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Kahtoola KTS Hiking Crampons

rated 3.0 of 5 stars
photo: Kahtoola KTS Hiking Crampons crampon
Version reviewed: KTS Aluminum Hiking Crampons

I purchased these when they first hit the market some years back and have not been disappointed with them.

I've used them winter and spring hiking here in AK and have not had one issue with them at all as far as workmanship goes. The spikes have worn down slightly but, that is to be expected since I have used the crampons hard in mixed terrain in snow, rock, mud, dirt, etc. I've put as many as 5 miles a day on these crampons.

The fit is great and they work on a wide variety of boots and shoes from my Keen trail shoes all the way to my Lowa Hunter GTX and Koflach's.

I have a brand new set of the steel version of this which is heavier (only slightly, maybe a few ounces) but I haven't used them yet. I'll use them when the aluminum version wears out completely.

The BEST thing about these crampons is the stainless leafspring bar. They flex with every step, making them comfortable and better than crampons which flex on a hinge, I have seen those other on the hinge break after hard use.

I haven't tried the crampons on my snowboard or XC ski boots but I doubt you would have any issues using them with those boots.

These crampons work well with 40 Below overboots.

Price Paid: $130

Would be excellent, but for a design flaw. Rear cleats are too close together causing an instability when hiking over hard surfaces, such as ice or rock.

Pros

  • Long, strong steel cleats
  • Great on packed snow

Cons

  • Rear cleats too narrow
  • Unstable on ice and other hard surfaces

The Kahtoola hiking crampons shown in the photo are of a flawed design. I bought a pair last year and tried them out in a variety of conditions—ranging from packed snow to icy trails.

The length of the spikes make them very good on packed snow, but on ice or icy trails they are very wobbly. This instability on hard ice is caused by the too-narrow back spike plate. As the heel of the boot lands on ice (or any hard surface) that narrowness translates into twisting the boot left or right.

Other similar hiking crampons—such as those from Natuworld and the KTS shown above—have a wide enough rear spike plate to provide ample lateral stability.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $65

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Specs

Price Current Retail: $169.95
Historic Range: $19.95-$169.99
Reviewers Paid: $65.00-$130.00
Spikes per foot 10
Spike length 1 in
Spike material 4130 chromoly steel
Weight per pair 23.3 oz / 662 g
Pack size 8 x 3.5 x 3.75 in
Use hiking, non=technical mountaineering, backpacking, fastpacking
Terrain rugged trails, glaciers
Conditions ice, packed snow, rocky with mixed snow and ice
Product Details from Kahtoola »

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