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Stay standing upright in the slime.
Since you started wearing the Patagonia Ultralight River Crampon, you no longer refer to the Skeena using a string of swear words. Updated for 2014, these crampons are lighter and more flexible than ever. Now, when you've landed what appears to be the mother salmon of 'em all and are hunkering down for a few hours of fighting, you can focus on the fish and not fear falling into the drink.
The recycled plastic frame lost some weight for the new season and is fully adjustable without requiring any special tools. The riveted aluminum bar treads won't rip apart the bottom of your boat so long as you're careful. More important, though, the bars are widely spaced to offer grip on rock and sand while cutting through algae and river slime. The durable harness system is made from corrosion-resistant, fiberglass-impregnated neoprene. This easy-to-alter harness won't crumbled after a season in salt and lets you find the perfect fit every time, whether you're wearing wading boots or neoprene booties.
- Recycled plastic frame
- Riveted aluminum bar treads
- Fiberglass-impregnated harness system
- Adjustable, no tools required
- Item #PAT009O
- Q & A
Best Traction of All
I've been using Patagonia River Crampons on my lug-soled insulated winter waders for several years now. They grip better than felt or studs. I've used them on the notoriously slippery North Umpqua, and they've never failed me. My only complaint: I wish Patagonia would make the aluminum bars replaceable, like they do on their aluminum-barred wading boots. I contacted them once about this and was told that river crampons with replaceable bars were in the offing, but I've yet to see them. I hope they haven't changed their minds. Replaceable aluminum bars would make these crampons perfect, which why I give four stars instead of five.
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
These river crampons are a must have for any wading but critical for swift rivers and river crossings. I wear these over my Simms G4 boots and use them every day of steel heading season. As you get older, a twisted ankle or knee can take forever to heal so having some insurance while wading is definitely welcome.
The aluminum bars used to grip take some getting used to but are extremely useful when you are standing on smooth boulders with moss and you need something to bite into the algae and hold a position. I find them most useful in river crossings where getting a solid foothold and release in any current are essential to making it across without going for a swim.
The fact that there is no felt or fabric to dry out makes these easy to store and quick to dry. After two years (I had the prior non-lightweight version) they are still going strong.