Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Ice Trekker Crampons
I don't often need to use crampons but someone mentioned on Outdoors Magic that they'd seen Chinese made copies of the Kahtoola Micro Spikes and wondered if they were any good. I noticed that in addition to the microspike copies they also had ones where the spikes were part of a bigger plate almost like normal crampons rather than smaller sets of spikes joined by chain. The seller had a variety of sets listed at different prices, some listed at $19 and some at £19 so I thought I'd take a chance on a pair. I opted for the slightly heavier ones with the integral spikes and used the Buy it Now option to get a pair listed at $19, with shipping the total cost was just under £22.
Although the seller had only a feedback score of about 75 I recieved an e-mail with a tracking number within 24 hours of purchase although I didn't manage to use it as they were shipped Chinapost rather than Hong Kong Post which I've used before. They were ordered on the 31st December and arrived on the 14th January but I had to wait until Saturday to pick them up at the post office as I was working when the postman called.
They look fine to be honest, the chains are stainless steel but thinner and a different type of chain from the Kahtoolas, the spikes/plates are steel and the rubber part is silicone rubber judging by the amount of stretch and slightly tacky feel. The forefoot plate is articulated and I had them fitted to a wide range of boot/shoes, everything from a pair of size 9 Berghaus Kibo boots to a pair of Karrimor Pro Run trainers and fitting wasn't a problem.
Unfortunately by the time they arrived the snow had gone so I couldn't really try them out, I did try them on an old fence post that was pretty wet and slippery and they worked just fine.
They came with a pair of velcro straps which can be fitted to the silicone rubber rand to help pull them up on smaller shoe sizes but I found I didn't need to use them, the straps however were ideal as ski straps and are now doing the job of keeping my skis together. They came in a small stuff sack and the weight is as advertised which is always a bonus.
At £22 they certainly seem worth it given the amount of use I'm likely to make of them, I noticed that they're all now listed at £19 Buy It Now which makes them closer to the cost of the Kahtoola Microspikes