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Snowshoe help
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david delabaere

Locale: Northern VA
Snowshoe help on 01/16/2012 13:14:51 MST Print View

I'm looking for some snowshoes to use around the midatlantic area (WV, VA, MD).

I'd like to save some money and weight, I think I can get by without heel lifts around here but if I'm wrong....

I'm looking at the :

MSR superflash


Paul Hope
(PaulHope) - F
Re: Snowshoe help on 01/17/2012 13:00:42 MST Print View

They will work just fine, provided you weigh between 120lb (without tails) & 200lbs (with tails) with your fully loaded pack. If you come close to this or exceed it, then you will need to look elsewhere.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
MSR Snowshoes on 01/17/2012 14:35:05 MST Print View

I've had really great luck with MSR snowshoes but I've never used the model you've posted. I have a pair of MSR Denali as does my husband and our boy used the Denali Tykker. They've stood up well and dealt with the abuse we've given them.

david delabaere

Locale: Northern VA
Re: Re: Snowshoe help on 01/17/2012 16:52:57 MST Print View

I think the 200lbs weight limit is before adding the tails.
Otherwise it'd only bear 120-140lbs since tails (according to MSR) add 60lbs of load.

Before, I've used snowshoes with heel lifts and they were very, very useful but that was in the Alps. Around here where I live I believe the trails will mostly would require mainly flat/rolling terrain snowshoes - though thats what I'm not sure of.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Snow density determines snowshoe size on 01/21/2012 20:36:41 MST Print View

Snow density determines the best snowshoe size more than weight in most cases. If you're trying to travel through 6' of fresh powder in the Rockies it will be tough going now matter how big your shoes are. If you're dealing with only a couple feet of well consolidated snow then you don't need nearly so much shoe. Similarly in deep powder you don't need crampons. On steep icy stuff the crampons are more important than flotation!

So my suggestion is to ask around locally, but the MSR perimeter frame models are very popular here in So-Cal where the snow is usually icy and steep. That sale price is an incredible deal!

Edited by jimqpublic on 01/21/2012 20:41:54 MST.

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
took a shot on 01/21/2012 21:47:05 MST Print View

Hey David, I just picked up a pair of these. They should arrive on Monday or Tuesday. I bought the tails as well.

Not sure if I'll like that binding or how well they'll hold up. But, seems like a sweet price for MSR brand with the lightning ascent frame.

I'll likely do a day-trip with them right after they arrive and can report back if you're still considering them.

david delabaere

Locale: Northern VA
Re: took a shot on 01/24/2012 14:51:18 MST Print View

Thanks ! I think it'd be helpful for everyone.

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
So far, so good... on 01/29/2012 15:21:43 MST Print View

I finally got a chance to try these out yesterday.

They are 25" long, 30" with the tails, and 8" at their widest point.

They each weigh just under 27 ounces, with the tails at 4.65 ounces, the total with tails is just under two pounds.

I weight 170# and had about 20# of clothes/pack on me. I wore lightweight trail running/orienteering shoes (inov8 oroc 280's) and the binding held them securely. They were comfortable and did not need to be re-adjusted during the hike,

I was only able to get around 6 miles on them yesterday as I had a trekking pole failure and decided to call it a day. I followed some ski tracks through pine forest that had around 3 ft of base and although no fresh powder, was somewhat soft. I also broke trail the last mile out.

The float with the tails was good. I generally dropped a few inches to half a foot and never dropped to a full foot, even with breaking trail over some larger soft banks. I will likely always use the tails at my weight. I was able to add/remove them with gloves on.

They held very well on off-camber stuff and had excellent traction once I reached some open areas with crusty snow and exposed ice. There were no sustained climbs on this route (only 700 ft ascent over the first half of this out and back) so I didn't miss the televator rail.

Overall, they were comfortable with excellent traction and better than expected float. I did find the front binding to be a bit of a pain to adjust, but after adjusting it to my footwear before the hike, I was able to slide and twist to enter and exit them on the trail without needing to re-adjust. I was able to adjust the heel strap on the fly with gloves on. They are very quick to get on and off.

I had planned on trying a few trail offshoots that climb more aggressively, but the trekking pole issue killed that idea. Nonetheless, I am pleased so far, given their performance and light weight at a low price.

If you have any specific questions, fire away.

Edited by roguenode on 01/29/2012 15:24:46 MST.

Paul Hope
(PaulHope) - F
RE: Snowshoe Help on 01/29/2012 16:21:14 MST Print View

"If you have any specific questions, fire away"

Slightly OT, but I see that you live in Boulder and was just where you tested them? Any idea what the peaks are behind you?

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
location on 01/29/2012 17:15:10 MST Print View

I was at the Brainard Lake Recreation Area and intended to get to just below Isabelle Glacier in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, but turned back before reaching Lake Isabelle.

I think the peaks are (L to R) Navajo, Apache, and Shoshoni.

Paul Hope
(PaulHope) - F
Re: location on 01/30/2012 10:56:52 MST Print View

That is what I thought, thanks Chris.


Locale: Greater Gila
re: MSR superflash snowshoe on 01/31/2012 22:20:01 MST Print View

Thank you for this timely rundown since I've been looking at getting these myself since they are now on a killer sale. I'm struggling with the decision of the 22" or the 25" version. The 22" would be less awkward and lighter weight, but I wonder how much float 3" at the back end really gives? Did you try to snowshoe without the tails and see a massive difference when you ditched those additional 5"??

Daniel Allen
(Dan_Quixote) - F

Locale: below the mountains (AK)
Also off topic on 02/01/2012 00:54:57 MST Print View

I've been looking at these, and I can't tell the differences between them and the straight up MSR lightning flash's I have, like these ones.

It says they used "the more aggressive Lightning Ascent frames": am I just bad at pictures?

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
Re: re: MSR superflash snowshoe on 02/02/2012 20:07:22 MST Print View

Eric, I did use them without the tails for a bit. They still held my wait fairly well, better than expected and with no real difference in the crusty stuff. The tails did make a difference in the soft snow. In terms of ease of use, I didn't notice the tails adding any awkwardness and the weight difference was not an issue to me.

We are supposed to get anywhere from one to two feet of snow overnight/tomorrow. If I get a chance while the snow is fresh, I'll grab a couple of pic's comparing the float with/without tails out in my yard.

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
Re: Also off topic on 02/02/2012 20:13:02 MST Print View

Hi Daniel, from the pic, they look the same to me. I'll try to get by REI this weekend and compare them directly.

matthew rangel
(MRangel) - F
Northernlites on 03/30/2012 00:25:28 MDT Print View

Try Northernlites

these are lighter than MSR and I've put em to the test on some steep snow as well. They work just fine. I recommend these over any other snowshoe.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Shoes on 04/08/2012 21:50:20 MDT Print View

Chris, those are nice shoes, my wife has a similar 'womens' version, she got them on clearance for peanuts.

I have Northern Lites and like them a lot. Though the perimiter toothed shoes offer a little better bite I find the Northern Lites very comfortable and great all around shoes with excellent floatation (at least in the Sierra cement)... not inexpensive however.

Edited by JacobD on 04/08/2012 21:55:01 MDT.