Reviews

5

Great snowshoe with unique binding system for easy…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: received it as a personal gift

Summary

Great snowshoe with unique binding system for easy in/out use. Metal frame provides great traction.

Pros

  • Binding system
  • Traction built into frame
  • Expandable floation tails

Cons

  • Older unints come with smaller bindings

The Revo Explore snowshoe offers a unique binding system for an easy way to put your snowshoes on and off.  The frame of the snowshoe offers great traction when hiking in icy or packed snow terrain and along traverses.  Revo Explore snowshoes are designed to provide all day comfort when tackling rolling and backcountry terrain.

This is my first pair of snowshoes, and I received them as a birthday gift this past December. The pair that I have are 25 inches, which are able to support my weight. I've carried a large pack which added more weight than what is recommended, but I haven't had an issue with flotation. However, the snow this year has not been real deep or powdery, so I am sure eventually I will need to use the modular tails to provide extra flotation.

The biggest complain people seem to have when reviewing these snowshoes are the binding system. People either love them, or loathe them. Since I had only used a pair of snowshoes one time before acquiring this pair, I hadn't formed an opinion about a preferred binding system. Wearing these several times now I have not had any issues with the binding system.

Other online reviews complain about pressure on the toes, due to a small instep strap. My pair included a six-inch instep strap, and an eight-inch heel strap. I did find that the 6-inch strap would be too small and might cause discomfort when tightening them across my boots.

One call to MSR Customer Service, and new straps were on their way free of charge. Originally I was told I would be receiving just one pair of larger straps, but when the package arrived it included a pair of eight-inch straps and a pair of ten-inch straps. From what I have read online from other reviews is that newer units now ship with an extra pair of 10 inch straps to correct this issue. 

The binding system has so far been enjoyable to use. Once you set the heel strap you no longer have to adjust the strap. The instep strap is the only one you would need to lock/unlock to get in/out of your snowshoe. There is a silver lever that you pull to tighten the strap, and two red buttons on either side that are used to fine tune the grip to loosen the grip. To fully remove the strap press both red buttons and pull on the strap. In the four times I have gone snowshoeing with friends I have been the first one to get into and out of my snowshoes. 

The deck is made of hard plastic and molded onto the metal frame. For the REVO series of snowshoes the metal frame has built in traction. It is not a 360 degree frame similar to the Lightning series. I have hiked on some ice patches and packed snow and the traction has been a blessing.  My friend was wearing a pair of Evo trail snowshoes and complained that she would slide a bit when on ice (not much, but enough to be mindful about).

Normally I tend to hibernate during the winter months and pine for spring, but this season I decided to embrace winter and start snowshoeing. The Revo Explore snowshoes fit my usage right now. I have used them in fresh powder in local parks, on both flat and rolling terrain. They have been used on trails  that have been packed down and icy. 

I originally wanted a snowshoe that would be perfect to use on trails near my home, but can also be used when I go hike in the Adirondack mountains. Since this is my first season snowshoeing my skill set is not good enough to tackle the mountainous backcountry of the Adirondack wilderness. Once  I have taken them out on mountains, my opinion/review of these snowshoes might change.

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Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Congratulations on the new snowshoes, arcana, and thanks for sharing a review and pics of them. I hope you'll let us know how they continue to work out for you.


3 years ago
Ashleigh

Thanks for sharing this helpful review, arcana! When I finally get a pair of snowshoes these will certainly be in consideration.


3 years ago
arcana1973

Ashleigh they do make a women's model as well


3 years ago
Ashleigh

Thanks!


3 years ago
arcana1973

Winter of 2015/16 was a bust up her in Buffalo, NY. The snow wasn't deep enough most days to use snow shoes. I might have to update the review next season after using them more than three times.


2 years ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

I also hope next winter is better than this past one.


2 years ago
1

This snowshoe seems to be a budget-minded option compared…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $120 (CAN)

Summary

This snowshoe seems to be a budget-minded option compared to MSR's more technical offerings, which are more complicated to use and also pricier. It's a modern snowshoe designed for trail use due to the size offered (22 and 25 inches, which is small), although flotation tails are offered (more on that later).

