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Black Diamond Sabretooth Crampons

photo: Black Diamond Sabretooth Crampons crampon
Version reviewed: Sabretooth Clip (Hybrid)

Great versatile steel crampon for hard snow and icy conditions, in flat terrain, mountain uphill, and vertical faces.

Pros

  • low weight
  • secure binding
  • manufacturing quality
  • resistance
  • anti-balling plates

I had initially chosen the Black Diamond Serac Clip for my first pair of crampons, but they had been unavailable for quite some time up until a few days before my outing, and amongst available options I chose the Sabretooth Clip (Hybrid). I am glad I did, as I got a lot more versatility for the same price and weight.

crampon-boot-chart.pngBindings, compatible boot types and suitability for flat, uphill and vertical ice

crampon-table.jpg These crampons (C2) are more technical without sacrificing suitability on easier terrain, due to the shape and orientation of the secondary points which allow to climb on icy vertical faces.

 

 

black-diamond-sabretooth.jpg
Front view of the Black Diamond Sabretooth Clip

The binding system is hybrid (although the fully automatic Pro option is available) with a toe basket up front (strap) and a heel clip in the back. I went to the shop with my boots and the employee set them both for me. Once at home I had to play around with one of them to familiarize myself with the device.

Fitting is easy and the only thing I changed was the position of the heel clip bar, which I set on the far back whole to obtain a higher angle and a more vertical force applied against my boots' heel welt. Tension is adjusted with a rotating mechanism in the clip, and the force required to lock the mechanism is a good indication to find the sweet spot.

These crampons matched my boots' shape and size very well (La Sportiva Trango Alp Evo GTX, a great pair of C2 boots for all around mountaineering) and didn't budge despite a few steps in unexpected snowdrift where I sank to my knees, due to the uneven terrain below. The anti-baling plates did their job well, and I only had to tap the crampons with my ice axe a few times when the deep snow got compacted underfoot and accumulated.

Experience

Despite scraping against burried rocks at times, no sign of wear on the crampons after this first use. The front points inspire confidence when placed on rock. Definitely recommended!

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 140 euros

Version reviewed: Sabretooth Clip

Awesome crampon. Stiff enough to front-point in, but still enough flex for walking on a glacier. The powder coating comes off if you use them on rock, so just be sure to rub WD-40 on them after each climb (prevents rust).

Overall, great crampon for when you will be doing glacier, vertical rock, and ice all in the same climb.

Price Paid: $130

Not a slip-on crampon. Once I figured out how to properly mount these on my boots they work great.

Pros

  • Stays tight

Cons

  • Not a slip-on-and-go crampon

Size up the crampons to your boot, lock it in.

Getting on and strapping in can be a pain.

I've used them a dozen times, most recently a hike up Mt. Katahdin.

Once I figured how to strap them in properly they stayed tight, and using the fine adjustment helps.

I use them on Koflach Arctis Expe boots and Scarpa Jorasses Pro GTX boots. 

Source: bought it new

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Specs

Clip Pro
Price MSRP: $199.95
Current Retail: $189.95-$199.95
Historic Range: $103.56-$199.95
Reviewers Paid: $130.00
Weight Per Pair 910 g / 2 lb 890 g / 1 lb 15 oz
Materials Stainless steel
Use Clip version features flexible toe strap for boots without a toe welt Pro version accommodates boots with a toe welt
Product Details from Black Diamond »

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