S12 Articule


Page Type Gear Review
Object Title S12 Articule
Manufacturer Charlet Moser
Page By John
Page Type Dec 18, 2001 / Dec 18, 2001
Object ID 92
Hits 6475
Built for stability and comfort, the S12 Articule is exceptional for long days on the mountain. This is the most simplified version in the S12 crampon series, with lightweight straps over the heel and toe. The strap on design will work even with sneakers and the articulated joint allows it to walk better than any other crampon on any flexible boot. With a rigid boot the crampon is rigid and climbs well. They also work better than most crampons with over boots. However, these are difficult to put on with gloves due to threading through the metal rings, a problem when it is very cold.
  • Ideal for climbing and mountaineering
  • Twelve-point design
  • Horizontal toe points for added traction
  • Adjustable width without tools
  • Single screw adjustment to fit boots from U.S. size 3-1/2 to 11-1/2 and European size 36 - 46
  • Compatible with Antibott System® crampon accessory (anti-balling) - sold separately
  • UIAA certified
  • Alaska Mountaineering & Hiking (2003, 2002): "The best strap on crampon made in our view."


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John - Jan 4, 2002 7:31 pm - Voted 4/5

Untitled Review
A great set of general purpose, comfortable crampons for alpine / volcano / couloir climbs. I've used these in the Cascades, Sierras, and the Whites in NH. I've never had any problems except with the front straps coming loose once in a while. A loose strap means it will move around a bit but it won't just fall off so you'll have ample opportunity to tighten it again - it happens rarely that it's really not a bother. My recent technique is to loop the end of the front strap as many times as it can go around the strap b/t the front and front/side rings - this seems to stop the loosening. I've only run into snowballing once with these (Whitney in April) and have heard that it only happens on very wet snow so the anti-balling plate is generally not necessary. When not on your feet, the straps are long so when I clip them to the back of my pack on descents, often times I'll tie the ends to the pack's daisy chain so I won't have them hanging all over the place. Also, if you are going to be using the same pair with leather and plastic boots, be sure to check the strap length for both as the plastic shells can be much larger and require more strap length.

I have to agree with Alaska Mountaineering & Hiking in that these are a great set of crampons. I would give these 5 stars but there is the issue of the slight difficulty in threading of the straps through the metal rings. This takes time and needs enough precision that I like to remove my gloves for this - which can be a problem in frigid conditions.

That said, these rock compared to the 10-point BD Contact Strap Crampons or the 10-point Grivel G-10 Classic Crampons. Not only does the S12 Articule have 2 extra points, the strap / ring method collapses for easy storage and packing - fits easily in an OR Crampon Pouch. The BD and Grivel crampons have hard plastic attachments that go around the toebox and heel of the boot that make them hard to pack. That being said, the plastic attachments probably make them easier to put on for high altitude expeditions where you may encounter very cold conditions.

I'm giving these 4 stars because although these do a great job, opportunity for improvement does exist. Great for your first set of crampons.

nartreb - Mar 29, 2005 1:55 pm - Voted 3/5

Untitled Review
Both the description above and the previous review are dead on. I'll just add that these are indeed my first set of crampons. I used them in Alaska (glacier travel) and I use them when needed in the Whites (general winter hiking). Overall they're solid and reliable, and I have no complaints other than that threading the straps through the rings isn't always easy when they've gotten wet and then frozen.

I use them in rigid mode over a pair of flexible old Timberland boots - this lets me wear a comfortable shoe (for barebooting and snowshoeing) and still have a solid base when needed on ice.

I've never needed anti-balling plates with these - I don't even use the old duct-tape trick.

Edit: since writing the above I've had a chance to heft some aluminum crampons. What a HUGE difference in weight! I now recommend something lighter than these as a first crampon.

Edit 2: When taking these on steep terrain I've had some problems with the straps working loose (probably wouldn't be a problem with stiffer boots). I've purchased a different (lighter, with more finger-friendly buckles) pair of crampons to go with my new (stiffer) boots, so I'll do a comparison soon (snow is in the forecast for this weekend...)

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