Little Bear Trek FTC
Pros: Lightweight. Easy to put on. Lots of flotation…
Price Paid: CDN $100
Easy to put on.
Lots of flotation in deep snow.
Heel strap isn't totally secure.
Other shoes tried.
Even though they are a larger shoe more suited to deeper snow, the light weight and strap-sprung pivot make this shoe very easy to use in any condition.
The traction is more than sufficient, although there is a little float before the crampons bite in, certainly a lot more than something like the Denali which almost bites in too fast. On some steeper terrain, a toe crampon like Atlas shoes may be nice.
After 6 casual outings, my binding separated (Pop rivets) from the strap that connects them to the shoe, very disappointing indeed. Although it could easily be fixed with a nut and screw, I'm going to go for something a little more durable. I would say that this shoe is for casual use only, if you are a fast walker or walk on steeper terrain, then other options may be better for you.
After receipt, compared my new 9 x 30 snowshoes to…
Price Paid: $59.95
After receipt, compared my new 9 x 30 snowshoes to my wife's series 1025 Atlas shoes, which I've used a couple of times on firm snow.
I'm used to large wooden snowshoes, so trucking around on my wife's shoes seemed like flying and I had to have a modern pair for myself. Bought larger shoes than the wife's for more flotation on powder snow conditions.
Side-by-side comparison of quality and features: Very similar. Seem like equal quality materials. Time will tell.
Little Bear shoes stack up fine, especially for the price I paid. Only minus to date - after using them daily for exercise for the last ten days - is that the binding heel strap could be set at a better angle to grip some boot heels. I have walked out of the bindings a couple of times - kinda depends on which boots I wear.
I first thought the single cross-instep straps to be inadequate, but have actually had no problems with them. My wife looks at them and wishes she only had a single strap other than the two she has - so what do I know?
Would I buy another pair? At retail? Maybe. At sale price and for recreational use? You betcha!