Rated 5 out of 5 by Andrew Everything You Think They Are
I've put a solid season on my Cobras on both ice and rock and have not regretted the purchase. They are more expensive than other tools, but the price is well worth it. These tools are so light and comfortable that I find myself picking them up in the house all the time. They are light but heavy enough to achieve excellent swings and sticks. You'll thank yourself on that 100ft WI4 when your arms are not as tired. The dampening of the carbon is great, especially compared to a tool like the Viper or Fusion. I've beat the tool to death testing ice, scratched and wrenched the shaft locking into cracks, and besides minor blemishes the tool has held up like a champ. I'm really not sure how you could improve an all-around tool like this one. I've also found that the grip seems stickier than others I have tried. Changing picks in the field is also a breeze. Bottom line - BD has created an amazing tool for a variety of climbs.
February 24, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Regis WOW!
I was still rocking an old pair of metal axes and using friend's different ones for a pitch to try different options. Tried renting a set of the cobras and saw a huge difference with all the other models! Weight of course but also precision and how secure they feel on placements! Bought a pair! Had only one concern towards Dry-tooling/mixed climbing with them... for straight up and ledges and vertical cracks and corners they are awesome but i had this route in mind which you have to stick your tool all the way in a horizontal crack till only the handle sticks out and use that as a chin up bar to cross from one fall to an overhanging ice curtain... carbon fibre is strong!!!! I was surprised as I crossed over matching hands on one to remove and replace the second, no bending, no cracking, apart from some aesthetic scratches on the shaft the tool held strong and in place with an awesome grip and great space for two hands!!! My doubts are now gone and i am trilled to take these puppies on some high alpine routes next!!! Lets see how far i can push them!
February 7, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Josh Worth the Upgrade from the Vipers
I have both the Cobras and Viper ice tools now. I originally thought the Cobras would be identical to the Vipers except the carbon fiber shafts. They ARE very similar, but there are some key differences.
Shape: The Cobra shafts offer a tad more clearance, making it just a little easier to get over bulges. The grip on the Cobra is just a little different than the one on the Viper, shaped just a little different and is a bit more grippy.
Weight: The Cobra's are lighter and in my opinion feel more balanced when swinging.
Carbon Fiber: The Cobra shaft doesn't freeze my hands as bad as the aluminum Viper when directly gripping the shaft. The vibration dampening of the carbon fiber is also noticeable, it feels smoother and less fatiguing.
Downsides: I can't believe how expensive the Cobras are! Although they are super durable, I feel like I am a little more careful with the carbon fiber and don't let it bash on rock as much as the Vipers when mixed climbing
Overall: The Cobra and the Viper are almost identical. To me, the Cobras seem like an upgraded version. If price is a major factor in your product selection, then you can't go wrong with the Viper. If you can afford it and you want the very best, the Cobra is it.
December 19, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Doug Simply the best
The best. The gold standard. Unbeatable. I've climbed tens of thousands of feet with my set of Cobras: water ice to big alpine routes in the Karakorum. Really, they are the best at just about everything. You could buy a specialized tool for drytooling or mixed, but for an all around tool that's strong, light, beautifully crafted and a reliable workhorse, this is it. Really.
June 14, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by WillG Cobras
Carbon. Mmmmmm.... Nothing absorbs vibration, is as "smooth," and all-around bomber strong as Carbon cobras. I put hundreds of high-abuse pitches on mine every year, ranging from WI easy to WI really hard spray and mixed routes, and never even think about these tools, they just work. I've climbed M11 on 'em, alpine routes, just the best all-around technical tool going.
In picked-out warm ice any tool will work OK, but get on something with fresh ice up high in the mountains and advantages of having the best possible tool are apparent really fast.
Note--I am biased as I worked on the design of these tools, but I helped make them so they work well! Will Gadd
May 22, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by mreverest Carbon Fiber Cobra
From the onset, the Cobra with it's futuristic design and elegant construction has been a game changer in ice climbing. The leashless ergonomics are also superb and render it probably the best all around
steep ice and alpine climbing tool.
May 20, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Johnboy Not THORS hammer
After climbing for years with a number of aluminum shaft tools I upgraded to the Cobra and immediately noticed the difference between carbon fiber. The Cobra Ice tool has that distinct impact feel with leash less functionality and extra clearance. Its not for hammering pitons, but would work, but a great Technical tool
May 20, 2013