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Lee Johnson
(ljohnson53) - M
Northern Lites wet butt on 06/11/2010 11:36:03 MDT Print View

I know this question is a little out of season, but it's been bugging me lately.

I have a pair of Northern Lite Elite snowshoes that get a lot of use here in MN. The only thing I don't like is that the binding system is so tight that it launches snow up into the air from the back of the snowshoe with every step as the snowshoe "flips" back up to the bottom of my foot. I've tried loosening the binding and it doesn't help. The problem is that it makes my backside cold from constantly being bombarded with snow. After one hike where my wife didn't wear waterproof pants she looked like she had peed her pants. Now she will only wear her old MSR snowshoes. Are we doing something wrong with the binding? Are we the only ones with this problem?

Ed Tyanich
(runsmtns) - F - M
Wet Butt on 10/20/2010 07:28:36 MDT Print View

Northern Lites, Atlas, Tubbs, Red Feather and others use a type of torsion bar on the binding. Atlas refers to this as SLS or Spring Loaded Suspension. This allows the snowshoe to rebound up for quicker transition between steps. Another advantage is if you need to back up, the tail will stay elevated rather than dropping down as you lift your foot.

Some snowshoes, such as MSR and the older Sherpa's, use a free pivioting binding.

My personal prefrence is the spring loaded, but they do allow snow to be flipped up on each step.