YAKTRAX PRO Traction Device
December 13, 2006
Wilmington Massachusetts USA
5' 8" (1.73 m)
165 lb (74.80 kg)
At this time almost all my experience has been hiking, in New Hampshire, Florida, Colorado USA, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia Canada using an 11 lb. (5 kg) day pack. I have backpacked on Mt. Washington New Hampshire and at the IMP shelter located between North Carter and Mount Moriah mountains New Hampshire. The gear I will be writing about has been used a lot hiking mostly all year around in New Hampshire. I have recently completed the forty-eight 4000 footers (1219 m) of New Hampshire. My day hikes have been as long as 12 hours covering almost 20 miles (32 km).
Location: Yaktrax, Inc. is located in the State of Washington in the United States of America
Manufacturer's URL: 'www.yaktrax.com'
Year of Manufacture: 2005
Date Item Received: November, 2005
Product Name: YAKTRAX PRO TRACTION DEVICE
Color: Black (only color found)
MSRP: $29.95 US
5.1 - 5.5 oz (145 - 156 g) per pair
Actual Weight (size large)
5 oz (142 g) pair
Upon opening the Yaktrax Pro Traction Device package, I was amazed at the small size and light weight. They fit right in the palm of my hand. They are folded in half and upon opening them; one sees they are comprised of rubber and coiled steel. The main body is a thick round rubber forming the outline of a boot. The sides of the ring are joined by a rubber diamond shaped web consisting of 2 full diamonds and 2 partial diamonds that connect to the front and heel of the shoe. The web area is surrounded by coiled steel wire. There is a Velcro strap with YAKTRAX printed on the strap that goes over the top of the shoe and passes thru a loop and then back on itself where it is secured by the Velcro material. This strap can be easily removed for either using the Yaktrax without the strap or to replace the strap.
When I use Yaktrax Pro Traction Device.
When the temperature above 3000 feet (914 m) gets below 32 F (0 C), itís time to put my Yaktrax Pro Traction Device into my backpack. At this point my backpack is a day pack so space is limited. The small size and weight are a necessity. When folded they fit into the palm of my hand. I put them in a small Zip lock bag in case they have to be stored wet or muddy. I have not gotten my Yaktrax very muddy since I remove them when trail conditions change. Once on the trail they are small enough to put in my coat pocket, alleviating the need to remove my pack. I usually end up putting on the Yaktrax near the top of the mountain where there are a lot more icy rocks and winds tend to be gusting. I keep them on longer on the way down the mountain as I need more stability going down. I usually keep them on until I know I am free of icy conditions or there is too much bare rock to avoid. I have found them very stable and donít even feel as if I have them on. The only way I know for sure they are still on is to check visually. I have found that the best way to get used to putting on Yaktrax Pro is to practice on the boot I am going to use before going on the trail. They are made of a combination of coiled steel and a rubber material and that makes them semi-flexible. To put them on I first release the Velcro strap and insert the toe of boot under the strap and make sure the webbing is over the crown of the boot. Then I pull the tab on the Yaktrax Pro toward the back of boot and pull up over the heel. Next I check that the upper part of the Yaktrax Pro follows the crown of the boot. Lastly, the Velcro strap is adjusted snugly and secured.
To remove them quickly I release the Velcro strap and pull the tab at the back of the foot away from the foot and down. At this point I shake them or rap them together to remove any moisture or debris. Putting them on in cold weather is not as easy for me. My fingers are short and not very dexterous in cold weather. I have used liner gloves and that helps.
Where I have used Yaktrax Pros Traction Device
I have used Yaktrax Pro Traction Device in the White Mountains Range of New Hampshire, USA. They have been used on the following mountains in the White Mountain Range; Lafayette, North Twin, South Twin, Liberty, Flume, Moosilauke, and Whiteface.
Yaktrax makes 2 models, the Walker and Pro. I have both models and they are black as that was the only color available in the store when I purchased them. They are almost the same except the Pro has a strap that wraps over the front part of the shoe. The strap is Velcro and attaches easily.
There is very little difference in putting on either pair. I found it helpful to practice putting them on before using them for the first time on the trail. One practice session was all that was necessary. I have 3 pairs of hiking boots and the Yaktrax I have fit best on the Garmont boots. I found that the best way to put on the Yaktrax is by inserting the Yaktrax over the toe end of the shoe first and ensuring that the Yaktrax rose to the crown on the shoe before pulling back to engage the heel.
My first set of Yaktrax was the Walker model. It was good on ice, or especially snow covered ice. If the trail gets too steep then there is some slippage. On my first hike with the Walker the trail conditions were packed snow in varying depths up to about 18 in. (47 cm.). I had no trouble going up the mountain; however on the way down at some point I lost one of the Yaktrax in a post hole.
It was after that hike that I bought the Yaktrax Pro. Having a strap across the front part of the shoe prevented any further loss of a Yaktrax in post holing conditions. I have done about 10 hikes with the Yaktrax Pro model and am very satisfied as they add very little weight and are easy to put and take off.
After 10 uses my Yaktrax Pro look pretty much the same way as when I bought them except for some stains and marks on the metal. Nothing has broken yet. In case one does break I carry the remaining Yaktrax Walker from my first purchase. They are serving me well.
THINGS I LIKE
The Yaktrax are lightweight, fairly easy to put on as long as I had initially practiced before using them on the trail. The Yaktrax are light to carry and quickly and easily put on. I find them very useful to have in my pack as soon as cold weather season begins. At the trailhead I remove them from my pack and move them to my jacket pocket thus eliminating to need to take off my backpack when they are needed for traction. If the icy section of trail is short they come off easily and I shake them to release any snow or debris and put them in a plastic bag and back in my jacket pocket.
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
I had to make sure they fit snugly on my shoe. They were a lot less stable when I turned my foot perpendicular to the direction of travel or when the slope was icy and too steep. Traction is reduced when walking on smooth sloping bare rocks and probably causes unnecessary wear.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
Read more reviews of Yaktrax gear
Read more gear reviews by arnold peterson