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Northern Lites Snowshoes Advice
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Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Northern Lites Snowshoes Advice on 09/15/2007 09:47:39 MDT Print View

Winter is fast approaching up in the north, and I'm lookiong to upgrade my snowshoes to the lightest possible package....ie. Northern Lites. I am 180 pounds, and typically carry a 15-20 pound winter pack. According to the website, I should use the backcountry model rated to 250# @ 43 oz (seems overkill). However, I am always looking to shave the ounces, so I'm hoping some of you are experienced with the northern lites/snowshoeing, as I have some specific questions.

1) Can I get away with the Elites or the Elite racers?

2) If the Elite racer (A=130in^2) is rated to 210# on harder snow and the Elite (164in^2) is rated to 175# on softer snow...is it safe to assume that because the area is larger on the elite then the elite racer, I would be able to push the elite to my weight range?

3) Is there other snowshoes that I should look into? I saw the GV Cat Trails, but the Area:weight ratio is not as appealing.

I did search a few places, including BPL but didn't find anyone in my weight range. I guess I'm looking for a person who is my size to say he uses the Elites with no problems...or someone set me straight and save me the time/money of buying 2 pairs.

Thanks,
Steve

Edit:

Oops, I found this thread...

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/5589/index.html?skip_to_post=40988#40988

Edited by Steve_Evans on 09/15/2007 11:10:41 MDT.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Northern Lites Snowshoes Advice on 09/15/2007 12:45:14 MDT Print View

I am also around 180lb and carry between 20-30lbs. The Elite Race has in general worked well on moderate to heavy pack snow... but in looser or softer snow I would def. want more float.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Northern Lites Snowshoes Advice on 09/15/2007 14:06:50 MDT Print View

On really hard snow/ice you would be better off with crampons.
In fresh powder snow nothing works.
It depends on the snow ...

Steven Nelson
(slnsf) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
It's all about the snow on 09/15/2007 17:54:37 MDT Print View

Just like Roger said: it depends on the snow.

I really like my Northern Lites Backcountry snowshoes, but there are conditions where even with them I'll sink in to my thighs (I weigh 160 + a 17-30 lb pack).

That said, I do recommend them - the traction is more than adequate until you reach conditions where crampons would be better than any snowshoes. The light weight is a big plus - my only complaint with them is that the rear strap, made of webbing, ices up.

E C
(ofelas) - F

Locale: On the Edge
NL models on 09/21/2007 19:02:03 MDT Print View

I'm 175lbs and carry ~35lbs; I find the NL Backcountry units are fine in most western powder & pretty much all wetter snow, and the Elites kinda marginal...then again, depends on which part of Canada the original [poster is from, but I'd still go with the Backcountry pair for that slight extra margin of use.
As far as the strap icing up - I've had great luck in spraying them with a type of penetrant/lubricant called 'Release-All' before a trip - non toxic, bio-degradable, enviro friendly etc. etc. and available at your neighborhood Canadian Tire for $3.99.