Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)
February 5, 2012
5 of 5
4 of 5
Reviewed by: Roy Vandermolen
I bought a pair of SMC crampons from a friend in 1977. With the exception of a few years when I lived in the deep south, I have been using them regularly since then, and with one exception (see below)I have been very pleased with their performance and durability. I have used them for ice climbing, hiking on snow and ice, and for ice fishing.
One aspect of these crampons that sets them apart from many current models is that they fit virtually any boot, including the bulkly large-soled boots (Sorel Caribous) that I use for ice fishing. Most of the later models of crampons that I looked at are not so versatile and will not fit on these large boots.
The straps that came with my crampons are still as good now as they were in 1977. They've lost none of their strength and flexibility and show no significant signs of degradation over the years.
The only flaw with these crampons is that the allen head screws that adjust the length and hold the front and back sections together keep loosening, and will eventually fall out on their own if you don't check them periodically. Replacing them with slightly longer screws and adding a lock nut to the screw end seemed to solve the problem, but it seems silly that an otherwise excellent crampon should have such a nagging problem. However, on the whole these crampons are splendid, and in my mind, their simplicity and ruggedness make them superior to the later models.
After almost 35 years of brutal use I finally managed to break the front section of one of the crampons by doing something the designers probably never envisioned--a runner's start on hard ice when I had to lunge from a crouching position to grab a fishing pole with a fish on it. If not for that one instance of abuse I believe these crampons would have lasted the rest of my life and beyond. Instead of buying a new set I'll see if I can replace the broken front section since the rest of it is still in great shape. At worst case I'll just buy a new pair of the more modern version of them from SMC, at the half the price of the other models that look futuristic but won't fit my boots.