Best Ice Axe Leash

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Grivel Long
Test Winner: Grivel Long
Amazon Link
If you are the adventurous type that loves to brave the cold weather and rugged terrain when the ground is covered with ice and snow, then you're likely to be carrying the necessary ice climbing equipment with you.

Whether you are climbing an icy mountain or trekking a frozen body of water, you will need your ice axe with you. Not only can it be used for balance and safety, but it can also be used as a self-arrest tool when descending a steep slope.

When you're not actively using it, you'll need a secure place to store it. That is where a leash comes in. Using one of these can prevent you from losing your much-needed tool in the snow or ice. Read our guide on the best ice axe leash to see the top ten options.

Standout Picks

Black Diamond Slinger Leash
The Slinger is a strong, reliable, and stretchy option from Black Diamond. It can be attached to the head or the spike and has proven to be a faithful companion to many climbers. If you have used the Black Diamond Spinner in the past, you'll notice some similarities, but the Slinger weighs less.
Black Diamond Slider Ice Axe Leash
As you may have noticed, there are a number of Black Diamond selections on this list, and that is for good reason. This Slider is a fantastic example of why Black Diamond is so good at what they do.
Grivel Double Spring Ice Axe Leash
Grivel’s Double Spring is made to hold two things at once and provides you with a sophisticated elastic double sling system that is also easy to use. Plus, this is very lightweight, which makes it easy to bring along with you whenever you need it.
Grivel Long Ice Axe Leash
Grivel’s long is designed for comfort and ease of use and offers a lot of benefits for an affordable price. With a lifetime warranty and a lot of durabilities, this is a good product to select if you want a good one and are trying to save a bit of money with your purchase.
Amazon Link
$17.99
Backcountry Link
$12.71
See Deal
CAMP Alpina Ice Axe Leash
CAMP Alpinia is made to give you a very versatile product that will easily save your axe. It features a comfortable and adjustable wrist strap attachment, and can even double as a cane on some high mountain slopes.
Amazon Link
$25.00
PETZL - Linkin Removable Leash
The Linkin is a simple design that connects to your wrist. It is very easy to use, giving you the choice of tying a knot or adding a carabiner or sling. It weighs only .9-ounces, giving you no reason not to throw it in your winter bag.
Amazon Link
$16.95
Black Diamond Lockdown Ice Axe Leash
Black Diamond’s Lockdown offers you a lightweight and durable option that can be used with just about any ice tool. With that type of versatility, it’s a nice tool to have, and although the directions could be better, it does function very well overall.
Black Diamond Android
Black Diamond’s Cobra/Viper Android is designed to give you a lot of features and a very easy to use. However, this is an expensive product, so if you are shopping on a budget and looking to save money, this might not be the product for you.
Amazon Link
Backcountry Link
$37.46
See Deal
Petzl Freelock
Petzl’s Freelock is made to be durable, and also gives you the ability to adjust as needed. You’ll get a nice leash that is very easy to use and gives you a lot of decent options for whatever you plan to do when you are on the ice.
Amazon Link
$29.95
Petzl V-Link
Petzl’s V-Link is very flexible and stretchy and made to hold two at once. The design makes it easy to use, and it has a nice combination of features. However, it is a bit expensive, and if you are looking for durability to match the price or if you are shopping on a budget, then this might not be the product for you.
Amazon Link
$48.77

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

Materials are an essential factor to consider when you’re looking into which one you want to purchase, mostly because materials will dictate a lot about performance and quality. Different brands use different features in the development process, and we’ll cover some of the more common materials you’ll see here.

Many on our list use nylon in their design. One reason for this is that nylon gives you the flexibility and stretchiness you’ll need when you are using yours. Also, nylon is a durable product that can be used to make adjustments in length, and that can be a useful factor if you want to give a lot of slack or keep it close to you. Nylon does have a downside, however, since it does tend to retain water, although it can still work effectively even when it is wet.

Some use a combination of polyester and nylon to add some durability to the quality of the design. Polyester helps the nylon to keep its flexibility while also adding some extra strength. Not all will combine both polyester and nylon, and the amount of each type of material can also vary. Of course, the quality of the nylon and polyester used in these can also affect the durability.

Some feature aluminum as well in their design, or other metals to add strength. Most of the ones that use aluminum in their designs also feature springs to help you more easily access your axe when you need it. Leashes with springs also usually feature clips. Sometimes these clips are stainless steel or aluminum, depending on the way they work. Aluminum is more popular than stainless steel, however, because it still helps keep them lightweight while retaining durability.

Durability

The durability of a design often goes hand in hand with the type of materials that are used in them, but not always. As stated before, some brands use different mixes of elements of various strengths, so even if you get one that sounds like it has durable materials in it, depending on the quality of those materials, it can be difficult to tell. You might think that those with stainless steel parts might be more durable than those with aluminum, but that’s not always the case.

