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CAMP Neve Review

If you are new to the sport or on a tight budget, this is adependable model that offers solid all-around performance for the price
CAMP Neve
Photo: CAMP USA
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Price:  $80 List | $79.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Great price, self-arrests very smoothly, adze is above-average for digging snow anchors or choping tent platforms well
Cons:  Less comfortable to carry than other models, particularly in self-arrest positions; slightly heavier than average
Manufacturer:   Camp
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 19, 2019
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64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 17
  • Self-Arresting - 15% 8
  • Digging & Step Chopping - 15% 7
  • Use as Improvised Anchor - 15% 7
  • Steep Ice & Snow - 25% 5
  • Comfort to Carry - 5% 6
  • Weight - 25% 6
RELATED: Best Ice Axe

Our Verdict

The CAMP Neve is a solid general mountaineering ice axe for a great price. It comes with a built-in (and removable) leash and offers a competitive price. It won't knock your socks off, but does provide respectable all-around performance and is ideal for simple to moderate glacier routes or basic snow climbs. It's perfect for those breaking into the sport or who may be on a tight budget but still want a solid, dependable ice axe.

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CAMP Neve
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CAMP Neve
Awards  Top Pick Award   Best Buy Award 
Price $79.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$89.95 at REI
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Great price, self-arrests very smoothly, adze is above-average for digging snow anchors or choping tent platforms wellLightest weight mountain axe with a spike, great price, very comfortable, solid self-arrest performanceOne of the best ice axes for the price, lightweight, comfortable to carry, excellent self-arrest performance, solid adze performanceGood price, excellent self arresting performance, decent steeper snow climbing ability, comfortable to carryComfortable to carry, great price, decent adze performance, head is easy to clip in several fashions
Cons Less comfortable to carry than other models, particularly in self-arrest positions; slightly heavier than averageOnly comes in one size, just okay steep snow performanceJust okay steep snow climbing abilityJust okay steep snow climbing ability, marginally on the heavier sideDoesn't penetrate firm snow or ice well, below average steep snow performance
Bottom Line If you are new to the sport or on a tight budget, this is adependable model that offers solid all-around performance for the priceOne of the most versatile axes for the weight, this model performs surprisingly well at a wide range of tasksOne of the best models you can buy for the priceHigh quality and a decent price, it offers solid performanceExcellent price for a solid all-around mountaineering axe for use on moderate snow climbs and basic glacier routes
Rating Categories CAMP Neve Petzl Glacier Literide Petzl Glacier Grivel G1 Black Diamond Raven
Self Arresting (15%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
Digging & Step Chopping (15%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Use As Improvised Anchor (15%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Steep Ice & Snow (25%)
5.0
5.0
5.0
4.0
3.0
Comfort To Carry (5%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
9.0
10.0
Weight (25%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
5.0
Specs CAMP Neve Petzl Glacier Literide Petzl Glacier Grivel G1 Black Diamond Raven
Measured Weight 15 oz / 425g 11.2 oz /320g 12.3 oz / 350g 16.7 oz / 473g 16 oz / 437g
Category General Ultralight General General General
Rating CEN-B CEN-B CEN-B CEN-B CEN-B
Pick Shape, Material, and Construction Forged chromoly steel pick, classic positive curve Forged steel, classic positve curve Forged steel, classic positve curve Hot-forged steel, classical neutral Laser cut, stainless steel, classic positive
Lengths Available 50, 57, 65, 73, 80 cm 50 cm 60, 68, 75 cm 58, 66, 74 cm 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 90 cm
Included Pommel or Leash? Slider leash No Yes Leash No
Hammer Option No No No No No
Shaft Design Straight Straight Straight Straight Straight

Our Analysis and Test Results

The CAMP Neve is a well priced, general mountaineering axe that will serve most climbers attempting simple glacier routes and moderate snow climbs. A strong contender for our Best Buy Award, this model only barely missed the award, as the Neve can be purchased for an impressive price. Despite missing out on our award, it features several advantages over many of the more costly models we tested.

Performance Comparison


Smooth self-arresting, respectable performance in low and mid-dagger positions, and a solidly performing adze make this a great ice axe for general mountaineering and snow climbing. If you climb steep snow and ice, you may want to upgrade to a slightly different model. While the Neve doesn't offer poor performance in these arenas, it just doesn't offer the performance of some of the higher-performing models. However, for almost any mountaineering application, this is an excellent all-around ice axe.

Photo: Ian Nicholson

Self-Arresting


The Neve is designed with general mountaineering and self -arresting in mind. The continuous drop of this model's positive curve pick helped it to self-arrest smoothly and effectively, earning it above average marks.

Digging & Step Chopping


The Neve's head is nicely weighted; coupled with its aggressively shaped adze, it chops steps in even the hardest of ice. It is the best performing adze in the general mountaineering category for steps and digging anchors but is a little too downturned for truly exceptional step chopping. For breaking up firm surfaces, it offers up excellent performance.

Photo: Ian Nicholson

While the heavily curved adze doesn't perform incredibly well at chopping steps, it digs T-trenches for snow pickets or other improvised snow anchors extremely well. It also breaks up ice surfaces nicely; two trade-offs we'd easily take over good step chopping, a technique we rarely, if ever, use.

Use As Improvised Anchor


The Neve has a CEN-B rating, meaning it is suitable for use as an improvised anchor for crevasse rescue or for belaying off of while ascending steep snow (but not vertical terrain). We generally liked models with bent shafts better than straight-shafted options for self-arresting and ascending steeper terrain. However, straight-shafted designs are easier and require less digging when using as a deadman in a t-slot and are easier to drive in vertically for backing up a previously buried snow pick either in front of the snow picket (saxon cross anchor) or behind equalized with a cordelette.

Photo: Ian Nicholson

Steep Ice and Snow


The Neve's head is a single piece of forged chromoly steel; similar to all other models in its price range; it is not hot-forged. The Neve's pick is slightly more aggressive than typical for a general mountain axe, allowing it to penetrate firmer snow and ice well.

Photo: Ian Nicholson

Comfort to Carry


The Neve is pleasant to carry in the self-belay/piolet canne (pick forward) position. Its adze is nicely articulated to fit in the palm of your hand but is one of the least comfortable to carry in self-arrest/pick backward position. This is both because of the sharp teeth on the pick that continue down and the aggressive downward dropped pick (which offers other advantages but is just not comfortable in the pick-forward position). Comfort to carry is one of the main reasons this axe only barely missed out on our Best Buy Award, as the Black Diamond performed very similarly overall, but was far more comfortable to hold.

Photo: Ian Nicholson

Weight


The Neve weighs in at 15 ounces which is the same weight as its closest competition, the Black Diamond Raven. The Neve is average in weight when directly compared to general mountain axes in its price range. For little more in cost, you may want to consider the similar Petzl Glacier, which is only 12.3 ounces.

Value


The Neve is among the best-priced models in our review, with only the Black Diamond Raven offering the same price point. The Neve climbs steep snow and penetrates firm conditions slightly better, but the Raven is far more comfortable to carry, particularly in a self-arrest position.

Photo: Ian Nicholson

Conclusion


The Neve is a solid ice axe that was very nearly our Best Buy Award winner. It lost to the Black Diamond Raven, which is identical in price and was more comfortable to carry but didn't perform quite as well on steeper snow in firmer conditions. While you can buy a nicer axe, the Neve will provide more than enough performance for basic glacier climbs or more moderate snow routes.

Ian Nicholson