Backpacker - - Editors’ Choice Awards -

It’s been just over a decade since the MICROspikes de­buted, and we’ve used them so of­ten since then, it’s hard to re­mem­ber what we did be­fore. They solve a long­time dilemma: what to pack when cram­pons are overkill, but you need le­git trac­tion for steep, snowy ter­rain. With 12 steel spikes (3/8-inch long each), the MICROspikes have kept us se­cure on ev­ery­thing from an An­dean vol­cano in Chile to our lo­cal hill in Boul­der on win­ter week­ends. The rub­ber band holds fast to boots of all sizes—they even worked on ski boots when we climbed Hyn­d­man Peak in the Pi­o­neers. And be­cause they weigh less than a pound, we never ques­tion tak­ing them when trac­tion could be the dif­fer­ence be­tween go­ing up and go­ing home. –D.L. $70; 11.9 oz. (M); S-XL; kahtoola.com

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