Crampon Review & Comparison: Petzl Vasak Lever Lock, old vs new

Ideas by Chris, words by Anne

As winter draws nearer, it's time to give your winter gear a check, and maybe invest in some new kit. In December 2014 I did a review and comparison of three general mountaineering crampons: Black Diamond Serac Clip, Petzl Vasak Lever Lock, and Grivel G12 New Matic. At the time of writing, my favourite of the three was the Petzl Vasak Lever Lock. Since then, Petzl have released a new model, so what are the changes, and are they for the better?

Petzl Vasak Lever Lock.jpeg

Bar length adjustment

Petzl have kept the fine adjustment of the offset holes, but have also added a quick system to make them fit different sized boots – useful if you’re giving them to clients and need to make adjustments, not much of an advantage if they are for personal use.

Old (l) and new (r) with bar length adjustment short

Old (l) and new (r) with bar length adjustment short

New model with bar length adjustment long

New model with bar length adjustment long

Heel piece

Gone is the old adjustment system. Fine tuning is now done by moving the heel piece in holes on the crampon. This seems to work fine, and must save some weight.

Old model showing heel piece

Old model showing heel piece

New model showing heel piece

New model showing heel piece

Toe piece

There are two main changes here

  1. The toe system has changed which keeps the crampon closer to the front of the boot, giving a cleaner profile when front pointing.
  2. There is now also the option of using a bale to fit on a technical boot.
old toe piece

old toe piece

new toe piece

new toe piece

Anti-balling system

This looks much the same, and works well.

Durability

I have only used them for a short summer season in the Alps. However, they are holding up well.

Weight

The new model has a thinner frame. The old model weighs 480g each crampon, the new one is 430g, saving 50g per crampon. That may not sound like a lot, but bear in mind the saying, “1lb on your foot is equal to 10lbs on your back”. If you’re out for a long day in the hills, it does make a difference.

Fitting

As you can see from the photos, they fit snugger than the old model

Conclusion

The new Petzl Vasak Lever Lock is an improvement on an already very good product, and I highly recommend them. Happy climbing in 2017 and 2018!

AI 14.03 ice fall climbing from Andre 03 rs.jpg