Snowshoes


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Here, Wes Siler shows you how to buy snowshoes and how to use them. Watch this, and enjoy snowshoeing this winter. 

Skiers and others venturing into the backcountry often end up too far apart to help each other when an avalanche strikes

A few essentials can make even the most reluctant want to venture out

Four sturdy stompers for deep days on the trail

The stuff we've owned for ages that we couldn't adventure without

Sponsor Content: Montana Tourism

Skiing and snowboarding are just the start. From snowshoeing and hot springs soaking to snowmobiling and ice fishing, Montana is a winter wonderland

David Grann’s New Yorker story about a doomed Antarctic adventurer was a spellbinding read. But as he—and Outside—seem to forget, other people had already done what Worsley was trying to pull off.

REI’s winter sale features excellent products at rock-bottom prices

Play atop the powder with these new decks.

In an effort to expand their market, Crescent Moon created an all-foam snowshoe called the Eva which technical but user-friendly. With this new product, Crescent Moon took home one of our Gear of the Show Awards.

The five products we're most excited to test next winter

The cold and snow shouldn't keep you from exploring. Hit the road with this essential winter road-trip gear.

Over the river and through the woods.  (Fimbulvetr) Fimbulvetr Hikr Best For: Deep Snow Breaking trail in winter is just about the most difficult workout you can do. But that Herculean endeavor is made a bit easier with a platform like the Norwegian Hikr strapped to your foot. The lightweight plastic…

Why you would use these things instead of touring skis is beyond us. But hey, anything in the name of snowsports innovation, right?

With a design in mind, compass in hand, and snowshoes on foot, artist Simon Beck stomps deep tracks in the snow to create beautiful works of art. In this short film from Flash Studio, Beck talks about how patterns in nature motivate him to create…

Simon Beck spends a lot of his time with snowshoes strapped to his feet, clomping in circles through powder. It’s much more than a futile exercise—it’s art.

Eleven must-haves for living off-the-grid

Ski or snowshoe by moonlight, and you’ll deserve the gourmet feast that follows

Action-oriented alternatives to get you through the winter

We love stocking stuffers, but the big-ticket hero gifts are the ones we really look forward to. Presenting eight splurges to buy—or maybe just drool over.  (Salemtown Board Co.) Salemtown Board Co. Mimosa Oak Cruiser Close to two hundred bucks might feel like a lot to spend on a skateboard,…

Four snowshoes to help you rise above the powder, summit fast, and blaze snowy trails

How to build a high-quality quiver on a budget

The pro traveler needs cutting-edge survival gear as he explorers the farthest reaches of the planet. And his favorite place to play might surprise you. (Hint: It’s in the Midwest.)

There's a six-pack of cold ones waiting for you at base camp. The only problem? No bottle opener. Thankfully, we're here to help.

Lighter and sleeker than any other racing snowshoe on the market.

Next week at Outdoor Retailer, Black Diamond will unveil jackets with a revolutionary cord management system that shrinks, hides, and embeds the technology needed to tighten hoods and hems. It’s called Cohaesive, and I’m excited about it for a few reasons. Cohaesive simplifies cord…

Over the past few decades, humans have developed some pretty high-tech synthetic fabrics, including membranes with nine billion pores per square inch and bi-layer wicking polyester.    But in spite of our best efforts, the most advanced technical fibers still come from Mother Nature. Take merino wool, which is hard…

This is always a tricky question. There’s plenty of room for debate when it comes to choosing the “right” ski length, and a useful answer should entail a lot of research.     Take the rocker revolution, which had people arguing about how the effective edge—or the length of metal…

The 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, a tech orgy that draws hundreds of thousands of people every year, wrapped up Friday in Las Vegas. And as usual, there was some pretty weird technology on the floor.  Sensoria Fitness Sock A tattoo that measures your pH. A glove…

Exercise caution when you look for an inexpensive mountaineering pack. Remember, a well-built pack is going to last a lot longer than a cheap one, and you want to make sure it won’t fail at a crucial moment. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t good options out there that cost…

Outside staff members are always busy testing gear—we reviewed more than 600 items for the summer and winter Buyer’s Guides alone. We can’t cover everything in the magazine, so we asked 11 Outsiders to name their favorite piece of gear from 2013. And because our staff ranges from elk hunters to ultramarathoners,…

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.

