Hillsound Cypress 6
Price Paid: $48.99
I do a lot of winter mountain hiking on the Appalachian Trail/Vermont Long Trail. Trail conditions range widely from packed powder snow to wet snow to heavy crust to sheet ice, sometimes all of the above in one hike depending on elevation gained. If the trail is already packed and I don’t need snowshoes to break trail on new snow, some form of light trail crampon is far superior to clunking around in snowshoes.
Over the past 5 years I’ve tried to find a light trail crampon for winter trekking. I’ve wasted a lot of money on Yaktrax (they slip off on steep terrain, and clog with snow), Stabilicers (most of the ice studs fell off after just 2 miles on rocky snow) and other ice traction products with rubber bindings that get loose and literally fall off when they get cold.
The Petzl Crab 6, also a 6 point mid-sole crampon, while similar in concept has zero protection from wet snow build-up and only webbing straps for binding that take minutes to put on with cold bare hands, and are impossible to put on with heavy winter gloves or mitts on. Full mountaineering crampons are too big, too heavy, way too excessive for the AT/LT, and too costly.
After an intensive online search for a better alternative I found the Hillsound Cypress 6 mid-sole trail crampon – they are amazing!
-- the ratchet bindings took just 5 seconds to click on (and only 1 second to click off, very cool!) with heavy winter mitts on!
-- the bindings not only locked the crampons onto my hiking boots with zero play or slip, they even helped snug up the boots for a more secure fit due to the Cypress 6 wrap-around binding design
-- the traction on snow and ice was phenomenal, I was even able to run full speed down a black diamond ski trail without using my poles on packed powder, and hike up black ice sheeted trail rocks with 100% traction
-- the crampon points are not as long as mountaineering crampon points so they didn’t catch at all when I didn’t need them too, so no accidental spike-induced tripping
-- the anti-snow pads meant zero snow build up, even in transitioning from wet snow to frozen crust during altitude transitions or during end of day temperature drops
-- they’re very compact and light
-- the included stuff bag is not only very tough and rip-proof, it allowed me to put the Cypress 6 in my pack with no fear of damage to down parka, sleeping bag, etc.
-- they are beautifully made, with incredible attention to detail and durability
-- all this for under $50!
Finally got the perfect solution to what I needed for winter trekking in the Green Mountains!
Heat-treated S50C Carbon steel
Where to Buy
We found the Hillsound Cypress 6 at 1 outdoor retailer: