Feb 06 2013

Review: 22D’s ski crampon for AXL


22D’s AXL w/teeth!

You probably don’t remember 22 Designs announcement at last years OR show (OR Winter 2012) that they were going to make ski crampons for their renowned AXL binding. I might have overlooked it myself except for the fact that the sample they had in their booth had backwards teeth. It was certainly contrary to any other pair of ski crampon I’d ever seen but I mused, “maybe these young turks from 22D knew something the rest of us missed?!”

Thankfully that isn’t quite true as the sample pair they sent arrived with teeth pointing to the rear like everyone else. The only practical difference was how the crampon hooked on to the binding.

Ski crampons hook on to the bar at the back of the toe plate.

There’s a small hook at the front center of the crampons with a spring latch to keep it wrapped around the rod at the back of the toe plate. While relatively simple to latch on or off it is worth noting that it is easier to do if you lift the spring steel “button” up and off to the side rather than try to hold it open while maneuvering the hook on or off.

While simple, it isn’t so simple you can easily add these crampons on the fly without stepping out of the binding. In terms of ease of use, they aren’t as easy to engage as Freeride crampons but I don’t know of any pivoting tele-schiesen that can be put on without stepping out of the binding.

Made w/6061 Aluminum.

Like many other ski crampons, these pivot so the teeth lift up when you stride forward, reducing friction. They don’t cut in and hold unless your foot is flat and weighted. In use they are pretty invisible, except they make traversing an icy slope an exercise of confident control instead of angst driven steps of trepidation. It wasn’t that bad when I took them out for a spin, but they certainly made traversing any angled slope far easier since there was zero sideways slippage. Of course, they also did a great job of making steep ascents straight up firm snow a simple task as well, requiring less effort to make the skins hold.

If you’ve been enjoying the free pivot touring freedom and Hammerhead turning power of AXL you can now add skinning confidence in sketchy conditions. The only thing still missing is a sensor that can accurately tell you when to bring ‘em along, or leave ‘em behind.

22 Designs
AXL Ski Crampon
MSRP: $75
Sizes (weight/pr.): 92mm • 110mm (10 oz.)

© 2013