An inexpensive T-rated mountaineering axe.

This review is part of our ice axes gear guide, and was first published in the February 2018 issue of The Great Outdoors.

The Ronin has a slightly unusual look compared with the other axes reviewed. The shaft curves abruptly just below the head rather than more gently lower down and the pick is angled downwards rather than curved. I have not yet found any advantages or disadvantages to these features. The pick hooks into hard snow adequately and the curved shaft doesn’t impede thrusting the axe into the snow. The adze is on the small side but does chop snow quite well. It doesn’t curve downwards and is a comfortable platform for your hand when walking with the axe. The Ronin comes with an adjustable leash. The wrist loop has a drawcord adjustment. However when fully open it’s still a bit small for thick mitts or gloves.

The Ronin is an okay walkers’ ice axe. There are alternatives that weigh and cost less though.