Latest Preferred Snowshoes?

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TCD

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We're mostly ancient here, so I am looking for the wisdom of the ancients.

I'm still using my very old Northern Lights 25" snowshoes (modified by bolting on old instep crampons for better traction). But at some point I will be in the market for new snowshoes.

My use is some trail hiking, some bushwhacking, occasional ice climb approaches (although those are mostly boot tracks).

Here's a page from Liberty Mountain, as an example of what might be available:

https://pro.libertymountain.com/sno...289836289&mc_cid=0d0691a0f8&mc_eid=d492d15fdc

The number of brands and styles is a bit overwhelming. My interest is in good traction, light weight, and a simple and reliable, and durable binding system that mates with various kinds of boots.

Cutting to the chase: I am looking for opinions on the current status of the various brands, and what might be good choices, maybe for next year. Thanks in advance!
 
And the long lost MSR vs Tubbs debate begins anew....:p

Seriously, I've always used Tubbs brand snowshoes initially on recommendations from people I trust here but over time from my actual use. The thing I particularly liked is their binding system. It is very simple and can be adjusted easily even with heavy gloves. It stays reliably snug and has never caused pressure points on my instep or other areas. The big flip side/downside to that is that they do not stack very flat so depending how you lash them to your pack it may present an issue. Despite that I would definitely recommend the brand. I've owned both trail and powder models.

I haven't bought new shoes in several years now and have noticed some minor design differences to some of their bindings so I can't comment on whether the new designs are better or worse. I think Tubbs had a longer warranty at the time versus MSR and MSR went through a stretch of quality problems but I'm not sure that is still the case. Somebody here on VFTT is (or was) an MSR gear tester so hopefully they will chime in on the latest news.
 
I do not like Lightning Ascents. I love Tubbs Flex VRT, in fact I'm buying a new pair very soon. They are indestructible and very easy to put on and off.
 
The urethane straps on my 16-year old Atlas 1025 snowshoes failed two years ago and I decided to buy a new pair instead of sending the old ones out for repair. Because of the scarcity of snowshoes at that time, I didn't have much to choose from but found a pair of Atlas Apex BC snowshoes. I've been satisfied with them, but see that Atlas has changed the design slightly and now calls them the Atlas Range BC. No doubt there were other snowshoes that may have been better choices at the time, but were not available.

You probably realize that if you plan on doing some trail hiking on packed trails and some bushwhacking, you'll need two pairs of snowshoes.
 
I had the Tubbs Flex Alps for a decade or more until all the crampons (under foot and side) got too worn or broken to be worth fixing. I ended up replacing them with the Tubbs Mountaineers. Not quite as aggressive traction and not as flexible. But, a little more float. If I were doing stuff like the northern Presi's over and over, I would have stuck with one of Tubbs Flex series. The Mountaineers work great for my requirements.
 
Tubbs Flex Alp are my favorites. Simple & snug fitting bindings. Excellent crampons.
 
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The urethane straps on my 16-year old Atlas 1025 snowshoes failed two years ago and I decided to buy a new pair instead of sending the old ones out for repair. Because of the scarcity of snowshoes at that time, I didn't have much to choose from but found a pair of Atlas Apex BC snowshoes. I've been satisfied with them, but see that Atlas has changed the design slightly and now calls them the Atlas Range BC. No doubt there were other snowshoes that may have been better choices at the time, but were not available.

You probably realize that if you plan on doing some trail hiking on packed trails and some bushwhacking, you'll need two pairs of snowshoes.

For 30 bucks they sent me 2 straps for 1225's. They included the hardware to replace the rivet. I did have to drill out 2 rivets but the special screws and washers were easy to install.
 
For 30 bucks they sent me 2 straps for 1225's. They included the hardware to replace the rivet. I did have to drill out 2 rivets but the special screws and washers were easy to install.

I remember the thread you started about your strap failure. At the time, it looked like it might have taken quite a while to get the parts I needed and I found a pair that was available. Someday, I may take my old ones to my local Atlas dealer and see if they can be repaired.
 
I liked the Tubbs Flex Alps for a brief period until they failed after about 5 uses (cracks in the crampons and one broke completely off during a hike in excellent snow conditions) and Tubbs refused to stand by their product. I've gone back to MSRs and purchased my first set of Lightning Ascents, but still really like the old Evos which last forever. I now recommend MSR for my clients.
 
