Skimo Co

3/1/2021 Ski Crampon Compatibility

By Teddy Young - Skimo Co Staffer, Expert Gear Nerd, and Specs Enthusiast

No doubt ski crampons helped during the ascent of this line.

Spring is a ski mountaineer's time to shine. With a stabilized snowpack and legs made strong by a long winter of touring, they flock to the alpine in order to reap the season's bounty before it all melts away. Each day the snow softens in the heat and then refreezes at night. While these daily temperature swings create our beloved corn snow, they can also make for dicey pre-dawn conditions. Even the most well-set, low-angle skintracks have a habit of glazing over during these freeze-thaw cycles.

That's where ski crampons come in.

Lightweight and easy to use, these invaluable tools can spell the difference between hours of frustrating, back-slipping or a safe and efficient stroll to the top of an objective. By adding a bite to each step, you gain the security and traction needed when skinning in all but the most bulletproof conditions.

Different types of ski crampons: Top row, left to right - Dynafit Bar, Bar w/ Small Window, Fritschi Vipec / Tecton, G3 ION / ZED. Bottom row, left to right - Marker Pintech, Plum, Atomic / Salomon Shift, and Marker Duke PT.

Ski Crampon Types

As you take part in the seasonal rush to buy ski crampons this spring, take some time to make sure that those shiny new ‘pons you’re thinking of ordering will fit your bindings. Many of the popular ski crampon attachment systems are incompatible with one another, despite looking and operating nearly identical.

Read on as we go through the various types of crampons and how to match them to your set up. That way, you're ready to go once corn o'clock comes around this spring!

Dynafit Bar: This is the classic “Dynafit style” attachment, using a 6mm diameter steel bar with one centering notch and lots of room behind the bar. To attach, hold the crampon vertically on either the left or right side of your binding’s toe piece. Then slide the bar into the crampon receptor laterally until centered, and lower the crampon until it is horizontal and laying on your ski’s top sheet. Reverse this process to remove.

Bar w/ Small Window: Same as above, but has a limited amount of space immediately behind the steel bar due to how the windows in the aluminum plate have been cut. This can lead to compatibility issues with bindings that have bulkier crampon receptors or extensions behind the toe piece. If the aluminum comes in contact with any part of the binding that limits it from dropping onto the top sheet, there is a risk that the aluminum plate may crack when stepped on.

Plum: Although the Plum crampon is a proprietary attachment style, it also works for the Salomon MTN & Atomic Backland bindings. A shaped steel bar relies on precise geometry to stay secure rather than simply friction. To attach, hold the crampon vertically above your binding’s toe piece, drop the shaped steel bar down into the crampon receptor, and lower the crampon until it is horizontal and laying on your ski’s top sheet. Reverse this process to remove.

G3 ION / ZED: Another proprietary attachment style, this one uses two spring-loaded hooks. To attach, align the orange hooks with the horizontal bars on the sides of the crampon receptor, and push in. The hooks will click into place. To remove, pull the wire loop to retract the hooks, and slide the crampon off the receptor.

Marker Pintech: This style uses a 6mm steel bar with one centering notch, similar to others, but listed separately because its window is slightly larger and the aluminum plate length is shorter. As a result, it works with more bindings. It attaches the same as the Dynafit Bar.

Fritschi Vipec / Tecton: This is a proprietary attachment style that uses two spring-loaded pins. To attach, squeeze the two black levers towards the back of the crampon, align with holes on the sides of the toe piece, and release the levers. Reverse this process to remove.

Salomon / Atomic Shift: The Shift crampon uses a 6mm steel bar, but has two centering notches and a very wide window. This results in a loose fit when combined with bindings other than the Shift. The aluminum plate has a raised "hump" to accommodate the AFD. Attach it the same way as a Dynafit Bar crampon by sliding it in from the side.

