Friday, June 14, 2024

10 Greatest Snowshoes for Winter Mountain climbing in 2023-2024

10 best snowshoes for winter hiking

For winter snowshoeing on climbing trails and within the backcountry, you need a winter climbing snowshoe that’s sturdy, with aggressive crampons for traction and a safe binding system that locks your boots to the snowshoes. In the event you’re fascinated with getting off the grid and snowshoeing via backcountry terrain, these are the ten finest snowshoes we advocate. For extra info, see our purchasing recommendation beneath.

1. MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes

MSR Lightning Ascent Paragon Binding
The MSR Lightning Ascents revolutionized snowshoeing after they have been first launched and MSR has continued to refine them since. They characteristic a novel 360 diploma toothed crampon that’s constructed into the body for traction if you’re strolling uphill, downhill, or side-hilling throughout a slope. A flip-up heel bar makes it simpler to climb hills, whereas the mesh-net Paragon binding lays flat, and makes them simple to pack or strap to a backpack.  A girls’s mannequin is accessible.  Learn the SectionHiker Overview. 

2. MSR Evo Ascent Snowshoes

MSR Evo Ascent Snowshoes
MSR’s Evo Ascent Snowshoes are made with a tough plastic body as an alternative of the versatile decking utilized by many snowshoes. This makes them further powerful and sturdy and a favourite with Search and Rescue teams as a result of they’re nearly indestructible. They use a strap-based, lay-flat binding that makes them simple to strap to the surface of a backpack and received’t freeze up. There are two lengthy crampon rails alongside the perimeters of the Evo Ascent that present glorious traction, along with a metal crampon underneath your foot, and rear braking bars. A heel bar can be included for hill climbing. Unisex. Learn our Evo Ascent Overview.

3. Tubbs Flex VRT Snowshoes

Tubbs Flex VRT
The Tubbs Flex VRT is an aggressive backcountry snowshoe designed for mountainous terrain. It has a boa binding and a heel strap that make it simple to regulate and safe to put on. It has carbon metal toe crampons that maximize traction whereas curved, toothed facet rails present enhanced grip when side-hilling on sloped terrain. A 19° heel elevate makes these snowshoes mountain-climbing machines. A girls’s Flex VRT can be out there.

4. Tubbs Flex ALP Snowshoes

Tubbs Flex Alp
The Tubbs Flex ALP has a simplified binding that’s simple to make use of, snug, and suitable with all types of shoes. The Flex Alp has carbon metal toe crampons that maximize traction whereas lengthy, toothed facet rails (just like the MSR Evo Ascent) present enhanced grip on laborious snow and icy circumstances. The plastic decking gives good flotation and has some flex to it which helps with steadiness when climbing throughout combined surfaces and side-hilling. A heel bar is included. The principle distinction between the Tubbs Flex Alp and the Tubbs Flex VRT is that the VRT has a boa binding and the Alp doesn’t. A girls’s Flex ALP can be out there.

5. TSL Symbioz Elite Snowshoes

TSL Symbioz Elite Snowshoes
The TSL Symbioz Elite is a favourite with mountain hikers as a result of it has a versatile plastic footbed that adapts to diverse terrain and a cushty ratchet-style binding that remembers your boot measurement for straightforward on and off. They’ve a big horizontal entrance crampon, good for digging into slopes, with eight very aggressive stainless-steel cleats, diagonally oriented down the perimeters to forestall facet slipping. This snowshoe is finest for climbing steep and icy terrain. A heel bar is included. Unisex. Learn our Symbioz Elite Overview. 

View at REI

6. Tubbs Mountaineer Snowshoes

Tubbs Mountaineer Snowshoes have a teardrop design that gives glorious flotation, together with an aggressive entrance crampon, and specifically designed heel crampons which are angled to assist with braking down steep slopes.  They’ve a ratchet-strap managed step-in binding system w/ a rear heel strap to carry your boots in place. The Mountaineers are additionally out there in a really massive 36″ measurement, appropriate for bigger people, or if it’s essential carry heavy masses and wish extra floatation in deep powder. A heel bar is included. A girls’s mannequin is accessible. 

7. Atlas Vary BC Snowshoes

Atlas Range-BC Snowshoes
The Atlas Vary-BC snowshoe is a backcountry snowshoe with aggressive toe crampons and a serrated toothed body for traction when side-hilling. It has a easy lay-flat binding which makes it very simple to strap to the perimeters of a backpack and may accommodate bigger mountaineering and snowboard boots. The snowshoes include19-degree heel lifts which are designed to scale back calf fatigue and tendon pressure on these steep mountain ascents. A girls’s mannequin can be out there.

