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Thread: Stabilicers vs Yaktrax

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    Junior Member hikingmom's Avatar
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    Stabilicers vs Yaktrax

    We have snowshoes but they seem to be overkill when the trail is packed out. We only do light winter hiking (Mt Willard, Greeley Ponds) and were thinking of getting stabilicers or yaktrax. Is one better than the other? The stabilicers look like they would be better on icy patches, but the yaktrax might fit nicely in a fanny pack or day pack when not needed.

  2. #2
    Banned Kevin Rooney's Avatar
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    Yaktrax are good for crossing an icy parking lot, but don't stay when hiking - they fall off constantly, and don't provide the type of traction on steeper inclines that stabalizers do.

  3. #3
    Junior Member hikingmom's Avatar
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    Thanks, Kevin. The stabilicers do look more substantial and certainly wouldn't fall off. I was just looking at pics on-line at EMS and REI and recalling what folks we passed on the trail had worn last weekend on our hike up Mt Willard.

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    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikingmom
    Thanks, Kevin. The stabilicers do look more substantial and certainly wouldn't fall off. I was just looking at pics on-line at EMS and REI and recalling what folks we passed on the trail had worn last weekend on our hike up Mt Willard.
    The heavy weight ones are better than the lighter "sport" model.

    They look like a vibram sole with screws and straps.

    Doug

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mad Townie's Avatar
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    I love my Stabilicers. The heavy ones have velcro'd webbing that holds well on boots. The lighter ones have light rubber that's supposed to hold them on your feet. I hear they slip sideways rather easily. The heavy ones stay put.
    Mad Townie

    Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. Deal with brute nature. Be cold and hungry and weary. - H. D. Thoreau

    Easy trails, nice days and comfort are good, too. - M. Townie

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    Senior Member Double Bow's Avatar
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    FWIW, I own and have used both models of STABILicers. Far and away, I would say that the heavy ones are much more useful. While I haven't had any problems with the sport model falling off, I use the heavy ones in almost all circumstances. The only reason why I have the sport model is that that were all that my local EMS had when I bought them.
    "I like to collect experiences the way other people like to collect coins and stamps." Michael McGuire

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    65/67 Winter NE4Ks [Been there, ROCKED IT!!]

  7. #7
    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    Agreed with everyone - you want the heavy duty model. The problem with Yaktrax is that simply by their design, they tend to collect snow in those wire springs on the bottom, which results in losing the tractionability, as well as uncomfortable walking.

    I've just done my first hikes with Stabilicers the past two weekends and found them admirable for all the mixed conditions, but crampons are still necessary if you're on a trail that has filled with water and frozen and left huge, glare ice flowing down...
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

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    Senior Member kerry13's Avatar
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    Agree with all that has been said. I also carry a pair of "Ice Trekkers". They look like a pair of rubbers and have 1/8 -3/16 inch long carbide spikes on the bottom. They are light to carry and wear, just a couple ounces compared to stabilizers. I have never had a problem with them coming off. I wore mine all last winter and the spikes still look like new. They are great on exposed rock, hard packed trails, ice, and frozen bare ground. They are not so good if you are dealing with more than an inch of snow over ice, but most of the places you need them are wind blown. They cost less than $20 a pair and are a far more sure-footed way to go than barebooting. I start my hikes with them on and only move up to stabilizer or crampons when I need to. I think you'd be surprised how well they work.
    Yesterday is history, Tomorrow a mystery,
    Today is a gift, enjoy it!

    Kerry

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Rooney
    Yaktrax are good for crossing an icy parking lot, but don't stay when hiking - they fall off constantly, and don't provide the type of traction on steeper inclines that stabalizers do.
    Major dittos!!!
    ADD to that mine broke right here in my driveway.
    They were not even old or abused!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mongoose's Avatar
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    I have the stabilicers and they work great. I no longer have to bring out the plastic boots and crampons if there is only a little ice on the trail.

  11. #11
    Junior Member pegbert's Avatar
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    I have to quibble a bit about the heavy duty vs sport model argument.

    It took me a couple of hikes to get the strapping tension (velcro straps) right on the sport model of the stabilicers. Since then, I have had zero problems with them slipping off. They are much lighter and allow for much better feel than the full-on model.

    I find that the lighter sport model allows for better agility and feel expecially in mixed rock/snow/ice trail conditions. I prefer to bareboot on the way up the trail using my poles to counter any slippage. I find that the stabilicers are extremely helpful on the way down. Instead of falling on my butt when I hit an icy patch, the stabilicers give just the right amount of traction to roughly maintain speed while executing a controlled slide.

    Of course, either model is absolutely perfect for icy water crossings!

    Paul

    PS: I did try another pair of rubber traction (Ice Tekkers) devices with small carbide studs, but 30% of them broke during the first 4K hike.

  12. #12
    Senior Member audrey's Avatar
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    Here's another vote for the heavy Stabilicers model. I only have one quibble - my winter boots (Sorel Quests) have rather a streamlined profile, with a tapering toebox, and I find that the Stabilicers slip a bit sideways on uneven ground, which doesn't happen on Pat's Columbia Bugabootoos or Marge's Salomon Snowdogs. It doesn't affect performance, though.

  13. #13
    Senior Member NewHampshire's Avatar
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    If anyone is interested I just picked up a pair off of Amazon.com for $39. With Shipping it came to $45.90, which is still cheaper than what EMS is charging at $48.

    Brian
    Adopter: Wildcat Ridge Trail from Rt.16 to Wildcat "D". If you have any issues please contact me!

  14. #14
    Member Mark_Goodearl's Avatar
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    Neos Voyager Overshoes with Stabilicer Outsole?

    Has anyone tried these? I can't tell if they'd be as secure; I suspect I'd be better with the traditional stabilicer coupled with my regular gaiters since the description reads "They easily fit over casual, dress and athletic shoes." that hiking would be too much for them.

  15. #15
    Member hardrain's Avatar
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    Cool size 12 boots/ L or XL stabilicers?

    I wear a size 12 vasque boot.

    The stabilicers come in sizes L(men's 10.5-12), XL(men's 12-14),

    Since I am buying them on line, I would like to choose the best size first time.

    Can anyone suggest whether to buy the L and go for a snug fit or, purchase the XL and take the chance that they might be too loose?
    remember, let's have some fun out there.

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