Marker Duke PT: The Marker Duke PT uses a 6mm steel bar with one centering notch and an almost nonexistent window. The bar extends beyond the aluminum plate on both sides to allow clearance for the attachment behind the bar. The bar extensions and window size make it essentially proprietary, even though it uses the common 6mm steel bar. The aluminum plate is slightly raised to accommodate the AFD. Attach it the same way as typical bar-style crampons after removing alpine toe piece.

Binding Ski Crampon Type
Dynafit Bar
Dynafit, Dynafit Speed, Kreuzspitze
Bar w/ Small Window
ATK, Black Diamond, Fritschi Xenic
Plum / Atomic G3 ION / ZED Marker Pintech Fritschi Vipec / Tecton Salomon / Atomic Shift Marker Duke PT
ATK Yes Yes No 1 No 1 Yes No 1 No 4,5 No 2
Atomic Backland Yes w/ clip Yes w/ clip Yes No 1 Yes w/ clip No 1 No 4,5 No 2
Atomic Shift No 4 No 4 No 1,4 No 1,4 No 4 No 1,4 Yes No 2,4,5
Black Diamond Yes Yes No 1 No 1 Yes No 1 No 4,5 No 2
Dynafit (most) Yes Yes No 1 No 1 Yes No 1 No 4,5 No 2
Dynafit Rotation / Speed Yes No 2 No 1 No 1 Yes No 1 No 4,5 No 2
Dynafit P49 None None None None None None None None
Fritschi Vipec / Tecton No 1 No 1 No 1 No 1 No 1 Yes No 1 No 1
Fritschi Xenic Yes Yes No 1 No 1 Yes No 1 No 4,5 No 2
G3 ION / ZED No 1 No 1 No 1 Yes No 1 No 1 No 1 No 1
Hagan Yes Yes No 1 No 1 Yes No 1 No 4,5 No 2
Kreuzspitze Yes Yes No 1 No 1 Yes No 1 No 5 No 2
Marker Alpinist Yes Yes No 1 No 1 Yes No 1 No 4,5 No 2
Marker Duke PT No 1 No 1 No 1 No 1 No 1 No 1 No 1,2,5 Yes
Marker Kingpin Not ideal 3 Not ideal 3 No 1 No 1 Yes No 1 Not ideal 3,5 No 2
Plum No 1 No 1 Yes No 1 No 1 No 1 No 1 No 1
Plum Race 99 None None None None None None None None
Salomon MTN Yes w/ clip Yes w/ clip Yes No 1 Yes w/ clip No 1 Not ideal 4,5 No 2
Salomon Shift No 4 No 4 No 1,4 No 1,4 No 4 No 1,4 Yes No 2,4,5
Ski Trab Yes Yes No 1 No 1 Yes No 1 No 4,5 No 2

Appendix 1: Why Doesn't It Work? Some Reasons:

  1. Proprietary fittings
    • Vipec/Tecton, G3, Duke PT, Plum(ish)
  2. Window behind bar
    • ST Rotation 7, 10, 12, 14, and Speed 10/12 may need a larger window to accommodate that tail/extension that exists behind the crampon receptor. Radical ST is fine.
  3. Plate length
    • Kingpin needs short plate length due to the binding's ski/walk lever that extends forward from the heel unit. This may not be an issue depending on the BSL it was mounted for.
    • Other bar-style crampons may work with Kingpin, but the tail end of the crampon plate would be resting on the front end of the heel piece. This could risk damaging the crampon, or at least will limit the depth that it is able to bite into the snow.
  4. Plate height
    • Shift binding needs a “hump” in the aluminum plate to allow the AFD to extend underneath.
    • Shift crampon's "hump" won't allow a boot heel from resting all the way down in most other bindings. This can cause unnecessary stress and possibly damage the crampon, toe piece, or the ski's topsheet.
  5. Centering
    • Some bindings use a centering tab that rests in a notch on the crampon's steel bar, while others use a combination of friction and the width of the crampon's window to keep it centered.
    • Shift crampon has two separate notches, all other bars have one center notch. Shift ski crampons are able to physically fit into a bar style receptor, but the centering notches do not align correctly.
    • Some bindings only use friction and ignore the centering notches (i.e. have no centering tab).

