Rating: 4 / 5
The Black Diamond Cobra technical ice tools excel in any vertical ice endeavor. While very similar to the BD Vipers, they differ in some key respects. The carbon fiber shaft is more effective at dealing with vibration and leads to less fatigue in the long run. With a little more clearance than the Vipers, they also reach over bulges well without exposing your knuckles to quite as much bashing. The "Fang" and "Strike" finger/hand platforms also form effective guards against bashing your knuckles. Being leashless makes them much less tiring and won't cut off circulation to your hands like many leashed tools will. Unlike some high-end technical tools on the market these come with hammer and adze options. I feel that it is very handy to have a hammer and adze and wouldn't buy a tool without the option. I have found too many circumstances to use them to be without them. My one and only gripe about these tools are with the picks. They don't stick or clean as well as technical grivel picks do. This is a very minor complaint. I would have given these 4.5 stars if I could give half stars. These are excellent technical ice tools and I highly recommended them.