It’s hard to fault the price-to-performance ratio of the Nuptse Evo. It is a great value option if you’re in search of a classic 12-point mountaineering crampon but are on a tighter budget. While the design isn’t particularly innovative, it’s based on tried-and-tested principles for reliable, no-nonsense performance.
Solid all-round performance
Available in strap, semi-auto or fully automatic step-in bindings
Supplied with storage bag
Points aren’t the longest or most aggressive
Heaviest crampons on test
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Climbing Technology Nuptse Evo: first impressions
Climbing Technology Nuptse Evo crampons may not come from a brand with the cachet or the long and illustrious heritage of rivals like fellow Italian company Grivel, but don’t let that put you off. They still have 35 years’ experience in designing and manufacturing a range of climbing, via ferrata and mountaineering equipment.
To compete, their products tend to undercut the bulk of the market in terms of price, offering great value, and the Nuptse Evo crampons are a case in point. Their RRP is around two thirds of the cost of equivalent products from the bigger and more established outdoor brands, and if you shop around you can find them even cheaper than that. They aren’t of significantly lower quality either, since they still conform to all relevant UIAA safety legislation, with a classic 12-point design that is both familiar and reassuring.
Just like the Black Diamond Serac and the Grivel G12, the Nuptse Evos are available with strap, semi-automatic and fully automatic step-in bindings. In addition, they can also be bought with a flexible sprung steel link bar rather than a rigid steel bar, making them suitable for use with B1 boots as well as B2 and B3 boots (see best winter hiking boots for an explanation of this ranking system).
Despite their lower cost, the CT Nuptse Evo crampons are also supplied with a simple crampon bag as standard – unlike the rivals mentioned above. It isn’t flashy, but it does the job, and saves having to buy a case separately (or risk your crampons tearing up the rest of your kit bag).
Admittedly, when it comes to materials and finishing, these crampons do not seem to be quite as refined. Plastics feel a bit cheaper, and the mouldings – such as the anti-balling plates – are relatively basic. But the steel is of good quality, tempered and painted in a matt gray finish for added protection from corrosion.
• RRP: £100 (UK) / €98 (EU)
• Weight (58cm version): 1,040g / 36.6oz
• Materials: Tempered painted steel, ABS plastic, nylon webbing
Climbing Technology Nuptse Evo: in the mountains
They’re the heaviest crampons we tested for our best crampons buying guide this season, but the difference in weight between these and most rivals isn’t significant – only 70g heavier than the market-leading Grivel G12s, for example. So, this isn’t a drawback that you’re likely to notice whether you’re carrying the Nuptses in your pack or wearing them on your feet, unless you’re used to wearing exceptionally light ski-mountaineering spikes.
They have a good range of adjustment, with a fit that is fairly easy to fine tune. With a bit of fiddling, they ought to fit almost all boots. We tried them on a range of common models from brands like La Sportiva, Hanwag and Scarpa, and didn’t encounter any issues at all. As mentioned, they also come with anti-balling plates as standard, which is now the case with virtually all modern crampons on the market. The CT plates are a similar design to the Grivel anti-bots, and work just as well in most scenarios.
The Nuptse’s points are slightly shorter than most 12-point mountaineering crampons, which might be a drawback in hard-packed snow or ice, though conversely it actually means they are more stable on the mixed rock and ice you tend to get on classic mountaineering routes, especially in the UK. As such, we’d still say they are a good all-round crampon, unless you’re going to be tackling a lot of pure ice climbing on glaciers or icefalls. But that’s not the terrain for which they’re designed, and they’re right at home negotiating iced-up ridges, frozen gullies and similar mountaineering terrain.
Bottom line? Although the design of these crampons isn’t exactly revolutionary, they work well, employing tried and tested characteristics to create a competent all-round mountaineering crampon. They seem well-made and durable, so if you’re a winter adventurer on a budget, the Nuptse Evos represent exceptional value for money.
An outdoors writer and editor, Matt Jones has been testing kit in the field for nearly a decade. Having worked for both the Ramblers and the Scouts, he knows one or two things about walking and camping, and loves all things adventure, particularly long-distance backpacking, wild camping and climbing mountains – especially in Wales. He’s based in Snowdonia and last year thru-hiked the Cambrian Way, which runs for 298 miles from Cardiff to Conwy, with a total ascent of 73,700 feet – that’s nearly 2½ times the height of Everest. Follow Matt on Instagram and Twitter.