Vktech Micro Crampon Review – As good as Kahtoolas?
We all love a bargain, and after the wife kept nicking my Kahtoola Microspikes during any spell of icy weather I decided to buy her a pair of these budget micro-crampons.
For only £12.98 including postage, these Vtech Anti Slip Ice Cleats Shoe Boot Grips Crampon Chain Spike Sharp Snow Walker – hereby known as Vtech microcrampons – will be whisked half way around the world to your front door, which is suspiciously cheap in the first instance. When you open your parcel, the microcrampons come in a tidy nylon bag which was better than the original microspikes by Kahtoolah. Unfortunately, that’s about as good as it gets, as we found out.
We don’t just test these things out around the park, we give kit a proper going over, so a snow covered mountain it would be. Of course, as they’re not full-on mountaineering crampons we had to choose our conditions carefully. We may want to give kit the proper Mud and Routes treatment, but we don’t want to find ourselves in traction doing it. So a round of Yr Aran in pretty much winter conditions is as good as it gets for testing this sort of kit.
So they were set out on the summit, nearly disappeared under the snow, and pulled awkwardly on. They’re hard work to get on, but fit reasonably snugly on my Meindl Borneos. We realised later that they’re up to size 9, and why they squeezed onto the Meindls, but that was hardly any excuse for the chains coming undone after only 3km use as the chains themselves were under no extra strain. That’s a shame as they performed as expected for that short duration.
The chain links used seem to be poorly fixed together, which allowed one of the micro crampons to come apart, but was field fixable. The other one was not so lucky, having lost a number of links in the process and is shown above. Whichever way you use these, the chains will invariably scrape rocks on the ground and need to be super tough. We think we just sped this process up slightly!
If you need a spare pair for those two days a year with icy pavements in town, they’ll probably be OK for a while but not for prolonged use. I wouldn’t run in these and even if they’re only £13, if they don’t do the job they offer poor value. I’m left with a £13 nylon pouch for my Microspikes, which is better than nothing.
TL:DR – NO.
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siDave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader. Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.