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MSR Men's Lightning Explore

photo: MSR Men's Lightning Explore hiking snowshoe

The Lightning Explore replaced the MSR Lightning Flash.

Accessories: MSR Lightning Tails,


22 in 25 in 30 in
Price MSRP: $279.95
Current Retail: $279.95
Historic Range: $29.95-$279.95
Weight per pair 3 lbs 12 oz / 1.70 kg 3 lbs 14 oz / 1.77 kg 4 lbs 8 oz / 2.04 kg
Load Up to 180 lbs / Up to 80 kilos 120-220 lbs / 54-100+ kilos 150-280 lbs / 68-127+ kilos
Load w/ Tails Up to 250 lbs / Up to 114 kilos 120-280 lbs / 54-127 kilos 180-300+ lbs / 82-136+ kilos
Frame material 7075-T6 Aluminum
Deck material TPU coated Nylon


1 review
5-star:   0
4-star:   1
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

I'm a 200lb man. These snowshoes give terrific, secure grip on steep forested pitches.


  • Ease of entry and exit
  • Terrific grip
  • Terrific floatation
  • Steady grip on pitches
  • Binding, even though only one strap and ratchet keeps my Snow Junkies secure
  • Televator is easy to flip up and drop with a trekking pole


  • Binding, though can be adjusted laterally for pronators tends to slip out under heavy use.

I love them, save for the caveat mentioned in the cons.

Whether along the fall line or perpendicular to it they float beautifully in deep snow above lurking forest floor debris. Nice to enter, adjust, and exit them.

I've used them in deep open field and deep snowed in open forest. Really nice.

As far as durability, terrific overall except the lateral adjustment on one of the snowshoes. It doesn't really throw me off when it slips, but when the pin shifts out, it's noticeable. I don't know what that would be like in a survival situation.

I've used these Lightning Explores for three winters now.

I'd give them 5 stars if it wasn't for the one con.



The only snowshoe that I've used. I'm a XC skier mostly.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $275 CDN


Thanks for the review of your snowshoes, Gary! If you have any pictures of them, those would be great to see in your review too.

2 years ago

Gary, curious as to which size you use, and how much you're carrying in addition to that 200lbs.

2 years ago

I have a pair of the ORIGINAL Lightning Ascent 'shoes with the optional tail extensions. I'm a backcountry skier and use climbing skins so I can say with some authority I will only use snowshoes if meh skis are broken or stolen! Snowshoes are just SO much more work than skis with climbing skins. So my advice: LEARN TO SKI XC.

2 years ago

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Does anyone have plans to build something like this