I'm unable to invest in a lot of new gear this snow season, so should I go with cross-country skis or a pair of snowshoes?

When it comes to holiday giving, you should never have to choose. This year, our editors have pulled together 68 perfect ideas—priced from $4 to $50,000—guaranteed to make anyone on your list feel like a million bucks.

Everything you need to get started in winter’s most underrated endurance sport

Traction, bindings, and weight—these are the biggest differentiators. Let’s start with traction. For steep, icy, or rocky terrain, go aggressive with as many underfoot claws in as many locations as you can get, as well as a heel lifter to save your calves on steep climbs.

Our Vermont-based test crew started with a field of more than 30 snowshoes and narrowed them down to these three favorites.

A titanium bike with swooping lines and parallel triangles for added flex and greater shock absorption.

So you're shopping for someone who shuns modern technology? This rugged, timeless gear is sure to be a hit.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the CW-X Insulator Stabilyx tights.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Atlas Aspect snowshoes.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Tubbs Wilderness Snowshoe

Which snowshoes have the easiest binding system for gloved hands?ArtPhiladelphia, PA

What are the best snowshoes for deep snow? What are the best goggles for snowshoeing? Jennifer from Helena, Montana Judy from Portland, Oregon

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! KatieMilford, NH

The Artica won last year’s Gear of the Year, and everything testers raved about then is still here in this updated model. The symmetric and flexible aluminum frame that self-adjusts to tricky terrain. A tapered tail that doesn’t interfere with your natural stride. A free-pivot, articulating binding that prevents…

The Hike is a great technical snowshoe—with a long, slender shape for lots of float, a slight banana curve for easy walking, and a frame that twists so your knees, ankles, and hips don’t. 21″, 25″, 30″; eastonsnowshoes.com.

Fits Any Foot With most snowshoes, it’s just strap ’em on and go. That’s fine, unless you’re a bit duckfooted or pigeon-toed, in which case you’ll likely step on your tails, trip on your tips, and generally stumble around in misery. There’s another way: With the pull of a pin,…

Big Daddies If these were skis, they’d be your superfat powder boards. With smaller teeth and abundant surface area, the aluminum-framed Mountain Quests easily kept testers afloat when smaller snowshoes began to sink. While it takes a bit of practice not to feel as if you’re walking in flippers, they’re…

1. From backyard strolls to backwoods epics, the Back­country was our favorite all-purpose snowshoe. Its frame is really two pieces of aluminum alloy held together at the toe and heel by sturdy, flexible plastic, so the deck self-adjusts to tricky terrain. The inner tail is streamlined to allow a…

From day hiking in the Front Range to hut trips in Canada, testers loved the go-anywhere Electra for its new FRS (free-rotating suspension) binding, which, they said, gave the shoe a springy feeling that made walking easier. The squared-off claws bit into steep terrain as well as fanglike crampons,…

LIGHT AND FAST Wear a heart-rate monitor while you snowshoe? The Race is for you. Titanium claws help keep them light without compromising traction, and the V-shaped frame won’t trip you up at high speeds. The crisscross Race binding cinches tight without crushing feet shod in flexy shoes. 2.1…

CHEAP THRILLS Hardcore ‘shoer? Hard up for funds? The fiercely clawed, all-terrain TSLs were the favorite among our more committed testers with value in mind. The bindings aren’t as intuitive as others, but the combination of macro- and micro-adjusting buckles helps them fit a wide range of boots and shoes…

If your main objective is gentle, packed trails or snowy, rolling hills, the Crest is for you. Testers were drawn to it because of a comfortable and easy-to-ratchet binding, enough float for undemanding trails (like Vermont’s Bolton backcountry), and surprising grip. All at less than half the price of…

STEEP AND DEEP When a heavy nor’easter buried the lean-tos on Vermont’s Long Trail, the high-flotation Mountaineer simply cruised over the deep snow. But it’s more than just a big deck. This shoe has Tubbs’s most aggressive traction system yet: stainless-steel claws under toe, ball, and heel that bite in…

EXPEDITION READY Simple. Light. Unbreakable. Infinitely versatile. What more could you ask for in a snowshoe? These hard-plastic classics can be extended with modular tails, so it’s easy to snap on more deck for powder or remove it to save weight. The no-gimmicks plastic-strap binding is effortless (just pull and…

