User Review: Yukon Charlie's Kodiak Series 930
Price Paid: $135
I bought these snowshoes 4 years ago and use them about 4-5 times a year in Colorado in snow deep enough for a 30" shoe, often wearing a pack. After the second season areas of the decking began to show signs of cracking near stress points just ahead and just before the toe and heel, respectively. I used a PL construction adhesive product to mend the cracks and continued to use the product. The cracks seemed to subside.
At the end of the 2009 season the areas that were weakened split through near the toe and I reapplied adhesive. I returned from a snowshoe overnighter, a 6.5 mile trek x2 (in and out) this passed weekend; I used these shoes. On the return trip (out), the tip of the snowshoe dislodged from the main body in deep snow. The decking in the front of this snowshoe design is a separate piece from the main body. The forward part apparently held the front tubular frame in place as well as offerred surface support. The traveling in the snow with this damaged snowshoe was less than desirable.
I had called Yukon Charlie at the end of last season and asked not for a warranty or an exchange, but rather a repair or a source to which I could order modified decking material to repair the shoes with. They offered me no help at all stating that they do not make the shoes at that location.
I can search for material and repair them if I want to, at this point. The binding system is fine and I like its operation. The float and action of these shoes are also acceptable. There is no heel riser, but that's as I chose. I have felt my purchase was not lacking in value for the money spent for the shoes and the poles that were a package.
I write this review for the person who is not handy or is inclined not to examine their outdoor equipment monthly for damage. This is an imperative to keep yourself and others who recreate with you safe from harm should mishap occur on trail or etc.. If such a person is looking for snowshoes, I do not recommend Yukon Charlies at all.
The reasons are that had my aforementioned event happened to someone who could not repair the onset of light wear (that was really unacceptable) or manage the additional physical dexterity to hike 3 miles in a broken snowshoe, this product has proven to be both of poor value and dangerous, respectively. Also, any customer service today should have at hand at least a source or sources of repair and or repair material supply for repairing a product that they produce.
Snowshoes are not Payless Shoe store items, cheap for the street. They are used in recreating in what can often become dangerous times is the product fails to do what the buyer expects that it will (by its advertised function). There are too many other quality brands available that guarantee their products in the event of function or performance failure, due to manufacturing blunders and or poor quality, both of which can lead to wasted time in the least and potential injury of one of their customers at worst.
The poles aren't the most reliable when it comes to holding firm under use, but this is a common issue with all twist lock type adjustable poles.