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Q:

What’s the best pair of snowshoes for a beginner?

I would like to get my husband a pair of snowshoes for the holidays. I know nothing about them. Can you suggest a few pairs worth looking into? Thank you!
Katie
Milford, NH

The Evo     Photo: courtesy, MSR

The Evo

The Evo

A:There are lots of things well worth considering, Katie. One easy choice would be to buy a pair of MSR Evo 22 snowshoes ($140). These have a molded-plastic deck (the thing that makes the shoes "float") that is both light and tough. Built-in crampons grip when it's icy, and two-strap bindings adapt to most any kind of boot.

For a little more traditional snowshoe, take a look at the Atlas 1025s ($200). These have an aluminum frame with nylon decking, a design that's a little more complex to make than the MSR plastic design, but that also creates a shock-absorbing quality that makes them a bit more comfortable on a longer hike. Steel crampons help on ice, and I like Atlas's single-pull binding system.

At the slightly higher end you have the Tubbs Mountaineer snowshoes ($250). Similar in style to the Atlas, but with slightly higher-quality materials in the deck and binding. Nice snowshoes.

Snowshoes aren't complicated things, so really, any of these will work fine. Maybe add to the package some snow-friendly trekking poles, such as REI's Traverse poles ($70) and Snowflake Baskets ($8).

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