Finding the best Crampons can be a very difficult task. There are literally hundreds of different models and brands, and each one is different in design and purpose. However, by using some basic knowledge about each type, you can at least get started. Keep in mind that not all models are suitable for all kinds of climbing, so be sure to get the right fit.
Ice climbers can find the best products by searching through specialized catalogs. Many websites have an array of choices to choose from, and by browsing through their catalogs, you can get a better idea of which Crampons will work best for your purposes. Not all types of Crampons are made for ice climbing. But if you want to climb in a manner that is more closely related to rock climbing, there are some types that you will need. Some of the major types include:
Glacier Crampons. This type of Crampon is made of a hard, durable material that is designed for use on a glacier or mountain ice. These types of Crampons are often filled with gel. They are highly durable and provide excellent grip on ice—the same holds for thick or thin ridge models, as well as some others.
Alpine Compressions. This type of Crampon is sometimes referred to as ‘mud’ Crampons. It is because it is designed to be used on wet and muddy ice, and is typically made of medium density polyethylene and has an extended 7mm shaft. These Crampons are much less slippery than other kinds, which makes them ideal for ice climbing.
These types of Crampons have the most options available. Depending on the specific needs of your climb, you may want to get a thinner model to allow for a better grip. Thus, for those that prefer thinner models, there are other options.
These models are ideal for climbing in cold conditions. A wider shaft is used to allow for a better grip on ice.
Ice Holds. These types of Crampons are heavy duty and have a large, thick shaft that is meant to hold on to the ice. These also offer a variety of sizes to choose from.
Home Holds. These Crampons are designed for indoor use and are usually made of durable plastic. However, they are still designed to hold onto the ice when necessary.
These types of Crampon is perfect for alpine climbing. As the name suggests, they are larger and more robust and have a bigger shaft to hold onto the ice.
Heavy Duty and Regular-Strength Crampon. These styles of Crampon is available in different types of plastics that are intended to provide better grip and are designed to hold onto the ice in various situations.
Rock Climbing. These have a wider shaft that is designed to hold onto the rock.
By learning a little about what each style of Crampon offers, you can start to narrow down your selection to one that is most suitable for your needs. To help you in your decision-making process, here are some other tips to keep in mind.