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Backpacker Magazine – Fall Gear Guide 2009
Great shoe for deep powder and big mountains
"Mountain workhorse," was how one tester described these snowshoes. The versatility starts with the Pilot II binding: A simple X-pattern of webbing straps locks the forefoot securely in place, while the heel section can be repositioned along a rigid footplate to accommodate a variety of footwear, from low-cut winter runners to size 12 alpine-touring ski boots. The tapered V-tail design eliminates crossover (one snowshoe stepping on the other) without sacrificing flotation; we carried up to 30 pounds in deep powder.
The steel crampons have a thin, textured spray-on skin (called a powder coating) that resisted snow buildup even in wet, sticky conditions where snow balled up on other models. With the longest crampon teeth in the test, the LaCrosse bites firmly in crusty snow and ice, which made for security on the steeply angled slopes of Muir Snowfield on Mt. Rainier. Get this snowshoe for deep powder and big mountains. $269; 4 lbs. 10 oz.; 25-, 30-, and 35-inch; redfeather.com