We’re in love with graphs at WeighMyRack. They can completely change how you visualize the gear world. We’re making more graphs to show exactly what the industry is up to so you can pick through all the marketing mumbo-jumbo. We took the 134 crampons available in Spring 2015 and went to work picking out all the details. Here’s what we found:


9-12 models per brand is fairly standard and represents each brand offering 3-4 base models, generally a light-weight horizontal front point, a standard horizontal front point, and a vertical front point model, each offered in the 3 standard binding types.

Grivel leads the pack by far in number of models produced at 21, and one of those options is the lightest crampon on the market, the Race.

Even though CAMP holds strong as the second most prevalent crampon brand, and 2nd lightest crampon on the market, Cassin looks like it has a low showing. CAMP and Cassin are essentially the same company, but since they are technically separate brands, they don’t benefit in distinguishing themselves as obviously in this graph.

We also feel Edelrid is a little misrepresented in this graph; their 3 crampons (Shark, Beast, Beast Lite) have an ingenious convertible binding system that comes with each crampon, making them equivalent to 7 crampons from any other brand.


If you count the numbers, you’ll find they add up to 181, not the stated 134 crampons we’re graphing. This is because some crampons have more than one best use. Many Racing / Ski Mountaineering crampons qualify as perfectly good Glacier Travel crampons and most Waterfall Ice crampons also appear in the Alpine / Technical Mountaineering category.


After looking at the best use crampon graph, it’s not surprising to see 80% of the market dominated by horizontal dual point crampons. It’s worth noting we counted each binding system as a separate crampon, so one base crampon model can show up as 3 horizontal dual front point crampons if it comes in 3 different binding systems.

Crampons that have adjustable mono to dual front points are listed only in the Vertical Mono & Dual category, not separately in the Vertical Mono and Vertical Dual categories.


Automatic crampon binding systems have taken a slight lead due to the Racing / Ski Mountaineering category in which virtually every crampon is automatic.

Universal bindings have the smallest representation of the 3 main types due to an industry emphasis on technical climbing, which benefits from a more secure connection than a universal binding can offer. Many of the high-end technical crampons do not include a universal option.

Quick cheat sheet for bindings types:

auto semiauto universal crampon bindings

NOTE: Included in the graph, but not in this binding graphic, are the two bolt-on models that bolt directly to your boot, the Petzl D-Lynx and Black Diamond Raptor.


Aluminum crampons are still in the minority due to their limited uses – racing, glacier travel, and light mountaineering. Being relegated to snow and ice (not rock) due to their more fragile nature, aluminum crampons are substantially less popular than their steel counterparts, despite the weight savings. A steel crampon’s burly nature will allow you to go virtually anywhere.

Some manufacturers are making hybrid crampons, mixing materials to capitalize on weight savings without sacrificing performance. The four hybrid models currently available are:

  • Grivel Haute Route (Auto) – Six steel points on the front plate and 4 aluminum points on the back plate
  • CAMP XLC Nanotech (Auto, Semi-auto) – Aluminum body with steel reinforced horizontal front points
  • Edelrid Beast Lite (Auto + Semi-auto) – Steel vertical front points and full aluminum body


Bottom Line

There’s always a best tool for the job, but how do you find it?

1. Pick the footwear your crampon needs to work with to determine the correct binding type.

  • Ski boots only? stick to the generally lighter weight automatic bindings
  • Approach shoes necessary? you’ll probably need a universal binding
  • Only rigid boots? most likely semi-automatic will be the safest bet

2. Figure out where your crampon needs to perform. Some crampons have multiple best uses but it’s helpful to think about where you’ll use the crampon the most. This is also where you determine the type of terrain your new crampons need to be capable of traversing:

  • one specialty use vs a take-it-anywhere crampon
  • durable steel vs lightweight aluminum
  • horizontal front points for snowfields vs vertical front points for waterfall ice or mixed climbing

Once you’ve nailed these down, you’ve filled in almost all the blanks and it’s time to find the most reasonable combination of price vs weight. It is totally legitimate to have brand loyalty, color or style help make your final decision.


You can compare every crampon available and filter on
binding systems and tech specs at: WeighMyRack.com/crampon.


Want more gear stats?

Head over to our ice screw graph post to geek out on screws.

More graphs?

We’re curious to track these trends into the future, along with other gear facts. If you think of a crampon comparison that we’re missing, let us know in the comments.

Only half the crampon brands are distributed in the US, they’re shown below:

[apwizard]+crampon -marker -voile -fritschi -diamer -snowshoes -crevasse -Kahtoola -K2 -Karakoram -river -splitboard -Spark,99,,,99,,- [/apwizard]