User Review: MSR Men's Lightning Axis
Price Paid: $179
I would have given it a 5, but on my first outing on the new binding system.. i would have to give it a 3.5. MSR has missed on this one, in an effort to make it easier to put on, they actually make it easier for it to slip off.
There are 3 attachment points, the toe is fairly sturdy, adjustable for duck foot or pigeon foot but somewhat hard to adjust, don't try to do it at the trail head in the snow.. do it at home or in the rental shop before you go.
Just behind the toe is a remodified stretchable hook binder, I think I understand what they were trying to do, but that's where they missed, the metal hook falls out of the attachment point on the binding, not once but 3 times yesterday in 3 foot deep snow.leaving the heel strap the only binding point leaving your toe in the front binding.. there used to be 3 straps up front, one in the back...
I'm pretty sure they knew the issue as they placed a metal button disguised as a strap button but pointed the wrong way so the strap hook doesn't fall off..
I may look into going back in time at the older bindings or use goop to hold the hook in to the binding.. i don't know..
The ascent bar is a great feature, last week on a rental model without the fancy new binding i was able to go straight up a steep lncline, it was a breeze..
Update: January 30, 2011
I have to revise my first impression after one more weekend of high country snowshoeing.. the bindings fell apart at the D ring 3 more times.. and the swivel toe piece would not lock in.. and as a result the pull tab to pull the pin out tore loose from the pin, i had to use pliers to pull the pin, then and only then would the pin lock in place.
Ya know.. the KISS principle would have worked, the new binding is way over engineered, This binding would be ... in my opinion.. a dangerous binding.. if for example, it was 10 degrees, blowing snow and high winds..
you would have to remove your mitten to adjust, manipulate the d ring back into its attachment, and if the toe piece won't lock in, the shoe becomes unmanageable, in those conditions you have to depend on your equipment, this binding is NOT dependable, steer clear of it.. run away fast..
The older binding .. bombproof.. simple, easy..
to replace the snowshoe with another pair with the older bindings cost me another 25 bucks.. the initial deal, turned into a bust, but i at least have bindings i can depend on..