View Full Version : Crampon preference?

10-15-2008, 11:40 AM

I just want to hear some opinions about the many different types of bindings for crampons (spir lock, lever lock, lever wire, etc). I am going to buy new ones for primarily mountaineering but will probably ice climb with them once or twice. Also I am looking for a binding that possibly is compatible with other non-crampon compatible boots.

Any thoughts?


10-15-2008, 08:32 PM
I have always preferred the "New-Matic" binding system which consists of a heel lever and toe cage. This type of binding is very secure and will work on anything from plastic double boots to synthetic mountaineering boots. The only requirement is that your boots have a heel that accepts the heel lever.

A general mountaineering crampon has horizontal front points whereas a true ice climbing crampon has vertical front points. Either pursuit really calls for a specific type of front point and although you may be able to get away with a general mountaineering crampon on some ice you really should have one set of dedicated crampons for each type of climbing.

As for boots that are not specifically designed for use with crampons you may need to purchase a pair of strap-on crampons. And remember.... it's only money!

10-16-2008, 09:08 AM
You can't go wrong with a pair of g-12's from grivel. They'll be great for alpine climbing and moderate ice routes - I've climbed pinnacle, damnation gully and the like with them - no problem. I'll second Kaseri about the newmatic binding - It's got a heel bail and a toe cage which will work on a variety of boots, both with or withour overboots. I've got an older pair with the crampomatic binding which has a solid front toe bail, which while it feels more secure, it's a bit tricky to get seated properly and is doesn't fit as well with overboots.

10-16-2008, 11:12 AM
The other day I purchased petzl vasak crampons and I chose the lever lock binding system, which is basically the same system as grivel's new matic. I figured that this would be the most compatible binding for fitting a variety of different boots. I have only used crampons that lock down in the back and have the wire frame in the front and they were extremely secure. I am worried that the lever lock/ new matic bindings will not feel as secure with the plastic front piece. Am I worrying about nothing?

10-16-2008, 01:24 PM
The "New-Matic" style binding can be every bit as secure as a full step-in binding. The key is to make sure you adjust the binding properly.

10-16-2008, 04:05 PM
Rich - I should probably clarify my earlier assessment. The older style crampomatics with the solid front bail felt more secure when putting them on when you "snap" the rear up. You don't get that same "snap" when putting on the newmatics with the toe cage. However in reality, once the newmatics are cinched down properly, they feel every bit as secure as the crampomatics, as Kaseri also said. Plus the toe cage will fit a wider range of boots, as well as be more suitable for overboots.

10-16-2008, 06:45 PM
thank you all for your advice. Im sure i made the correct decision

10-18-2008, 08:11 PM
I second the G-12s with new matic bindings. Mine work great and have yet to loosen on me when I cinch them down properly.

Bill O
10-18-2008, 08:48 PM
I'm sort of out of the alpine loop. Why did they start to move away from the front bail system?

10-18-2008, 09:35 PM
The front bail system is still in use. A front bail can be ill fitting on some boots though. By using a "combination" style binding you are able to fit the crampons to virtually any boot or overboot securely.

10-18-2008, 11:34 PM
great design. I hope my petzl vasak's work as great as the g-12s. I originally wanted to purchase those but they were back ordered until after the end of moosejaws 20% off sale so i had to settle.

10-20-2008, 08:33 AM
Bill - front bails are still an option. I had an old pair of g-12's with front bail that fit my old scarpa inverno's perfectly. The old g-12's had somewhat of a tapered bail and the scarpa boots had a tapered toe as well. When I bought my koflach's, they had a more rounded toe and the tapered bail did not fit well. Since I was going on a trip that required overboots, I switched to a newer pair for g-12's with the strap on front.

10-20-2008, 08:51 PM
Just an FYI regarding the Grivel Cramp-O-Matic (full step in type) binding system. There are two types of front bails. The "new" front bail has two circular bends on each side. The "old" style does not have the circular bends. The "new" front bail fits boots with a wider toe box much better than the "old" style.