Vargo V3 Titanium Pocket Cleats Review

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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable Vargo V3 Titanium Pocket Cleats Review

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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    Bryan Taylor
    BPL Member


    Companion forum thread to: Vargo V3 Titanium Pocket Cleats Review

    Vargo V3 Titanium Pocket Cleats are half the weight of leading lightweight traction devices, but do they perform for running and backpacking?

    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member


    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    A lot of the time, choosing lighter gear for BPL just means needing to take better care of it. With foot traction devices, one could bite the the dust if a failure occurred. This is what makes it so hard to choose something lighter than the Microspikes. If it is not rugged enough, it can be lethal. I’ve really beat the heck out of the Micros for years, and they have never failed.

    But I eventually bought a pair of Snowline’s Chainsen Lights (large), which had spikes as large as the Micros, and are just over 3 oz lighter for the pair. They go on much like the Micros, and use a similar rubbery material to hold them onto the footgear. The spikes look just as durable, but the rubbery stuff is visibly lighter, and there is no way to know how durable it will be with rough use. So they are used with care.

    Both devices have straps, albeit elastic, around the heels, and there are points under the heels as well. Posts on BPL have drawn attention to several lighter devices that do not have points under the heels, and I’ve passed them up because I want traction under the heel, especially when descending. And I’m not sure if any such device can be securely attached without a heel strap of some kind.

    Both devices are also a PITA for me to put on, but their utility outweighs that concern. Still, after using Ramer ski bindings for years, it would be nice to see a traction device come along that mounts with just a retainer or strap over the toe and a cam connector at the heel. It probably wouldn’t work on trail shoes, but it certainly was effortless to put on.

    Brad Rogers
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    I can applaud Vargo for trying to push the envelope for lightweight traction devices, and these look like an improvement over earlier designs. Like Sam, I want something for my heels as well. I am a heel striker, particularly when descending – I try to be consonant about not heel striking on slick surfaces, as I have busted a few times because of it, but habits are hard to break. I have been using my Microspikes for going on 11 years now and I think I will offset their additional weight by taking Gatoraide bottles instead of the Hyperlight Aluminum bottle :)

    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member


    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    I made something like those a few years ago (2014). Titanium 6Al4V alloy left over from my stoves.

    Very bitey teeth. Nuts and long screws replaced with nylocs after the photo.
    Took a fair bit of heat and hammering to get the bends as the alloy is one of the harder ones available. But it is possible to MYOG.


    Kristoffer Fredriksson
    BPL Member


    Vargo is apparently fixing some subpar stitching on these according to MattShafter (see description “EDIT 2“):

    Katherine .
    BPL Member


    Locale: pdx

    My conundrum: Where the heck do I find traction for my 8-year-old daughter?

    The V3 pocket cleats attach to size one shoes! I can fit them with two of the three cleat pieces per foot. Hooray. I’ll feel much better taking her out on snowfields. (Yeah, “Pacific Northwest Problems”)

    Vargo also totally rocks on CS for sending me extra webbing so I can upsize her as she grows! (I offered to pay, but they just went ahead and mailed it.)

    Asides from the lower weight consider the competition:

    A long-loved brand has pretty damning reviews recent reviews—recurring theme of the plastic breaking. I’d love a pair manufactured eleven years ago! Eleven months ago? Not so much.

    A well-regarded competitor only fits down to women’s size 9. Really? Really?

    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member


    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Hi Kat

    One of the problems with 8-year olds is that they are growing FAST. Anything which fits her today won’t tomorrow.

    Have a look at the Ti version I made a few postngs back. Could you make something similar using sheet aluminium – about 1 mm. Tinsnips and a drill and a file. You would need the tabs going upwards for webbing attachments. For downwards spikes, fit 8+ screws (6 – 8 mm) through the Al sheet, threaded ends pointed downwards, and locked in placed with Nyloc nuts. Sure, the whole thing will get a bit bent and worn after a season or two – but her feet will have grown so much in that time anyhow.

    Our ancestors did not have the extreme technology which we have today, but they still got around.


    Geoff Caplan
    BPL Member


    Locale: Lake District, Cumbria

    Hmm. The weight sure is tempting, but I really wouldn’t fancy that lacing procedure in a blizzard with cold fingers…

    Maybe best used in situations where you can be confident you won’t have to don them in severe weather?

    What do people think?

    Greg Mihalik


    Locale: Colorado

    As mentioned, the lack of traction under the heels is a serious shortcoming when going down hill, even slightly, unless you are willing to walk down with a mid-foot strike.

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