Appendix 2: Things to Note

  • Some crampon receptors are not included with the bindings, and must be purchased separately. This will be noted in “Specs” on the binding’s product page.
  • Some bindings do not have the ability to mount a crampon receptor, this will be noted as “None” in the table above.
  • Plum, G3, and B&D offer crampon receptors that can be mounted directly to the ski, instead of to the binding. This independence allows skiers to use any of these crampon systems regardless of their current binding, and comes at the expense of a few additional holes in the top sheet. The chart above assumes you’ll be attaching the crampon to the binding, thus excludes these options for greater clarity.
    • The G3 ION Crampon Connector can be both mounted to the binding, as well as mounted directly to the ski so as to operate independently of the binding. This accessory will accept only G3 ski crampons.
    • The Plum Universal Ski Crampon Mount can be mounted directly to any ski and operates independently of the bindings. This accessory will accept only Plum ski crampons.
    • The B&D Ski Crampon Mounting Base mounts directly to the ski and accepts only bar style ski crampons.
  • Fritschi Vipec / Tecton, G3 ION / ZED, and Marker Duke PT ski crampons are only compatible with bindings of that model. Marker Kingpin binding can work with some other ski crampons, but the Marker Pintech will be best due to the short length of its plate allowing it to rest flat on the ski.
  • Bar style ski crampons with one centering notch (not Shift) are able to be used with Atomic Backland or Salomon MTN bindings if combined with the plastic centering clip that is included with the bindings. If used without the centering clip, the ski crampons are able to slide side-to-side laterally and will crack near the steel bar if they are stepped on when not in the centered position. This is not covered under the crampon's warranty and could also occur if attempting to use a bar-style crampon with a Plum binding.
  • Some crampons require minor customization (e.g. filing, bending, elbow grease) in order to fit into some bindings. For example, the rivets attaching the steel bar to the aluminum plate are sometimes a bit too long or have burrs keeping them from sliding into the receptor easily, which can be easily remedied by taking a steel file to the burrs.

Appendix 3: Dynafit Bar vs. Bar w/ Small Window

It's all about the gap behind the bar. Unfortunately, the "Small Window" style will not work on the Dynafit ST Rotation 7.

The amount of space immediately behind the 6mm steel bar is a subtle but important difference between these two ski crampons that function similarly. With the Black Diamond ski crampon in the upper right photo, there is a smaller amount of space due to how the openings in the aluminum plate have been cut. This can lead to compatibility issues with bindings that have bulkier crampon receptors or extensions behind the toe piece. If the aluminum plate comes in contact with part of the binding that limits it from dropping onto the top sheet, there is a risk that the aluminum plate may crack when stepped on.

Here are some specific inner dimensions (width x length) of this window on various ski crampons just in case we have not tested your specific crampon/binding combination.

  • Kreuzspitze: 37x27mm
  • Dynafit: 38x46mm
  • Dynafit Speed: 37x45mm
  • ATK/Black Diamond/Xenic: 39x4mm
  • Marker: 41x8mm
  • Shift: 76x30mm
Color-matching your ski crampons with your boot tongues garners you extra style points, but you gotta make sure your crampons match your bindings first! Here, Jason Kilgore nails all the details on the approach to a line in the Eastern Sierra.


Comment from chris rudy
Am I crazy or do you not have a section for ATK (bindings and crampons)?
Reply from jbo
Hi Chris, the ATK crampons are described as "Bar w/ Small Window". In other words, they use the Dynafit attachment system but there is a smaller hole to accommodate various binding protrusions which limits the compatibility.
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Comment from Cat Holst
Thanks for such a thorough guide - amazing bit of work you have done! I have 100mm waist width on my Atomic Access skis with Armada Shift bindings. I'm very unsure if I should get the 120mm or the 100mm crampons - and the only place I can get them is online and trying them on would mean breaking the product seal... do you have any advice? Many thanks in advance :)
Reply from jbo
Hi Cat, the 100s should work fine on those skis as they have a 105mm internal width.
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Comment from Bryant Phaneuf
Hi there, I have a couple different setups currently and I'm looking to add some crampons to the mix. I have marker dukes on a 115 width ski and Salomon shifts on a 126mm width ski. What I'm wondering is if anyone has tried the G3 adapter plate with either of these setups. G3 seems to be more widely available where I'm at and has a lot of options for widths. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
Reply to this comment:

