Louis Garneau Yeti
The binding is secure and quick, and downhill traction is tops.
Brand: Louis Garneau
Binding: “Just dial the Boa knobs for an even, secure, custom fit,” one tester says. The toe knob secures the forefoot while a second dial cinches in the heel, providing a “koala-like wrap” around the entire foot. “I didn’t even need to remove my mittens,” says another tester.
Walkability: The Yetis managed icy snowpack in the Tetons and steep climbs on Grand Mesa in western Colorado. The aluminum frame is tough, yet relatively light. On a 15-mile trip with a 45-pound pack in Wyoming’s Snowy Range, one tester was grateful: “I was struggling near the end because my legs were so tired. I don’t think I could have trudged those last few miles with clumsier, heavier snowshoes on my feet. The snug binding gave me extra lateral control and preserved my energy with each step.”
Traction: The 1-inch, V-shape heel crampons provide great bite in packed powder and steep, icy descents. “I never felt out-of-control when step-sliding downhill,” one tester reports. “I didn’t even falter when I rested on the back of my heels.”
$250; 22, 25, and 30 inches; 4 lbs. 3 oz. (25); louisgarneau.com