You can also check out our Top 5 Favorite Crampons.
Crampons have undergone tremendous improvements from the earlier versions. The first crampons were almost rudimentary with basic design. Their primary use was to offer more traction in the snow.
However, modern crampons are more refined. They are even becoming specialized according to the intended activity. It is true that there is only so much technology or improvement to a crampon. But the addition of features and enhancements in this traction gear can surprise you.
These days you will find specialized crampons in many categories. This includes snow walking, general mountaineering, waterfall ice climbing, and mixed climbing. Everything from the materials to the number of points, the construction, and the bindings vary from one crampon to the other. Another significant difference between all these crampons is the design and the positioning of the front points.
As with almost every activity, there are varying skills, even in alpine adventures. So understandably, the more advanced your skills are, the more technical your crampons will be. Since you will be scaling areas and heights that most normal humans would dread, you need the best and the most technical crampons you can get. Crampons are intrinsically designed for improved traction on slippery icy terrains. But the best crampons can offer you more benefits than just traction.
In this regard, Grivel crampons are no different. Their gears have also undergone a lot of changes, as you will see throughout this post.
Grivel – where it all began.
What Henry Ford is to the car, Henry Grivel is to crampons. This contraption for traction in the snow has been around for many centuries. However, it was Grivel who perfected the modern crampon as we know it today. It was the year 1938 when the Italian blacksmith introduced the modern crampon to climbers delight. But, to not mention that Oscar Eckenstein developed the initial 10-point crampon design as early as 1908 would be an injustice. In fact, Grivel worked on the first commercial crampons alongside Eckenstein.
The legacy of Grivel continues in the alpine realm. There are many reputable gear companies that produce crampons over the years. However, very few have achieved as phenomenal success as the Grivel Company. To say some of the best crampons are from this brand would not be an overstatement.
And one of them is the G14. It is one of Grivel’s best selling crampons and with good reason. It is a fantastic alpine gear and is everything that you expect from such an established brand.
Today, we review the Grivel G14 crampon in an in-depth manner. We will break down everything about this crampon. We also weigh in on this crampon’s pros and cons so you can make the most informed decision. To cover every aspect of this crampon, we have also included an FAQ towards the end. It has invaluable information about crampons in general, so don’t miss it.
Grivel G14 Crampon Review
Product Name: Grivel G14 Crampon
Product Description: The G14 from Grivel has a body made of hot-forged steel. The two vertical points on the front can be configured for dual or mono use. These components are also replaceable. An anti-balling plate is included with the crampon. In addition, the front points are hooded to increase the overall resistance in the snow.
Offer price: $249.95
This is a fantastic crampon if you engage in technical climbing. It works fantastic on the frigid snow and ice. The traction you get from this crampon is exceptionally good. However, its versatility and the ability to configure it with dual and mono front points is also an excellent feature. Overall, the G14 will take you through your climbing sessions with effortless ease.
Ease of Use
- Sleek and sturdy design.
- Can be switched between mono and bi-points with ease.
- Prevents snow buildup very effectively.
- Compatibility with boots is excellent.
- Works very versatile on multiple terrains.
- Does not include a crampon case.
- Not ideal for use in vertical ice climbing.
- Not very lightweight compared to other crampons from the brand.
The G14 is an iconic crampon from the brand. It is instantly recognizable by the red Grivel’s logo on the bright yellow nylon straps. But of course, the striking design is not the only feature that makes the G14 a champ. Let’s look at the material and its design first.
Material and design.
The main components, aka, the frame of the G14, are steel. Since steel is famous for its rigidity and strength, you can be sure that this crampon has your back on the ice. The points of this crampon are also steel, but these have been hot-forged. This feature contributes significantly to the performance of the crampon and we talk about it a little later.
Coming to the binding system, it is a combination of thermoplastic, metal, and nylon. The bindings in this one come in two designs. The Cramp-o-matic binding is Grivel’s version of step-in. And the other is New-Matic, the brand’s strap-on binding. Cramp-o-matic binding relies on stainless steel bars to strap the crampon to the boots. The G14, with this type of binding, has a unique curlycue toe bale as well as a bomber heel.
On the other hand, New-Matic uses thermoplastic components for strapping on the crampons. This binding worked well with over-boots and technical boots with shallow welts. However, except for the bindings, the rest of the frame and number of points remain the same in both crampons.
In terms of design, the G14 looks very similar to the G12, i.e., a semi-rigid design. It comes with 12 points. Two of these make up the front points, and the rest take up real estate on the body. The front points of this crampon are quite unique. You can configure the front points to a mono or a bi without using any tools. If you’re wondering how the conversion can be done, it is straightforward. A single screw attachment allows an effortless switch between the two points. Moreover, if the points wear out, you can replace them with genuine parts, which is fantastic.
