Black Diamond Contact Strap
After using them on some Spring ice and snowfield…
Price Paid: $129
After using them on some Spring ice and snowfield crossings I bought a second pair for my son to wear with me as we climb Mt. Adams next week. After using the old (1970s) set I have I had no idea how easy and effective they could be. They go on in a minute, come with soft rubber anti-balling plates and give you a good grab. I may never do any vertical front pointing but I trust these to keep me rightside up on any ice field crossing/climb.
These are great crampons for what they are designed…
Price Paid: $89.96
These are great crampons for what they are designed to do, which is carry in your pack on a winter hike, and put them on your non-crampon compatible boots when needed. I use these when I go on early or late winter hikes where I am likely to encounter some ice and snow, but nothing that would warrant a full mountaineering boot. I strap these to my pack, and when I hit ice I stop and put them on.
These strap-on crampons are designed to work with boots that are not step-on crampon compatible. This is good, since for this type of hike I just want to use my regular backpacking boots and not a mountaineering monster boot. The crampons take about 2-3 minutes to put on and about 1-2 minutes to take off and stow, so that are not instant. They are, however, quite stable and secure, so that I feel confident when ascending or descending down (non-vertical) slopes.
The only gripe I have with these crampons is that the strap system has buckles that are too small to use with gloves on--meaning you have to pull off your gloves to put them on or take them off. This isn't really a problem, though, because if it is too cold to do that, you are likely going to be using mountaineering boots anyway.
Overall, a great crampon to use with your three-season backpacking boots.