Rating: 5 / 5
I bought the model that has become the "Racer" when they first came to the market, around two or three years ago. We also own a traditional backcountry shovel. Both my husband and me carry a shovel at all times when snowshoeing, in case something happens.
I usually carry the SnowClaw as it fits my hands better than his. I don't have a great deal of hand strength, but I can dig fast, being able to be on my knees and using my hands on the side of the Claw. With the regular shovel, I have to stand, and have strength to cut into the snow.
I have also used the Claw as a table-you can hang it from a tree even. I have also used it as a sitting platform and to prepare food on it. It is very much multi purpose.
For convience, it straps onto most packs easily. I use my compression straps on my winter packs, and put it across the back of my pack. It is just shy of 6 ounces, worth every ounce for safety.
The Claw also works great for cutting snow when making igloos. My son has used it as a glissading seat.
My only downside of it is that I think as a group, you still need someone carrying a true shovel in case of avy, so they can dig large portions of snow fast. It would be best to give the strongest person that job.