Brand: MSR Gear Reviews
Model: Revo Explore
Stability From rotten snow on Prince Edward Island to powdery drifts in upstate New York, testers loved these all-purpose snowshoes. Cold-resistant plastic decking and grabby steel traction walls rip through crud and ice. “My confidence was through the roof with these on my feet,” said one experienced tester after 30 miles around Lake Ontario. “It crushed solid ice, steep climbs, uneven surfaces, and even rocky areas.” Not surprisingly, a 210-pound tester (wearing the 25-inch version) with a heavy pack wished for more float in deep powder. Remedy: Add-on tails ($50; 10.5 oz.) create 5 more inches of surface area to keep heavier testers afloat.
Fit The binding impressed testers with its easy-entry toe cradle. “I was in my snowshoes before everyone else in our group,” says one Colorado tester. The two-strap ratchet system cinches down on all footwear. (one tester even wore them with sneakers). Tip: The toe hinges squeak like crazy, so have the WD-40 ready.
Durability “Infallibly tough,” says one Canadian tester. “I trekked through bare rock beds and the steel frame is unscathed. The crampons stayed sharp, too.” $199; 22 and 25 inches; 3 lbs. 15 oz. (25); msrgear.com