As part of her review of the best walking axes for 2021, Lucy Wallace tests the Petzl Summit Evo.

The Petzl Summit Evo immediately felt like an old friend, because I’ve been using its more basic predecessor – the first-generation Summit – as my go-to axe for non-work settings for some years (I use a Technical-rated axe for work as an ML). It has a similar comfortable feel in the hand and familiar weighting to the head.

However, the Petzl Summit Evo is much lighter than the old version of the Summit, although heavier than the new Summit. The extra weight is due to the excellent rubber grip, but it remains a fairly lightweight axe.

The adze is angled down slightly to make it very effective for chopping into snow and it compares well with competitors, although it isn’t the best in this test. The pick feels steady and aggressive when swung into hard snow or ice thanks to a gently chamfered top edge and a couple of teeth to really help it bite.

It has a gentle curve in the upper third of the shaft, but the lower section is straight for easy plunging. The shaft is ergonomically shaped at the apex of the curve to make it feel particularly friendly to the hand when daggering. It’s a lovely tool for general mountaineering purposes, makes a superb walking axe, but the price tag may be off-putting.

Read more: 6 of the best walking axes reviewed