Today however, I have been so impressed with a purchase that I thought I would share it.
I have been meaning to get some more hire crampons for a while, both to replace worn out ones, achieve a more professional look by having all the same (rather than my old 'uns), and to ensure client safety by having newer kit. There was no way I could either afford or justify all Grivel's, my preferred crampon, and the lesser versions such as Tiso own make or the Monte Rosas are still expensive, and have a flimsy strap that I don't rate.
I have even been looking on Ebay, as you can get Grivels in abundance, hardly worn, but £70-£80 is the norm even before postage. So today I just happened to be in Go-Outdoors when I stumbled across these C.A.M.P. Stalker crampons, a 12 point universal strap-on model. What a really good basic unit, and at what a price! £55. Joe Browns wants £85 for the same crampon, and the average internet price is £75.
I asked the fella for a pair to look at, smugly telling him that if they were good enough quality, I'd take a good few pairs. He replied confidently that I would be buying them then, and sure enough, I did. They are seriously robust crampons, that only come in 20-odd grammes more than G10's. They have 12 points, aggressive enough for easy climbing and steeper terrain, excellent straps and D-rings, integral anti-balling plates, a really firm spring adjuster and solid looking adjuster bars and chunky rubber baskets for the heel and toe.
In fact, the only thing I can fault is that the heel poles are quite narrow, so many wider boots may not fit snugly. I had initially thought that was due to them being designed for the slimmer Continental boots, but as you see on the picture, my Scarpa SL Activs are still a little wide, and my Mantas were similar. My Cumbres and Sportiva Evos fitted perfectly.
For the price, I think they are an exceptional bit of kit, so if you are in the market for some do-it-all crampons for walking and low grade gullies and the likes that won't break the bank, check them out. Just take your boots with you!