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Microspike Options


Original Post
ColeT Musial · · Cincinnati, OH · Joined May 2012 · Points: 75

Looking to purchase a pair of microspike. The only brand I know of are the kahtoola. Did a quick search on Amazon and multiple other brands popped up. Sooo, are people using other brands or should I just pony up for the kahtoola.

mark felber · · Wheat Ridge, CO · Joined Jul 2005 · Points: 28

Kahtoolas are about the most durable and effective of the ones out there- the extra service life will more than likely offset the higher upfront cost.

Andy Rasmussen · · MA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 45

http://www.camp-usa.com/brands/snowline/chainsen-pro/

I have some, they're cheaper than Kahtoola Microspikes. Comparing side by side to Kahtoolas they are almost the same. I think they might be made in the same factory even.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,745

Hillshound are same price as Kahtoola and look to be just a bit beefier.

Jerimiah · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 0

Just don't buy yaktraks. I have kahtoolas and love them. A few buddies have hillshounds but every time I've seen someone with yaktraks they fail or don't work as well

Forever Outside · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 195

I never really understood the point of microspikes are they for shoveling an slippery driveway?

Jerimiah · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2016 · Points: 0
Forever Outside wrote:

I never really understood the point of microspikes are they for shoveling an slippery driveway?

They're not a necessity but on slick snow or ice that doesn't warrant crampons they make your day a lot nicer. I use them a lot in the winter trail running and hiking in icy conditions.

ColeT Musial · · Cincinnati, OH · Joined May 2012 · Points: 75

I was planning on using then for hiking around glacier NP and MT Adams

Also potentially a future trip to the bugs

Charlie P · · Somerville, MA · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 40

They're also great for very rocky trails with small sections of ice and snow for example when you're approaching an ice climb. These conditions would put a lot of wear on your crampons as well as being very uncomfortable to walk in crampons.

cjohns716 · · Boulder, CO · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

Another vote for kahtoolas. Love mine.

Jeremy B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2013 · Points: 0
Andy Rasmussen wrote:

http://www.camp-usa.com/brands/snowline/chainsen-pro/

I have some, they're cheaper than Kahtoola Microspikes. Comparing side by side to Kahtoolas they are almost the same. I think they might be made in the same factory even.

Rumor is Snowline was the original manufacturer of both, with Kahtoola doing the North American distribution.  Also, it appears they may have moved into direct competition with newer Microspikes being manufactured by a different company outside of Korea.

Charlie P · · Somerville, MA · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 40

Jeremy,

The designs seem to agree with that theory as the Snowline in the link looks exactly like my older kahtoola microspikes while the new Kahtoolas look slightly different (they got rid of the horizontal bar at the front). I don't know about the newer kahtoola design but the older design works quite wel and I would assume the snowline would do the same.

neils · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 20

I use them for hiking on ice or hard packed snow when snowshoes aren't needed and crampons would be overkill.  Think winter hiking in the ADK or NH.  I have both Microspikes and Hillsounds but prefer the Hillsounds - they are a bit more aggressive when it is very icy and easier to walk in when my Contact crampons are not needed.  The Micro's work well too though, for icy trails and very hard snow.

KathyS · · Poughkeepsie, NY · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 125

Kahtoola and Hillsound make some very similar microspikes, but the Hillsound ones have a velcro strap to help keep them from shifting on you boot.  Hillsound also makes a variety of different styles, including one with steel spikes instead of aluminum.   The aluminum ones seem to wear a little faster if you hikes have rocky sections.  I use my well worn Kahtoolas for hikes where the ice will be patchy, and save the newer Hillsounds for hard packed snow and ice days that don't require full crampons.  

aikibujin · · Castle Rock, CO · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 294
KathyS wrote:

Hillsound also makes a variety of different styles, including one with steel spikes instead of aluminum.   The aluminum ones seem to wear a little faster if you hikes have rocky sections.

According to Hillsound and Kahtoola web site, both brands are made with steel (not aluminum).

http://kahtoola.com/product/microspikes/

 Spike Material: Heat treated 400 series stainless steel

http://hillsound.com/hillsound-product/trail-crampon

– Spike Material: Heat-treated Carbon Steel
– Chain Material- Stainless steel

ColeT Musial · · Cincinnati, OH · Joined May 2012 · Points: 75

Just an update, I went with the kahtoolas since they were on sale at REI, I'll update with my thoughts on them after my trip

Porter M · · Bellingham, Wa · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 15
  1. I used the kahtoolas on Adams in the past, more than sufficient. Will do near what a crampon will in some conditions (soft cascade volcano morning ice that requires no front-pointing), cheaper and lighter. 
slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,085

anybody else have problems with the side rubber strap on the kahtoolas breaking?  i used mine maybe 3 times and it broke.  (see update below, way impressed with kahtoola's warranty).

Martin le Roux · · Superior, CO · Joined Jul 2003 · Points: 234
ColeT wrote:

I was planning on using then for hiking around glacier NP and MT Adams... Also potentially a future trip to the bugs

If your plans include the Bugaboo-Snowpatch col then you might want crampons with proper front-points. The col's about 45-50 degrees at the top and after mid-season it can get quite icy. Microspikes might be okay if it's early in the season and there's lots of snow cover, but they could limit your options.

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,085

quick update on my microspikes warranty sort of comment.  i am really impressed with kahtoola.  i sent them a photo of the broken strap and they immediately sent me a new pair, boom like that.  no questions, no 'hey send them in and let us take a look and decide'.  way cool.

aikibujin · · Castle Rock, CO · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 294

If this is the new and improved microspikes, I thought the redesign addressed the weakness between the chain and the rubber attachment point? Glad to see them stand behind their product.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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