User Review: MSR Men's Lightning Ascent
Price Paid: $275
I think the review that gave these zero stars smells of pilot error. Walking downhill on ice with snowshoes takes a little practice (like walking downhill in crampons) and snowshoes do not miraculously provide levitation. 250lbs with a pack and you should have been on at least 30" snowshoes - possibly even larger depending on the shoe.
The Lightnings are the sweetest thing happening in snowshoes. I have worn and sold every brand's "top end" model out there and these are the lightest, most efficient shoes I've ever worn.
After swearing them off for skis years ago, a recent approach to an ice climb forced me to try them out again. I was blown away. Primarily - you can traverse a crusty snow - which you encounter far more than powder! I can still remember a trip with Atlas shoes in Colorado where I almost threw them into the forest as I slid into tree wells on a long traverse. Round edges simply don't 'cut it'.
I'd still rather ski approach any day but if I have to wear snowshoes, I no longer guess what to wear.