I liked the Tubbs Flex Alps for a brief period until they failed after about 5 uses (cracks in the crampons and one broke completely off during a hike in excellent snow conditions) and Tubbs refused to stand by their product. I've gone back to MSRs and purchased my first set of Lightning Ascents, but still really like the old Evos which last forever. I now recommend MSR for my clients.

Great feedback!
 
How is the flotation with these? They seem liked they'd be awesome for the uneven icy terrain we see in the Whites but wouldn't have much flotation given the flex. What are your thoughts/experience on that?
I bought a set of these last year. From my experiences so far your observations are correct. IMO with todays more frequent hiker activity this is a nice nimble shoe for the times. With trails broken out frequently and quickly these days The TSL is a reasonable choice. I am one of those trail nazi types that wears snowshoes unless it’s bulletproof. Therefore the excellent traction this snowshoe provides works well for me. Also because they are reasonably compact and light I have no problem always carrying them rather than debating whether I should leave them in the car or not. The operation of the bindings is quite good even with heavy gloves which is one of the highlights of this shoe. I have read one report of the plastic piece on the bar bridging the heel to forefoot failing. As you have observed they are definitely not for deep fluffy snow. Rather more of a technical shoe which works well here in The Whites for most situations.
 
I've been buying old Sherpa snowshoes on Ebay. You can get them for under $100 including shipping. You need to make sure the ones you're buying have the toe flap. Most of them have the non-aggressive claws but every once in a while you can find the preferred agressive claws.
 
How is the flotation with these? They seem liked they'd be awesome for the uneven icy terrain we see in the Whites but wouldn't have much flotation given the flex. What are your thoughts/experience on that?
I've found them to be "ok" in regards to floatation, but that's not really their main focus. Basically what skiguy said.
 
I've found them to be "ok" in regards to floatation, but that's not really their main focus. Basically what skiguy said.

I have a pair of these and they are very comfortable, but in more severe conditions, they don’t grab as well as the Tubbs Alps.
 
I've found them to be "ok" in regards to floatation, but that's not really their main focus. Basically what skiguy said.

So after following all the reviews and recommendations for the TSL snowshoes for quite some time now I finally pulled the trigger and bought a pair with all the Black Friday sales. Have some observations and questions:

1) The binding system is pretty elaborate and I don't find it very glove friendly. The Tubbs binding system is vastly simpler to understand and operate. I had to actually sit there with the instruction booklet for some features. It definitely has more customization and pre-setting features but that seems unnecessary. Strapping a snowshoe to a boot is not that complicated to begin with.

2) Lot of moving plastic parts. A lot. Looking at the design I'm trying to imagine ways I'd field repair any failures and that doesn't seem very straightforward. What do you bring for back up - large zip ties, straps, etc?

3) I was disappointed with the traction. Seemed beefier in the photos I had looked at online. Does the flexing of the deck overcome this by angling it properly and getting all those teeth into the snow? Also, how are they descending? The traction seems to decidedly favor a climbing position. It seems like descending the rounded part of the teeth would face forward and I'd think would be more prone to slipping. Richard mentioned traction issues in his comment.

I'm looking forward to getting them out for a test drive. As many mentioned most trails get at least partially packed out and snowshoes are more of a traction/anti-post-holing tool versus a flotation device. When it's really crusty or icy I'm generally in crampons or spikes, not snowshoes, so I'm willing to make that concession. Love to hear your feedback on these points. I believe you were one of the early adopters of these so you probably have a lot of feedback.
 
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FYI most plastic zipties do not work very well in cold weather. Steel or copper wire works better. I had a crampon failure once on Lions Head in winter conditions, the zip tie repairs just kept breaking, the wire repair got me back down to Pinkham. There are stainless steel zip ties available, but I have not tried them for repairs.
 
FYI most plastic zipties do not work very well in cold weather. Steel or copper wire works better. I had a crampon failure once on Lions Head in winter conditions, the zip tie repairs just kept breaking, the wire repair got me back down to Pinkham. There are stainless steel zip ties available, but I have not tried them for repairs.

Thanks for jolting my memory on that. Someone on here quite awhile back said they carried a small length of copper wire for repairs and that is better than plastic. Never did get around to getting some. I've used zip ties to attach torn microspike anchors on old rock spikes a few times and it held up until I got back to the car. Probably different than a snowshoe though where most of the force is only on a few points.
 
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