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What's the difference between Kahtoola Microspikes and Hillsound Microspikes?

What makes the difference between Kahtoola Microspikes and Hillsound Microspikes? Are the grip of Katoola's vs Hillsounds better on ice and snow?

2 Answers


The Hillsounds microspikes are called Hillsound Trail Crampons, and are more secure, durable and have more aggressive grip on ice than the Kahtoola Microspikes. The Hillsound Trail Crampons also have a handy velcro strap to help keep them in place over your hiking boot. Also the Hillsound Trail Crampons spikes are solid pieces connected steel in the heel/ toe sections, which are hinged. Kahtoola Microspikes have only chains which attach the spikes together underneath the foot.

Essentially, microspikes are great for hiking across mixed hard pack snow and ground. Walking on full on ice can be a bit tricky with microspikes. Microspikes do not work well for climbing up steeper terrain or on very hard ice.

On the otherhand, walking on dry ground with crampons does not work very well.

No comparison - hands down Hillsound is what you want. they give much better grip and have far more lateral stability. I graduated from STABILicers to Microspikes to the HillSound Trail Crampons as new and improved technology became available. Using the Trail Crampons, I have an (almost) ascent of Mt. Mansfield in winter (made the ridge, not the summit). Ascent was very icy, including scrambling over some boulders. Only problem was my lack of flexibility. No way I could have done that climb with Microspikes as multiple times I needed to get a good grip on steep rock as I scrambled up. The trail crampons just dug in and supported me as I went up.

Once on the ridge parts were a sheet of ice - I felt very secure with the TC, no way I would have felt secure with Microspikes - simply not enough to grip with.

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