Gear Review: Vargo V3 Titanium Pocket Cleats
Released in December 2017
Weight: Don’t be fooled consumers. Unless you’re only going to wear one of these, they actually weight 4.8 ounces.
I had the opportunity to test these cleats out in Colorado in January.
Temperature: 23 degrees
Distance: 14 miles
Terrain: Mixed snow/ice
They’re lightweight for a few reasons; Titanium is a much more efficient metal over steel in terms of weight and corrosion. These spikes are also really minimal, covering the middle of your foot instead of the entire foot.
They’re adjustable, which makes for an interesting product. The versatility of them caters to a wide audience because everyone walks differently. But be careful to fit them correctly, or you might not be impressed with their performance.
If you just want a little bit of traction, you can remove some of the spikes. Or if you’re really weight-conscience but unwilling to leave the spikes at home, the pocket cleats offer an interesting option.
The spikes themselves are a pretty decent size, which means I’d probably only use them in heavy ice. Otherwise you’ll dull them really quickly. So they’re probably most efficient in extreme conditions.
They’re less than half the weight of competing spikes.
One size fits all. So, you won’t have to carry more weight if you have gargantuan feet.
They pack down really small.
Despite their versatility, these spikes are not easily adjusted.
They come with a detailed setup sheet when traditional spikes can be slipped on easily.
There’s a ledge on the upper side of the spikes that will eventually chew away at your shoes.
Compare & Contrast:
Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System
Weight: 11 ounces
Material: Stainless Steel
Yaktrax ICEtrekkers Diamond Grip Traction System
Weight: 12 ounces
Material: Steel alloy
Vargo’s V3 Titanium Pocket Cleats blow many competing products away when comparing weight. They fall right between Kahtoola’s Microspikes and Yaktrax.
Having spent a decent amount of time with Yaktrax specifically, I honestly prefer them to the V3 pocket cleats because they’re more reliable. Since they cover your whole foot, theres almost no room for slippage. And the product setup is brainless, which is nice. But I also don’t generally hike long distances with spikes, so weight is a lesser issue for me.
As far as ultralight spikes go, I’m pretty sure you won’t find a more weight-efficient version than the V3 Titanium Pocket Cleats. I did feel that they’re not quite as reliable as other heavy duty spikes. But depending on your intended use, they offer a nice solution to tough conditions.
Disclaimer: This product was donated for the purpose of this review. But the generosity in no way affects my analysis and overall opinion of the product.
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