Hillsound Trail Crampon
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $45
Keeps you vertical on icy, frozen surfaces, providing you with the ability to get where you want to go when snowshoes are not the preferred choice.
- Easy to put on.
- Good traction under most circumstances.
- May slip off when climbing/descending very steep slopes.
Bought them a year ago and have used them on several hikes in the Catskill Mts of New York State. On steep surfaces, like climbing out of a steep-sided gorge, I had the top part of one crampon pull off on two occasions. Not sure how this happened, but it was a little disconcerting that they would do this as well.
The upside is that they do have the secure velcro retaining strap, which ensure that they won't lose your foot altogether, but you should be careful when descending or ascending very steep slopes, particularly if your foot is at angle (sideways) to the slope.
Price Paid: $59
Quite the adventure. It was my first winter hike up Mt. Kearsarge. I found out found out from my fellow hikers it's not typical to have a solid sheet of ice half the trail length to the top? I wouldn't know any better since it was my first winter hike.
I had returned my Katoola Microspikes the week before for the Hillsound Trail Crampons after a winter hiking lecture. I'm glad I did. From what I saw, the Hillsounds blow the doors off Microspikes, they really crunch in and hold. A 50% longer spike, rigid plate arrangement, and stabilitizing strap (plus nice storage bag) make a big difference.
Make sure you size them so they are a snug fit. I would see little reason for purchasing Katoola Microspikes because these cost the same and are much better (from what I could see of the dozen other hikers gingerly walking across the ice).
Price Paid: $52
I have only used the product nominally. I have a medium size, it weighed in at 466gms, right at spec. I bought these primarily for trail racing. The stuff sack is the right size (compact) as I was able to carry the pair (in stuff sack) comfortably on my aqua-pac waist belt (ready for instant on and off). Even with only a few practice sessions I was able to put them on and remove in less than a minute. It was also easy to fold them in half (spikes in) for safe storage around the waist (in stuff sack).
The crampons are well engineered with a good retaining (velcro) strap across the top of the foot. The spikes are well laid out with smaller ones inside. The crampon flexes surprisingly well with my trail runners. The "spike" platform is wide and feels stable.
So far although the product is heavier it does provide superior traction with strength (solid chain and spike should handle continued abuse).
Price Paid: 59$
These are my first crampons and I bought them specifically for day hikes in the Adirondacks. Last weekend I brought them on a 9-hours hike to the top of Algonquin and Iroquois (Adirondacks) and I've been absolutely amazed at how secure they felt on steep icy surface.
They are light, easy to put on/take off and they really stick to your feet when in place. They also take little space in the backpack, do not interfere with normal gait yet they are sturdy enough to withstand a beating on rocky trails. IMO they strike a perfect balance between smaller crampons (like Kahtoola's micro-spikes) and standard 10-12 points crampons.
Having tried the Hillsound Trail Crampons in different terrain and snow conditions, I can say that they perform surprisingly well, especially when considered that they are designed for recreational use / hiking.
They are versatile, easy to put on and even easier to take off, store well / don't take up much space, and therefore can be carried in a knapsack without taking a lot of (precious) room or adding much weight ... They also compare favourably with other similar products.
In short, this would be a great choice for any winter outdoors enthusiastic (seasoned or novice), and on occasion a city dweller too (yes, even a Vancouverite!)
I certainly have made these crampons a part of my 'winter gear essentials' and often find them more useful than (after all) cumbersome snowshoes.
In March we went for a beautiful hike through the snow on Mount Seymour. It was the second time that I used crampons and I recommend them highly! I did a comparison with and without the crampons and using the crampons allowed for a much more enjoyable experience because they gripped the snow so well.
It took less energy to hike since I wasn't constantly trying to maintain my balance on the icy trail. They were comfortable and very easy to put on and take off. We did make one adjustment during our journey as one had slipped a bit.
One minor inconvenience was that the snow did occasionally ball up underneath, although, it didn't cause any problems. Other than that, it was a very, very satisfying experience.
Price Paid: $59
I borrowed a pair from a guy who may have had a larger size foot than I, but I can't imagine going up the mountain without them. I got to the trail and it looked like it would be "dry". Not so, I really woudn't have made it up there without having them. For this reason i went as soon as I could to buy a pair!!!
Great traction and easy to put on, compact enough to fit in the back pack. Only thing is I wish the carry case for it was a little larger..tight fit anyhew.
I would highly recommend these traction crampons, the fact that they work great up or down the slipperiest hills is one thing. But the main thing I like is easy on, easy off and easy and light to carry. They work much better than the arch type especially when going up hills. Also great for crossing slippery logs.
|Weight||448 g||460 g||480 g (L) 500 g|
1/2 inch long
S50C Carbon steel