Ultralight Universal


Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Ultralight Universal
Manufacturer Stubai
Page By ScottyS
Page Type Feb 3, 2004 / Feb 3, 2004
Object ID 1000
Hits 8366

--- Built to handle a myriad of different climbing pursuits

--- This crampon lives for trekking, glacier travel, or steep couloirs and snowfields

--- Totally adjustable Zytel straps make this crampon durable and easy to use

--- Fits everything from moon boots to flip-flops


Viewing: 1-12 of 12

ScottyS - Feb 3, 2004 1:10 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
The Praise

These are must-have crampons for lightweight enthusiasts. Once adjusted, they go on fast and are solid. I've used these with "approach style" tennis shoes as well as lightweight boots, and every time I felt secure no matter how dicey the terrain. Much better than insteps, and almost as light, these crampons come in a handy mesh bag so you can even strap them to the exterior of your pack to save space.

Any Cons?

Not really. Because they are aluminum, you don't want to buy them for vertical ice work, but for light mixed rock they seem to do fine. I did Orizaba with these in some Gore-Tex high-top shoes/boots, and never felt insecure even on some of the steeper, crustier surfaces.

Bottom Line

If you go light, you can't live without these.

rhyang - Jun 21, 2004 3:03 am - Voted 4/5

Untitled Review
I used these to climb Mt. Shasta via Avy Gulch, and the Shasta/Shastina saddle, which involved about 40-ish degrees in places. Worked great on hard snow.

I tend to take them off for rock sections, since they are aluminum. The bindings are very secure, but take a while to put on and can also be a pain to figure out. However, I understand that these are also made with Combi (like new-matic) and step-in bindings.

I believe it's possible to get anti-balling plates for these (use google), but I just cut some plastic out of a juice container, cut it to fit and zip-tied it to the bottom.

Not for use on water ice.

Bignick - Jun 6, 2005 12:17 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
I searched for a while before buying these as I was looking for the lightest weight crampon available that would hold up to serious climbing on steep snow and occasional rock. I wanted a crampon that was easy to put on and would easily fit on the back of my fanny pack without being too obtrusive. I bought the Stubai Ultralights and have been very happy with them. I have used them about 6 times and they work better than expected. The crampons are made of a high grade heat treated and hard aircraft type aluminum alloy. These wear very well, even on rock and are extremely resistant to bending. Probably will wear a little more if used often on rock, but that's why we have heavier steel crampons too. They are light enough that I take them with me when there is a chance I will encounter steep snow on a hike. I found that shortening the straps is helpful and I pack them without the carry bag to save more weight.

plark42 - Jan 24, 2006 1:05 am - Voted 4/5

Untitled Review
I am very happy with this product- I can put them on my leather mountaineering boots or even my ski touring boots.. and they still fit!! They are very easy to put on and take off (granted that you practice with them a bit).. and I feel much more secure with these strap-ons on my feet compared to other step-ins that I've owned... I climbed mt. Baker and mt. adams with these guys and they stood up fine. However, when I eventually get plastic boots, I will get beefier steel step-in crampons that can tackle anything I throw at them.. (I am a bit hesitant with these stubai's on rock and hard snow/ice)

Muddeer - Feb 24, 2007 2:36 am - Voted 4/5

good, but still aluminum
It is all you need on hard snow; iffy on icy stuff though. The spikes will dull fast on rocks. I wish they were a little longer; barely fits my US size 11.5 winter boots (I have to jam them in - time consuming...). I occasionally sharpen the spikes. Avoid sharpening to a sharp point though, as it will dull quickly. Also, use a hand file, not a machine tool - you will remove alot more material than you would want and not realize it.

MountaingirlBC - May 7, 2007 2:26 pm - Voted 5/5

Perfect for what they are intended for
For most of my trips, the Stubai's are more than adequate. I love them. They are made of aluminum alloy so they are MUCH lighter (590grams) than regular crampons. They aren't as sharp as regular crampons (which also makes them a good choice for children and beginners)but I've heard you can sharpen them... but then if you need to you should probably be using beefier crampons anyway. It's nice not having to worry about them shredding everything in my pack... or my legs for that matter.

