The mountaineering mantra “light is right” has limited application in the realm of crampons as most climbers prefer to wear lightweight aluminum crampons but require a durable steel pair for climbing vertical ice. However, climbing gear manufacturer Petzl aims to fulfill this way of thinking with its innovative Irvis Hybrid crampons. A revolutionary addition to the world of alpine industry gear, the new product perfectly blends the best of both aluminum and steel worlds.
The Irvis Hybrid crampons solve the problem of strength versus weight with a steel toe, aluminum heel, and a Dyneema cord connection bar. The product is a simple combination of the company’s earlier Leopard and Irvis models but effectively serves as the most groundbreaking crampon on the market to date.
The Leopard model is the epitome of light and packable, boasting aluminum fronts and backs, with a Dyneema cord connection bar as opposed to traditional metal. Dyneema is considered the world’s strongest and lightest fabric and is used in many commercial industries. The Leopard’s ingenious utilization of Dyneema (Cord-Tec) is the most prominent design development, efficiently solving the problem of crampon packability and making for the lightest possible product.
Petzl’s metal connection bar replacement allows for the first foldable crampon while maintaining absolute material strength. The original Irvis model offers traditional 10-point steel support and a rigid connection bar — providing the sharp edges and durability necessary for technical water ice climbing, however, at the ultimate sacrifice of weighing heavily.
The Irvis Hybrid crampons opened the door into a new realm of mountaineering gear development. The aluminum and Dyneema elements keep the product light while steel front points allow wearers to execute more technical terrain, including water and alpine ice. In addition, the Irvis Hybrid crampons come with both a toe strap and a toe clip to meet wearers’ interchangeable needs — a stand-alone revolutionary improvement, in itself.
They do require the use of rigid or semi-rigid soles due to the flexibility of Cord-Tec — though this isn’t much of a downside considering the whole picture. Petzl’s Irvis Hybrid Crampons retail for $179.95 via the company’s website.