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Snowshoe Tail Advice
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Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
a on 11/20/2011 11:27:50 MST Print View


Edited by asdzxc57 on 01/25/2012 17:41:41 MST.

Kathleen B

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Snowshoe Tails on 11/20/2011 11:59:33 MST Print View

Is there a way you can try 22" snowshoes with tails before buying them? Mr. B uses 22" snowshoes (he's 6'2") and uses tails when the snow is so fluffy that the 22" don't keep him afloat. But his complaint is the tails don't shift his center of weight on the snowshoes. They're just longer in the back, so they don't help much.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
hills on 11/20/2011 12:26:55 MST Print View

will you be doing hills or going off trail?

and how fluffy is the snow around you?

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
a on 11/20/2011 13:40:07 MST Print View


Edited by asdzxc57 on 01/25/2012 17:41:11 MST.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
snowshoe tail advice on 11/20/2011 13:46:15 MST Print View

I have the msr denali evo ascent shoes. I normally don't want things that are modular because of the breakage factor. With these shoes, however, this is a non-issue. Adding the tails is very easy and they won't break. I agree that they don't add a ton of flotation however. They do add enough that I definitely use them in fluffy conditions. Overall I really like the terrific grip of these shoes on more compacted/icy snow. Without the tails they stride much better than with the tails added on. This last may be a factor to consider--the option of a shorter shoe.

Edited by book on 11/20/2011 13:49:14 MST.

Paul Hope
(PaulHope) - F
Re: Snowshoe Tail Advice on 11/20/2011 14:28:24 MST Print View


I would just go with the 25" snowshoes. As mentioned, the tails really don't add that much of a benefit and 8 times out of 10 I find that I just leave mine at home as the additional flotation is minimal at best. In fact the only time that I really bring them these days is when I have my full winter climbing pack.

FWIW I have the 22" EVO Ascents and with my winter day pack I am in the 215lb range which is beyond the 180lb rating of the shoes and don't find much difference in fresh powder with or without the tails; however with my multi-day climbing pack there is a substantial difference at 135lbs.

Personally, once I hand down my EVO Ascents I will purchase the 25" Lightning Ascents-- no more messing with tails and are lighter than EVO Ascents even without the tails on them.

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: Re: Snowshoe Tail Advice on 11/20/2011 15:13:50 MST Print View

Jeff & Paul -- thank you!

I am going down the snow sports ladder. Down hill to cross country now snow shoe.
Given my location, I will get probably get more use out of snow shoes than my cross country skis.

I weigh 175#, so with a little day bag I am at the 22-25 border.

And thank you for the shoe recommendation.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
UNlike skis on 11/20/2011 19:16:25 MST Print View

Take a look at most snowshoes in various lengths. Binding location is virtually the same on 25" as 30" 'shoes. MSR sells add-on tail because the eaxta length dosen't interfere with walking. So I respectfully disagree, UNlike skis binding location on 'shoes don't matter much.

As a backcountry skier used to 210" cm. long skis I get the longest MSR Lightning Ascent 'shoes I can find (30") as that length feels laughably short. And this year I'm buying tails for them B/C 'shoes sink a lot deeper than backcountry skis.

Get the MSR 'shoes AND the add-on tails.

@Paul: True, snowshoes do not let you "float" on the snow but added tails do help with less "sinking" into the snow. That's why they sell them. It's not an MSR marketing ploy. And bindings straps can be adjusted to give as much as an inch rearward strap-in, helping CG a little. But here CG or center of weight, is not nearly as important as in skiing.

Edited by Danepacker on 11/21/2011 13:59:39 MST.

Paul Hope
(PaulHope) - F
Re: UNlike skis on 11/20/2011 20:16:39 MST Print View


It is a common misconception that wearing snowshoes makes you actual "float" on top of the snow; you will always sink into the snow. If you have the 30" Lightning Ascents and you weigh under 280lb with a pack on and you are sinking into the snow, then unfortunately the tails will not help you much.

Sinking into the snow in shoeshoes is part of the parcel. Don't believe me then next time your snowshoes start to sink-- take them off and take a couple of steps, you will soon see that they are doing their job. The tails on a 30" shoe won't make a difference to the "sinking in" that you are experiencing unless you are a pretty big guy or carrying a pretty heavy pack.

At the end of the day, you will always get some sinking, but you won't posthole and that is the difference.