Thanks for the clarifying information, very helpful. Seems like both are pretty similar in a lot of ways, until it comes to needing more traction.
Flotation was mentioned: I would love to hear more about differences/similarities in flotation (yeah, okay, conditions matter to thsi and make it extremely variable). And what about tails for either, is it a system that works? With the evo i like the idea of having a shorter snowshoe for play (horsing around with my young kids) and light day hikes in easy terrain with my wife, and then adding the tails when more flotation is needed or if carrying a full pack and heading out for a night or two (my goal this winter: first time snow camping!!). I'm about 165 lbs so theoretically could use the evos without tails when not carrying a pack, and with tails should suffice with a pack. Lightnings should be fine with a pack, w/o tails. ... Guess I'm looking for an all-around snowshoe (which, after all this, could be a pair of Northern Lites....).