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The Corsa Nanotech was the lightest on test and a ‘Recommended Buy’. Find out why


The Corsa Nanotech is the lightest ice axe available with a steel pick. Indeed, the only lighter weight axe of any sort is the aluminium CAMP Corsa. It is expensive but for lightweight backpacking or any trip where weight matters it’s a good choice.

While the pick is made from Sandvik steel, which is claimed to be 20% lighter and 60% stronger than ordinary steel, it’s riveted to an ultralight aluminium head. The adze is narrow and rounded and being aluminium doesn’t bite into hard snow. This is definitely not an axe for step-cutting. The shaft is curved and the sharp spike is also made from steel.

There’s a little recess where it fits into the shaft that can fill with snow (or mud!). Banging the axe against your boot usually dislodges this. No leash is provided. The Corsa Nanotech isn’t as versatile an axe as the others reviewed and I wouldn’t choose it for general hillwalking, especially given the high cost. But for ultralight backpacking trips or ski tours it’s ideal.

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Overview

  • Overall: 4 out of 5

Pros: Ultra light

Cons: Expensive

  • Price: £115
  • Weight: 280g
  • Head: 7075-T6 aluminium alloy/Sandvik Nano flex steel pick
  • Shaft: 7075-T6 aluminium alloy/Sandvik Nano flex steel spike
  • Rating: B
  • Lengths: 50, 60, 70cm
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