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Kahtoola microspikes got a little upgrade

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  • Kahtoola microspikes got a little upgrade

    I just bought a new pair. The eyelets are now reinforced. So if you have that problem this is good. They have not updated the picture on their own website.

    My problem is the long links between the cleats break and fall off. No help there.

    I actually broke my last pair doing lap after lap at Ushers road park so I am not too upset with them.

    I have half an even older pair that I am going to try and cannibalize so I can try to fix my now second oldest pair with. This way I can do my laps with the older pair and wear them down some more.

    You can see the new eyelets here https://www.rei.com/product/890608/k...raction-system
    Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
    ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

  • #2
    I bought a replacement pair of the black style a couple of years ago and I see reinforced eyelets at that time. Problem is, I've never had one tear at that location. I've had it tear in the longer middle parts between the eyelets with the black ones. The black rubber just seems weaker and of lesser quality than the earlier red versions of Kahtoolas.

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    • #3
      Kahtoola = standard pattern: Introduce innovative product; Win the market; Cheap out. No longer the best choice.

      Shop Hillsound, Snowline, Grivel, Outdoor 360 (a knockoff house), etc.; compare performance and price; look for deals.

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      • Yury
        Yury commented
        Editing a comment
        https://sectionhiker.com/10-best-win...-und-crampons/
        10 Best Winter Traction Devices and Crampons of 2022

      • Makwa
        Makwa commented
        Editing a comment
        I do not recommend the Grivel Ran micros. I had a pair break after a half dozen or so winter hikes as did JoeCedar and a few others on the forum. All busted chains if I recall correctly. I had multiple failures with them in one day. I don't think anybody had them last very long.

        I also busted a cheapo pair I bought on Amazon when I first started winter hiking and didn't want to invest in gear before knowing whether I would enjoy it or not. Popped chains on them before I reached the trail register on Cascade. They lasted less than 100 feet. So buyer beware on the knockoffs. I see a lot of people on the Facebook groups saying they have bought the cheapo knockoff pairs and haven't had any problems but I think all of those lesser quality micros are just ticking time bombs.

        I haven't had any problems with Kahtoolas at all after 50+ winter hikes in them. Older model from 2013.

    • #4
      Ive got to cast my vote for the hillsound ultras. Have had mine for at least 3 years with absolutely no issue aside from dulling after many many trips. I just sharpened them beautifully today with a dremel, took a little while to do 36 points but they look amazing. Cant wait to see how they perform after the sharpening.

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      • #5
        Chainsen and others mentioned by TCD. On the Grommets or Bearings mentioned by Bunchberry for the chain / rubber joint. Quick check on REI is seems this is common to number of designs now.

        Hiking buddy rbalbs had told me about the Chanisen (Snowline) and said they some his buddies recommended them. Check of the web page seems part of major crampon maker Camp. The Pro model looks pretty good (large wire gauge chain links) and it has the metal bail on the toe. Otherwise looks like the Katoolah.

        The Outdoor 360 chain links appear to be narrow gauge. I'd wouldn't buy theses for hiking. Good for street walking, driveway shoveling, or maybe ice fishing.

        Rock slabs on Hadley Mt trail yesterday were 100% coated with water ice and sometimes thick. Yet I still see some people buying Yak-trax :(. Microspikes aren't helpful either. On the descent I was 50 yards off trail walking on leaves.

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        • Makwa
          Makwa commented
          Editing a comment
          If you pay close enough attention in winter you will find remnants of broken Yak-trax on just about every mountain under 3000' in the Adirondacks. I see them all the time on lesser peaks.

      • #6
        I've used Kahtoola, Hillsound (the trail crampon, not the "microspike"), Chainsen, and a few knockoffs over the years. I've had breakage in both Kahtoola and knockoffs.

        The design and manufacturing of these things changes frequently. The "best brand" last year might not be the best brand this year, or next year. Designs get downgraded to save cost, and then the original product is reintroduced at a higher price and called "pro" or "ultra" or some such thing.

        You can look at these online, or even in person, and only be able to tell so much; the test is in the use. None of my trips are "critical, must get to destination" trips; if something breaks, I am fine just turning back and limping out. If I was on a long trip in spike country, I would pack an extra one (or pair) of spikes, regardless of brand. They are small and light enough.

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        • #7
          Well with the aid of a needle nose and electrician pliers and vice grips I was able to remove three of those long links from my oldest pair and put them on my second oldest pair so now I have two functioning pairs of microspikes! I have no idea how they will hold up. I don't know how strong a bent open and bent closed link will be.

          I did look at the rest of the links. Some of the links are crooked and some of them have come a little open. So I straightened them out and mashed them down. I think this would be a wise thing to do from time to time for all who own microspikes.
          Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
          ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

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          • #8
            I've never used any outdoor product that didn't have its faults, but I've also never used one that had as many as Khatoola microspikes. I really don't blame it on the product, because they're great for what they're designed for... putzing around your local county park's crusty trails. They simply aren't properly designed for use on hard ice and mixed alpine terrain.

            All other flaws aside, its their soft, short, dull teeth for me. Before finally discovering Hillsounds I can't even count how many times I gave up on my Khatoolas mid-hike and stepped into my crampons for safety.
            My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

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