I try them in bad conditions.
I've never used Yaktrax, but my trail running friends have encountered too much slippage for me to try them.
As for weight, the MICROspikes weigh less than 12 oz a pair. From what I gather full Stabilicers come in at 25+ oz while the Stabilicer Sport come in at about the weight of the MICROspikes. For comparison, the Kahtoola KTS Aluminum crampons weigh 18 oz or so.Oct 16, 2007 at 2:35 pm #1405716
>>As for weight, the MICROspikes weigh less than 12 oz a pair. From what I gather full Stabilicers come in at 25+ oz while the Stabilicer Sport come in at about the weight of the MICROspikes. For comparison, the Kahtoola KTS Aluminum crampons weigh 18 oz or so.
I forgot to mention that I also owned Stabilicer Sports. They held the ice well and had decent durability. Weight for size medium was about 12 oz. a pair. The Achilles' heel is that they tended to pull off my feet, especially in off-camber hiking. Hopefully, the MICROspikes will do better.
I'm looking forward to hearing your comments.Oct 18, 2007 at 7:33 pm #1405979
@brianleLocale: Pacific NW
ULA Axis 8-point crampons are lighter, mine weigh 8.2 oz (for the pair) with the straps trimmed to the minimum I need to wear them over my trail runners. The catch is, at least in my experience, you don't want to walk even a single step off of snow that's deep enough for them — very limited walking on a dry (no snow) dirt + gravel section broke a couple of teeth off mine pretty quickly.
But if you can live with that caveat, I was happily surprised at how good the traction is, not just limited to ice, but other snow conditions too.Oct 19, 2007 at 5:37 am #1405997
Flat trails, light crampons? Grivel Spiders, 4.6 ounces, 6 spikes, about $30. I own and use them for non technical trails and at the ski resort. Very easy to put on and secure.
http://www.sailgb.com/p/grivel_spider_crampons/Oct 19, 2007 at 8:44 am #1406010
Are the Grivel Spiders as durable and as adjustable for a wide range of footwear as the Kahtoola aluminum or steel?Oct 19, 2007 at 11:15 am #1406027
Joe GeibBPL Member
@joegeibLocale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
Campmor.com has all these items.Oct 19, 2007 at 1:22 pm #1406037
James LoyBPL Member
@jimbluzLocale: Pacific NW
I used Yak Trax all last winter hiking on some rather steep and icy switchbacks on a trail in Northern Idaho. I have had no problems with them coming off (I use an XL for a size 11 boot), and find them adequate with limited slippage. Their durability (probably one season at 2-3 times per week, 4+ miles each time) leaves a lot to be desired although I am using them beyond their recommended use. I've tried a number of other strap-on models with spikes but find the spikes do not cover the tip or outside of the heel which is exactly where you need them when you are descending slopes. The result is falling on the downhills. I intend to look at Stabilizers and Kathoola as the durability of Yak Trax is poor for the conditions I use them in. I will not, however, use anything that does not have traction at the tip of the heel where the heel strikes on downhills, and that is exactly what attracted me to Yak Trax. I would appreciate any comments from users of the Kahtoola and Stabizers as to their experience descending icy trails.
After using my Yaktrax this winter under quite different conditions than last year, I can no longer recommend them. When there is just a light covering of snow over ice, they will fail you on downhill descents and are risky even on flat terrain as the devices get clogged with snow and will not keep you from falling (believe me, I now know from painful experience). They seem to do a better job on uphill sections as your weight is more evenly distributed over your foot. I will not depend on them anymore and now have a pair of Kahtoola Microspikes to try out.Oct 19, 2007 at 5:01 pm #1406066
@p-kLocale: San Diego
I haven't had the chance to try this yet, but I like the sheet metal screw idea, with some variations on this site: http://www.vermontphoto.com/wildwhites/screwbootgallery/index.htm.
I had a pair of light-duty Yaktrax (no strap across instep) and wore the rubber out from pronation after fewer than 10 walks with them. That rendered them unusable.Oct 19, 2007 at 5:58 pm #1406069
I've successfully used Yaktrax for winter descents into the Grand Canyon. There are short sections of switchbacks in the shade where the trail is frozen packed snow. Then you round another switchback and hit a dry or muddy rocky section. Instep crampons are an annoyance on the rocky sections. The yaktrax provide enough security on the frozen patches, but don't interfer on the non-frozen sections. After a mile you don't need them, and their 3 ounce dead weight carries well for a week until climbing back out of the canyon where maybe the exit trail isn't frozen. They have served me well in this capacity for 2 trips and look like they could survive another half dozen such trips. They certainly don't have anywhere near the grip that real ice cleats or crampons have. I have never had them come off. Your mileage may vary.Oct 25, 2007 at 12:17 pm #1406630
As there's not a lot of info out yet on the MICROspikes, I thought I'd share my first impression even if there distinct lack of ice and/or snow in Arlington, VA at the moment.
