Inflatable snowshoes anyone...

4:14 p.m. on February 21, 2012 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

I thought some of you would find this "different." I did.

Inflatable snowshoes:

http://www.airlitesnowshoe.com/

Definitely would cut down on weight(especially if you fill them with helium :)

6:21 p.m. on February 21, 2012 (EST)
200 reviewer rep
4,168 forum posts

 

Looks like a great idea/product! Much easier to carry than standard ones.

6:52 p.m. on February 21, 2012 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,485 forum posts

I need some for mud!

7:01 p.m. on February 21, 2012 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

trouthunter said:

I need some for mud!

It may work... This definitely takes a whole new spin on snowshoes; that's for sure.

I can see where it would be great for an emergency kit. If you look under accessories they are also developing strap on traction plates(a good thing.)

...then again ya need snow to use them lol. 

9:14 p.m. on February 21, 2012 (EST)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
708 reviewer rep
913 forum posts

Looks like a bit of a gimmick to me. Make them out of hypalon and they might have more potential. I can see their use, though. When snowmobiling and you need to take a leak.

Seriously, in order to be an emergency item, they actually need to work with prolonged use, be rugged enough to get you back to safety. The circumstance of the guys who ran out of gas...they were huddled under a tree. Where was the rest of their emergency gear? Extra clothes, water food, esbit stove etc.? I agree that even with those items, they might have suffered frostbite. While skiing and snowshoeing here in the Cascades, I have encountered people on snow machines, miles from the trailhead, with a broken machine and no way to fix it or get back or with enough gear to spend the night out in the cold.

On a somewhat related topic, three experienced skiers died in an avalanche this week end on Stevens Pass. All three had beacons. An article written with interviews with avalanche experts, emphasized that overconfidence may have played a factor in the deaths because the skiers felt that the avalanche beacons were a safety measure. While they are, the real safety measure would have been to avoid the slope altogether. Avalanche danger was extremely high, and a large group was skiing off piste in the same area. Because of the beacons, all three were found quickly but had succumbed because of trauma and/or co2 poisoning.

9:44 p.m. on February 21, 2012 (EST)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
3,486 reviewer rep
1,239 forum posts

These snowshoes look like they'll get zero traction.

 

9:47 p.m. on February 21, 2012 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

FromSagetoSnow said:

These snowshoes look like they'll get zero traction.

 They have a "traction plate" in the works.

Here is the link:

http://www.airlitesnowshoe.com/Footwear.html

11:19 p.m. on February 21, 2012 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
910 forum posts

How about some really big ones and you could walk on water.

11:26 p.m. on February 21, 2012 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

For some odd reason I could see a bunch of us together wearing these.

Picture bumper cars... Bumper feet maybe? The water thought came to mind as well. 

I am intrigued by these though.

11:43 p.m. on February 21, 2012 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
592 reviewer rep
1,514 forum posts

I think if you have room for these you have room for better gear that will last getting you out at long distance. AND bring some GPS device to try to get an alert out. Better investment IMHO.

11:48 p.m. on February 21, 2012 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

giftogab said:

I think if you have room for these you have room for better gear that will last getting you out at long distance. AND bring some GPS device to try to get an alert out. Better investment IMHO.

At the same time as quickly as weather can change this may very well be a good thing to carry. 

Its gotta be better than post-holing miles upon miles. 

If you didn't take snowshoes on your trip and you get dumped on mid trail its better to have something like this than nothing at all. 

For an emergency kit I think this may be a good item. 

These are not intended to be your "go-to" snowshoe. 

12:04 a.m. on February 22, 2012 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
592 reviewer rep
1,514 forum posts

True....but will they actually work for long enough to get out out? IF you dumped from your sno machine and are far enough out that you need to get in, tear the seat off your machine and make some shoes.......McGyver it! I am just wondering if the 160 bux gets you enough to actually get you out.

12:11 a.m. on February 22, 2012 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

As long as you are careful not to run through a green brier thicket I think these would be fine in an emergency situation in the fluffy stuff.

Nothing of this nature is a guarantee. Just a tool to make things easier and give one a fighting chance.

The seat on a snow machine would work if it came down to it but at the same time you also have take the time to get them usable(modification)for this purpose.

One also has to take into consideration the energy that will be spent performing this mod.

Time and energy spent are 2 things that are very important to consider in an emergency situation.

