I’ve been really impressed with all the amazing new (or redesigned) products coming from Petzl lately and the new Ride axe is no exception. While it was designed as a compact and lightweight ski mountaineering axe the Ride is also a very functional summer mountaineering tool. It works great on mountaineering and alpine objectives where portability and weight are critical regardless of the season.
- Length: 45cm
- Weight: 280g
- Shaft: Curved aluminum
- Pick: Positive curve, tempered steel, not replaceable
- Adze (no hammer option)
In creating the Ride, Petzl eliminated many non-critical mountaineering axe features to reduce weight while striving to maintain functionality.
The bottom of the shaft doesn’t have a steel spike. Instead the shaft has been cut at a angle to create a point, something Petzl has done on various axes in the past. A plastic plug finishes the bottom of the shaft to ensure that it doesn’t pack with snow. While this design drops some weight it also sacrifices some durability as the point will wear and can get small burrs if used to brace against rock. Not a big deal, just something to be aware of.
The bent shaft of the Ride facilitates self-arrest and makes the high-dagger position more comfortable when climbing steep snow. However, the shaft can feel a little slippery and so handling the Petzl Ride like a technical tool can feel a bit insecure.
The steel pick and adze have had excess metal cut out to create a lightweight, skeletal looking, head. The axe is quite comfortable to hang onto when plunging or walking and is nicely finished with some plastic molding.
It’s interesting that the few things that I would personally change on the Ride have been incorporated into the slightly more technical Gully. Of course this makes the Gully weigh more, everything’s a compromise!
Pros: Very lightweight and packable
Cons: Slippery handle
Overall: The Petzl Ride axe is a very lightweight summer and winter mountaineering axe that’s ideal for routes that don’t involve much ice. Check out the Petzl Gully if you want a lightweight axe that’s a little more technical just be aware that it weights a bit more as well.
Petzl provided a sample for testing but this did not influence the review in any way.