A lot of the durability you’ll find will depend on the way it is designed. Typically, the more bells and whistles, the more prone will be to those things breaking, even if you wind up purchasing one that costs more you think should be durable. So, durability isn’t always measured by the price and is sometimes difficult to tell when looking at the materials.

Design is a huge factor here, and if you want to be able to check out the durability of the one you are interested in, it would be a good idea to read up on some customer reviews to see how long they last and how well they perform. Doing a bit of research can tell you a lot about how long the product will last.

Ease of Use

When we took a look at the ease of use behind these we listed on our product list above, we considered the comfort of using these, and what each one had on it to make its use more available. Some come made for two, while others can only hold one. Most of them on our list are made for one tool only, but we did include a couple of products that can keep more than one.

Several of the selections on our list feature wrist straps that allow you to cinch and adjust them to fit your wrist comfortably and many of these also allow you to change it right from your wrist. The wrist straps on these are designed to be comfortable and accessible and are typically the easiest ones to use.

Depending on how much experience you have using them and what you need, you might need to consider the features you want and need, and how functional you need yours to be. If they come with too many bells and whistles, it can be difficult for you to operate if you don’t know what you are doing. Some designs will require learning curves, and if you are just getting used to using it, then you should go for something simpler in design.

Value

We also examined the value you would get out of each one we listed in our review. Some of the options we’ve provided you with are very affordable, while others are more expensive. However, we looked at more than just the price when determining the value of each. We checked out the ease of use, durability, and features as well.

If the cheapest on our list is impossible to use, what good is it? Additionally, if you will be carrying two ice tools, a second version will be more valuable to you. Whether these are pricey or not, all of them we’ve reviewed have some value points to them, and we made sure to cover that in this guide.

Top Ten Ice Axe Leashes

1. Black Diamond Slinger

Black Diamond Slinger Leash
Black Diamond Slinger Leash
Black Diamond Slinger Leash
Amazon Link

The Slinger is a strong, reliable, and stretchy option from Black Diamond. It can be attached to the head or the spike and has proven to be a faithful companion to many climbers. If you have used the Black Diamond Spinner in the past, you'll notice some similarities, but the Slinger weighs less.

Read more

Materials

This is made from stretchy coiled elastic webbing. At it’s maximum, it stretches to about six feet in length. The webbing doesn’t absorb much water, keeping it lightweight. Out of the box, it weighs two ounces. The mini carabiner clip is made from steel.

Durability

This is a reliable choice. It retains its elasticity use after use. Even though the Slinger weighs only two ounces, it will keep a secure grip. Many climbers are happy to still have their favorite tool with them, thanks to this one. The Slinger is rated to 2kN (450-pounds).

Ease of Use

Another feature that reviewers love about this is the fact that you can attach it to the head or the spike. Additionally, you can easily attach the other end to your backpack or harness without any trouble switching from hand to hand. There have been a few complaints about the size of the clip, and that it can be difficult to dis-attach tools from the clip because it is so small.

Value

While this one does cost slightly more than some of our other options, we think it is well worth it. We love the durable and dependable elasticity and versatility. To top it all off, the Slinger comes with a one-year warranty from Black Diamond.

2. Black Diamond Slider

Where to buy
Black Diamond Slider Ice Axe Leash
Black Diamond Slider Ice Axe Leash
Black Diamond Slider Ice Axe Leash
Amazon Link

As you may have noticed, there are a number of Black Diamond selections on this list, and that is for good reason. This Slider is a fantastic example of why Black Diamond is so good at what they do.

Read more

Materials

To help you customize your experience, this one comes with a metal slider buckle that allows you to adjust it to the ideal length for yourself. However, some say that there can be a lot of slack. Overall, it weighs only 1.9-ounces.

Durability

Even though this is lightweight, it is still durable. And it is made from webbing that will keep you securely connected to your piolet. Numerous reviewers have had experiences of this securing their tools, so they did not lose it.

Ease of Use

The Black Diamond Slider is a lightweight, so you don't have to worry about any extra weight on your mountaineering route. The cinching wrist loop also provides a secure connection that feels comfortable. Along with this, it is easy to attach to your climbing gear.

Value

Overall, this is a great option that is compatible with any ice axe, and it is rated 2kn. Reviewers have stated that this leash has saved their tools numerous times. It is averagely priced, yet highly rated.

3. Grivel Double Spring

Where to buy
Grivel Double Spring Ice Axe Leash
Grivel Double Spring Ice Axe Leash
Amazon Link

Grivel’s Double Spring is made to hold two things at once and provides you with a sophisticated elastic double sling system that is also easy to use. Plus, this is very lightweight, which makes it easy to bring along with you whenever you need it.