You would think that they wouldn't be strong being made of aluminium but they have certainly held up well for me even on steep rock. Granted, I weigh 124lbs so if you had another 110lbs on me you might need something stronger. My climbing partner is always jealous of how quickly I can get my crampons on as the binding system is really simple & easy to use.

Don't lose the straps. They're expensive to replace!

fossana - Feb 7, 2008 7:08 pm - Voted 5/5

great product
These are the perfect lightweight crampons for most of my mountaineering adventures. I'm not a big fan of mountaineering boots (I have yet to find a pair that fit me well), so being able to wear them over approach shoes is a big plus. My only complaint is that the plastic strap guides sometimes dig into my ankles when I'm not wearing boots.

MoapaPk - Dec 20, 2008 10:44 am - Voted 5/5

OK for hard snow
...which is about all I see. Every time I use them, I have to figure out the straps. Mine have a self-locking washer and screw to adjust the size; if you have this system, do the adjustment beforehand, as it is virtually impossible to do with cold hands, and if you loose the tiny screw... you are screwed.

Aluminum has an extremely high heat transfer coefficient, so these crampons have a much greater tendency (compared to SS) to ball soft snow in warm weather, when you are going from shade to light.

Tsuyoshi - Mar 4, 2009 6:49 am - Voted 5/5

great for alpine rock approaches!
before i used mine for the first time i cut the eyelets that the straps attach to around the ankle as they dug into my ankles while wearing shoes with them. i was scared this would make then unstable or dangerous but it didn't affect their performance at all, in fact, it cut more weight off them!

i've used these for many approaches to rock climbs and countless glacier slogs. they work extremely well in hard snow. their weight isn't the lightest of the lightweight crampons, but they still feel like nothing on the pack. The best part of these, over lighter weight versions, is that they are much more durable. I have no problem walking and scrambling sections of rock in these. in fact, my pair has seem many pitches of rock climbing and still look great with little to no wear from the rock.

these won't do ice very well but for all those days when you know ice isn't in the plan, why would you take anything else. my g-12's sit in my closet for most trips while these get all the action. and, for those unexpected sections of ice, unless it's the hardest of all black ice, they'll make do to you up or down... i mean, they're better than boots in those situations!

farrisgl - Mar 9, 2009 2:08 am - Hasn't voted

Great lightweight crampons!
I purchased my Stubai's about 10 years ago, these things are great light weight crampons. No they are not for ice climbing and for very cold weather. In these situations, i switch to my steel Grivels.

The only disadvantage is the lack of the antibott feature. As such I decided to “retire” my Stubai’s in favor of another manufacturer’s lightweight pair with this feature. After a season on the new pair, I am going back to the Stubais.
Great crampons.

wallygrundle - May 20, 2009 12:10 pm - Voted 5/5

Big feet? Try before you buy.
The sizing for bigfoots like me is my only negative about these crampons. My size 12.5 Vasques barely fit in them; my size 13 Montrails don't. Also, if you have wide feet (as I do), the toe bail attachments can prevent your boot from sitting properly, and I'd be reeeally nervous about bending them out, being aluminum and all.

Other than that complaint, these are outstanding. They're very light and very durable, perfect for "just in case" carrying and hard snow. Because they're so shiny, be prepared for at least five or six years of your friends asking you, "Are those new?" I'm amazed that the plastic parts have lasted as long as they have with no sign of wearing out.

dakotaconcrete - May 29, 2009 3:42 am - Hasn't voted

Nice product!
These have proven invaluable during several trips into the Colorado Rockies. They're perfect for my needs; spring and fall snow conditions that consist of hard snow, NOT SOLID ICE.

In addition, they're light and have held up nicely so far. They do lack an anti-bot system but I remedied that easily enough with cutting out my orange juice containers and zip tying them to the bottm.

Viewing: 1-12 of 12