Brian Cannon from Kahtoola Inc. touts his company’s KTS crampons as being good for wintertime trail running or simply shoveling the snow off an icy sidewalk. Then, almost as an afterthought, he mentions the crampons have been used to climb Mt. Everest.
This flexible nature — along with a lightweight, durable build — has made the crampons popular with wintertime runners and hikers as well as some serious mountaineers.
Made of an aluminum alloy and weighing just 19 ounces a pair, the KTS crampons have 10 sharp points for traction on snow and ice. An easy-to-adjust strap system lets you fit them on mountaineering boots one day and running shoes the next.
Climbing Everest was an extreme use, to be sure, but in my tests the KTS crampons worked well for moderate and steep snow climbing. They could confidently be used for the popular climbing routes on Mt. Rainier or Mt. Shasta, for example.
But for steeper, icier climbing routes, the KTS crampons are less than ideal, as they lack the forward-facing front points common on other crampon models.
Kahtoola purposefully left front points off because the KTS crampons were designed primarily for activities like hiking and running on snowy terrain. A flexible bar connecting the crampon’s heelpiece and toe lets your shoe or boot bend and rock naturally while moving down the trail.
In addition to a lighter weight and lower price than most competing models, the KTS crampons collapse and fit into an included tote bag to create a package that’s about the same size and weight as a one-liter water bottle.
Contact: Kahtoola Inc., 1-928-779-7249, http://www.kahtoola.com.