Sherpa Snowshoes Modified Bearpaw
Sherpa Snowshoes is no longer in business, and the Modified Bearpaw has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best backcountry snowshoes for 2023.
I have owned and used the same pair of Sherpa snowshoes for over twenty years. the dimensions of the snowshoe are nine inches by thirty-six inches. the frame is coated (anodized) aluminum, the decking is made of a stiff rubber/neoprene, and the decking is attached to the snowshoe with neoprene lacing.
the binding consists of a sheet of neoprene that wraps around the boot with nylon webbing, with a separate piece of nylon webbing to secure the heel. the webbing cinches tight with a steel spring clip.
Sherpa snowshoes are no longer in production, but a Canadian company, Arctic Trekker, makes virtually the same snowshoe (and sells spare parts that work with Sherpas). i recently purchased a new set of claws (the "ice claw") for my snowshoes from Arctic Trekker, and they fit perfectly. (Sherpa called their aggressive claw a "tucker" binding).
if you plan on using snowshoes in the backcountry or on mountains, you will be happier with longer, sharper 'teeth' beneath your foot.
The only part i have replaced on these snowshoes is the bindings, once because the spring clip rusted so badly that it became unusable, and more recently to replace the claw with a deeper and more aggressive design. Rocks, roots, ice - nothing has done any damage, other than scratching the aluminum. This is truly bombproof gear.
These are larger snowshoes that are superior in deep snow, capable of floating a 200+ pound person plus sixty pounds of gear. the larger size makes them somewhat less maneuverable than smaller models. the bindings can adapt to a wide variety of boot types and sizes. the strapping can work its way loose over a long day - this is not much of a problem with plastic mountaineering boots, but it can be a challenge with other types of boots like Sorels. attaching a small square of neoprene to the heel webbing can help with this.
consider arctic trekker. i don't know the brand, but the design is a dead ringer for the old Sherpas.
Price Paid: $120
Only problem is the binding which is cumbersome to lace and attach especially when it is cold. It tends to work loose and snowshoe turns a bit off track. An easier to use binding would be a great asset.
Price Paid: free
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Reviewers Paid: $120.00