How to choose your crampons
Crampons come in many different designs and styles. The Petzl LEOPARD is ultra-light aluminum and designed to take up little space in a backpack to provide quick and easy traction on soft snow. The SARKEN is designed to provide traction on the world's highest peaks. The DART, DARTWIN, and LYNX are built to climb frozen waterfalls. With so many specialized options, it can be confusing for a novice climber to choose the right pair of crampons. These charts are designed to aid a new climber in selecting the pair of crampons that are right for them.
November 20 2017
Choosing a crampon
When choosing a crampon, it's best to get a pair that will suit the primary style of climbing you plan to do. With Petzl's modular crampon system, it is easy to adapt that one pair into a different crampon by switching the front sections and binding systems.
Some crampons are offered with only one binding option, while others have a few to choose from. Make sure you choose a crampon that has a binding system that is compatible with your boots.
Do your boots have any welts on the front or rear? The presence or absence of welts on your boots will help you determine what crampons and binding systems are an option for you.
Crampons by activity
Once you've selected your go-to pair of crampons, you can then use the chart below to see how versatile it is for other styles of climbing.
Ultralight mono-point crampons for vertical ice climbing, mixed climbing, and dry tooling. The single piece front section provides a lightweight, stable, and durable platform, while the single mono-point allows precise footwork on the smallest holds.
The sibling of the DART, the DARTWIN features two front points for increased stability. The inside frontpoint is 0.5 mm longer than the outside frontpoint to allow purchase on edges and divots while mixed climbing. Both DART and DARTWIN front sections are sold in pairs as part of the Petzl modular crampon system.
Petzl’s most versatile crampon, the LYNX may be customized to climb anything from mixed lines to general mountaineering. The LYNX features removable front points that may be positioned in either mono or dual, long or short, positions. The LYNX features an additional 12 down points for traction on non-vertical terrain, ANTI-SNOW plates, and both the FIL and FIL FLEX toe bails. LYNX front sections are not available for individual purchase.
The D-LYNX are bolted directly onto a climbers “fruit boot” for elite level competitions, dry-tooling, and mixed climbing.
Favored by climbers at high altitude, the SARKEN features two unique “hooded” vertical front points. The hooded, T-profile allows for the performance of vertical frontpoints, while still providing enough surface area to climb in snow. Weighing only 870 g, the SARKEN includes ANTISNOW plates and is compatible with both FIL FLEX AND FIL toe bails. SARKEN front sections are available in pairs.
The classic 12-point mountaineering crampon. The VASAK is designed for general mountaineering where the additional surface area of horizontal front points is more important than the penetration provided by horizontal front points. The VASAK is the ideal mountaineering crampon for anyone with a large boot size. The VASAK is compatible with FLEX LOCK, LEVER LOCK, FIL FLEX, FIL binding systems. VASAK front sections may be purchased as pairs to modify another pair of Petzl crampons for mountaineering use.
A ten-point crampon for ski-mountaineering and glacier travel. The IRVIS comes with ANTISNOW plates and is compatible with all binding systems. IRVIS front sections may be purchased as pairs to modify an existing pair of crampons.
The weight savings of aluminum and CORD-TEC with the performance of steel. The IRVIS HYBRID features the heel piece of a LEOPARD (to reduce weight), while a steel IRVIS front section allows climbing on hard ice or stone.
Petzl’s aluminum offering for snow travel and ski-touring. The LEOPARD is an entirely aluminum crampon that utilizes CORD-TEC technology for an ultra-light and compact, snow crampon. The LEOPARD is available as either LEOPARD FL or LEOPARD LLF for welted or non-welted boots.
Understanding modular crampons
Petzl crampons may be taken apart and the individual components swapped to change the performance of the crampon. Petzl recommends that users start with a LEVERLOCK heel piece for maximum options.
Understanding the parts of a crampon
From front points to toe bails and linking bars; use this guide to understand the parts and purpose of modern crampon design.