You are going to need as much energy as you can muster to get to where ya need to be and if it takes a bit of time to do the mods you may find yourself trudging in the dark which can open up a whole new batch of bad apples for ya.  

Here is another possible scenario...

What do ya do if you have a broken arm, etc due to an accident? I know ya won't be able to MacGyver much with one arm but you probably could still inflate these and get moving. This will be even easier if ya have a Co2 inflater.

These may very well be the difference maker in a life or death situation. 

Great googly moogly, I am starting to sound like a survivalist...

12:37 a.m. on February 22, 2012 (EST)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
708 reviewer rep
913 forum posts

I'm not objecting to the idea of an inflatable snow shoe, but these appear to have some severe limitations due to the lightweight construction. Here's my point. You are on a snow machine which has the capacity to carry more stuff than if you are packing it on your back. Further, because snow machines can carry you deeper into the wilds than a regular pair of snow shoes can in a short span of time, you should have gear that will allow you to trek back to your start. Briar thickets aside, crusty ice, tree branches, etc. can be a danger. The website says that while you can inflate them with your mouth, a co2 cylinder is required to get the pressure for them to work. Seriously, what is worse than gear that breaks, is emergency gear that breaks!

12:44 a.m. on February 22, 2012 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
592 reviewer rep
1,514 forum posts

HA that is funny, Rick! I actually got the use of the seat from a Bear Grylls episode where he goes back and retraces the steps of a couple who were lost in a car in a snowstrom down a road that wasn't what they thought. I don't think anyone died, but they lost toes, feet and stuff. He went back and showed how a few simple things would have helped them avoid much of what they went through. the seat was a tool he showed and it was pretty quick and easy to do......with two arms.....

2:34 a.m. on February 22, 2012 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Erich said:

I'm not objecting to the idea of an inflatable snow shoe, but these appear to have some severe limitations due to the lightweight construction.

Isn't that the same trade off with UL gear lol...

We really can't speculate or comment on the construction until someone out there actually has the product in their hands and uses it. 

These could be great for their intended purpose...

Then again they could also be duds. 

Time will tell. 

10:24 a.m. on February 22, 2012 (EST)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
3,486 reviewer rep
1,239 forum posts

So who will be the first to try these and give us a report?

10:47 a.m. on February 22, 2012 (EST)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
708 reviewer rep
913 forum posts

"We really can't speculate or comment on the construction until someone out there actually has the product in their hands and uses it." True, Rick. We can extrapolate from the photographs and the description. The material is quite lightweight, definitely not hypalon given that they say it flexes to allow some traction. It appears to be the same material of some pool toys. Will the traction devices will they be better than nothing? Certainly. Will they breed a false sense of security? Possibly.

11:21 a.m. on February 22, 2012 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Erich said:

Will they breed a false sense of security? Possibly.

I believe they will. Same as items such as a plb, gps, blah blah blah. 

11:40 a.m. on February 22, 2012 (EST)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
708 reviewer rep
913 forum posts

And then I have to go out, in the middle of the night, and wonder why these guys left their snow machines and try to find them on the "short cut" they took.

12:19 p.m. on February 22, 2012 (EST)
200 reviewer rep
4,168 forum posts

 

I made a pair of snowshoes once for a On-the Spot need in the Sierra Nevada Mountains from a couple pine tree boughs. Don't remember wher I had seen  it before or read about it, but they worked well enough. Starpped them on with flat webbing straps.

12:23 p.m. on February 22, 2012 (EST)
12 reviewer rep
613 forum posts

I think that electronic gadgets do tend to cause a false sense of security in many, perhaps most persons who regularly carry them and bear spray, in particular, is probably the worst offender in this regard. This, does not mean that a GPS, PLB, SPOT, Sat. Phone or other such aid to survival is not very useful in many situations, merely that one now often encounters people in fairly dangerous situations who have these items, but, do not carry an emergency camp or have any real knowledge of how to construct shelters, read avalanche conditions or avoid bear encounters.

I think that is it the attitude concerning instant gratification that is so much a part of contemporary society and it leads to the idea that we can "buy" expertise, safety and skills that previous generations spent years developing. It often results in death for those who deal with the wilderness in this fashion.

Just this past weekend, two "experienced" mountain skiers were lost near my hometown in BC and in an area with an average 40 ft. annual snowfall and it is also a major avalanche region. They, were VERY fortunate to survive the first night, not prepared as they should have been anywhere in BC's mountains and were found the next day, alive, but, cold, tired and terrified.