Here is my out of the box/muddy backyard review: Kahtoola MICROspikes ReviewOct 26, 2007 at 9:28 am #1406725
James LoyBPL Member
@jimbluzLocale: Pacific NW
I just looked at the Kahtoola website link for the Micro Spikes. Where I live (Northern Idaho), nothing is flat, either you go uphill or downhill, and that includes going to get the newspaper or mail. It tends to be icy much of the winter. The worst danger in falling is on downhill sections. Even slight declines, barely noticable during the summer, are a significant threat to slipping and falling on your backside in winter. My experience with traction devices is that most are designed to provide traction at mid-heel rather than the outside or extreme back of the heel. I have fallen too many times with these designs and looking at the Micro Spikes, I can see that they are no improvement. If you think you can compensate for this design flaw on the declines by placing your heel at the mid-point, just try it! If you can do this comfortably and efficiently then the Microspikes might work for you. As for me, I will not spend my money on them and instead continue to use my YakTrax on which I have yet to fall. I'll also take a look at the Stableicers as I am searching for a design that offers durability over YakTrax as well as being made for hiking on a combination of ice and rock.
See my updated comments above regarding the YakTrax. I won't use them on downhill hiking anymore (too many falls already this year).Oct 26, 2007 at 8:09 pm #1406796
Karl GottshalkBPL Member
@kgottshalkLocale: Colorado, USA
I used a pair of stabilicers all last winter with a 7-12 mile hike each weekend in the local hills. It was an icy winter with little snow (I live right on the coast). The mountains are granite. My hiking buddy and I would put them on at the beginning of a hike and leave them on the whole time, whether we were going over rock, dirt, snow, or ice. Traction was terrific. They look like new and are ready for this winter. I don't know what kind of metal the hex screw grippers are made of, but they are still sharp. I wouldn't mind if they were lighter, but I can't imagine replacing them with anything else.Oct 27, 2007 at 5:21 am #1406817
My wife uses stabilicers for trail runs on horse and single track (gravel and dirt). They gripped extremely well and have held up fine. On occation they would slip off, but that was easily solved with a shoelace across the front. Can save you from a injury.Nov 27, 2007 at 9:07 pm #1410411
@garyhebertLocale: New England
Just back from Camel's Hump, VT (on LT), 8-10" snow 20 degrees crisp snow, no wind, little ice, great day to hike.
postholed the whole way to the top.
First experience with Yaktrax -tried them cuz they're cheap. And they are. Kept moving around on my Aselo leather boot, size 8.5 with small size Yak; After less than 3 miles one of the rubber underside straps broke rendering the fron half of that Yak useless. Probably tore climbing up some of the small ledges where snow cover was minimal (but thats what I wanted them for!)
Not impressed. Not advertised for aggressive pitch hiking, but either I got a bad pair or they're pretty wussy. I returned them for my $ and wont trust them again. What do you want for $30!
But I'm really curious about the Microspikes. sounds like what I'm looking for, sorta a real crampon, though I am cautioned by the post about not having much under the back of the heel where I might need it when descending. I'd risk $60 and give it a whirl.Nov 28, 2007 at 5:06 am #1410434
I bought a pair of microspikes and found that they worked really well. For half the weight of the stablicers, they provide more traction. My comments and those of several others who have bought them are here in this thread:
I had similar concerns as James about downhill traction and the lack of a spike on the outer part of the heel before I bought them. My experience though was that they had excellent traction on the descent, and I had no slipping at all. Both the midheel spikes and the chains on the back may help.Nov 28, 2007 at 9:31 am #1410472
Brett PeughBPL Member
Now the people who are using Yaktrax, are you using the regular version or the Pro?Nov 28, 2007 at 2:53 pm #1410520
>>Now the people who are using Yaktrax, are you using the regular version or the Pro?
I'm broken one pair of the regular and several of the Pro. Lately, I've gone back to using my very old pair of Stabilicers. They are very durable. Just replace the screws as needed. Having said that, they are way too heavy for what they do. The 12.5 oz. MICROspikes are looking better and better.
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