MSR Evo Ascent Snowshoe Kit

Best for beginners
Evo Ascent Snowshoe Kit

Specs

Weight 6 lbs, 1 oz

 

With so many options, purchasing snowshoeing gear can be a head-scratcher. This kit makes the decision easy: It contains MSR’s Evo Ascent snowshoes, three-section aluminum DynaLock Explore poles, and a backpack to store both—all for $45 dollars less than if purchased separately. The 22-inch Evo Ascents are simple and durable, using one rubber strap to secure the heel and three others for the top of the foot. They have heel risers, and one tester lauded the metal siderails for edging and the four-toothed crampon for its grip on uphills. But the standout of this kit is the backpack, which has dedicated lashing to store the snowshoes when it’s easier to walk—like when we hit patches of dirt during an early season hike around California’s San Gorgonio Mountain. And if poles aren’t your full-time thing, they’re easy to stash with elastic drawstrings. (The backpack is 19 liters, so it’s only suitable for day missions.) Bonus: A removable foam backpanel doubles as a sit pad, so you can keep your derriere dry.

$300; 6 lbs. 1 oz. (entire kit); 22 inches