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BLOG | PRODUCT REVIEWS | 11 April 2016

Edelrid “SHARK” Crampons, Three-Binding System

The Shark, from the German brand Edelrid, is a crampon for steep ice, ski touring, winter mountaineering or expedition use, and can be defined in one word: versatile.

This winter, the Barrabes team had the privilege to test out the new Shark Crampons from EDELRID. EDELRID is a company that has produced innovative and creative products for over 150 years and recently came out with the Shark which might be the most versatile crampon on the market. EDELRID describes the Shark as an 'all round' technical crampon for steep ice, winter mountaineering and expedition use. Find out what our experts said after putting them to the test.

CHARACTERISTICS

  • Three binding system that can be modified from automatic and semi-automatic, to straps
  • High-grade steel with robust powder coating
  • Extremely lightweight 3D shape
  • 3D front points for optimal penetration on steep ice and hard snow
  • Quick and easy bridge adjustment
  • Suitable for larger boot sizes as well
  • Anti-bott plates included
  • Approximate Weight: 880g


THREE-BINDING SYSTEM
One of the main features of the Shark is its three-binding system: automatic, semi-automatic, and straps.

As EDELRID states, the Shark is designed to do it all and this is most evident in its three-binding system. It can be converted from step-in, hybrid and strap-on. The basic idea behind this is that you have one crampon for all of your footwear needs, If you change boots, then you just change the crampon configuration to match it. By doing this, we can increase our range of use with one single crampon that can take us ice climbing, mountaineering, skiing, and even snowboarding.

In action, all three binding systems worked to perfection and were sturdy. Changing the attachments is pretty straightforward but it might take you a few attempts to get used to switching the systems. Our experts also noticed that constantly changing them didn't cause any damage to the boot, even after an extended use. Additionally, adjusting the crampon length is simple as well with the slight curve in the bar aiding the fit on many modern boots.

CONSTRUCTION
Taking the Sharks out of the box the first thing our experts noticed was their weight, or lack there of, as they weighed in at about 880 grams per pair. They are made of a high-grade steel which is powder coated for durable protection. The Anti-bott is well connected to the crampon, which minimizes clogging from the snow. Additionally, they offer optimal flexibility but their best feature might be the twelve-point, 3D front point system. The points give a stable performance in snow, particularly on steep descents due to their 3D form for optimal penetration on steep ice. As it gets steeper, they offer good support, and the 3D shaping on the front points improves bite. All in all, they are well built, well designed, and extremely reliable.

IN USE
Our team of experts were obviously skeptical as to how they would perform on such different terrains since this was the first time any of them had seen a crampon like this. It's common to use different crampons for different types of boots and activities, so it is understandable that our team had their doubts about how they would work for different occasions. To their surprise, the Shark performed well on almost any terrain and for almost any activity. As previously mentioned, the points gave a very stable performance in snow, especially on steep descents due to their 3D form. They also penetrated ice well. On rocks it took a little longer to get used to them but flatter points would be more stable and suited for smaller edges like that. Where they didn't excel in the field was on more technical terrain. If you are looking for a crampon that is designed for technical surfaces then you will want a more specialised crampon.

One complaint that many people find with crampons is that the buckle system can sometimes be complicated and difficult to undo. Of course, you want a buckle system that is secure and doesn't come undone by itself, but is still relatively easy to remove. The Shark buckle system is secure and is easy to release, even when full of ice. Once it gets steeper, the Shark offers good support and won't slip off while you are wearing them.

One of the few drawbacks to take into account with the Shark is that the points are not interchangeable. Also, due to their complex shape, they are harder to sharpen than other crampons.

PROS

  • Versatility: can be used for ice Climbing, winter mountaineering and medium-grade technical expeditions thanks to the innovative 3D point system
  • Three different attachment systems (automatic, semi-automatic, and straps) further adding to its versatility
  • Quick and easy boot adjustment with a long strap that prevents discomfort during adjustment
  • Excellent buckle arrangement keeps straps from interfering with activity
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • Plastic buckles are weaker than metal ones
  • Points cannot be changed
  • Not recommended for predominantly technical climbs
  • Sharpening is more complicated than in other models


VERDICT: THE ALL-ROUND CRAMPON
The Shark Crampon is extremely versatile and can be used by most mountaineers, climbers, runners, skiers, and snowboarders. Though not appropriate for extreme or advanced technical climbing, they are the ideal solution if you are looking for a single crampon that will work across a range of activities without major technical difficulties on mixed terrain. Based on our results, we are convinced that the Shark is the most versatile crampon on the market and that EDELRID continues to be one of the most innovative and creative brands out there. This Shark thrives on mountains, not in the water!

Crampon Shark-Edelrid

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