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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-07-2018, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
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Location: Delta, BC
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Question Snowshoe Buying Advice

Hey guys I am new here and I was hoping for some quick buying advice for my first pair of snowshoes. I was looking at either the MSR Evo Ascents or the Tubbs Flex Alp. Anyone have experience with either? I am hoping to be doing trails up in Garibaldi and potentially more into the interior as well. Once I get used to the snowshoes I won't be doing too much flat level stuff hopefully. Any help would be appreciated! Also, if there are any other snowshoes that you would suggest instead of the two I mentioned I am not really set on anything. My budget would be around $250 at the most.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-08-2018, 12:21 AM
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I think both are good choices.

We recently got TSL Symbioz Elite (later I learned Symbioz Motion exists as well), they are unfortunately even more expensive (or import them from overseas which makes them perhaps a bit less costly - just a bit, not sure about taxes). Biggest plus: the binding, once set you are ready to go in seconds and when it's freezing cold this is really a plus, secure and no pressure points. Motion has again 2 straps at the front. The flexibility helps with easy walking even though I thought maybe it could bend less (I don't have a comparison with other snowshoes but looking at people teetering around in MSRs I prefer the flexibility. There's also a video where someone had problems with the carbon string just after a few meters, I saw it after ordering... so maybe Motion would do)

The traction of the Elite was okay even though I thought it slides a bit - but that's maybe because of my lack of snowshoe-experience, use the spikes. Besides this dry fluffy cocaine snow here doesn't offer much resistance... Overall we are quite happy with them and they won't end up in the closet because they are cumbersome (maybe because there's seldom a need for snowshoes ).
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-08-2018, 03:47 PM
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I have a pair of Louis Garneau Blizzard 2 snowshoes. If you are familiar with snowboard bindings, you know how simple the boa lock is. These snowshoes have them and saves so much time and effort than regular straps. A simple twist is all that is needed to put them on/off. They also have a heavy duty crampon style underfoot and rails which grips very well in powder and icy conditions, as well as a heel lift. They are also under your budget

https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5043-2...d-II-Snowshoes
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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Hey Kokanee I appreciate the reply and your opinion on the TSL snowshoes. Unfortunately they are just a little bit more than I am willing to spend. You mentioned that there is seldom need for snowshoes? Wondering if you think there is a better alternative for me as I try to get out for more hiking/snowshoe type adventures through the winter.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Russell the Blizzards look really cool and the BOA is quite a nice feature to have on them. Only thing that makes me a little bit hesitant is the lack of side traction. Have you had any issues with that and also wondering about the build quality since they are made in China.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by keon_c View Post
Thanks Russell the Blizzards look really cool and the BOA is quite a nice feature to have on them. Only thing that makes me a little bit hesitant is the lack of side traction. Have you had any issues with that and also wondering about the build quality since they are made in China.
Haven't had any issues at all with traction. In deep powder they float well and grip like any other snowshoe. In harder snow they bite well without being too grippy that you trip up on your feet. If side traction is a must for you then maybe get a different pair, but for me they work great. I've done over ten trips to them and they get you to the summit.

Also, MEC's rock solid gaurantee will get you a lifetime with these! (I believe Louis garneau has their own limited warranty as well). I have not had an issue at all as well over a year plus.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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Honestly I think I'm pretty sold on the Blizzards now. I will put in an order shortly. Thanks for the help never even considered these before and I can't wait to get out and explore!
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 01:46 AM
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My experience with popular snowshoeing trails - it's packed so you can walk without snowshoes.
Deep snow without a track: it is exhausting
Sometimes: not much snow, bring Microspikes

Alternative: renting snowshoes for a day.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 01-10-2018, 10:40 PM
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I have owned MSR Evo or many years now and have generally been happy with them. The traction on uphill and traversing slopes is excellent and they are pretty tough, the bindings are simple and sturdy,though straps don't last forever. Deep snow is exhausting indeed, there are definitely better snowshoes for that than the Evos as they are simply too small for that use. I have done many trips with them and honesty never felt the heel lifter is a particularly useful feature, but many people love them. Also I found that for Garibaldi, the snowshoes only start to be a good idea at the lake, you're usually better off to boot pack the switchbacks.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 01-12-2018, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kokanee75 View Post
My experience with popular snowshoeing trails - it's packed so you can walk without snowshoes.
Deep snow without a track: it is exhausting
Sometimes: not much snow, bring Microspikes

Alternative: renting snowshoes for a day.
Interesting point you are most likely correct on the snow being packed down. I am hoping to find some nice trails or areas that are not like this but we shall see. I have also decided to pick up some microspikes since I was under my budget with the snowshoes I bought. Appreciate all the advice.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 01-12-2018, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Toaster View Post
Also I found that for Garibaldi, the snowshoes only start to be a good idea at the lake, you're usually better off to boot pack the switchbacks.
I decided to go with the Louis Garneau's but I appreciate your response. Really helpful to know snowshoes are not all that necessary for most of Garibaldi. Will try to pack the snowshoes and get up in boots with microspikes once I get comfortable with my snowshoes.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 07:41 PM
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I love my MSR Lightning Ascents, they have much better grip on sidehills. I assume the Evo is very similar and slightly cheaper, but you can sometimes find Lightning Ascents on sale for under $250 as well.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 02-02-2019, 07:10 PM
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I like the MSR Evo shoes a lot; into my third set now. Good grip and relatively small so not to trip over and be a clumsy fall on your face type of snowshoer.

K

Hiking is what keeps you young of mind and heart. When the going gets tough, the tough get going..............
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 02-03-2019, 08:33 PM
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I believe in best grip possible for mountains. I went with MSR Lighting Ascent a few years ago. You can really kick those in for extra grab when needed. I bought the Ladies model, a little less width and less cumbersome for tripping up side by side. Also,like the Evo can have a tail snapped into the rear for more floatation. This year I picked up some Kahtoola boot crampons.If your not postholing these are awesome!
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 01:14 PM
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I started smow hiking this year. We just hiked to First Pump on Saturday. Great views. Take advantage before it turns to mush with warm weather.

I find that crampons or microspikes are preferable to snowshoes for the North Shore trails. I think more than 90% of hikers stay on the packed down trail so the float of snowshoes is not necessary. But having said that if you step 5 feet off of the trail you can sink down to your knees. Snowshoes can be bulky and cumbersome on some narrow trails. And I find them a bit dangerous descending on steep descents, especially with my simple low-end aluminum tube framed snowshoes. The following is a link to a pair of hiking crampons which I bought for USD$12. They are not for iceclimbing, but are superior to microspikes imo.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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