View Full Version : Paging Gear Junkies.... Snowshoe recommendations

12-10-2010, 07:32 PM
Since the season is upon us, I'm working on plans to venture into the realm of showshoe hiking up in the White to continue work on adding checkmarks to "The List."

Living in an area that really doesn't require one to own showshoes, I have relatively little experience... ok, no experience, with them. What little research I've done, I know that an individuals weight is a factor in the length of the shoe.

Given the many fine folks here that no doubt own a pair, or two, or three, of showshoes, that also hike in the same terrain that I intend to head out into, I'm interested in feedback and recommendations.

Using the online snowshoe wizard on the EMS site it comes up with a couple recommendations for me when selecting the "Steep Terrain" option. The MSR shoes are a very different frame than all the rest and I'm not sure what the "benefit" of that type over the others is.

Atlas 1230 (http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4015464) / 1130
MSR Lightening Ascent 30 (http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4085815)
Crescent Moon Gold Series 10 (http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3666935) / 17
Easton Artica Backcountry 30 (http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3657774)

12-10-2010, 10:03 PM
For what it's worth, I can tell you what I have, what I like about them and what I don't...but don't have anything to compare it to...so hopefully it will help.

I have a pair of Tubbs Ventures 36". I only weigh (almost) 200lbs, so the 36" is actually one size up from what they recommend. They only recommend 30" for me. However, I didn't know anything about snowshoes when I purchased them, so I got one size up just in case. I really like how my boots fit into them and how the bindings pivot on them. The spikes on the bottom are aluminum...which I don't like and are starting to dull a bit. My wife's Tubbs (Wilderness model) have Stainless steel spikes, so they are a bit harder and aren't rounding as quickly. I would also say my ventures are a bit heavier than I'd like...not so much for my feet, but more for when I strap them to my rucksack. It just seems like a lot of extra weight on my back.

Also, if and when you buy them, EMS always has great deals online with last year's models. My wife and I got our both for 50% off...just because the color scheme was last years.

I hope this helps a bit. Good luck.


Snow Miser
12-11-2010, 10:48 AM
I'm not a pro on snowshoes, but I bought a pair of these MSR Denali Evo Tour Snowshoes (http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4085824) last year and got to use them once in a heavy snow. Going up steep trails was no problem. They are lightweight and had great traction. Hope this helps a little in your choice of snowshoes. Good luck!

12-11-2010, 03:06 PM
I have had a pair of Msr Evo Denalis for a couple of years and I love them. I bought the tails to add on for my weight but to be honest I have never put them on and I sink maybe 1/2" when I do get to use them.I exspecially love the televators. They make hiking up hill so so much easier.

Bill O
12-11-2010, 08:17 PM
The best snowshoes are telemark skis with climbing skins.

12-12-2010, 08:46 AM
We replaced our old Tubbs (which served us well for several years) with MSR Denali Evo Ascents last year. We absolutely love them! Nice and light, easy on and off and the televators are awesome on the steep stuff. They have the removable tails that can be added for deep powder (not sure how many people actually use them though and we don't have them so far). Haven't really researched the reasoning behind the different deck design - just took the advice of many of our northern friends that have them and went that way. We only had a couple of opportunities to use them last year and we're really looking forward to getting back out with them again soon!

12-12-2010, 12:24 PM
I have an older pair of MSR Denali's with the heel lifter and they worked flawlessly on Mckinley - especially on steep terrain. I think they are excellent for steep terrain due to the 2 rows of teeth as well as the toe spikes, and they are extremely lightweight compared to most snowshoes if that is a consideration. The compromise is they have less surface area without the tails and they are somewhat of a compromise in flotation power in soft fluffy snow compared to other full size shoes like tubbs - it all depends on what type of terrain you travel in - if on steep terrain definitely get something with a heel lifter, it will save your calves.

12-12-2010, 06:48 PM
Thanks for the feedback so far! I'm kinda surprised by the favor for the MSR Denali's. When looking through the options I would have pegged those as closer to beginner toys than something rugged enough for the Whites. I'll have to head down to my local EMS and check them out.

12-12-2010, 09:53 PM
My brother has Denali's and he is always complaining about the noise it makes with each step..

12-13-2010, 08:20 AM

The best snoeshoe binding for tradiitional snowshoes. I tried to find out if the shop is
still open. I havent been by that way in way too long.

Bill O
12-13-2010, 06:51 PM
MSR doesn't make any toys. Their stuff is all made for serious mountaineers.

12-14-2010, 10:44 PM
Another vote for MSR Evo Denali. They proved over and over again to be comfy and resistant. Just love them!

12-16-2010, 10:30 AM
My friend just bought a nice set up of snowshoes that you just 'step' into. She always had trouble with her bindings, so this is great for her. She hasn't tried them out yet, but I think they'll be great. You have something similar to micro spikes etc that you can wear, and if the going gets rough, you just step into the snowshoe. It's like a 2 for 1.

12-16-2010, 01:14 PM
MSR Denali Evo Ascents are by far the best snowshoes I have ever used/seen.

Jimmy Legs and Little d
12-20-2010, 07:13 PM
It seems that most hikers have the MSR's according the what we've read on the forums and in talking to fellow hikers. Check these out though; Tubbs Mountaineers. We have had them for several years and are very pleased with them. You can get them thru EMS and possibly get a nice discount this time of the year.