Kit review: Grivel Air Tech New-Matic Crampons
Winter walking in Scotland requires a pair of crampons. It might be that you carry them in your rucksack all winter and never use them but you should have access to a pair for safety if you need to walk in icy or snowy conditions.
Crampons attach to walking boots to give you greater grip on slippery terrain.
The Grivel G12 crampons are a common sight on winter mountains. I have always walked in Grivel crampons but I have been borrowing the G-Force’s second pair of crampons for years and so I decided I needed my own pair.
The Grivel Air Tech crampon is a slightly pared down version of the G12 and features shorter points all round. This makes it easier to walk in them and gives more stability on mixed terrain.
The crampons are ideal for winter walks through to moderate climbs.
The G12s can rated C2 crampons and can be used on a wide range of walking boots, from stiff summer boots to full-on winter boots. They are also compatible with ridged and semi-ridged mountaineering boots.
They also feature:
- Front toe baskets made from tough and durable Zytel DuPont plastic.
- “Antibott” plates to prevent snow clogging
- Asymmetric chassis for optimum fit with modern footwear
- Dual position rear heel bail with adjusting levers.
B1 boots are described as having some flex in the sole. They are only suitable for use with a C1-rated strap-on crampon.
B2 boots take both C1 crampons as well as C2 crampons (the G12s are C2 crampons). They have a step-in binding at the heel but not at the toe. More rigidity in the sole means they feel slightly less comfortable to walk in but they perform better on mountain terrain and in winter conditions.
B3 boots have fully rigid soles and compatible with all types of crampon including C1, C2 and C3s. They feature a full step-in binding at the heel and toe. They are more specifically designed for climbing rather than all-day walking comfort.
Why I like the Grivel G12 crampons
The Grivel Air Tech New-Matic Crampons are useful for different activities, from walking in snow and ice to easy grade scrambles and climbs. This makes them a versatile choice for winter Munro bagging.
If you plan to do more serious climbing in winter conditions you need crampons with longer, sharper mono points. They are generally referred to as C3 crampons.
The Grivel Air Tech New-Matic Crampons also suits a wide range of boots so they can be fitted to different boots depending on what you plan to wear for walking.
It’s important to note that you still need heel attachment points, which are found on B2 and B3 winter boots, but not B1 boots.
Grivel are also famed for the quality of their steel and our household has pairs of Grivel G14s and G20s, which are still going strong after years of use.
(However, the G14s are heavier than the G12s and the front points are a bit too long for walking on easy angled terrain, while the G20s are a bit too lightweight for more rocky Scottish terrain. The G14s are much better suited to steeper terrain and heavy duty icy conditions.)
In my opinion the G12s are just about as perfect as can be for winter walking in Scotland.
The Grivel Air Tech New-Matic Crampons (G12s) are easily adjusted to suit all size of boots. I even checked if I could get them on my ski boots, which I could, just in case I want to use them for ski touring.
The G12s suit a range of uses, they are ideal for winter walking conditions in Scotland and they can be fitted to a variety of boots.
Go Outdoors sells the Grivel Air Tach New-Matic Crampons for £121.50 with a discount card.