The Camp XLC 390 is the lightest 12 point aluminium crampon available.
At 390g and with a step in binding, the XLC is a ski tour specific crampon and very popular on the ski tour race circuit, as it's the lightest of its kind currently out there. It's ideal for both competitive and recreational ski touring. The binding system means that these crampons can only be used with a ski boot or rigid soled mountaineering boot with both heel and toe lugs.
To achieve this great weight Camp have sacrificed hardness of the material so the XLC 390 (and all lightweight crampons) are only designed to be used on snow and easy angled glacier ice. They will blunt very quickly if used on steep ice and mixed terrain.
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When Ski touring I have always lugged around my old steel climbing crampons. On a recent trip, with new touring boots, I had to keep adjusting the straps as the crampons were not a good fit on the toe of the boot. This prompted me to buy the Camp XLC 390 Crampons. I wish I'd done it long ago. They fit the boot perfectly, weigh almost nothing by comparison to my climbing crampons, and pack away in their own bag into a very small space compared to fitting my old ones on top of my rucksack. Whilst they may not last long on hard ice or rock, for ski touring where they spend 99% of the time in my rucksack, they are perfect for me.
Used on Haute Route ski tour last week. Performed very well. Stayed on tight, gripped well and coped with rock, ice and softer snow. Did not ball up for the type of ascents on the route. Wonderfully light and if they wear out quickly still worth it as it means I will take them rather than leave behind as I do with heavier stuff.
They're crampons, and they're really light...there's not much more to say. Except...
I was wary of them not having anti-balling plates; while this wasn't an issue in the snow we were in, it's something to be aware of.
Also, they come with a rather nifty crampon bag, so there's no need to buy one in addition (which I did!)
Used these on the Haute Route. Bought them as they are very light. They worked very well and did not suffer any damage on moderately icy routes.
As part of a quest to lighten my pack for ski touring and after lots of time reading different reviews regarding alloy crampons I finally opted for a pair of Camp XLC 390's. My large boot size at 28.5 swayed me towards the 390 as opposed to the lighter 350.
Plus points - They have made a great difference to my overall pack weight and despite worrying about bending them on rock I was relieved to find them perfectly adequate for scrambling about on easy alpine mixed ground. I will definitely consider using them for other outings or situations where crampons are often carried but not used.
Minus points - As to be expected they do ball up in some snow conditions but fine so long as you give them a quick tap with your axe to clear.
I needed some lightweight crampons (just in case...)for a hut to hut tour in the Gran Paradiso National park. After a quick look on internet I settled on the Camp XLC 390's as being both strong enough and light enough for the purpose (almost the lightest avaialble). Best price and quickest delivery available through the Facewest website so had a quick chat with a member of the Facewest Team just to make sure these were right for me and likely to fit my Dynafit Titan FX Freeride boots. I didn't regret the decision - fitted my boots perfectly (plenty of adjustment and easy to do so) and the one time I used them walking down a snow-covered rock-strewn footpath they felt really solid and secure.
Great pair of ski-touring crampons. They are light enough to live in the pack without noticing they are there, and well suited to the little use they get at on the summits and when passing steep bands etc. They fit touring boots fine, even with the small flex at the ball of the boot. They tend to ball up in wet snow, not enough to merit the weight of balling plates, but keeps you bashing your boots to clear them. Work fine on easy mixed snow/rock (ie. top of Gran Paradiso), but you wouldn't wear them kicking up an ice climb.
I bought these for ski touring when I discovered all my friends had them and I was still lugging around 1.1kg steel crampons. They came with a bag and spend most of the time in my backpack where they excel: light and collapse down small. Easy to adjust and fit my touring boots well (Garmont Radiums). When needed they are quick to put on and do the job climbing slopes that are too steep, narrow or firm to skin up e.g. grade I gullies in Scotland. Decent front points but wouldn't want to use them on rock. Perfect ski touring kit.
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