CAMP USA Tour 350 Crampons

Gearflogger reviews the CAMP Tour 350 cramponsWhen it comes to your feet, lighter is definitely righter. Don't bring more foot-weight than you need, and in the case of glacier travel it seems like you see a lot of full-steel crampons where something a little racier will do. Exhibit A: the CAMP Tour 350 crampon.

An aluminum ten point crampon is fine for snow and ice duty, and the Tour 350, built from 7075 T6 aluminum, performed great for me this past season on Denali, paired with my trusty Oly Mons boots. For a size 43 boot the spreader bars were at their maximum extension, so if you're sporting bigger dogs you'll want to scout out a longer bar, aluminum only please as steel bars will ream out the aluminum frame.

The step-in setup functions flawlessly, and the simple ankle retaining strap is a nice change from some of the more complicated setups out there (looking at you, BD!). If you're really worried about the lack of a nylon strap to the toe bail just add one yourself; I didn't worry about it and had no problems.

At just over 12 ounces you really can't beat the Tour 350… except you can! The Race 290 crampon is basically the Tour 350 with a special heel bail for Dynafit compatible boots, and the metal spreader bar is replaced with Dyneema for an overall two ounce savings. The Race 290 even has different colors for hte left and right feet for those of you in a hurry – you know who you are, rando-freaks. I haven't tried the Race 290 and probably won't, but the design did give me the idea that if a spreader bar failed I could use a section of dyneema or even nylon webbing to replace it temporarily.

CAMP makes some phenomenal lightweight mountaineering gear. I've used and loved their Alp 95 harness, Corsa Nanotech axe and Nanotech crampons, not to mention the wonderful-ness that is the Nano 23 biner. None have ever failed me either on Denali or Rainier, but then again I tend to be pretty light on my gear. If you're one of those ogres who just seems to mangle gear every time out you might want to stay heavy, i.e. walk on steel. For the rest of us, give your feet a break with aluminum crampons and save the steel for those gnarly mixed routes and rocky approaches.

$139.95 at Amazon


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