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Editors' Choice

Petzl LEOPARD FL

Lightweight crampons that actually pack small? It can’t be.

Brand: Petzl

Model: LEOPARD FL


Classic winter packing dilemma: Your itinerary includes snow and ice travel, but you want to pack light and microspikes aren’t enough. We have a new solution—the LEOPARD FLs, which deliver standard 10-pointer performance for less than a pound.

How did Petzl shave so many ounces? In lieu of a full metal skeleton, the aluminum toe and heel pieces are connected by a Dyneema cord, which also makes the crampons ultrapackable. “They take up about as much space as my avy beacon—and weigh less,” our tester says. Since they’re universal fit (welts not needed), we used them on mountaineering boots, regular hiking boots, ski boots, and even snowboarding boots with no issue. You adjust the size by making the Dyneema tauter or looser and securing it in a catch system. Simple. (They have a huge range: women’s 5 to men’s 13.)

After a season of climbing icy couloirs in Rocky Mountain National Park and kicking steps up rotten snowfields in British Columbia, the LEOPARD FLs are still going strong. We wouldn’t recommend them for ice climbing, but their negligible weight and bulk means that we’ll be reaching for these crampons whenever traversing snow or ice.

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