Read more

Materials

The Grivel Double Spring is designed with an elastic double sling system and a lightweight swivel rotor. It can hold two axes at a time and provides you with a lot of flexibility in one simple design.

Durability

The Grivel Double Spring is moderately durable and will last for some time. It isn’t as strongly made as some of the other products on our list, but it still is capable of giving you great performance.

Ease of Use

It’s very easy to use this since it’s designed to prevent tangles and make switching your tools over very easy. It’s simple to change out what you need or what you are using without having to worry about this one bunching up.

Value

The Grivel Double Spring is priced on the expensive side of things and does offer a lot of great features. However, it’s not as durable as some of the other products we’ve listed here, so you’ll need to balance out any decision you make about this product with that.

4. Grivel Long

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$17.99
Backcountry Link
$12.71
See Deal
Grivel Long Ice Axe Leash
Grivel Long Ice Axe Leash
Amazon Link

Grivel’s long is designed for comfort and ease of use and offers a lot of benefits for an affordable price. With a lifetime warranty and a lot of durabilities, this is a good product to select if you want a good one and are trying to save a bit of money with your purchase.

Read more

Materials

Made out of strong nylon material, this can handle a tool of any length and is made to be very versatile. You won’t have a hard time using it to fit your equipment, and you’ll love the performance you get out of this product.

Durability

The Grivel Long comes with a lifetime warranty, so you know you are getting a product that the manufacturer stands behind. Build to last for a long time, this product is very reliable, and you shouldn’t have to worry about replacing it.

Ease of Use

Designed with a wrist support system, it is easy to attach to your wrist, and the wrist strap is very comfortable. Plus, the wrist support is made from a natural rubber material, so it is straightforward for you to grab it when you need to.

Value

This is one of the more affordable on our list, and for its price, you get a nice, easy to use option. Since it is priced so affordably and has such a great warranty, you are getting a lot for the amount of money you’d be spending should you decide to buy this product.

Amazon Link
$17.99
Backcountry Link
$12.71
See Deal

5. CAMP Alpina

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$25.00
CAMP Alpina Ice Axe Leash
CAMP Alpina Ice Axe Leash
CAMP Alpina Ice Axe Leash
Amazon Link

CAMP Alpinia is made to give you a very versatile product that will easily save your axe. It features a comfortable and adjustable wrist strap attachment, and can even double as a cane on some high mountain slopes.

Read more

Materials

Made with a combination of nylon and aluminum materials, this one is very lightweight and easy to carry with you. Plus, it is designed to fit most tools, so you’ll get a lot of versatility with the design of this product.

Durability

This is durable and built to last, and can even be used as a cane when you are hiking upwards in the mountains. With so much versatility, this is an excellent product to consider if you want something extra.

Ease of Use

CAMP Alpina is made with a wrist loop that is adjustable so that you can attach it to your wrist with the wrist strap and fit it comfortably on you. That makes it very easy to use, and the tool can also be used as a cane, which makes it a pretty nice product.

Value

Considering how versatile this product is, and the fact that you can also use it as a cane, it’s pretty affordable. You won’t have to worry about burning a hole in your wallet if you are shopping on a budget.

Amazon Link
$25.00

6. Petzl Linkin

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$16.95
PETZL - Linkin Removable Leash
PETZL - Linkin Removable Leash
PETZL - Linkin Removable Leash
Amazon Link

The Linkin is a simple design that connects to your wrist. It is very easy to use, giving you the choice of tying a knot or adding a carabiner or sling. It weighs only .9-ounces, giving you no reason not to throw it in your winter bag.

Read more

Materials

This incredibly lightweight selection is made from Nylon. It is versatile and can be used with any gear. Overall, it weighs only .9-ounces.

Ease of Use

If you can tie a knot, you can use this. If you can’t (or don’t want to) tie a knot, there is a built-in hole to attach a carabiner or a sling. This is adjustable from twenty to thirty-inches. For some, it is too short, but that all depends on how you plan to use this and your climbing style.

Durability

Reviewers agree that this one is strong and dependable. In extreme cases, the wrist loop could slide off your wrist and disappear with your ax, but it isn’t liking. Additionally, Linkin is UIAA certified.

Value

Pricewise, this is very affordable. It is a simple, lightweight, yet strong selection. It is a small investment that will help to protect a larger investment. With this one, Petzl offers a three-year guarantee.

Amazon Link
$16.95

7. Black Diamond Lockdown

Where to buy
Black Diamond Lockdown Ice Axe Leash
Black Diamond Lockdown Ice Axe Leash
Amazon Link

Black Diamond’s Lockdown offers you a lightweight and durable option that can be used with just about any ice tool. With that type of versatility, it’s a nice tool to have, and although the directions could be better, it does function very well overall.

