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Gear Review: Dion Snowshoes

Custom fit snowshoes that are fast and fun
Before I tried Dion, snowshoeing was a clumsy, plodding, and waddling experience for me–a way to get from point A to B without postholing. Why did they have to be so wide and heavy? Easy: They don't. Text and photos by Dan Larson.
  • Made by longtime trail and snowshoe racer Bob Dion, Dion Snowshoes are some of the narrowest on the market, ranging from 7 to 9.5 inches wide, and all but one model weighs less than 3 pounds.
  • The 166 hand-shaped aircraft-grade aluminum frame strikes a perfect balance between backcountry and groomed trail use. At 8 by 25 inches and a scant 2 lbs., 14 oz., it easily supported my own 140-pound frame and 30 pounds of gear.
  • Dion Snowshoes offers a unique Teflon-coated aluminum cleat (black) in two sizes--a Deep Cleat for deeper snow and a Standard Cleat for groomed trails. The deep Teflon cleats provided excellent traction over rain-soaked slushy snow, with no buildup.
  • Stainless steel Ice Cleats are also available for rocky and icy conditions. The Ice Cleats easily bit into hard glassy ice. While a bit heavier (an extra ounce per pair compared to the Deep Cleats), steel would be a safe bet for the mountaineer.
  • I was skeptical of the Quick-Fit bindings, which consist of three hook-and-loop Velcro straps--also unique in the industry. But while easy to get into, no amount of wriggling and jerking would shake them loose. Four sizes of Velcro ensure a custom fit.
  • The Secure-Fit bindings use a standard nylon strap and ladder-lock design to hold the snowshoes even more securely for hiking or running in all conditions. To top off these great features, the interchangeable parts mean you can modify your setup.
  • <b>THE SPECS:</b><Br>Model 166 frame with Quick-Fit binding and Deep Cleat<Br> Price: $230<br>   Weight: 2 lbs., 14 oz.<br> www.dionsnowshoes.com
Made by longtime trail and snowshoe racer Bob Dion, Dion Snowshoes are some of the narrowest on the market, ranging from 7 to 9.5 inches wide, and all but one model weighs less than 3 pounds.
Image 1 of 7

Made by longtime trail and snowshoe racer Bob Dion, Dion Snowshoes are some of the narrowest on the market, ranging from 7 to 9.5 inches wide, and all but one model weighs less than 3 pounds.

READERS COMMENTS

Page 1

Might want to try that velcro in the snow. Do the hook and loops get clogged or frozen in wet snow? Does the strap stretch when wet?
— DK

Good question . . . . but it is not standard velcro. Dion worked with the manufacturer on a custom velcro where the hooks don't get clogged allowing the loops to adhere properly in all conditions
— Rod


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