Best Crampons for Ski Boots in 2019 (REVIEW GUIDE)


Best Crampons for Ski Boots

Ski mountaineering is a sport where the right equipment matters not only from a performance point of view but from a safety one as well. Therefore, outfitting your mountaineering kit takes some careful consideration.

Ski boot crampons, as a necessary component to your gear when you encounter steep ascents on snowy or icy terrain, seem like a simple addition, but with few options on the market, choosing the right crampon takes some time when looking at how you plan to use them and how much.

So, what are the best crampons for ski boots? Currently, the best ski boot crampon on the market is the Black Diamond Neve Pro. These crampons have proven over time that they are reliable, easy to put on and adjust, and perform well in most conditions while still remaining relatively light and packable.

For many backcountry skiers and mountaineers, a lightweight, easily packable, and simple to attach crampon for a ski boot works best for most scenarios and are the qualities to look for.

Other choices will depend on how much weight or features are desired, and each of the crampons below will provide the buyer with a great addition to their ski mountaineering kit.

Last update on 2019-12-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Reviews of the Best Crampons for Ski Boots

1. Black Diamond Neve Crampons

Black Diamond Neve

The Black Diamond Neve crampon features steel wire bails in the front and an aluminum micro-adjust heel lever in the back to accommodate telemark, AT (Alpine Tour), and canyoneering boots, making them a very versatile option. In addition, with the bails and heel lever as well as the adjustable strap, they are simple to put on and remove, regardless of what boot you choose.

Coming in at just under 600 grams, the Neve remains an overall lightweight crampon with flexible aluminum center bars and dual-density ABS (Anti Balling System) to keep snow from sticking and compromising your traction.

With a 10-point frame configuration, the Neve does an excellent job of keeping you secure on steep, snowy terrain.

Overall, this crampon balances weight and features to make it an excellent choice for light to moderate ski touring and mountaineering pursuits.

Pros:

  • Versatile, easy to use crampon that accommodates multiple boot types
  • Dual-density ABS to keep snow and ice from building up

Cons:

  • Slightly heavier than other ski boot crampons
  • Pure aluminum frame is not as durable as a steel crampon

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2. Petzl Leopard LLF Crampons

Petzl Leopard LLF Crampons

Extremely lightweight (only 330 grams per pair) and packable, the Petzl Leopard LLF crampon features a 10-point aluminum frame for great traction and reliability. Skiers should find the Leopard LLF useful on most steep snowy and icy terrain with the exception of using it for pure ice climbing or ascents.

With its Cord-Tech linking system under the foot, the Petzl Leopard LLF easily packs down into a very small stuff sack that makes these crampons extremely easy to throw into your pack for any occasion that you may need them.

In fact, the Dyneema cord system is easily adjustable for nearly any size boot, does not require any tools in the field, and is intuitive. Combined with the lever-lock heel system and strap, the Petzl Leopard LLF is a breeze to put on and take off.

With such weight savings, the Petzl Leopard LLF is a crampon that does not need to be left at home and can be taken any time or anywhere.

Pros:

  • Extremely lightweight and packable
  • Easily adjustable and attachable to a wide range of ski boots

Cons:

  • Some users find the cord system not reliable or strong enough
  • Aluminum construction is not as durable as steel

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3. Grivel G12 Cramp-O-Matic Crampons

Grivel G12 Cramp-O-Matic Crampons

A classic crampon from a classic company, the Grivel G12 Cramp-O-Matic Crampons are the most secure crampons on this list due to their 12-point frame, allowing them to be more of a mixed ice and snow climbing piece of equipment. This will allow you to use them for some ice waterfall climbing if desired.

Additionally, while the fit is particular to only certain NTN, AT, and mountaineering boots, the Cramp-O-Matic fixes firmly to the boots and provides great dependability in various conditions.

The crampons are very easy to pack and store, and despite being Chromoly steel, the pair still weighs less than 1 kg. This is due to Grivel’s proprietary “3-Dimensional Relief Stamping (3DRS)” which increases the strength and rigidity and allows for a single bolt adjustment mechanism underfoot to keep the Cramp-O-Matic relatively lightweight and packable. Adjusting the crampons is also easy with this system and requires no tools.

As such, the Cramp-O-Matic’s ratio between strength, adjustability, and weight is impressive and makes this crampon a serious contender for multiple uses beyond ski mountaineering.

Pros:

  • Chromoly steel makes these crampons very strong with great build quality
  • Easy, tool-free adjustability and secure step-in boot fit
  • The 12-point frame allows for more mixed-use on both snow and ice

Cons:

  • Heaviest of the crampons on the list at 900 grams per pair
  • Does not fit all boots

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How to Choose the Best Crampons for Your Ski Boots (and Type of Skiing)

Choosing the right crampon is essential to your safety and enjoyment when ski mountaineering or climbing. And while you will not use your crampons all the time, when you do, you want to make sure you have a pair that can take on the slope or terrain you are attempting to scale without compromise. Therefore, particularly when choosing a ski mountaineering crampon, it is essential to find a crampon that fits securely with your boot.

Ski Boot Fitting of the Crampon

Unlike mountaineering boots, ski boots have some other factors to think about when choosing a crampon. Each AT or telemark boot manufacturer has different setups for both the toe pieces and the rear heel area. Therefore, it is important to take these two areas into consideration when choosing a crampon.

The crampons listed here are all set up in some form to fit ski boots specifically; however, they may not fit ALL ski boots and thus, you will need to ensure that your particular boot fits the particular model. For example, the Grivel G12 Cramp-O-Matic Crampons only fit certain AT boots and NTN telemark boots, whereas the Black Diamond Neve Pro and the Petzl Leopard LLF should fit most ski boots regardless of their toe or heel setups.

Weight and features

For most ski touring and mountaineering, weight and packability play a major role. You do not want to be left on a steep slope wishing you had your crampons but decided not to bring them because they were too heavy or too bulky for your pack! Therefore, choose a crampon that you know you are likely to always take with you if there is even a slight chance you will need them.

Adjustability is also key in that a crampon should not need any tools in the field to be adjusted. Some crampons use incredibly simple technology to achieve this, while others use more sophisticated methods; regardless, the crampon should be easy to adjust with gloves on and without tools.

Finally, a good crampon should be easy to put on and take off. When perched on the side of a mountain, you do not want to waste time or energy fiddling with your gear. Crampons should be no exception because bending over and taking them on or off places you in a precarious position. Thus, confirm that the crampons you choose are practical in this regard and fitted correctly before you take them up the mountain.

My Choice for the Best Ski Boot Crampons

You really cannot go wrong with the Black Diamond Neve Pro, my top pick for the best crampons for ski boots. Not only does the crampon remain lightweight, but it is also a strong, secure crampon that fits a variety of boots with ease.

The Neve Pro also features its unique ABS system, a simple but strong bail in the front, and a lock-down heel lever. All of these features give the Neve Pro an edge over its competition and make for a very compatible and easy-to-use crampon that should serve most skiers well during the winter months as they tackle a variety of terrain.

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Last update on 2019-12-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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