NEOS Trekker Overshoe SPOTLITE REVIEW

A versatile and durable waterproof/non-breathable overshoe suitable for snowshoeing, snow play, and snow camping in frigid temperatures, but heavier than we would like.

Overall Rating: Above Average

The NEOS Trekker and Villager are their lightest models. They are well built and dependably keep snow out. However, because they are not breathable at all, they are very prone to condensation inside at higher exertion levels and warmer temperatures. They are also heavier than we would like. We would really like to see an overshoe model from NEOS that weighs half as much and has a breathable fabric upper.

About This Rating

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by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl |

Overview

The NEOS Trekker Overshoe is 20 inches tall, weighs 2 pounds/pair and comes in sizes S-XXL to fit over most any shoe or boot. Its sister, the Villager, is 10 inches tall and weighs 1.6 pounds. We evaluated the Trekker as part of a project to identify Lightweight Footwear Systems for Snow Travel (to be published soon), and tested them while snowshoeing and snow camping in frigid temperatures. How well did they do?

 NEOS Trekker Overshoe SPOTLITE REVIEW - 1
The NEOS Trekker Overshoe (left) weighs 2 pounds/pair. The compression-molded sole (right) is welded to the upper to make the unit completely waterproof.

First, a description of the Trekker. The outsole is made of NEOS Superlite, which is a compression molded rubber. The upper is 160-denier pack cloth with a 2.5 millimeter polyurethane coating on the inside to make it totally waterproof (and non-breathable). The upper is attached to the outsole using a RF Weld process that makes a single watertight unit. It has a large top opening with a wrap-around and Velcro closure. A strap and quick-release buckle at the ankle tightens the overshoe around the foot.

 NEOS Trekker Overshoe SPOTLITE REVIEW - 2
With the ankle strap released and top opened, the Trekker has a huge opening to insert your foot, so it’s easy to put on and take off. The wrap-around closure requires quite a bit of fabric.

 NEOS Trekker Overshoe SPOTLITE REVIEW - 3
We used the Trekker overshoes a lot for cold weather snowshoeing, igloo building, and snow camping. During the day we wore them over lightweight trail runners, and at night we wore insulated booties inside the overshoes. (Left photo by Rick Hagar.)

The Trekker Overshoe has a snowshoe compatible heel, meaning it has a ridge on the back to keep the snowshoe’s heel strap from slipping off. We found the overboots fit the binding on a number of different snowshoes, but size XL reached the limit of the heel strap on the popular Northern Lites snowshoes.

Both of us wore the Trekker Overshoes while snowshoeing, igloo building, and snow camping. Janet especially liked them because she could wear lightweight trail shoes inside them, and add neoprene booties over her shoes for extra insulation when needed. She had condensation buildup inside the Trekker Overshoes only in warmer conditions and when snowshoeing all day. Will wore the Trekker Overshoes while building an igloo and while ice fishing, with little condensation buildup inside. However, when he wore them while breaking trail with snowshoes all day in cold weather, he had heavy condensation on the inside walls of the overshoes at the end of the day. In camp, he had to wipe the moisture out of the overshoes with a rag before he could wear his insulated booties inside the overshoes for evening warmth.

For hiking, our opinion is the Trekker Overshoe is suited only for shorter distances. For hiking longer distances in snow, we would much prefer to wear an insulated WP/B boot with a gaiter. Besides snowshoeing, these overshoes are also very useful footwear for shoveling snow and various snow play activities.

Overall, the NEOS Trekker Overshoe is well constructed and very durable, but it’s heavier than we would like and it’s condensation prone. For snowshoeing and snow camping, it performs best in colder weather at low to moderate exertion levels. Since it is non-breathable, it tends to accumulate condensation on the inside walls in warmer weather and higher exertion. We would like to see NEOS develop a version of their overshoe with a waterproof/breathable zippered upper to give it more breathability and reduce the weight.

Features and Specifications

  • Manufacturer: NEOS (www.overshoe.com)
  • Product: Trekker Overshoe
  • Sizes: S-XXL
  • Materials: Outsole is NEOS Superlite, upper is 160d pack cloth polyurethane-coated on the inside
  • Features: Lightweight outsole, durable coated pack cloth upper, ankle tightening strap, molded outsole, snowshoe compatible heel
  • Weight: Measured weight for size XL 30.2 oz/pair (856 g), size S 23.4 oz/pair (692 g); manufacturer specification 32 oz/pair (907 g)
  • MSRP: $74.99

Citation

" NEOS Trekker Overshoe SPOTLITE REVIEW," by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/neos_trekker_overshoe_spotlite_review.html, 2007-02-25 03:00:00-07.

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