Steel Kahtoola: Lightest 10-Point Steel Crampons First Look (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2005)

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by Alan Dixon | 2005-01-28 03:00:00-07

Kahtoola crampons have become deservedly popular. One can cover difficult snow and ice in the comfort and flexibility of trail runners or light boots. It’s traction for the masses. Outfitters want to rent them out, but the aluminum doesn’t hold up to day-in and day-out use - at least, not without a lot of sharpening. Kahtoola’s answer was to add a steel version to their line.

Bottom view: New steel model on left, and old aluminum model on right.

Only a bit heavier than their aluminum model, the steel version has a number of other advantages:

  1. With the durability of steel you can tackle a lot more rock and bullet-hard ice without having to resharpen your points all the time. This opens up more terrain to your Kahtoolas.
  2. The steel crampon points are half as thick and 25% longer for better penetration into hard snow and ice.
  3. The front strap buckle (the only wear point Kahtoola has seen) is now riveted.
  4. The steel version has a 3-D stamp relief to add rigidity to the front points.
  5. The steel version has a redesigned hinge plate that fits most shoes. For smaller shoes, a separate plate ships with the crampons for a one-size-fits-all right out of the box.

Bottom detail of the front points of both crampons. Note how much “pointier” the steel version is.

Top detail of the front of both crampons. Note 3-D stamp relief and new front strap attachment on the steel version.

SPECS

Aluminum:
  • Weight - 19.0 oz (540 g)
  • Points - 16 mm long x 4 mm thick
Steel:
  • Weight - 23.4 oz (662 g)
  • Points - 20 mm long x 2 mm thick

Citation

"Steel Kahtoola: Lightest 10-Point Steel Crampons First Look (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2005)," by Alan Dixon. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/kahtoola_steel_crampons_outdoor_retailer_winter_market_2005.html, 2005-01-28 03:00:00-07.

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