Simond Makalu crampons are 12-point crampons for general mountaineering. They are semi-rigid crampons specifically suited to mountaineering boots with little or no flex in the sole, although the strap version can be used with more-flexible tramping boots because it has an additional mode that allows the connecting bar to pivot.
There are three different bindings for different types of boots. The strap binding is the most versatile and can be used with any boot, but it is the slowest to use. The speed binding is the quickest and most secure binding to use with mountaineering boots having fully rigid soles; we do not recommend using speed bindings with alpine boots having slightly flexing soles, even though such boots may have toe grooves to accept the speed binding. The mixed binding is designed for alpine boots that do not have a toe groove. However, we do not recommend the mixed binding (irrespective of the brand) because if the crampon comes away from the boot it can fall down the mountain, whereas crampons with the other types of bindings will dangle from the ankle. We provide the mixed-binding option for those willing to take the risk of losing a crampon.
The most important aspect of the performance of Makalu crampons is their asymmetry (as for all Simond crampons).
Asymmetry is important:
Essentially, it is asymmetry that gives you the feeling of being glued to the mountain with each step.
Makalu crampons have rubber anti-balling plates to reduce snow from building up (i.e., balling) under the crampon as the snow warms. (Rubber anti-balling plates are more effective than harder plastic anti-balling plates.)
Makalu crampons weigh 880–990 g for the pair (incl. anti-balling plates).
Simond Vampire crampons offer everything needed by the technical mountaineer and ice climber. Both duo-front-point (for alpine climbing) and mono-front-point (for waterfall ice climbing) configurations are included as standard. Rubber anti-balling plates are standard.
The vertical front points are hot-forged stainless steel. The stainless steel used by Simond for their Vampire front points is stronger and remains sharper than the chromoly steel typically used for crampons (and for the rest of the Vampire crampon). The materials geeks out there will know that there are different grades of stainless steel, some very soft and some exceptionally hard. The hardness rating of the Simond stainless steel is 48 HRc (versus 44 HRc for chromoly steel). Despite its strength, the stainless steel used by Simond is also resilient, which means that when the point is overloaded it can slightly bend to reduce the chance of breaking.
What does this mean for you as a climber? It means your front points are better able to remain sharp for your whole climb, even after you have kicked and ground them against rock for several pitches, and it means you don't have to sharpen your front points several times a season.
Vampire crampons weigh 1115 g for the pair (incl. anti-balling plates).
Simond Monoceros crampons are high-performance crampons for ice and mixed climbing. The main front point is hot-forged stainless steel, the advantages of which are described above for the Simond Vampire crampon. Having one monopoint rather than two duopoints in the front row allows the crampon to be kicked into hard ice with greater precision and penetration. The two points in the second row come into greater effect on softer ice or ice that has already been worked, where they offer more holding power. The two points in the third row provide stability. There is a minipoint under the front section of the crampon (not visible in the picture) that allows the crampon to hold on to cauliflower features.
Despite the technical nature of the Monoceros crampons, a pair weighs only 935 g (incl. anti-balling plates).