We’ve got some new Petzl bits and pieces in for winter. There’s some great lightweight touring gear along with a pair of excellent and well priced head torches, plus I’ve included the Vasak crampon which arrived earlier in the summer.
The Reactik and the Reactik Plus have been super popular since we got them in for the first time a few weeks ago and it’s easy to see why. For Ł76.50 you get a 300 lumen head torch with it’s own Lithium Ion rechargeable battery. Not only that but it’s bluetooth enabled so that, once you’ve downloaded the free MyPetzl Light app, you can fully customise each of its 6 modes including different lighting modes, burn times, brightness and beam patterns. It also features Petzl’s Reactive Lighting technology which automatically adjusts the brightness and beam pattern based on the light that is being bounced back at the torch, this means there’s always enough light from the torch but it’s never wasting battery power.
The Reactik is a lower power version of the Reactik Plus and doesn’t have the Bluetooth - it’s just a straight forward traditional head torch, though at 190 lumens it’s by no means lacking in power. It still has plenty of modern features on it including a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery and Reactive Lighting Technology. It also has a battery indicator and with the Reactik Battery Pack it can be converted to using standard AAA batteries.
A 10 point aluminium crampon designed for ski touring. The crampon itself is much like any other lightweight 10 point crampon, where the Leopard differs is the attachment between the front and back parts of the crampon. For this it uses a single loop of tough cord which loops through both parts of the crampons and through teeth on the rear part which allows for easy adjustment. This is a great benefit compared to its competitors as it allows for adjustment without getting a screwdriver out and makes it far more packable than those with a metal bar between the front and rear. The bales are also adjustable with the front bale having 2 slot options and the rear 3. A great quick and easy to use crampon which, although a touring necessity is, lets face it, going to to spend more time in your pack than on your boots.
Ride Ice Axe
The Ride is a lightweight ski touring axe. At just 45cm and 240g you’re not going to want to be tackling steep mixed ground with it, but that’s not the point. The slightly curved shaft is a great idea seldom seen on lightweight axes making it much better for steep snow slopes. It has a fully steel head which inspires confidence along with a 3mm tapered pick and a good size adze for cutting tracks and steps.
We’ve got 2 new ski touring harnesses from Petzl this season, both of them are designed to rival Black Diamond’s ever popular Couloir. The Altitude is the smaller of the 2 weighs a miniscule 150g and packs up, in its bag, to about the size of a grapefruit. Each leg loop can be unclipped so you can get it on over skis or crampons and each has 2 loops to secure an ice screw, there are also 4 ‘gear loops’ in the most literal sense. Although more expensive than the Couloir it is considerably lighter – definitely worth it for those looking to keep weight as low as it can be.
The Tour is the bigger brother of the Altitude. It has the same leg loops which can be unbuckled and each have loops to secure an ice screw. It also has the same ‘gear loops’ albeit made from slightly thicker tape. At 200g it’s still incredibly lightweight (15g lighter than the BD Couloir) and it’s cheaper than both the Couloir and the altitude. If you’re looking for a ski touring/mountaineering harness this has got to be the go to choice.
The Vasak is a 12 point general mountaineering crampon which slots in at the lighter end vs it’s competitors. Petzl have moved all their crampons over to a modular system so now all their crampons have the same rear piece meaning that you only need to buy front sections once you’ve bought 1 full crampon. The Vasak also comes in 2 types to satisfy 3 binding options as the leverlock universal has an easily removable front bale so you can switch between front bale or strap when you have a rear bale. The rest of the crampon is pretty much as you’d expect for a steel mountaineering crampon; it has an easy to adjust centre bar and anti-balling plates.