Dependable snowshoes are an easy way to get outside this winter
By Chris Gerston, owner of backcountry essentials
Keeping active in the winter can be difficult for some hikers, since so many favorite local trails are covered in snow. This is a great time to explore the world of snowshoeing, and it’s easier to try than you might think. At Backcountry Essentials, we both rent and sell the MSR Evo snowshoes because of their functionality, durability and warranty.
The best thing about these snowshoes is the “gription,” which allows you to walk naturally across any slope. Not only do the MSRs have a claw under the toe (as do most snowshoes), but they also use long, serrated rails down the length of the shoe to help it maintain direction when traversing a slope. Because other brands lack this component, other snowshoes want to pivot around the toe claw, so in essence one has to side-step when traversing a steep slope. The MSRs also have an option to add “tails,” which increase the flotation in deep snow or when carrying a heavier pack. And lastly, the MSR also has an Evo Ascent model that incorporates a heel riser for increasing your efficiency when going uphill; a huge advantage on a big day.
The other reason we have only carried the MSR snowshoes since day one is their durability. Once upon a time, I used to lead 21-day snowshoeing trips in the Oregon Cascades and literally had to fix just about every other brands’ shoes at one point or another, but never a MSR. On top of that, every MSR snowshoe is backed by a lifetime warranty against defects. That peace of mind is tangible whether going out for a day trip or weeks.