Gear Review: Tubbs Mountaineer Snowshoes

A basic, affordable snowshoes for the newbies.

[beginner bargain]

“The Mountaineers were perfect for my rookie friends,” says a tester. “These have an easy-to-use binding and good performance without a lot of gee-whiz features that can intimidate novices.” The secure, non-pinching binding features a ratcheting heel strap and a dual-strap forefoot panel made of flexible rubber. The padded panel fits over your arch and instep and locks in place when you tug the straps on either side of your arch. To step out, just grab the rubberized Tubbs logo on the center strap and pull. This releases both side buckles and loosens the straps all the way around the forefoot. We found they fit insulated men’s boots up to size 13, and women’s up to size 10.5. The traditional oval-shaped tubular aluminum frame and synthetic fabric decking provided great flotation, while the octagon of crampon points under the toe and forefoot provided firm traction for climbing. Descents were less secure: The double row of heel cleats didn’t fully eliminate heel slippage, though proper weight-forward strides helped minimize the problem. Durability is impressive: Despite hard use on Olympic Mountain routes that included significant stretches of rocky spines, the synthetic decks proved extremely puncture resistant. $175; 25, 30, and 36 inches for men, 21, 25, and 30 inches for women; 5 lbs. 4 oz. (30 men’s);

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