The Black Diamond Stinger offers a wide range of adjustability with a comfortable and secure fit. The Stinger’s performance lead me to trust it on steep slopes where precise footwork is needed. But for an all-around mountain crampon on long low-angle pitches of ice and snow, look elsewhere.
The Black Diamond Stinger is an 11-point crampon designed for use on steep ice and mixed routes. The crampon is constructed of lightweight stainless steel and incorporates a replaceable hooded front-point. This crampons performs incredibly well on the steeps, but it too aggressive for moderate, low-angle alpine routes consisting of snow and ice.
Fit The asymmetrical design aligns incredibly well with the contours of most modern alpine/mountain boots. The crampon has an adjustable center bar that accommodates boot sizes ranging from 36 to 46, however you can purchase a longer center bar if needed. The toe and heel wires have been reduced in diameter for a more precise and secure fit. In addition to being able to adjust the toe and heel bars, there is a micro-adjustable scroll on the heel (on the Pro and Clip versions) that allows for an even more precise and snug fit.
Weight The combination of stainless steel and the reduced size of the toe and heel bar, these Crampons weigh in right around 2 lbs. Although not the lightest crampon on the market, at 960 grams these crampons are top-performers in the lightweight-durable class of ‘poons that perform well on the steeps.
Comfort In both moving over varied mountain terrain and climbing high-angle rock and ice, these crampons are comfortable and secure. The secure fit all ows you know exactly where each of the 11 points are at all times. A majority of the contact pressure is transferred to the toe-bail and heel welt, therefore no unnecessary stress points are noticed during use. Another feature that improves the comfort and feel of these crampons is the durable ABS/Anti-Bot plates that not only prevent snow from balling up beneath your foot, but also provide shock absorption and traction when navigating talus fields or other low angle rocky terrain.
Durability In over 100 days of testing, I was incredibly satisfied with the strength and integrity of the crampon structure; the toe/heel wires as well as the base platform and center bar have shown minimal ware. I have noticed the secondary points to become rounded and dull quicker than some other models I have tested. Although personal preference, I ended up replacing the front-points about every 30 days of use. I also noticed that the micro-adjust scroll on the heel clip is subject to damage when camming your foot in a crack or climbing in chimneys, this exposure has led to deformation of the plastic and the inability to adjust the scroll once the damage occurs.
Precision For steep ice and mixed where precision and delicate climbing are a must, the Black Diamond Stinger is my crampon of choice. The secure fit, aggressive front-point and low profile lend themselves well to precise climbing on all types of steep climbing.