Rated 4 out of 5 by Paul A Good Choice for Alpine Ice
I own several generations of this ice tool. it has a fairly classic design, with the addition (in Gen2) of finger rests. The fact that the tools have (respectively) an adze and a north wall hammer means that these axes are highly functional in an alpine setting where I can find myself chopping rotten ice and using the occasional piton or picket. The pinky rest on the bottom of the shaft can get in the way of plunging the shaft in steep snow, but this isn't a deal breaker for this axe. I bought my Gen2 axes when the finish on the carbon fiber shafts of my Gen1 axes started to wear; I didn't want to end up with carbon fiber splinters in my hands, so my Gen1 axes are loaners and wall ornaments these days.
January 18, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by James My tools of choice
I have three sets of ice tools -- the Cobras, 2014 Vipers, and a set of Fuels. The Cobras are my go-to tool. They swing so well. The balance and weight just feel great in my hands. The carbon fiber shaft dampens impact more than the aluminum shaft of the Vipers. By swapping out leashes, picks, hammers and adze, and the strike and fang, I can customize these tools for the climbing goal of the day, whether that's dry tooling, mixed climbing, technical alpine, or blue water ice. They're fantastic!
Of course, no tool is perfect. So, I need to also make suggestions for improvement. The grip is perhaps a slight bit small for my hands. So, BD, if you can make the grip size more customizable, that would be a good next step in tool evolution. The grip is the user-tool interface, and the more seamless that interface, the better.
January 4, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5
by JC Excellent Ice Tools Great Balance
I have had my Cobras for 14 years. I have used them in Alaska, Colorado, Canmore and Wyoming. They have very good balance which makes it easy to be precise and stick your picks. I am not a good rock climber, but between these tools and Jeff Lowe's Ice Climbing instructions I have climbed WI 5 routes and glaciers.
I used the Petzl Trigrest for Sum'tec to add pinky rests.
Also, Thanks BD for bringing your gear production back to the USA. I feel safer buying camalots, again.
October 18, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Julien So Precise, So Nice
This is an amazing tool. When you swing it, it sticks exactly where you want it to. Much more so than any other tool I've used. Much less ice shattering swings, and more just-right sticks.
However, the Cobra is not as good as tools with more aggressively curved shafts for getting over/around bulges in the ice.
If the ice is steep or you need to use the spike more like an axe in an alpine situation, this is one of the best tools out there.
May 28, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Joshua There is a reason that these are so popular
A solid, light tool that swings well. This tool is well suited to alpine or waterfall ice. BD has a simple and effective head design that allows changing picks with ease. These carbon tools are quite light and really well balanced.
May 27, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Chris Excellent
These are the best tools that I have used for ice and rock. I have been using mine now for 3 years and they still perform great.
January 5, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5
by Mathew Love it!
Love the grip, the swing, the stick, the removal. No frills tool that gets it done! Despite being carbon, my personal experience and that of others supports its bomber durability. Great all around tool that can get you up ice, mixed, and alpine with style. Capable dry-tooling as well.
January 4, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Christine Excellent
These tools have such a great feel to them. They're lightweight, and the swing is easy. I love them!
December 19, 2014