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Snow Shoes

5:09:16 AM
Anyone got any recommendations on snow shoes.

There appear to be two types, the plastic MSR type and the "tennis racket" type that have tubular aluminium covered with a flexible plastic sheet (Atlas make these)..

I want something light as I figure I'll probably carry them as much as walk on them, but the MSR type moulded plastic ones look like they will stick a bit better when the going gets steep.

8:11:18 AM
Ive used both "Yowies" (a plastic type), and a pair of tubular aluminium 'tennis racket' type.

The Yowies are lighter, seem more robust, and seemed better on steeper icier snow (having a hard plastic edge, you can kick the edge into hardish snow when traversing).

The Yowies have a smaller footprint than the tennis racket type that ive used, so probably wouldnt be as good for huge dumps of snow.

I like the simple velcro strap in system of the Yowies, and the fact that your foot is securly strapped down. This seems to help with stability on steep stuff, but also makes it easier to turn and 'reverse' if you find that you have picked the wrong direction. (I found that the hinged strap in system on the tubular aluminium jobs, which allows your heel to lift of the base of the snowshoe, made it bloody hard to step backwards or sideways without getting the snowshoes caught).

I prefer the Yowies, but im sure other people will prefer the tubular aluminimum type!

8:36:30 AM
I agree 100% with oweng = yowies are the way to go.

You can even run in them with 20kg pack & walk up slopes beyond x country ski gradient. They come in 2 sizes one for up to 80 to 100Kg and one for 120 kg load. The Aust CSIRO guys use them in the Antarctic. Make sure your boots fit snuggly = if loose @ heel as lots of friction on upwards movement at back = after 10km + = can chafe. The "spring loaded" version = is a little better in the forward direction but costs more & doesn't have the "walk in any direction" freedom.

10:29:28 AM
i used the MSR evo ascents on denali this year and they rocked. pretty quick to put on and a good integrated crampon if the going gets a bit icy and steep. the hinge is great. definitely stops any heel rubbing. they arnt excessively heavy either.

12:44:46 PM
MSR Snow shoes, are the only snow shoe. They're the way to go.
8:20:44 PM
We've used the MSR shoes for non-skiers on our trips the last few years. They are easy to use, work well in a variety of snow conditions and are robust. The big problem is that they cost a lot to buy new - we've been hiring them as needed.

8:21:37 PM
Everytime Iíve used the MSR snowshoes, things have gone wrong. Everytime I have used Yowie Snowshoes, everything has flowed smoothly. This is obviously because MSR snowshoes suck. Case, closed.

Phil S
1:14:16 PM
No, elmo_lives - you're tripping. MSR snow shoes are fantastic.

In my experience though, snow-shoeing isn't very much fun... ever.

1:27:43 PM
On 15/11/2004 Phil S wrote:
>No, elmo_lives - you're tripping. MSR snow shoes are fantastic.

Disregard him Phil S. He (like me), has probably never laid eyes on a pair of snowshoes, as elmo is an eel who thinks trolling is clever. He has been known to do it before on other threads and has now been identified (again) for his habit.

>Case, closed.
Yeah, right.

2:21:13 PM

I'd be etremely sceptical to a plastic snowshoe, as all kinds of plastic gets brittle and cracks or snaps when it gets really cold (30-40 below). And the kind made of a tubular frame with a mesh or something inside are virtually useless if the snow id too hard. They don't offer much traction, and can be more effective as sleighs in some conditions.

See if you can find something made from alloy or similar, with a really good tread pattern. If you're not going very cold, tread pattern is more important than material, but in general, plastic is a crap material for winter gear. Also check for pivot bindings, that rotate under the ball of your foot. Makes uphill much easier.


Phil S
2:26:39 PM
It would be OK if he was talking about any other manufacturer, but not MSR ... they're good people making great gear. They're almost as special as my mother.

2:51:49 PM
Might also wanna check some of the snow shoe responses
in the backcountry forum...

2:53:18 PM
The misconception that plastic gets brittle in the cold is unfortunate, this only applies to plastics such as pvc. Plastics such as nylon and teflon composites don't get affected by cold, thats why they're designed like that.
3:14:04 PM
please tell me how often we are hitting 30-40 below in Oz ? Half the time I get out there it seems I'm lucky to get 3 or 4 below...

Rom, how's tricks ? Wot's the next adventure ?

4:24:51 PM
Hoi... (again)

You have a point with some plastics being better for winter gear than others. I don't know much about the stuff, just that I don't like it in winter.

Especially with snowshoes, if you go for long trips/treks, and get some variable weather (wet snow, then cold, then wind, then open water, then cold again... more wind. whiteout!!) ;-) chances are you're gonna have some ice and snow on your feet. Alloy and metal, well you can bang it, scrape it, even heat it (good for bindings that are seized up). Plastic.... well...

However, it's important to find something you're happy with. I used my gear in artic army conditions, so it had to stand a beating. If you treat your gear well, it'll treat you well.


There are 15 messages in this topic.


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