The central bar of this crampon is adjustable so you can fit literally any technical boots. In addition, the steel frame is collapsible, so it is very easy to transport. As expected from a great crampon, this one comes with an antibott in the front as well as the back.
Perhaps the only downside is the exclusion of a crampon case. But this too, only if we are very critical. But otherwise, the G14 has a solid design with premium materials.
If you thought that this crampon with premium construction is a star performer. You are right. The G14’s forged front points cut into the ice with precision. It works equally well on thin as well as thick ice terrains. Unlike some substandard crampons, these points have no rebounds, which is what you want during technical climbing. In addition to its traction, the forged steel also offers great support to the climber.
The ability to configure the front points into bi and mono-points makes this crampon very versatile too. Besides allowing you to fit it into any boot, you benefit from having two quality crampons at your disposal. You can use this crampon for anything from general mountaineering to highly technical ice climbing with ease.
However, if the vertical icy columns pump your adrenaline, this crampon may not be sufficient. The front points are not the longest in this crampon. The points on the steel frame are long enough. But the front points fall just a little short. Nonetheless, if you engage in a lot of mixed climbing or dry tooling, this crampon won’t let you down one bit. It works extremely well in multiple terrains, which is a great selling point.
You will, of course, find great use of the antibott on the crampon. The antibott comes with an active snow-repelling design from the brand. If you choose to buy the crampons without this accessory, you can do so at a lower price. In addition to the antibott, the horizontal framing of the G14 also facilitates anti-balling. In this regard, Grivel deserves applause.
Crampons with semi-rigid designs are not known for their affordability. However, the G14 is not cheap, even considering its outstanding features. So you get a top-notch gear at a reasonable price too.
Since this crampon consists of quality materials, it is not only reliable but durable. The G14 from Grivel will easily see you through a couple of climbing seasons. But of course, you should also take good care of the crampons, much like other outdoor gear.
Ease of use.
This crampon does not require a lot of effort to use. If you are familiar with using C1 crampons, you find no difficulty with this one. There is no tweaking or adjustments that are required to fit into your boots.
In addition, the wide range of sizes makes it easily fit men’s and women’s boots. This crampon comes in sizes ranging from 36 to 47, so you get plenty of choices. The fact that the G14’s frame can be manually adjusted also adds to its ease of use. Since you won’t be needing any additional tools to adjust the length, it is a convenience that all outdoor enthusiasts can relate.
A minor issue we experienced with the G14 is the weight. At 41 lb or 1170 gm, it is not the most lightweight crampon, especially if you compare it with others from the brand. As you know very well, even the slightest weight can tire you out quickly. So this was a bit of a letdown. However, if you take the crampon in your backpack and put it on at the point of climbing, it helps a lot.
Is the lightweight feature of crampons a deal-breaker?
It depends. It is because when it comes to snow gear, there is always the question of weight versus balance. Here is our explanation.
Gears that have substantial weight have the disadvantage of tiring you out very quickly. Crampons that weigh more than 1500 grams can feel like wearing dead weights. On the other hand, crampons that are very technical warrant some amount of weight. This is because these crampons have added features, as in the case of longer points. The added weight has the advantage of even weight distribution and increased stability.
Similarly, lightweight crampons have the advantage of making you feel like you’re wearing just your shoes. You can even walk for longer distances in lightweight crampons. However, balance and stability are almost always compromised in these gears.
Ultimately, your intended activity should decide whether you need a crampon that weighs next to nothing. Or it is a crampon with a decent weight that will serve you will.
How easy is it to switch between mono-point and bi-point?
As technical as it sounds, making a switch between mono-point and bi-point is relatively easy. For professional climbers, this is a breeze. However, if this is your first time attempting to switch front points on a crampon, here are the steps.
- First, you need to remove the central bar. This will make it easier to manipulate the points.
- Next, take a screwdriver and release the antibott in the front. You can leave the ones in the back as it is.
- Next, remove the front screw that holds the two front points.
- You can now remove the two front points. Or the mono-point whichever is attached on the crampon.
- Bring the point to the desired position.
- Put back the front screw and tighten it.
- Put back the antibot. Make sure you tighten all the screws properly.
- Attach the central bar.
And you’re done!
How important is a crampon case?
A crampon case is a very important accessory. It facilitates transporting the crampon safely. The points on the crampons can be very sharp. So if you randomly put the crampon in your backpack, it can shred your backpack and your clothes. Additionally, it is also possible to get injured while handling the crampon. It is especially true if you are just used to handling and using the crampon.
Moreover, the right storage for crampons is essential. It is not easy to straighten or strap a crampon on to your boots if you don’t store it in the right way. Parts of it can get twisted or go out of alignment, and you will have to struggle to get it on when you need it.
The crampon case also comes in very helpful while storing them out of season. In addition to proper care, if you don’t store the crampon properly, it can collect rust. This will significantly reduce the longevity of the gear. So crampon cases are an absolute necessity.