We’ve tested plenty of snowshoes with serious bite, and others that are extraordinarily comfy, but what makes the Mountaineer so impressive is how well it performed in both those categories. Thanks in part to two independent toe straps, the binding perfectly cradled every boot we jammed in it, from…

WINTER TRAINER This snowshoe has a message for triathletes and runners trying to stay in shape during the winter: Get off the treadmill and go outside. By building an integrated snowshoe/boot system, the TSL saves weight and delivers better energy transfer than you get with traditional bindings. The Step-In Race…

BUILT FOR SPEED A teardrop shape and snappy return make these lightweight shoes a good pick for midwinter running or aerobic hikers. An extra toe claw delivers more power during quick-stepping toe-offs, and the easy-ratcheting binding feels stable in running shoes or low-profile boots. The frame is a magnesium alloy,…

1. Atlas’s signature Spring-Loaded Suspension helps underfoot crampons bite into hard snow and ice for maximum traction. Offset rows of aggressive teeth have exceptional lateral stability and grip to keep you from sliding sideways while traversing. During a heinous descent of Vermont’s exposed Sunset Ridge Trail—a mix of rock,…

MOST VERSATILE This do-it-all shoe scored high marks whether we were strolling a rec path or marching off with a multi-day load. The keys are low weight and a nimble feel made possible by the shoe’s unique crampon design. Small teeth are cut directly into the frame, which presses points…

EASY STROLLER The best value out there for casual snowshoers, the Xplore is a light-duty shoe designed for packed trails and gently rolling terrain. But our testers found that the aggressive carbon­steel toe and heel crampons dug in well enough on the occasional crust, and the deck provided more than…

Speed is Your Friend Racers and fitness snowshoers, these are for you. And, no, you’re not missing something; there’s no binding. Instead, running shoes or lightweight boots attach directly to the shoes’ PVC-free decks with included, easy-to-use hardware and a couple of punches with a power drill. (Yes, it permanently…

The shoe is built lighter and slimmer than the unisex version but with the same unique design: teeth cut directly into the aluminum frame, which flexes and bites into the snow as you press down. The free-rotating binding kept snow kick-up to a minimum. 3.3 lbs; msrgear.com. Pair them…

The men’s version of this shoe won 2010’s Gear of the Year award. The user-friendly women’s version has plenty of bite, but our favorite feature is a flexing frame that removes any jarring, whether you’re walking around the lake or up the mountain. 22″; tubbssnowshoes.com…

Testers reached for the burly Vector when they knew they’d be in changing conditions—like atop Mount Elbert, a Colorado fourteener. Spiked rails and a bear claw of points underfoot bit into hard-packed snow and ice. “I never had to take my gloves off when adjusting my shoes,” one tester…

This day tripper has a wraparound binding so easy to put on, you can do it with bulky gloves or cold hands. The women-specific shape is tapered, with upturned toes and tails to make your stride more natural. 3.6 lbs; tubbssnowshoes.com. Pair them with: ULU CROW RABBIT…

Testers loved the no-brainer binding on this aggressively cramponed shoe: It positions your boots in the snowshoe perfectly every time, and with one pull you’re in—no fiddling with toe and heel adjusters required. 23″, 27″; atlassnowshoe.com…

BIGFOOT WITH BIG TEETH Whoever was wearing these snowshoes spent most of the time breaking trail. In deep snow, the Lacrosse offered the best flotation of any shoe here, and its aggressive claws also kept testers feeling secure on ice. The optional Pilot II binding (far superior to the baseline…

Total maneuverability, exceptional side-hill traction, and the most aggressive crampon system out there make this shoe a top all-arounder. The heel lifter flips easily and securely to reduce calf burn, while a Spring-Loaded Suspension prevents shin bang. 3.9 lbs; atlassnowshoe.com. Pair them with: ASOLO ELYSIUM GTX…

At 1.9 pounds per pair on our scales, these unisex shoes are remarkably nimble. While they meet US Snowshoe Association racing requirements, they work just as well knocking around your local trails. northernlites.com…

THE MODERN CLASSIC Sure, it looks a bit retro, but the Winter Rover offers more than just old-school charm. Best for gentle meanders on rolling terrain and packed trails, it features a bent white ash frame with a flexible plastic deck that delivers good float in powder, while low-profile aluminum…

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