I am looking for an inexpensive pair of snowshoes to trek around the backyard and local park in. I know little about them and haven’t used a pair since 2005 so I don’t really know what to look for. Thanks!
I haven’t done an enormous amount of snowshoeing but have owned a couple of pairs. So my very brief thoughts:
- They don’t really wear out
- You want as small an area as possible if you are hiking where other people have already made a track.
- You want as large an area as possible if you are going off trail or in extreme powder.
- Lighter is better, but only really necessary if you are hiking many (5+) miles. You are wearing a lot of weight with winter gear and the extra pound or two on your snowshoes is trivial especially if you are doing a leisurely hike.
- The quick release and other higher end additions to the snowshoes often become worthless or completely unnecessary after 10 minutes in the snow.
- A good foot pivot/tilt/tip? motion is great for maintaining a normal gait.
That being said, any of the pairs between $100-200 at REI should be fine. And conveniently most REI snowsports stuff is on clearance this week.
I have had good fortune with Tubbs, though mainly I’ve used them because that’s what’s been most available when I was in the market, not because of any particular brand loyalty. I’d expect you would spend $150-$200…the price of the last pair I bought.
I am out a lot during snowy winters, but mostly go less than 5 miles, up to 9-10 on rare occasion. I walk on well-tromped-down paths and on fresh powder alike, also. From that perspective, I agree with most of the above.
One thought: I am at the edge of sizes, weightwise, and have preferred the smaller one…YMMV, but that would be my recommendation: they’re easier to walk in, I find, and especially easier maneuvering up and down steep slopes.
Agree that there are lots of bells and whistles you probably don’t need.
While the shoes themselves are quite sturdy, the bindings are less so–just be aware that they may snap long before the frame shows any particular sign of wear.