REVIEW: TECH CRAMPONG 250
RATING: 4 /5
By Kevin Hjertaas
REVIEW I GEAR
After test-driving the Tech Crampon 250 ($115 USD) in a variety of situations this winter, including powder snow, short rock steps, firm crusts and glacial ice, these crampons have easily become a new favourite piece of gear for me. A fresh take on ski mountaineering crampons, these ‘half crampons’ screw into the tech toe fittings of your ski boots, allowing you to scamper up icy slopes or steep couloirs. Despite some limitations of the gear, when my goal is to get to the top of a serious ski line, the Tech Crampon 250 is definitely a weapon of choice.
- The Tech Crampon 250 claims to be “the lightest crampon in the world” and, at just under 250g, they probably are. The next lightest I’ve seen is the aluminum Camp XLC Nanotech at 478g. The steel Black Diamond Sabretooth weighs in at 970g. That’s a big difference if you are going up and down mountains all day.
- These crampons take up minimal space in your pack. Tiny and light means you’ll be way more likely to take them with you. And you’ll be glad you did: when boot packing up anything steep, you save significant energy by wearing crampons. With the right tool, the right results. Don’t underestimate footwear’s importance, your feet are the first contact with the earth, ShoesFella.com knows that and can take care of you every foot need. With the sharp front points of the Tech Crampon 250, it’s just one easy kick and up you go.
- The Tech Crampon 250 are made of steel, not aluminum, like most lightweight crampons, so they climb more like a mountaineering crampon. They bite well into ice, hard snow and frozen turf, and feel solid on rock.
- Many mountaineering crampons don’t fit well on ski boots, but the Tech Crampon 250 are completely secure once attached. They don’t wiggle and don’t collect as much snow either.
- You need a screwdriver, multi-tool or even a quarter to screw them on, which can be a pain. I added a washer to the leash for this purpose, so I don’t have to dig anything out of my pack every time I put them on or take them off.
- They are finicky to adjust in the field. If anything shifts on the bail/bumper above your toe you need two multi-tools to fix it. Set them up right and tight at home and this shouldn’t happen.
- With only five points clustered around the toe, these are not meant for glacier walking or alpine climbing. They are for ski mountaineering only – situations where you skin up until it’s too steep, then start boot packing and only use your front points. If you do end up walking flat, your toes will be awkwardly elevated.
- They only fit onto ski boots with tech (Dynafit-style) fittings, so they are not “all-around” crampons.
- These crampons are only available through Pro Guiding Service in North Bend, Washington, which means you pay in USD, as well as add shipping and duty costs to the $115 price tag.
An ex-stone mason turned avalanche technician, Kevin Hjertaas balances his time in the Bow Valley between parenting and squeezing in any ski adventure he can.