The CAMP Neve is a solid general mountaineering ice axe for a great price. The Neve comes with a built-in (and removable) leash and offers a competitive price. The Neve won't knock your socks off, but does offer 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.
CAMP Neve Review
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
Compare to Similar Products
|Price||$59.96 at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$149.95 at REI|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$179.95 at REI|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$192.99 at Amazon||$99.95 at REI|
Compare at 3 sellers
|Pros||Great price, self-arrests very smoothly, Adze is above-average for digging snow anchors or choping tent platforms well||Hot-forged pick, excellent self-arrest performance, fantastic adze design, below average weight particularly for an all-mountain option, solid steep snow climbing ability||Hot-forged pick penetrates snow and ice extremely well, no-teeth on gripping area of pick, curved shaft and teardrop/oval shaped shaft excel in steeper terrain, exceptional self-arrest performance, one of the best overall adze designs||Best steep snow climbing performance, durable, penetrates hard ice well, excellent self-arrest and steep snow climbing performance||Lightest weight mountain axe with a spike, great price, very comfortable, solid self-arrest performance|
|Cons||Less comfortable to carry than other models, particularly in self-arrest positions; slightly heavier than average||Slightly more expensive side, not the best ice performance||A little on the heavier side||Expensive, slightly on the heavier side, like its slider pummel but wished it could be placed in more positions along the shaft||Only comes in one size, just okay steep snow performance|
|Bottom Line||If you are new to the sport or on a tight budget, the Neve is a dependable model that offers solid all-around performance for the price.||One of the most versatile models, the Summit excels in a wide-range of activities, from steep snow routes to alpine rock climbs.||The best all-around ice axe; while other models might perform specific tasks better, there is no better do-everything model.||Across-the-board high performance helps this axe excel at almost any application; from general glacier travel to steep snow routes to alpine rock climbs, this model is among the best.||One of the most versatile axes for the weight, this model performs surprisingly well at a wide range of tasks while still weighing in less than several specialized options.|
|Rating Categories||CAMP Neve||Petzl Summit||Petzl Summit Evo||Grivel Air Tech Evolution||Petzl Glacier Literide|
|Self Arresting (22%)|
|Digging & Step Chopping (17%)|
|Use As Improvised Anchor (8%)|
|Steep Ice And Snow (22%)|
|Comfort To Carry (11%)|
|Specs||CAMP Neve||Petzl Summit||Petzl Summit Evo||Grivel Air Tech...||Petzl Glacier...|
|Weight (oz/gram)||17.1 oz||13.4 oz/380g||14.8 oz/420g||17.6 oz||11.2 oz/320g|
|Lengths availible||57,65, & 73||52, 59, 66cm||52, 59, 66cm||48, 53, 58, 66cm||50cm|
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.
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. Our review team found the Neve self-arrested similar to the Black Diamond Raven and Grivel G1.
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.
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 and 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.
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.
It was a bit more secure than the Black Diamond Raven and the Grivel Haute Route when driving in both low dagger/piolet panne and mid-dagger/piolet appui positions. For steep snow climbing in firmer conditions, it performed similarly to the Petzl Glacier but not as well as the Petzl Summit; if cost is of importance, do note that both of these are almost twice the price.
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.
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. The Grivel AirTech Racing SA (14 ounces) or the Petzl Summit (12.6 oz) are nicer overall models of course but will cost almost double the price.
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.
At only $80, the Neve is among the best-priced models in our review with only the Black Diamond Raven ($80) offering the same price point. The only other general mountaineering models in its price range are the Petzl Glacier ($100), Petzl Glacier Literide ($100), Black Diamond Raven Pro ($100), and the Grivel G1 ($100). Compared to the Black Diamond Raven the two are very similar; 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.
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