Chicks Gear Review: Petzl Dartwin

fullsizerender-18If you’re looking for a great all around crampon to tackle the ice, snow and rock then look no further than the Petzl Dartwin. The Dartwin is ideal for vertical and steep waterfall ice climbing. You’ll find that it’s an excellent choice for kicking around the Ouray Ice Park as well as backcountry ice climbing destinations from the Rockies to Iceland.

The Dartwin is Petzl’s vertical dual point model which penetrate the ice with the lightest of kicks. The points are offset (one slightly longer than the other) so you can position you foot into the ice more effectively which helps your stance feel stable and secure. The orange color of the front points make it easy to see how deep they’ve bitten into the ice and makes it easier to identify when they need to be sharpened up.

They come with a standard toe bale so it’ll fit your boots with a front and toe welt and a lever lock on the heel which snuggly secures the crampon to your ice boots. The heel is narrower than other crampons available, so if you have a small to average size lady-foot, your boot won’t be swimming around in them.

One drawback is that they don’t have an anti-balling plate for the forefoot which keep fluffy snow from building up on snowy approaches. However it’s easy enough to kick your boots together like Dorothy in the Wizard to keep the bottoms clear so don’t let that stop you. The benefit of no balling plates means the Dartwins are lightweight (1 pound, 14oz but who’s counting), which means you have more energy for kicking.

Last cool thing to know about the Petzl line of crampons is that you can easily swap out the forefoot. Petzl sells the Dart (single point) and the Dartwin (double point) fronts independently, so you can replace them once you’ve worn them down to little nubs. Or if you’re looking for versatility in your quiver, buy one complete set and the replacement front so you can swap out your mono points for doubles whenever the fancy strikes you. You don’t even need any tools to make the switch.