Air Tech Evolution


Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Air Tech Evolution
Manufacturer Grivel
Page By bbense
Page Type Aug 21, 2003 / Aug 21, 2003
Object ID 796
Hits 17444
A new Evolution of Grivel's famous Air Tech model, this is an alpine axe with vertical tendencies.

Shaft features a gentle curve just below the head, allowing greater clearance and making anchoring easier on any sort of terrain
Lower part of the shaft is straight, enabling easy penetration into snow
Head is hot-forged from a single piece of cro-moly steel for maximum strength; alloy shaft tested to 400kg
Full-length, adjustable leash and lower shaft-grips improve performance as an ice tool
Leash has an attached rubber spike guard which controls the leash and protects your gear during transport

Specifications are based on size 66cm



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rhyang - Sep 3, 2004 1:14 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
The Evo's shaft bend is not a problem for glacier walking and self-arrest (I have had to self- and group-arrest with this axe on several occasions). This axe has also gotten me up steep alpine ice with spots of water ice, when used with an ice tool. Nice sharp pick, and a wide adze for chopping snow & ice.

There are two Evo models that Grivel sells - one with a conventional long leash, and another with what they call a 'slider' - a moveable pinky rest used when swinging the axe for ice climbing (the slider attaches to a spot under the head via a small bungee cord when not in use). I have the slider version, but tied a homemade webbing leash to it for security on glacier slogs and such. The slider is also available as an accessory.

Unlike the original Air Tech, this version does not have a rubber grip. Instead, there is grip tape (a rough sandpaper-like surface) on the lower end of the shaft, where you would grip it while swinging. Some extra adhesive grip tape was included with the axe.

JanVanGenk - Nov 25, 2004 9:21 am - Voted 5/5

Nice tool
I have the shortest version of this axe with a conventional leash, it can handle rather steep ice pretty well, and self-arrest is also no problem. However, I do not like that sandpaper-like anti-slide grip surface very much, since it has caused some damage to the backback and clothing...But on the other hand, the grip is slide-proof!

Below Zero - Jan 19, 2005 5:18 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
The most "comfortable" axe I've used. I would say this is big improvement over the regular Air Tech. I've heard suggestions that bent shaft could make self arresting harder then with more conventional axes. Not true, at least I find self arresting and belaying more comfortable with this axe due to the shaft and the more natural angle it allows for your hand. During the first few times you are using this axe you should be careful with the overly rough sandpaper grip it comes with or you will damage your pack or clothes.

Timothy Pearl - Mar 14, 2007 7:40 pm - Voted 2/5

I like a pic

climbxclimb - Apr 6, 2007 10:45 pm - Voted 5/5

Great semi-technical tool
I have the 66cm version of this axe.
I like it a lot; it is light and it works great in self arrest mode, witch I have done a couple of times.
If required it hooks very well...It got me out of a crevasse after a fall in it...

PeterBayliss - Sep 30, 2007 5:18 pm - Voted 5/5

Great for the Alps
I used a pair of these (axe and hammer) this summer in the Alps and found them great. They are light for when you are carrying them on your pack, the shaft easily penetrates snow and the gently curve protects your knuckles, they also swing well.
I highly recommend them for alpine routes and have used them on 55° snow and ice but for very steep ice or hard mixed routes I would use a more technical axe.

noahs213 - Dec 26, 2007 1:28 pm - Hasn't voted

Air Tech Evo
Love it, works perfectly for me. Very light. feels like I have nothing in my hand. I strongly reccomend this Ice Axe

steste - Jun 11, 2008 5:19 pm - Hasn't voted

Great for many purposes
Very well finished and designed. Remarkable the quality of the head, molded in a signle piece, both as regards the shape and the quality of the steel. The shaft is rated T.
Good for simple glacier travel as well as for quite steep and icy terrain. The perfect compromise for those who want to have a single tool and use it in different situations

Tsuyoshi - Nov 25, 2008 2:40 am - Voted 5/5

VERY versatile!!
This is my go to axe for almost every application. I have the smallest version (52 cm I think) and I use it for everything from glacier slogs to steep snow to moderate ice. It obviously wasn't made to be used as a pure ice tool, but it can perform surprisingly well on steep ice if it needs to. This axe has been jammed in cracks, torqued, and pulled on in many occasions and still lives to tell about it. I love that I can feel confident in it no matter what the terrain is like!

Macmac - Jan 13, 2009 9:19 am - Hasn't voted

Love it.....
...and always have it attached to my backpack.
I have the 58 cm. version. So it is good both for glacier travel and, in case, for some simple technical pitch.

icypeak - Sep 13, 2009 4:58 pm - Hasn't voted

Great ice axe
Have used it for all my climbs over the past couple of years and just love it. Highly recommend.

OJ Loenneker - Oct 18, 2009 1:33 am - Voted 5/5

Second tool
I have the shorter version with a hammer. Pretty good little tool. Lighter than a full on ice tool, but still has a pick that is capable. I use it mainly as a second, because I don't ice climb, and this fits in fine for me.

Hotfeet - Mar 4, 2012 12:36 am - Voted 5/5

This is a great all purpose Ice Axe. Very strong and light!

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