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  • CAMP USA - Race 290 Crampon - Orange/Blue
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  • CAMP USA - Race 290 Crampon - Orange/Blue

CAMP USA Race 290 Crampon

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    • Orange/Blue
    2.553

    3 Reviews

    Details

    Strap in and step out.

    Designed with competitive ski mountaineering in mind, the CAMP USA Race 290 crampons work with any tech-binding-compatible AT boots. No longer do you have to wrap several feet of webbing around your boots. CAMP went with aluminum construction and even a Dyneema strap for a center bar to cut weight as far as possible.
    • Dyneema linking strap adds strength while reducing overall weight
    • Lightweight and durable 7075 T6 aluminum provides the durability of a burlier design without adding unnecessary grams
    • Included carry bag makes transport a breeze
    • Item #CMP0217

    Tech Specs

    Material
    aluminum
    Attachment Type
    step-in (for Tech boots)
    Points
    10
    Anti-balling plates
    no
    Claimed Weight
    [each] 10.2 oz
    Recommended Use
    ski mountaineering
    Manufacturer Warranty
    lifetime

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

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    Good crampons for mellow terrain

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    They are good crampons for mellow terrain or step ladders. But for more technical mountaineering, you'll want something that fits more securely.
    I have owned them for a few seasons now and have climbed probably about a dozen volcanoes in them in the summer and a few times in winter and spring. My boots are Dynafit TLT 6, size 25/25.5. Even though the mondo size of the boot is in the medium range, the BSL of the boot is only 277 mm, very short compared to other touring boots. The front welt of the boot is also very shallow, compared to other AT boots.

    The first issue I encountered was that the front bail doesn’t contour the front of the boot. I have seen others complain about the same issue (check out https://www.wildsnow.com/6008/camp-gear-review-crampons/). I noticed the issue after a couple of climbs on moderate terrain and adjusted the curve of the bail with a vise and a pair of plyers. That fix improved the security of the crampons somewhat. I climbed a couple more seasons in them but never felt super secure. Finally during the last two climbs on Mt Hood in Oregon, one of the front bails started slipping off of the boot. The other one had a little play but was staying on the boot all the time. It was super annoying and could be dangerous. I had to keep an eye on the crampon all the time. When I got home yesterday, I inspected the crampons. The length was properly adjusted. The nubbins at the back of the heel pieces were already right at the heels of the boots. If I shorten the crampons one hole further, The nubbins would be under the heels, although I’d still be able to pull the pins into the boots. So I broke off the nubbins and shortened the crampons. I haven’t used them in the snow yet. But they do feel much more secure when I was playing around on a piece of plywood, although now it’s very hard to get the pins into the boots. And I’m sure this is not how they intend the crampons to be used and I’m sure the warranty is now voided 😃. BTW, the two side nubbins seem to be too far apart for a boot this small. They would fit better for boots with wider heels. I have always wondered why crampons are all one-size-fit-all.

    To be fair, this is a minimalist boot with a small sole (not compatible with frame bindings). My guess is that Atomic Backland would have the same problems. And I am probably using these crampons beyond the scope of what they are designed for. Although it was not technical ice terrain, but I was climbing 45-50 degree hard snow. I’m not complaining about these crampons. I’m simply letting you know about the limitations if you are unaware of. I understand the difficulty when it comes to designing a crampon to be compatible with thousands of boots out there. During my experiment, I tried mixing a heel piece from an XLC nano and it worked very well. The levers at the back seem to work better than the pins. I don’t want to use XLC nano with these boots though because the toe pieces are too big. I just ordered a pair of tour 350 and plan to use at least the heel units. They are not going to be as lightweight and low profile but hopefully more secure.

    Outstanding Design -- with some mods...

      Even lighter weight than CAMP's other all-alu models? Check!
      Folds away to a trivial size in your pack, with the points partially protected? Check!
      Fit? With some modifications, very good on a TLT5, but loses a star because such modifications are necessary.
      So, set up as-is with the Dyneema connectors (I didn’t bother testing the metal bars), the fit is rather loose for general ski mountaineering use (although they always stayed on during my short practice sessions), and probably more well-suited to very straightforward boot ladders at races. (The relatively loose fit is a function of both the maximum achievable tightness of the Dyneema, and the way the rear heel nubbin fits up against the back of the ski boot sole.)
      But with just several minutes of work (learned from several hours of testing & sleuthing…), dremmel off the heel’s rear nubbin/stopper, dremmel off ~4mm of the heel pins (plus round off the sharp ends a bit), fiddle with dialing in the correct length of the Dyneema, and the fit is very secure. (This tight fit is a function of both the additional tightness thereby achieved of the Dyneema, and the way the heel "throw" is cradled up against the end of the boot sole.)
      I know that taking a dremmel to crampons sounds scary, but the modifications do not affect the crampon's structural integrity, and the fit is far more secure with them.

      Brilliant idea, immature product

        The lateral security of the toe piece was pretty questionable when using the dyneema strap regardless of how much they were tightened. Stability improved with the aluminum center bar, but the tech fitting heel attachment wasn't as stiff as a traditional cam clamp. With the dyneema they couldn't pass the carpet test without a lateral blowout, so they aren't going to mountains with me. Front pointing would probably be ok, but french technique type forces didn't work. They basically need lateral retainer posts on the toe piece similar to a typical heel retainer tab, as the strap can't resist torsion like a traditional metal center bar.

        In their defense, I was attempting to pair them to a dynafit TLT5 boot which tends to be a very difficult boot to properly fit a crampon. They might match up better to a boot with a wider sole block like an F1. Because of the clever design I had to try these out firsthand, and maybe the next generation will solve the issue. They sure did pack down small, and the thinking behind them is in the right place.

        Good question. I played with the fit to a pair of 27.5 Mega Rides as well as the 28 TLT5's. The toe bail sizing and the resulting translating lateral slop was much better, but it still didn't retain well under twisting forces. To me, that is a an issue which effects the product's ability to be a safety device. I wouldn't accept a harness that falls off when you twist your body to the left, and a crampon shouldn't be any different.