Artimate Snowgrips

As well as your camera and accessories every photographer has a number of other items in their artillery useful or necessary to do their job.

Over the future I will tell you and review some of these (often little) gadgets which make the job that bit easier.

First up is something I was going to get for last winter but didn’t so when I was in an outdoor shop this autumn I decided that now was the time before I miss another winter.

As the weather has panned out this winter they have been a real bonus, so what am I talking about.

Snowgrips, a sort of junior crampon, they attach to the sole of your climbing shoes to give extra grip in snowy or icy conditions.

They slip over the sole of your boots in just a few seconds and are removed as quickly which is useful as you wouldn’t normally wear them when on a solid surface.

Having said that I did drive over ten miles in them and it didn’t make driving awkward.

So do they work ?

Absolutely, I first tried them on a quick partial climb of the Paps of Jura, not deep snow but often frozen and also areas of ice. They made the whole experience of walking on these surfaces a lot more confident.

Basically they are six metal studs set into a flexible elastic support, the studs dig into the snow or ice to stop any sliding a bit like the way studded car tyres work.

On an area of sheet ice, I tried to slide across it but the studs dug in and I couldn’t slide even with my momentum trying to push me along.

One of the reasons why you perhaps wouldn’t wear them on a solid surface would be through increased wear of the studs.

So do they replace crampons ?

Definitely not, if you were ice climbing then the extra grip and security on crampons is vital.

The choice here is whether you would use something like this or nothing at all.

Then the decision would be a definite YES  especially as they cost £15 for a pair.

You would expect to pay well into three figures for even a ordinary  set of crampons but then they are  doing a different job.

There are a number of different but new solutions similar to these on the market now, some look useful but I am not sure about some of them.

Expect to pay from £10 upwards to around £45 but if our winters are going to carry on as the last two they could end up being a very useful purchase.

In my opinion they have already justified the case to be in my gadget box.

Value for money 10/10         Ease of use 9/10      Performance  9/10

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One thought on “Artimate Snowgrips

  1. Armin January 23, 2011 / 9:43 pm

    This category is a very clever idea, I’m looking forward to see what other little things you’ll come up with. I wouldn’t want to miss my “convertible gloves” (mittens which convert into fingerless gloves when required).

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