You would think that people would learn, but, I am looking out my window at the North Shore Mountains at Vancouver, BC and the trails I usually hike on are a 20 minute drive from here; people die there every year, even in high summer, from hypothermia and, yet, most of them are younger males who will tell you that they are "experienced mountain men"..........tells a sad story, IMHO.

1:02 p.m. on February 22, 2012 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Dewey said:

I think that electronic gadgets do tend to cause a false sense of security in many, perhaps most persons who regularly carry them and bear spray, in particular, is probably the worst offender in this regard. This, does not mean that a GPS, PLB, SPOT, Sat. Phone or other such aid to survival is not very useful in many situations, merely that one now often encounters people in fairly dangerous situations who have these items, but, do not carry an emergency camp or have any real knowledge of how to construct shelters, read avalanche conditions or avoid bear encounters.

I think that is it the attitude concerning instant gratification that is so much a part of contemporary society and it leads to the idea that we can "buy" expertise, safety and skills that previous generations spent years developing. It often results in death for those who deal with the wilderness in this fashion.

Just this past weekend, two "experienced" mountain skiers were lost near my hometown in BC and in an area with an average 40 ft. annual snowfall and it is also a major avalanche region. They, were VERY fortunate to survive the first night, not prepared as they should have been anywhere in BC's mountains and were found the next day, alive, but, cold, tired and terrified.

You would think that people would learn, but, I am looking out my window at the North Shore Mountains at Vancouver, BC and the trails I usually hike on are a 20 minute drive from here; people die there every year, even in high summer, from hypothermia and, yet, most of them are younger males who will tell you that they are "experienced mountain men"..........tells a sad story, IMHO.

Bear spray totally slipped my mind. This item definitely ranks up there on the list if not at the very top. 

I agree, many go out with a rather large wallet and buy the best gear out there and think they are ready to tackle anything that comes their way. 

I kinda compare this to one being book smart but lack the experience to put this knowledge to work for them properly. 

Even on the local trails here I see it all the time. 

"I won't have any problems, I have my gps...

Great, do you know how to read a map and use a compass? Nope, but I have batteries so I should be fine." 

Granted the remoteness of your area is tremendously large when in comparison to what we have here but this goes hand in hand with anywhere one goes...

Just because you bought the gear doesn't mean you can solo K2. :)

1:57 p.m. on February 22, 2012 (EST)
245 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

ocalacomputerguy said:

How about some really big ones and you could walk on water.

 Much better application

9:06 p.m. on February 22, 2012 (EST)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
3,486 reviewer rep
1,239 forum posts

Off- topic but last summer on Mt Adams my son and I used my compass skills to find our way back to camp in a white-out.  We even got to help out another climber who had gotten seperated from his team while glissading.  Cheapo $30 compass did the trick b/c I remembered to shoot a couple lines that morning, wrote them down, then simply ran the back az back to camp. 

So, will Trailspace mods take one for the team and try out a set of these inflatable snowshoes and tell us how they work? 

9:29 p.m. on February 22, 2012 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

FromSagetoSnow said:

So, will Trailspace mods take one for the team and try out a set of these inflatable snowshoes and tell us how they work? 

 Need snow first... And a fully functional limb.

6:26 a.m. on February 23, 2012 (EST)
110 reviewer rep
762 forum posts

My immediate thought with these, especially after recent events, and reading the avalanche air bag article is: If caught in an avalanche while wearing these, might you be forced head down in the snow? It seams to me that an air bag near your feet rather than your head might do this. I know it would be a long shot, but the thought did cross my mind.

7:15 a.m. on February 23, 2012 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
910 forum posts

There are two reasons for the airbag around the head one is to help protect the head from debris. Two is to keep your head as close to the top as possible.  If it was at your feet they would float to the top. Yes you will probably be face down when the avalanche stops.  Hopefully all you would have to do is pick or roll your head to be okay.

 

7:30 a.m. on February 23, 2012 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
910 forum posts

Rick-Pittsburgh said:

FromSagetoSnow said:

So, will Trailspace mods take one for the team and try out a set of these inflatable snowshoes and tell us how they work? 

 Need snow first... And a fully functional limb.

Since these are supposed to be emergency snow shoes you would be the perfect candidate and if you can get snow delivered to Miami I'm sure you can get some for your house. 

