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Backpacker Magazine – Fall Gear Guide 2013

Gear Review: Northern Lites Quicksilver Snowshoes

A simple, lightweight design with barely-there comfort.

by: Allison Woods

Northern Lites Quicksilver (Andrew Bydlon)
Northern Lites Quicksilver (Andrew Bydlon)

Ultralight

Are you looking for a no-frills, lightweight snowshoe? The Quicksilver is your ticket. One Vermont tester raved about its barely-there comfort (it’s half the weight of many competitors), calling it “a great recreational snowshoe in rolling terrain.” A 190-pound Washington tester enjoyed excellent grip in melty spring conditions, where he met everything from crumbly snow to spooky moats. On slopes of more than 30 degrees, however, performance declined, making travel in the steep Cascade Mountains difficult.

The dead-simple binding system sports three rubber straps across the forefoot and a nylon webbing heel strap. Testers appreciated the binding’s low weight and ease of use, but reported that the webbing tended to ice up, making the heel strap tough to remove after a few hours. In addition to the standard forefoot and heel crampons, the clips that attach the decking to the frames are designed with teeth on the bottom, adding sidehill grab. One DIY type lauded the user-serviceability—should anything fail on the Quicksilver, everything’s assembled with pop rivets, a common piece of hardware that’s readily available. $189-$199; 25 and 30 inches; 2 lbs. 6 oz. (25); northernlites.com



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