Had a rather unusual binding failure with my Tubbs Flex Alps Snowshoes today. I've had these snowshoes for about 2 seasons now, with medium use during winter hikes in the Whites and elsewhere. I had already used them 4 times this season on some local hikes before a good friend and I set out to hike Sandwich Dome this morning. When we arrived at the Sandwich Dome trailhead parking area, I plopped down my snowshoes on the ground crampon side down, and immediately noticed a small bit of black plastic on the ground next to one of the snowshoes. It turned out to be park of the snowshoe binding. The binding's black plastic shattered. I wasn't able to come up with an obvious immediate fix using cable ties and duct tape, so we decided to hike elsewhere today.
Thankfully, (1) this failure occurred in the parking lot and not on top of a mountain.
(2) EMS Concord so graciously offered to return them to Tubbs for a free repair, and also offered to loan me a pair of snowshoes for the day. (Thank you, EMS Concord!
) I decided to not take up their loaner offer, as our plan B was hike in a forest in the Concord, NH area, and snowshoes weren't needed. Also will return them to Tubbs through the Nashua EMS store, as that's located closer to home/work.
Has anyone encountered this failure? It almost seemed as if the plastic binding was brittle, even though the air temperature wasn't all that cold - probably in the mid to high 20's. And aside from some minor operational issues with the heel strap lifting off on occasion, I've loved these snowshoes and not had any durability problems until now, not even any rivet failures.