Hillsound Trail Crampon Traction Device (similar to Kahtoola Microspikes but better)

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by GrandLarsony, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. GrandLarsony

    GrandLarsony Guide

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    Picked these up in November and have been very happy with them so far. Have gotten out with them at least 6x and, when the snow isn't too deep, they're just about perfect for my uses.

    Some of the things I've noticed about the actual product:

    * They fit perfectly into any pouch or pocket designed for a Nalgene with room to spare, or in the Vietnam era iFAK Alice pouch (sans plastic insert, of course).
    * It's just fine to clip them to the outside of your pack with a carabiner, too, but they can jangle and scratch things if exposed.
    * The chain links and all connections are welded, not just crimped, which should make them very durable.
    * The rubber is heavy and thick, but only time will tell if it holds up.
    * They appear to be significantly more aggressive than others on the market (specifically, they have deeper spikes and appear better made than Kahtoola Microspikes).

    And some comments based on my usage:

    * I have a sketchy lower back (3 bad discs), and the most dangerous problem for me is when I have a half-slip and catch myself from falling.
    * These completely alleviate that concern. Every step I take is rock solid.
    * They work perfectly on ice - for example stream fishing near waterfalls where there are huge mounds of pure ice and frozen muck on the shore.
    * I no longer need to look where I'm going. I can actually look around at the woods & stuff. A novel concept.
    * Great with gaiters in deeper snow. Have been excellent up to a full 12" of fresh snow (both heavy and light). Beyond that you want snowshoes.
    * Very lightweight, hardly know they're there. I get less tired wearing them than when not.
    * Going uphill or downhill was just like climbing stairs. Trekking poles help a bit, as I also like to engage my upper body.
    * I was able to walk on pavement, too, but I would try to minimize this when possible (walk along the side).

    Here's a link to Amazon where you can find more product information, some good reviews, and stock photos. I think I paid $39 including shipping. Be sure to order the right size for the footwear you'll be using (there is a sizing chart):

    http://www.amazon.com/Hillsound-Tra...1358530315&sr=8-1&keywords=Hillsound+traction

    Here they are on a pair of pretty typical insulated winter boots, Men's size 10. Good fit.
    Heavy winter boot with ice spikes.jpg

    And here they are on a Men's size 9.5 Merril trail boot (much smaller on the outside). They still fit just fine.
    Lightweight boot with ice spikes.jpg

    Today was the first time I have anything even remotely negative to complain about... we had partially frozen ground, tons of leaves under 1" of fresh snow and bright sunshine. Good recipe for gummed up feet. I could usually scuff my feet and they'd clear, but I had to knock them with my trekking poles more than a few times, too.
    ice & leaves.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  2. skunkworx

    skunkworx Scout

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    +1. I have both micro spikes and hill sounds. Both are good products but i give the slight edge to hill sound!

    Both are great for walking on ice and snowy trails. If you want something for walking on icy pavement look for a design with way less aggressive traction. These are similar to wearing metal baseball cleats on a hard surface.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  3. Fusternc

    Fusternc Tracker

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    Good review. I have some called Yaktrax that use spring design instead of the spikes. They work fantastic and don't seem to pick up much at all in the way of leaves, etc. I found them in REI and ultimately ordered much cheaper off Amazon.
     

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