Northern Lites Backcountry
Northern Lites still offers the Backcountry for $240. I've had mine for years, and agree they are one of the lightest and easiest to use in the backcountry. The only model that's better for bantam weight folks is their Elite (8x25) if and only if you are under 175 lbs with a backpack!
- Easy to maneuver
- Can take a little practice to get used to 9x30
For more aggressive slopes, I'd love a pair of their Predator series, which replaces their aluminum cleats with steel in more places. But the overall Northern Lites build is the same...much lighter frame than other brands, plastic edge clamps that both provide some extra traction and keep the decking material from wearing through where it wraps around the frame.
The strap system is sturdy though takes practice if you don't want to take gloves off, but once you're in they track well and are easy to walk in.
My wife and I have used the Backcountry for me and the Elite for her for four winters without complaint or any breakdown in parts.
We have used them on easy to moderate ascents in the Adirondacks near Keene and Lake Placid, New York, and hiking trails in the front range in Colorado including Roxborough State Park.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $240
I was looking for a lightweight snowshoe to use in mixed conditions in the Northeast. I looked at the MSR Lightnings, but found the Backcountries to be almost 1 lb lighter. On my first trip to the White Mountains, they worked better than I ever imagined.
I've used them on a few trips now and have not been disappointed. I never once had a problem, and due to the weight savings, my legs felt much better than when I hiked the same area using a pair of MSR's. When they are on your backpack, you don't even notice the difference.
They are easy to use, geat traction, great stability, and very very light. What else do you need....
Price Paid: $290
Where to Buy
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Historic Range: $269.00
Reviewers Paid: $240.00-$290.00
2 pounds, 13 ounces/pair
9 x 30 inches