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Stingers V Darts - opinions please

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 Exile 10 Jan 2021

I have old Petzl Darts that I have used for mixed a lot and really like. I need a new front section for these, but can now buy a pair of BD Stingers (which look very similar to the new Darts) for the same price as a new Dart front section. Has amybody used both and can let me know how they compare, or the Stingers and if you are happy with them? Many thanks.

 waitout 10 Jan 2021
In reply to Exile:

I found the Stingers stainless wore down a fair bit faster than chromoly. 

If relevant, I've found G20's nicer than both, a much more streamlined affair, though the lack of back teeth is a thing at times on steep but walkable ground and descending.

 HeMa 10 Jan 2021
In reply to Exile:

I was using the old Dart and now use Stinger as my main ’poons.

can’t comment on the new Dart.

Grivel g20+ or g21+ would be good contenders as well.

if possible, go to a store that has all of them and try with your own boots.

for the record, IMHO all of them seem to have too short secundary points. I really prefer the agressive ones that grivel Rambo’s have (or Grivel Racing, fruitboot bolt-ons).

 joe.91 10 Jan 2021
In reply to HeMa:

I’ve had darts, dartwins, Rambo IVs and currently on the new darts. The new darts are my favourites, climb much better than the Rambos which are similar point layout to G20s due to the secondary points. They also are able to be setup as duals that make climbing pure ice a dream. Also the lightest and have useable anti balling plates that are superior to the old darts. 

In reply to Exile:

My knee jerk metallurgist reaction would be to avoid the stingers and go for the darts.

The wear resistance of stainless is generally poor compared to Cr Mo steel. There is also the stress corrosion cracking issue which has been raised previously, Canadian chap called Däne who had a useful website? 

That said, I don't know the grade or treatment of the stainless, just working on experience and prior knowledge. 

Shiny stainless crampons look great in the shop but ask yourself why are no other manufacturers producing them? 

 Exile 10 Jan 2021
In reply to waitout:

Thanks for that - I don't really want them to wear out more quickly than the Darts did, so good to know.

In relation to the G20s I think I prefer the extra spikes.

In reply to Presley Whippet:

There were some failures when BDs first stainless steel crampons came out but I've not heard of any problems in years. Just like loads of us having the first gen of Grivel Newmatic bindings just snap. 

I bought BD Snaggletooth from an acquaintance who I think had worn them up the North Face of the Eiger! I've had them for 3 winters and have used them a fair amount. They're still going strong, and are the lightest crampons I have except some alu ones.

 Exile 10 Jan 2021
In reply to HeMa:

Funnily enough I really like the point arrangement of the Darts for mixed. (I have Rambo 4s I use if I know I'm going ice climbing and I don't think they climb quite as well on mixed.)

Post edited at 20:46
 Exile 10 Jan 2021
In reply to joe.91:

I liked the simplicity of the old Darts, but if the new ones climb as well it's looking increasingly likely I'll get a new Dart front section for them. (I'm not worried about twin points for them - I've got Rambo 4s for ice as I like a bit more weight then.)

Post edited at 20:44
 Exile 10 Jan 2021
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Cold Thistle? As Toby says that was some time ago, but I take your point in relation to other manufacturers. If it ain't broke...

 Nathan Adam 10 Jan 2021
In reply to Exile:


UKC did a comparison between the Stinger and Lynx a few years ago and the new Darts aren't a million miles away from the Lynx design but are a bit lighter for the pair.

I've just got the new front section of the Darts to replace the previous version and can say they climb pretty well and feel just as precise as the older version did when they were new. They also have the benefit of being able to use them with the mono straight on, offset over your big toe, dual or offset dual so really covers all bases between mixed and ice. 

A fair few of my partners climb with the Stingers and have never heard a complaint from them. If you can get them cheap then you probably won't go wrong but the harder steel on the Darts might last longer and give a bit more modular options if you need them.

