User Review: MSR Men's Lightning Ascent
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $170
MSR Lightning Ascent 30” snowshoes, a very good snowshoe with some unique features.
- Secure binding
- Heel lift
- Plastic strap clip
MSR Lightning Ascent 30" snowshoes
Period of use: 1½ winters.
For a 30" snowshoe it seems to have typical 30" snowshoe floatation. :-)
It is about average in weight and has a narrow shape which makes for a nice walking stride with minimal metal to metal hits. I do prefer a snowshoe with a higher “round-up” in the nose of the snowshoe.
The pair I have is quiet, with minimal creeks and squeaks. Durability seems great, a slight loss of black paint here and there and one of the plastic strap clips broke. I have just ordered a MSR snowshoe repair kit ($15) that includes a bunch of pins, nuts, washers and a few replacement plastic strap clips.
The 5" tail extenders have been somewhat disappointing, I did not feel like it improved the floatation to that of a 36" snowshoe. But they do attach easily and never came loose.
The Lightning Ascents have very good maneuverability and excellent “side-hilling” control.
The MSR snowshoe binding has four straps, with three across the front and one around the heel. It’s easy enough to strap into and it makes a very secure hold to the boot that goes all day without loosening. Though the binding strap ends do tend to come loose and flop around a bit (not a deal breaker).
The traction is at the top of all the snowshoes I have used. Sometimes the extreme grip around the circumference of the snowshoe creates a little more drag than I like. In wet packy snow I will sometimes pickup snow clods in the bottom of the shoe.
I don’t use it a lot, but the ascent heel bail works like a charm and is a useful feature on the very steep trails.
Great engineering and American made!
The MSR Lightning Ascents are my choice when the snow has settled some, there is going to be a bunch of icy going, or the terrain has some very steep stretches.