Comment from Jonathan B
Hi. Thanks for post all this great info. I have a somewhat different question. I'm on Dynafit bindings with Dynafit (correct width for my skis and fit for my bindings) crampons and they fit fine, BUT my Atomic boots sit quite high on the bindings so when in anything but the lowest climb mode the boots don't make contact with the crampons. Does anyone make a crampon that fits the Dynafit system that has a much taller platform so the boots apply pressure to the crampon?
Reply from jbo
Hi Jonathan, a bit of a tradeoff there. If you add a taller platform, then you couldn't use the crampons in flat mode as your boot would lever against the crampons before there was heel contact. The only crampon that has a built-in "riser" is the old Vipec one. If you only want to use high risers you would have to add a shim to your crampon, potentially using the holes to screw something on.
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Comment from Erik
Thanks a lot for this compatibility table - very useful! :)
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Comment from Paul
Great article. Thanks.
I’ve got a 2021 set of Marker Kingpin 13’s on a 91mm width ski.
Is the pintech 105 going to be too big or will the 90 fit?
Any guidance well received.
Reply from jbo
Hi Paul, the internal width of those crampons is 93mm. It will be close, you should measure the actual with of the ski where the crampons will seat.
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Comment from Tim
Any beta on what might be compatible with 22 designs lynx tele binding?
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Comment from Michael A
Awesome intel, Teddy. I am skiing on what I'm increasingly told is relic gear. Are there any ski crampons compatible with my Diamir Fritschi Freeride Plus AT Bindings mounted on skis having a 105mm waist?
Reply from Teddy Young
Hey Michael, I'm glad that this info is useful! While I haven't tested this binding/crampon combo in person, I think I've found two videos showing folks using both the original ski crampons and the "Axion" ski crampons on the same or similar bindings.

A few notes:
- YouTube's auto-translated captions can be really helpful!
- The original came in 79mm and 100mm widths, and is discontinued.
- The Axion comes in 86mm and 110mm widths, and was designed for later models.
- Fritschi does not claim that Axion ski crampon is compatible with the Freeride Plus binding, but the videos make it seem possible.
- You could also consider a set of B&D ski crampons, if you're open to adding additional mounting screws to each ski. We'd be happy to special order some for you!

All that said, the plastic components of your binding may have started to weaken over their long life, so if/when you're in the market for new bindings, let us know!
Reply from Michael A
Thank you Teddy, this was over-the-top helpful. I couldn't find anywhere online the older (red) version of the Axion crampon, though it does appear in pics and the video that it may be compatible with my frame bindings. The newer (black) version doesn't seem to have the knuckles which would conceivably connect it to my toe piece. So I ordered a set of B&D ski crampons including locks. Great service from Skimo and B&D, easy to mount (though precision is key), they're very well made and they worked famously on Washington's Mt Adams over Memorial Day weekend. Thanks again for your expertise. I know where to go when I'm ready to retire my relics!
Reply from Teddy Young
You're very welcome, I'm so glad! Good thing you noticed the difference between the red and black Axion crampon, I totally missed that!

Nice work getting out on Adams, sounds like the B&D crampons were the perfect choice there. I'm glad Bill came up with such a good design and keeps machining these unique parts for situations just like this!
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Comment from Marlon
Does the ATK crampon have any wiggle room? I see you guys offer 108mm for the crampon size. My ski is 109mm width.
Reply from Teddy Young
Hey Marlon, ATK seems to be quite precise in their manufacturing tolerances, so I wouldn't expect much wiggle room! The exact width you need will depending on the measured ski width immediately behind the toe, which can change based on BSL and mounting point.