11:21 a.m. on February 23, 2012 (EST)
12 reviewer rep
613 forum posts

The actions and results of a given avalanche cannot really be predicted with ny degree of accuracy as each such event is determined by a complex set of ambient circumstances. I would never state that if you wear or carry such and such an item of gear, then, in an avalanche thus and so will happen, as it just don't work that way.

I was born, raised and went to work in the mountains, in forestry, in one of the major avalanche regions of North America and have spent most of my life in avalanche areas in BC and western Alberta. They are the single thing in the bush, Grizzlies included, that actually scare the living s**t out of me and several of my highly experienced, professional, skilled and cautious colleagues and friends have been killed in avalanches here.

Survival in an avalanche is random, some recent gear developments will probably help, but, as with bear spray, these are NOT an alternative to appropriate behaviour in the mountains and should never become an item one depends on for safety.

12:15 p.m. on February 23, 2012 (EST)
4 reviewer rep
106 forum posts

This snowshoe seems pretty awesome, I've saved the website in my favorites, gonna keep checking to see if he ever makes a model with hikers in mind!

I've read alot of GPS vs Compass battles in this forum, I never jumped in before but here is my input on the subject:
I learned how to use a compass and read a map before I started backpacking. I never hike (even for a couple of hours) without a compass, emergency blanket, first aid kit and some other emergency items like a fire starting kit and a dinky knife (my whole kit is very small and lightweight btw, very handy and not cumbersome), and I think everyone should do the same, all it takes is a silly mistake or act of nature for someone to be stuck in an unfamiliar place hours away from civilization, could happen even to the most experienced backpackers.  I never hike without a GPS either, my GPS has this nifty feature called tracker, where it saves my track wherever I'm walking, it does it rather well, most of you have seen the lost video by Arson, and seen how difficult it can be to find your trail if you lose it even with a compass. The GPS also doubles as a radio so I can tune in to the weather emergency forecast, if I'm in a group and they have two way radios we can split up and communicate with each other.
Do I feel more comfortable and safe backpacking with my GPS/radio?  You bet I do, do I have a false sense of reliability in electronic devices and carry no other backup method? Heck no, if I ever get lost I will use a compass and a map in conjunction with my GPS to make sure I find my way out, I feel very comfortable driving my car and never been in any major accidents, but I always put on my seat belt before I start my engine.

12:43 p.m. on February 23, 2012 (EST)
200 reviewer rep
4,168 forum posts

 

I rarely use it, but I still have my old 1968 Brunton Boy Scout compass. I rarely use it unless I am in new country.

12:46 p.m. on February 23, 2012 (EST)
4 reviewer rep
106 forum posts

BTW this is the gps I use, it is kinda expensive but I got it on sale and it was a xmas present =)

9:35 p.m. on February 23, 2012 (EST)
110 reviewer rep
762 forum posts

 GPS discussion? Let's keep this thread on track, friends. Snowshoe tracks if you will. Thanks.

10:53 p.m. on February 23, 2012 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
592 reviewer rep
1,514 forum posts

My snowshoes have GPS on teh front of them.....just sayin.....

(Sorry, f_klock, I couldn't help myself).

3:23 a.m. on February 24, 2012 (EST)
MODERATOR
38 reviewer rep
1,757 forum posts

Ok, I'm no snowshoe expert, but I went winter camping with a guy wearing a pair of these-

http://www.northernlites.com/

For the money, the Northern Lites seem to me a much better idea. Einstein once said, "In theory, theory and practice are the same,in practice, they are not." These snowshoes look like a good example of that.

There are lots of plastic snowshoes around too, MSR being the best known, but TSL makes lots of them.

 

3:40 a.m. on February 24, 2012 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
1,237 forum posts

These look to me like they might be a good idea for emergency use as the can stow away in a small area.  Can you imagine shoeing in 10 miles only to puncture one or both.  I think I'll pass, like I said might be good to keep in the back of the truck when your 4 wheeling or on the snowmobile for when it breaks down.  If it can inflate it can deflate!

9:06 p.m. on February 25, 2012 (EST)
14 reviewer rep
318 forum posts

Way to expensive for an inflatable. I would rather make my own snowshoes.

October 1, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: Millet Backpacks Newer: Need a new jacket/shell
All forums: Older: warm weather( read hot) camping Newer: Two Days in a Micro Wilderness..or Mosquitos in February