Gear Review: Redfeather Alpine Snowshoes

These shoes will always get you through, regardless of the situation.

[best all-mountain]

After a day on Mt. Hood that included fighting through wet snow in the forest, climbing icy, wind-scoured slopes, and scrambling through heavy drifts of light powder in open meadows, one tester said, “Regardless of the situation, the Alpines will get you through.” The ratcheting binding—a heel strap and two forefoot straps—snugs a pliable (even in subzero temps) polyurethane frame around virtually any footwear. From midweights to size 13 mountaineering boots, they stayed securely in place (however, the unpadded straps pinched across the arch when paired with some light hikers). The tapered V-tail design eliminates crossover (the back of one snowshoe stepping on the other), and the powder-coated, inch-long steel crampons resist snow buildup, even in wet, sticky conditions where other models balled up. The 45-denier ripstop nylon decking (it’s the same material used in backpacks, but with a heavy polyurethane coating to make it waterproof and semi-rigid) keeps weight down, sheds snow easily, and proved durable enough to resist punctures even when testers stomped across rock-strewn volcanic ridges on Mt. Adams. Bottom line: This is a snowshoe built for deep powder and big mountains. $240; 25, 30, and 35 inches; 4 lbs. 5 oz. (30);