Read more

Materials

Made from lightweight aluminum, this is made to be compatible with any ice tool you could use it with. It’s very versatile by design, which makes it a great tool to have when you need it.

Durability

Since this is made from aluminum, it’s quite durable and can handle a lot. It does function well and does what you need it to do, and it balances out well. You’ll be able to use it for a while since it is built to last.

Ease of Use

This is the one area where the Black Diamond Lockdown could do better. While it’s the right choice, it isn’t very comfortable, and the directions that come with it don’t help much. So, there is a bit of a learning curve with this product.

Value

The Black Diamond Lockdown is priced affordably for what you get with it. It’s a solid investment, and it should last you for a while.

8. Black Diamond Android

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Backcountry Link
$37.46
See Deal
Black Diamond Android
Black Diamond Android
Amazon Link

Black Diamond’s Cobra/Viper Android is designed to give you a lot of features and a very easy to use. However, this is an expensive product, so if you are shopping on a budget and looking to save money, this might not be the product for you.

Read more

Materials

Comprised out of nylon and aluminum, the Black Diamond Cobra Viper Android is made to give you a lot of support and reliability when you are out on the ice. You can set your hands free easily when you need them to be free and get a lot of good balance.

Durability

Made with a lot of natural use features, this product does have more bells and whistles than some of the other ones on our list, but it is still very durable. However, with so many mechanisms on it, it can experience parts breaking more easily than some other products on our list.

Ease of Use

This is designed to be easy to use, and you can utilize its quick-release clip whenever you need to. You can also detach it from your tools without taking the wrist straps off of your wrists. Plus, the wrist straps that come with this are also very padded and comfortable.

Value

This is very expensive, and much of that has to do with the extra features you’ll get with this product. If you do want one with a lot of bells and whistles, however, and you can afford it, then feel free to spend the money. Otherwise, if you are shopping on a budget, this might not be the an option for you.

Amazon Link
Backcountry Link
$37.46
See Deal

9. Petzl Freelock

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$29.95
Petzl Freelock
Petzl Freelock
Petzl Freelock
Amazon Link

Petzl’s Freelock is made to be durable, and also gives you the ability to adjust as needed. You’ll get a nice leash that is very easy to use and gives you a lot of decent options for whatever you plan to do when you are on the ice.

Read more

Materials

Made with nylon and polyester, the design is meant to be durable and simple to use when you need to switch out your tools. You’ll get plenty of flexibility and stretchiness with the design of this product.

Durability

This is moderately durable and will last for a while, but it isn’t manufactured to be quite as durable as some of the other products on our list. However, it will give you the functionality you need as you need it.

Ease of Use

This is designed to be easy to use, and can be loosened and tightened just by turning your wrist, Plus, you can also easily adjust the length when you need to lengthen or shorten it.

Value

This one is priced affordably, and it is a good product offering good value. As already noted, you won’t get as much durability, but you’ll still get a nice product if you purchase this.

Amazon Link
$29.95
Where to buy
Amazon Link
$48.77
Petzl V-Link
Petzl V-Link
Petzl V-Link
Amazon Link

Petzl’s V-Link is very flexible and stretchy and made to hold two at once. The design makes it easy to use, and it has a nice combination of features. However, it is a bit expensive, and if you are looking for durability to match the price or if you are shopping on a budget, then this might not be the product for you.

Read more

Materials

Made from a combination of nylon and aluminum materials, the Petzl V-Link offers you a lot of flexibility with its stretchy design and materials. Also, it’s designed with two arms so it can hold two tools at one time, which is a nice extra benefit.

Durability

The arms on this are designed to be very elastic, so you’ll get a lot of flexibility packed into this design. However, the flexibility and lightweight functions on this product don’t make it quite as durable as some of the other products on our list.

Ease of Use

It’s easy to use and manipulate the arms on this product even while you are wearing gloves, which is a nice benefit. Also, the product is so lightweight, it’s easy to bring along with you and quite simple to use.

Value

This is on the expensive side of things, and while it is very easy to use it isn’t as durable as some of the others on our list. So, while you will get a good product if you purchase it, you need to factor in the fact that it won’t last as long as some of the other ones.

Amazon Link
$48.77

Sources

  1. Andy Kirkpatrick , No More Dropped Axes, Informational Outdoor Website
  2. Mountain Project, Ice Axe Leashes, Informational Outdoor Website
  3. Mountaineering Methodology, Ice Axe,
  4. David Hamburg, 6 Best Ice Axe Leashes In 2019, Buying Guide