Rated 4 out of 5 by James Great Tools, Good Price.
I have three sets of ice tools -- the Cobras, 2014 Vipers, and a set of Fuels. The Vipers are the tools I lend to friends. They swing well, and are very similar to the Cobras in terms of geometry and use. The aluminum shaft can take a litte more abuse than the carbon fiber of the cobras, but it doesn't feel as good in the hand -- it's more slippery if gripping high on the shaft, and translates more impact to the climber when swinging.
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.
Similar to the Cobra, the grip is a slight bit small for my hands. More customization would be an improvement.
January 4, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by Quin All arounders
This, as advertised and stated in reviews, is a great all around tool. I have used these in the park and also as a classic mountaineering axe. It's awesome to have a pair of tools that you can be confident in regardless of location and conditions. With ice tools, a lot comes down to preference and for me these don't stick as easily as some other tools I have swung when climbing the steeper stuff, but that could just be my caveman swing. When you combine the price with their versatility, it's hard to go wrong with the Vipers, especially if trying to decide on a first pair of tools.
October 27, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Will Sender for steep Ice
When I was looking for a technical alpine ice tool I tried out the Cassin's, Monsters, and Vipers and found that the Vipers reformed best at an alpine level. Their bomber construction and tuned pick makes them suitable for WI5 but the angled shaft creates a plungable body great for steep coulars and other less steep terrain. Whether your banging in pitons on alpine routes or sending technical water ice routes, I would recommend the Viper tool for you.
August 21, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by Julien Solid Tools
These are solid tools for a better price than most of the other ones.
If you're getting into the sport or not trying to spend tons of money, this is your best bet. It really performs well as an all around tool.
August 2, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Todd great tools!
Our outdoor rec gear locker has 5 types of tools, and I keep going back to the vipers. So much so I finally committed and bought my own pair after 6 years of playing with all of them. They have held up to years of abuse by our students, with never an issue. The clearance the tool gives is great on steep and vertical ice and does well even on minor to moderate overhangs. Vipers just fit my swing, in thin to heavy gloves. More aggressive tools work serious overhangs better, but they just don't stick as well for me and I don't get the feel of placement like I've come to expect. Vipers are weighted and balanced great, and I look forward to jealously hording my own set for years to come.
January 7, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by Daniel Solid
Used the Vipers for my intro to ice climbing Hyalite this last weekend. I led WI3 and a WI3/4 mixed route on my first day. Climbed several routes including The Dribbles and led another WI4 on day three. The are very solid. They have a nice swing, the pick works will in the ice and although I had to get used to the feeling; the pick held very well on the rock. These tools feel very balances.
January 26, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by Steve Great all around tool
I purchased the Vipers a few years back and have been greatly satisfied with their performance. The are fairly light weight, they swing and stick well with just the right touch. There is surprisingly little vibration for being aluminum. I bought Fusions last year to up my game a bit, but I still go back to the Vipers depending on the route. There is just something about them that brings me back to them.
November 12, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Carly Highly reccommended ice tool
After climbing vertical ice for a few seasons and absolutely loving it, I had decided it was time to purchase my own tools. I was lucky enough to have the the oppurtunity of renting and borrowing several different tools as a beginner climber. The BD Vipers were my favorite ice tools so I bought them,love them and have been using them ever since. They are lightweight, easy to sink, dont have excess vibration and most importantly! they are not knuckle bashers. :)
June 6, 2013