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Black Diamond Contact Strap

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: Black Diamond Contact Strap crampon

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.

Price Paid: $89.96

So versatile and durable I have used them over and over again with zero issues.


  • Stainless steel is so tough
  • Fits wide variiety of boots


  • Heavy-ish

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 ease and have soft rubber anti-balling plates. I may never do any vertical front pointing, but I trust these to keep me right-side up on any ice field crossing/climb.

Update 8/20/15: I have owned these several years now and I've climbed Mt. Adams twice, Rainier twice, Hood, St Helens and several smaller peaks with these crampons and I still love them. Great on mixed terrain as well, though not for ice climbing obviously. 

Update February 2020: I still have these and use them every year!! Six Rainier summits, two Mt Baker, two Mount Hood, one Mount Saint Helens, three Mt Adams (one summit).

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $129

Easy to fit on and great traction.


  • Traction
  • Fit

These were very easy to fit to my boots (10.5D), and fast to get set up. I really appreciate crampons that are a breeze to put on and take off. It's not often I have an easy place to put them on when I get to ice, snow, etc. And the first time using them, I could feel a lot of secure traction on snow and scree fields.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $140

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Price MSRP: $159.95
Current Retail: $169.95-$179.95
Historic Range: $69.65-$179.95
Reviewers Paid: $89.96-$140.00
Materials Stainless Steel
Weight Per Pair 808 g / 1 lb 13 oz
Product Details from Black Diamond »