Tubbs Wilderness Series
Excellent snowshoes for use on all but the steepest…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $160
Excellent snowshoes for use on all but the steepest terrain. Lightweight, with comfortable bindings that are easy to enter and exit even with gloves on, they have plenty of flotation to take you just about anywhere.
- Heel lift
- Deck graphics, I'd prefer plain
About 3 years ago I bought myself a pair of Tubbs Wilderness 36 snowshoes to replace my old Yubashoes Borderlines that I'd given to a friend's son so the 3 of us could hit the trails together.
The Wilderness is a great snowshoe! You can get them on or off in seconds, the bindings are very secure and I don't remember them ever loosening up, and the flotation is outstanding. I'm about 265, close to 280 with my usual Camelbak and its contents, and I don't think I sank excessively in soft snow even though I was near the upper weight limit for the 'shoes (300lb.)
Setting up the bindings is quick and easy, and once set you don't have to make any changes unless you use different boots. Simply place the ball of your foot over the pivot, tighten the heel strap, insert the ratchet into the buckle, and give the single strap per binding a yank to snug it up.
To exit, release the buckle and step forward out of the binding. It's that simple. The binding straps are long enough to fit oversized boots like my Sorel Conquests, but if you wear an uninsulated hiking boot late in the season you won't be swimming in the bindings.
As day hiking/exploring snowshoes, the Wilderness has fairly aggressive toe crampons — not up to mountaineering use, but fine for anything less. Traction on both ascents and descents is very good, with nothing more than a simple kick step being necessary for most hills.
The heel lift lets you keep your feet closer to level on long uphill climbs, reducing calf strain, and is easily flicked up or down with the handle of a trekking pole. They really do make a difference, and make steep hills feel more like stairs because your toes aren't trying to touch your shins.
These are big snowshoes, and they have great flotation as you'd expect from their size. While breaking trail in softer snow I'd sink 3-4 inches, and maybe an inch at most on more packed snow. Snowmobile trails were like paved roads, you'd see where your crampons dug in and that was the extent of your sinking.
The only thing I didn't like about the Wilderness was the graphics, but it's hard to find solid-colored snowshoes these days. Besides, I don't spend much time looking at my feet, and as long as they don't have Barbie or Hello Kitty graphics I can live with anything.
I broke my Wilderness this past winter, apparently I stepped on something that broke the plastic heel pad where the heel lift comes up. I brought the shoes back to the retailer where I'd bought them (EMS) for warranty service or exchange, but they must have had a record year for snowshoe sales because they had nothing to give me in exchange. So I took a store credit voucher (which didn't last long), and searched for their replacements online. About a week later I got their replacements - a pair of Tubbs Mountaineer 36s. But, that's a review for another time!
I'd recommend these snowshoes to anyone, with absolutely no reservations at all.
I have been using snowshoes for over 30 years. I have…
Price Paid: replacement
I have been using snowshoes for over 30 years. I have used traditional wood and gut, military, and more recently the modern metal and plastic (by Tubbs). My last pair of Tubbs lasted about 5 years. The frame and decking held out but the pivot and binding eventually broke.
I requested the manufactures send me a pivot and a couple of new bindings. However, the old Tubbs which were made in the USA are now manufatured in China. Instead they took my old pair and sent a new pair of Wilderness Tubbs — what a dissapointment.
The frame is of thinner tubbing, and has a join hidden under a section of the decking — a weak spot. The decking, although not as noisy on crusty snow — is so thin you can cut it with scissors — or have it punctured by a beaver stick. The binding has hinge rachets, and small plastic snaps that are weak and could easily fail in cold weather or stiff hands.
In short, Tubbs are not what they used to be. The new models function well, but are not robust enough for serious use. I wouldn't expect their design and material to last more than two winters.
Good all-around snowshoe that's worked well for me…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $179 US
Good all-around snowshoe that's worked well for me on both gentle terrain and in the backcountry. The bindings are easy to use and the crampons provide adequate traction on hard packed snow.
- Good traction
- Easy to use bindings
- Deck a little flimsy
I bought these snowshoes around Christmas and used them through the 3-month winter hiking season. I found that they performed well in a variety of environments, from powder snow on level trails to steeper, icy uphills.
Although they don't have the traction as some of the "alpine" models, they worked well for me in the backcountry on steep slopes. The heel-lifters are fairly easy to snap up and really help with long climbs. The bindings are easy to adjust, but did seem to loosen a bit (and need readjusting) after lengthy up and downhill hiking.
If you're planning to use these in the backcountry, one drawback is the fairly flimsy deck material. Something more ridgid would work better for rough terrain with a lot of elevation changes. Mine are still holding up fine after a season of use (including four backcountry trips), but I'm not sure how they'll hold up over multiple seasons.
Overall though, these snowshoes do a lot for the price.
I won these snowshoes in a raffle. I had done a few…
I won these snowshoes in a raffle. I had done a few snowshoeing hikes, mostly on flat terrain up to that point. With the first time out I noticed a huge difference in older and cheaper models. They are lightweight and after a few minutes of getting used to them they are extremely easy to use. The grip and stability is incredible. I like these so much that I bought my wife the women's Wilderness snowshoe. She wasn't very keen on snowshoeing but with these she has grown almost a greater interest in the sport than I have. These are a definitely a must-have. Tubbs has won themselves a customer for life.
All Wilderness Series versions
In addition to the 4 men's reviews above, there is 1 review for another version of the Wilderness Series. Read all reviews »