Gear Review: Easton Backcountry 25 Snowshoes

The perfect snowshoe for the those who just want to take a hike over snow.

[dayhiker ’s choice]

From climbing the Muir Snowfield on Mt. Rainier to rambling through the coulees of the upper Columbia River Basin, our Washington testers appreciated the smooth-striding performance of the Backcountry. The aluminum frames feature an asymmetric tail section with sharply tapered inside edges to allow a natural stride without crossing over. “It really helped reduce leg strain,” says one tester, who used them for several big out-and-back day trips. The semi-rigid plastic decking provides good flotation for hikers with loads less than 30 pounds. The crampon system bites securely in most terrain, though we did feel a bit of slippage on steep ascents; we wished for additional toe cleats (there are only two on the forefoot crampon) for more secure footing when kicking steps up a slope. Testers praised the supreme comfort of the Backcountry’s binding, which eliminates pressure points by utilizing a broad forefoot panel that spreads pressure across your entire forefoot. That makes them ideal for lighter footwear. The binding cinches down easily, with the two forefoot straps tightening together from a single pull point. Gripe: Wet snow balls up underfoot between the heel traction bars, and they’re heavy. $250; 21, 25, and 30 inches; 5 lbs. 3 oz. (30);

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