Reviewers Paid: $50.00-$135.00
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.
Price Paid: $135
Looks good, but failed immediately.
- Looks good
- Binding is simple
- Rivet that holds the front toe strap snapped in ten feet. Light snow, and with a load 70 lbs less than rated.
Would not recommend this brand.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $70
I have had two pairs of Yukon Charlie snowshoes for about 10 years. The first pair came without poles, the second pair came with twist lock poles that I don't use. I don't like twist lock poles. I do use other ski poles.
I like these snowshoes especially for the adjustment of the bindings. They have quick release buckles and adjustable nylon straps for a fine tune fit. This is a very user friendly strap system. They are used about five times every winter. Conditions range from packed snow to knee deep powder. I have never had any problems with this product.
note: When choosing your snowshoe size, be sure to calculate your body weight/ size when dressed for the winter weather including backpack, boots, extra clothing, etc.
Update: December 30, 2011
I have been shopping around for a friend who is also interested in snowshoes. I'm finding the most common binding on the shelf at stores in my area have a racheting plastic strap similar to snow board bindings. I do like this system for snowboarding but, I don't know if this snowshoe binding is as sturdy as the snowboard binding.
I still like my original bindings with nylon straps and quick release buckles.
Price Paid: $75
I bought a pair of these shoes from a guy on Craigslist. He received them as a present and never used them, the pair I got were ~5 years old. These shoes were new in package when I got them, took them home and got them ready to use.
I noticed immediately that one of the straps that attaches the (poor quality) plastic decking to the aluminum tube frame was broken. The paper-thin aluminum rivet that held it together had broken under NO stress. That should've been a huge red flag, but I put them on and off I went.
No more than ten steps later and my right shoe started dragging strangely. Keep in mind that there was only about 4 inches of snow on the ground and I was only ten feet from my door when it broke. Again the crappy aluminum rivets were to blame. This time, TWO of them had busted off of a single strap, that strap happened to be the one that holds on the foot binding. Thus rendering the shoe entirely useless.
Let's review, shall we? Five years old, new in box, already broken rivet, ten steps later in light snow the whole foot binding comes off. Poor quality work? I think so. Yukon Charlies' snowshoes can go out with the trash.
The guy gave me my money back for them and told me to just keep the snowshoes and do whatever I wanted with them. I will try to repair them.
Price Paid: $50