I'd recommend going with the Dynafit 110mm or the ATK/Hagan/BD 120mm!
Reply to this comment:

Comment from Matte
Will a Marker Kingpin crampon fit my Alpinist bindning?
Reply from Patrick C

I'm not aware of a Kingpin-specific ski crampon, but the Marker Pintech ski crampons will work with a Kingpin M-Werks. Hope this helps!
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Comment from Robert S
Im using a narrow ski (65) with Atomic Shifts for spring skiing/skinning (they turn on a dime). I believe that the closet crampon is a 90mm, do you think this would be OK? Also I have a 90 powder ski with the same binding would the 90mm crampon be OK with this?

Oct 24 and we have our first snow in the Alps already with more predicted.

Thanks much
Reply from Robert S
Upon discovering that the Shift crampons only come in 100 and 120mm I would like to correct my question.
Do you think the 100mm will work on a narrow 66mm ski?

Reply from Teddy Young
Hey Robert, you are correct! The Shift ski crampons only come in 100mm and 120mm widths, and the unique design means there aren't any great alternatives available.

If you are skinning straight uphill or in softer conditions, the excess width may not be too much of an issue. However, when contouring around a steep slope with bulletproof snow/ice, then the excess width could start causing useability and durability issues. If something were to be damaged in that situation, the manufacturer may not approve a warranty claim.

If you could send us a few photos of your skis/bindings, we'll keep brainstorming to come up with a solution! Also, what boot sole length are the bindings mounted for?
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Comment from Keri
Hi, i have the Atomic backland, what does it mean yes with clip for some of them - is this a clip that comes with the crampon or do i need to purchase it separately ?
Reply from Patrick C

Thanks for the question. The Atomic Backland binding comes with a clip to be placed in the middle of the bar on the Dynafit-style crampons to prevent them from slipping side to side. The Plum ski crampons will stay centered on their own, other options will require the clip to stay in place. Hope this helps!
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Comment from Scott
I have ski trab titan vario 2.0s mounted on 95mm skis. It looks like the widest crampon that ski trab makes is 97mm. Is that wide enough? If not, what brand/size would work for my setup? Thank you!
Reply from Ian C
Hi Scott, the 97mm ski crampons should be sufficient for your skis! The ATK crampons are my favorite with those bindings and come in a 97mm width.
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Comment from Tom
Hey! I have Salomon Guardian bindings - which crampons will be compatible?

Reply from Adam K
I believe these are the ones after research I have just been doing, but I would love confirmation on this!
Reply from Teddy Young
While we have not tested the compatibility of any frame binding ski crampons, I think you've found the correct one! I believe they are called the "Salomon Backcountry Crampons", but you may find them listed under other names. We happen to not carry this product and it may have been discontinued. Best of luck in your search!
Reply to this comment:

Comment from Joel
This is an incredibly awesome article! It answered all my questions with additional knowledge and tips. Thank you!
Reply from Teddy Young
Thanks so much, Joel! It took some time to put it all together, and while I know it isn't perfect, I hope it's a good starting point for folks!
Reply to this comment:

Comment from Geoffrey B
Hi, I have marker kingpins mounted on nordica enforcer unlimited, 104 mm underfoot. Would I be ok with the marker pintech 105 or safer to go with 120 mm. 16 mm seems too wide but not sure if 105 is too snug. Thanks!
Reply from jbo
Hi Geoffrey, the 105s should work just fine on those!
Reply to this comment:

Comment from Mitchell Beacham
I have G3 Zeds mounted on 106mm skis. G3 crampons seem to come in 105 or 115 mm widths. Do you think I'd be better off stretching a bit with the 105 or having the extra space with the 115?
Reply from jbo
Hi Mitchell, crampons cannot be stretched but there is a few mm wiggle room on the G3s (not all brands). The 105 should just fit unless you have big boots on a ski with huge sidecut.
Reply to this comment:

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