 HeMa 10 Jan 2021
In reply to Exile:

I did as well... to an extent.

for mixed I liked spa short monopoint and the secondary points rather close. In ice you get a stable triangle (with not a lot of penetration, but not gonna happen on the bullet ICE we have here), and also a stable two point position on edges.

In reply to Exile:

> Cold Thistle? As Toby says that was some time ago, but I take your point in relation to other manufacturers. If it ain't broke...

Yeah thats the one, worth searching for to read up. From what I remember the author was pretty clued up. 

Personally, I might buy ss if they were cheap enough, and accept a limited lifespan. I would also buy a dye penetration kit and check them start and mid season. 

 Mark Stevenson 11 Jan 2021
In reply to Exile:

Been a fair few pairs of new or near new old Darts for sale at decent prices on eBay and Facebook OGE group recently. Might be worth keeping an eye out given you seem happy with them.

I'm most urgently after a cheap replacement pair of Air Techs but my Monos are also pretty trashed so in a similar situation and also been struggling to decide what to do. 

Only used Darts once when my Grivel G20s broke (original link bar design, now updated). No real difference between the two, however the G20s can occasionally ball up horrendously in the wrong (wet?) snow conditions. New Darts do look better in that regard. 

As normal, it won't be the gear that holds you back and I don't think any one option currently stands out. 

 GarethSL 11 Jan 2021
In reply to Exile:

I broke a pair of Stingers after two seasons, the front snapped between the bolt and the secondary points. So make sure they fit your boots really well. If you're doing long approaches and the sole of your boot at the toe is wearing down, it may become an issue. Otherwise as TobyA says, I haven't heard of anyone breaking stainless crampons in more recent years. I currently climb quite happily on Cyborgs and actually picked up another pair of Stingers.

One thing I'm not too keen on is the new centre bar on BD crampons, as the old 'flex' bar seems to have become the new standard. I managed to salvage the old centre bars from my first pair of stingers which is thicker steel so stiffer, more durable and (I feel) more secure. Though with modern mountain boots that have more flex its probably a good thing.

As others have said the stainless crampons do wear a little faster. Personally, I can't really relate to this as mine have almost exclusively been used for pure ice climbing, for Scottish mixed I imagine they will have their drawbacks. If you want more durability then converting a pair of Cyborgs/ Lynx's to monopoint could be an idea. With this you also get a couple extra points and a spare frontpoint. With the Cyborgs you would only have a 48g weight penalty for the pair.

I went from the original Darts to Grivel G22's, the Darts started off great, but I didn't like how they fit my boots and the secondary points were often much further back than I would like even with maximum protrusion. The secondary points also wore down quite quickly due to their long thin profile (the new version seems slightly improved in this respect).

The Grivel G22's had a much better protrusion but like many I ended up breaking my toe bail, this time mid solo. Lost quite a bit of faith in them after that. Haven't heard of anyone breaking the centre bar after the redesign though!

When I think about it, the Darts are actually the only crampons I haven't broke. And the redesign with replaceable front points and anti ball plate put them essentially on par with the Stinger.

 Exile 11 Jan 2021
In reply to Exile:

Thanks all for really helpful feedback. I suspect I'll stick with what I know and get new front sections for my Darts. 

Post edited at 09:34
In reply to GarethSL:

> The Grivel G22's had a much better protrusion but like many I ended up breaking my toe bail, this time mid solo. Lost quite a bit of faith in them after that.

Bloomin' 'eck! How? And what happened!? I split the plastic in the heel bail of those alu Edelrid crampons but it didn't fail catastrophically - I only noticed when adjusting them. I broke the frame on my first pair of Terminators, fortunately toe bail to ankle strap kept them on on that single pitch route and it was last climb of the day.

 GarethSL 11 Jan 2021
In reply to TobyA:

I put the cause down to using the standard bail on "narrow" boots, not that G2's are particularly narrow, but I think the width of the bail and constant kicking causes fatigue in the metal. I believe Grivel remedied the issue with the introduction of a narrower bail style. However, mine broke at the kink so I figured that with enough fatigue the issue would likely persist regardless.

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