Pros

  • Hyperlink bindings
  • Performance on ice and crust
  • Heel lifts
  • Price

Cons

  • Hyperlink bindings
  • Small size for men
  • Performance in deep snow (to be expected)

I bought these because they were on clearance and I needed a trail snowshoe that could handle packed conditions (i.e. narrow trenches left by previous hikers), ice and crust. I have multiple other pairs of snowshoes (traditional and modern alike) and I clock in about 300-400 kilometers a year in mountainous terrain on single day outings. I would put myself between Intermediate and Advanced. I carry a day pack for me and my spouse and am approximately 220 pounds with gear.

Ease of Use: The Hyperlink bindings are easy to use, although you do have to fine tune your setup before going out, more so than with traditional three buckles setup, since the instep buckle is really crucial to performance and comfort. The snowshoes are also very easy to walk in due to the narrow deck and short length.

Features: The heel lifts on these are very, very good for an entry-level product. They are also ergonomic and will not put too much strain on the front or arch of the foot. The rest of the features are pretty much standard, although I do have to say that it is a very aggressive and reliable snowshoe grip wise.

I have bought the flotation tails and do not find them to be a good addition since they have a tendency to fall off and do not feel secure to me.

Construction and Durability: Great construction and durability. I would take these on a 15 km day trip without any spare parts.

Conditions: I have used them on packed flat trails, icy inclines, and deep snow. They excel in the first two conditions but are absolutely miserable in anything deeper than a 5-6 inches of fresh snow due to poor flotation and snow buildup on the decks.

This is due to my size and the relative size of the shoe. With my gear and my bodyweight, I would need a 30-inch shoe minimum to venture outside of trails and this option doesn't exist for these, which is a pity, but if you are smaller and do not carry a pack, maybe you could swing these in deeper and fluffier snow.

As I said, I really dislike the flotation tails so I just do not carry these if I know I'm going off trail or there was a good amount of snow recently. This is fine for me because I have other shoes and it would be fine for someone who will never venture off the beaten path, but if you're looking for a single snowshoe to cover all your bases, you might be better serve to pick a pair that can accommodate powder conditions and still perform well on groomed trails.

Another negative is that the bindings do not play well with bulky boots and can cause hotspots. I know that on my first outing, I had the bindings correctly set up per the instructions, but the bindings couldn't be adjusted to be slacker due to my boot choice, which caused a hotspot and a friction wound on both of my little toes.

I would suggest trying them out for a few miles on easy terrain before venturing too far out and then finding out the hard way that your boots don't play nice with them. I know MSR now includes longer binding straps, but I just changed boots and fine tuned the bindings they are now fine.  

G00SE

Thanks for the helpful review, Jeff.


7 months ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Welcome to Trailspace, Jeff! Thanks for the great review of your MSR snowshoes. I'd love to see some pictures of your pair in your review.


7 months ago
Old Guide

You say you dislike the Flotation Tails if you are going off trail or there is a new amount of snow. Isn't that exactly what the tails are for?


6 months ago
Jeff B

Old Guide the Flotation Tails are a great idea but in exceution, they perform relatively poorly (i.e. they do not feel secure and can detach) and they are expensive. so I prefer to take a longer pair of snowshoes instead of relying on them. I have the luxury of multiple pairs of snowshoes, so this is not a bother to me, but if someone is looking to buy a single pair and encounter deep powder on more than 30% of their outings, I would look eslewhere. But for trail use, crust and light snowfall on a hard pack, they are a very, very good shoe.


6 months ago
Jeff B

To reiterate my point, these would go from very good to excellent if MSR would just produce them in the usual 30 and 36 sizes instead of stopping at 25.


6 months ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for all of the additional helpful info, Jeff! If you're willing, you could always review the tails too: https://www.trailspace.com/gear/msr/revo-tails/


6 months ago
Old Guide

Thanks for the response Jeff. I thought maybe you were missing something. It is obvious you are not.


6 months ago
Jeff B

No problem, I snowshoe a lot since I'm working part time during the winter months and live in a pretty remote area where trails are plentiful. I try to hit the trails on pretty much all my days off and these snowshoes are what I take with me more than half of the time, especially if there is some decent elevation gain/loss. They are really good up and downhill and once dialed in, the bindings are some of the best I've seen even though it's just two straps. I cannot overstate how quickly I would buy another pair if they were produced in a size 36.


6 months ago

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