The Best New Ice Axes From OutDoor 2015

There were some interesting innovations to the classic ice axe design on display at OutDoor 2015 as well as some well-thought-out re-workings of classic models.

Austrialpin's new, (apparently that's pronounced Kaiser), was one of the more interesting models we saw at the trade show. The adjustable pick angle makes this a truly unique bit of kit, but we're honestly a little doubtful as to whether this feature on this particular axe is going to set the world alight. The problem for us is that the is already a technical axe and we can't see an adjustable pick angle being of much use to those primarily tackling technical climbs where good clearance and hooking, not the ability to adjust your pick, are the primary concerns. However, the technology undoubtedly has validity and we'd be excited to see it put to use on a straight handled axe that, unlike the, could truly shift modes between a glacier walking axe and a climbing tool. 

Another interesting bit of kit from the Austrian company is the Mini phRugo. Originally designed to be used by children, AustriAlpin have found that the axe has actually received most interest from big mountain skiers who love having the option of a compact axe that can be carried in their bag for use in emergencies. We're a little unsure how many people out there are going to need such a specific bit of kit, but if you're into hitting steep couloirs and want a safety net for when the conditions turn nasty, then the Mini phRugo is a great option and a steal at just 79€.

The new North Machine from Grivel was easily one of the best-designed axes we saw at OutDoor. Essentially a re-working of their old axe, the Quantum Tech, the North Machine is ideal for tackling longer routes with its lightweight carbon construction and well-thought-out ergonomics. We won't be surprised at all if the North Machine turns into a go-to axe for alpinists for whom its sheer versatility and lightweight construction will make it an ideal choice.

OutDoor Axes

To find out more about all of the best new gear from OutDoor 2015, check out our series page from the event

Comments (1)

Panu Lehti's picture
The new Kong ice axe with a wooden core was a real stunner!
Aug 2nd 2015
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