User Review: Atlas 10 Series (1030)
Price Paid: $300 Canadian
I am giving these snowshoes three stars because of durability issues.
Atlas and Tubbs are owned by K2 Sports which is a large conglomerate listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Most of my snowshoeing is in the backcountry on the east coast of Canada. I travel between 80 and 100 kilometers a month during the season. The shoes have been tested for one year.
Binding - 4 Star
The foot will stay positioned in the shoe with excellent articulation. The binding is not designed for large snowboarding boots (the 12 series binding is designed for larger boots). On the negative side, the binding will mar the surface of leather boots and the straps will not function well when frozen. The ends of the straps also have a tendency to catch on small bushes.
Crampons - 4 Star
The crampons are steel which is more durable than aluminum. Atlas has designed the crampon to reduce clogging but in wet snow conditions any crampon will clog.
Decking - 3 Star
Duratek, is a proprietary urethane-coated fabric claimed to have three times the abrasion resistance of Hypalon and lighter weight.
The decking is strong and will resist surface abrasion. But, the three end rear straps attaching the decking to the frame are subject to abrasion. The more the shoes are used on ice and crusty snow will result in increased abrasion. I believe the shoes will eventually fail in this area. They will not last a "lifetime". Atlas needs to redesign these attachments.
Pivot System - (Packed Trail - 5 Star) (Breaking Trail - - 2 Star)
Atlas uses a fixed pivot system with two urethane straps. This provides excellent stability climbing, descending and transversing slopes. The straps are very durable.
The fixed pivot system is a liability in deep snow because the loose snow will not slide off the back of the shoe. You will actually be attempting to lift this extra weight. Also, the snow will flick up on your legs and back. You will have to wear nylon clothing to shed the snow even on a warm day.
Tubing - 5 Star
Anodized 7075-T7 Easton aluminum, ¾-in (19 mm) tubing. The tubing is small in diameter and is flexible and strong. But, the anodized finish will scratch easily.
Flotation - 5 Star
The snow condition whether dry or wet, new or old, and packed trail has a greater bearing on flotation than the size or shape of a shoe.
Rivets - 1 Star
I have had a popped rivet where the binding attaches to the crampon. This is a major failure in a shoe advertised for the backcountry. This failure happened after one year of use.
Weight - 4 Star
At around 4 pounds, it is not the lightest shoe on the market. The extra weight is the result of the sturdy binding.
Packability - 3 Star
Will not pack easily on your backpack because of the binding. The 12 series will be better.
Email Support - 1 Star
I received no response on my question of durability of the rear loops. Atlas needs to appreciate customer input and incorporate the feedback in future design changes.
In summary, this is a nice shoe with excellent articulation. Your boot will not move in this binding. But, I expect a lot more in durability considering the price paid which is at the high end for a snowshoe.