The calendar may still say it’s fall, but we all know that winter is coming. It won’t be too much longer before the mercury begins to drop and the snow and ice start falling from the sky. But that doesn’t mean you have to hole up inside for three months and wait for the arrival of spring. Quite the contrary, in fact. With the right winter gear, it can be just as enjoyable to be outside during the colder months as it is the rest of the year. Of course, one of the challenges of playing outside in the snow is being able to keep your footing on slick surfaces. But thanks to a new product from Yaktrax, even that should not be much of a problem.
If you’re not familiar with Yaktrax, it is a company that makes a line of products that you wear over the soles of your shoes that provide extra traction. This allows you to continue pursuing your favorite activities, even in the winter months when snow and ice are common. For instance, the Yaktrax Run is – unsurprisingly – made for runners who refuse to retreat to the gym just because a little snow is on the ground. The company also has different models for hikers, skiers, and even daily commuters too. But now, it has introduced a new addition to its lineup that is designed for peak bagging and light mountaineering as well.
The Yaktrak Summit fills a nice niche between the company’s other products and a full-blown crampon. Lightweight and durable, this traction device was built for someone who likes to travel light and fast on the trail, even in the winter months. Yaktrax says it weighs just 17 ounces — about half that of most crampons — and features 3/8-inch carbon steel spikes that were designed to grip tightly on slick surfaces. But at the same time, those same metal teeth can also shed snow and ice quickly to prevent excess buildup that could slow you down.
Most traditional crampons use buckles and leather straps to attach to your boots, but the designers at Yaktrax came up with something different when creating the Summit. They added a Boa lacing system instead, saving themselves a considerable amount of weight and bulk in the process. Boa uses a unique approach to their closure systems that employs aircraft-grade stainless steel wires that tighten up to cinch the Summit around the sole of your shoe. Those wires are pulled tight using a special dial that allows the user to set the exact level of tension to suit their needs.
In preparation for the arrival of winter, Yaktrax has begun shipping the Summit now. Priced at $90, they are a more affordable solution than standard crampons, which tend to be a bit of overkill for most winter activities. If you are a winter hiker who enjoys bagging some non-technical peaks during the colder months, however, chances are these will be a good addition to your gear closet. Who knows, they may just take away your last excuse for staying on the couch all winter.