Snowshoe bindings can make or break a deep-powder hike. For a decade, manufacturers have struggled to create a binding that’s stable, formfitting, freezeproof, and easy to adjust with gloves on. The Black Everest, one of 13 new models from Louis Garneau using a Boa cable closure, finally nails it. The steel lacing, tightened by twisting a glove-friendly, ratcheting knob, snugs a soft plastic frame around your boot for a fit that feels custom. “The whole thing rotates freely on an axle as you walk,” raved one Vermont tester. The Black Everest’s molded-plastic deck flexes with each stride, driving tip-to-tail metal spikes (which are especially aggressive underfoot) into the snow, and provided ample grip on an icy and dicey ascent of Mount Washington. All that tech and the shoe doesn’t even break $200. 4.2 lbs.
EASE OF USE: 4.5