View at REI

8. MSR Revo Discover Snowshoes

MSR Revo Explore Snowshoes
The MSR Revo Discover Snowshoe has a ratchet-strap model binding system that makes them simple to make use of with all sorts of footwear (contact MSR for longer alternative entrance straps to accommodate very massive boots). They’ve an aggressive toe crampon, a toothed crossbar member, and a serrated body that gives glorious traction on snow and ice. Plastic decking retains them light-weight, whereas a heel bar can be included to scale back calf fatigue when climbing slopes. A girls’s mannequin is accessible. Learn our Revo Discover Overview.

9. Northern Lites UL Backcountry Snowshoes

Northern Lites Backcountry Snowshoes
Northern Lites Backcountry Snowshoes are 30″ ultralight snowshoes that solely weigh 43 oz per pair. They’re lighter weight and fewer fatiguing to hold as a result of they’re made with lighter weight aluminum framing, they’ve aluminum crampons, and plastic decking. They’ve easy bindings with three plastic straps and one heel strap which are suitable with all sorts of footwear. The Backcountry mannequin is optimized to be used in deep powder for customers as much as 250lbs in weight, together with gear. Nevertheless, we don’t advocate them for climbing mountains as a result of they don’t have a heel bar. Learn our Northern Lites Gear Overview. Unisex.

View at Storage Grown

10. Crescent Moon Massive Sky 32 Snowshoes

Crescent Moon Gold 10 Snowshoe
Crescent Moon’s Backcountry Snowshoes have a excessive flotation teardrop design. Loaded with traction, these snowshoes have 4 crampons underneath the toe, forefoot, and heel, in addition to facet crampons for traversing sloped terrain. They’ve a step-in binding system tightened on high with a single strap w/ a ratchet-style rear strap to lock your boot in place. Sizing runs massive, becoming males’s boot sizes 10-15, together with large-volume boots like snowboard or hardshell tele boots.

View at Amazon

Tips on how to Purchase Winter Snowshoes

Winter climbing snowshoes serve two key features: they supply traction on icy trails and when climbing steep terrain, they usually present flotation over snow, so that you don’t sink or posthole, which will be fairly exhausting. Whereas the entire winter climbing snowshoes listed above fulfill each of those necessities, some excel within the traction division, just like the MSR Lightning Ascents, MSR Evo Ascents, Tubbs Flex VRTs, and TSL Symbioz Elites, whereas others emphasize flotation, just like the Tubbs Mountaineers and the Northern Lites.

As a rule of thumb, tear-drop formed snowshoes with artificial riveted decks have a tendency to emphasise flotation, whereas rectangular-shaped snowshoes are extra traction-focused. In the event you’re going to be climbing ice-covered mountains predominantly, you’ll most likely need a snowshoe that emphasizes traction, whereas snowshoes that concentrate on flotation, might be a greater match for areas the place deep, powdery snow is the norm.

Snowshoes are bulky and can be difficult to pack
Snowshoes are cumbersome and will be troublesome to pack

In the event you’re attempting to decide on between completely different snowshoes, there are 4 key properties that ought to information your decision-making:

  1. Packability
  2. Weight
  3. Bindings
  4. Sizing


Most winter hikers carry a number of traction units and swap between them throughout the day. In the event you’re climbing a packed path, you would possibly begin out in naked boots, relying in your boot treads for traction as a result of the much less weight you have got in your ft, the slower you’ll fatigue. In the event you encounter slick or icy terrain you would possibly swap to microspikes, after which snowshoes, in case you encounter contemporary snow that hasn’t been packed down or is combined up with slush.

In an effort to have these traction aids if you want them, it’s essential carry them. Whereas microspikes are fairly simple to pack, snowshoes aren’t as a result of they’re large and ponderous. The majority comes from their size, width, and thickness, which is primarily a perform of the model of binding they use. Lay flat bindings like the straightforward straps on the MSR Lightning Ascent and the MSR Evo Ascent are the simplest snowshoes to connect or carry in a backpack, whereas snowshoes with Boa binding methods are usually the bulkiest and most troublesome to pack.


Weight can be a key issue when selecting which snowshoe to purchase. Most snowshoes weigh 4 to 5 kilos, they usually’re most likely going to be the heaviest factor in your backpack, after water. That weight provides up throughout the course of a day, no matter whether or not it’s in your backpack or in your ft.


We’ve already thought of the packability of snowshoe bindings, however there are different elements you must contemplate when making a variety, similar to consolation, safety, ease of use whereas sporting gloves, whether or not the binding can freeze and grow to be inoperative, and the way simple it’s to restore if it does break. For instance, some individuals fear that Boa closure methods can freeze up in the event that they get moist and can stop to function till they are often defrosted. It’s a sound concern. One in all their benefits, nevertheless, is that they’re simple to make use of whereas sporting gloves and supply a safe grip that’s unlikely to come back undone as soon as set. Distinction that to the flat straps used on MSR snowshoes. They’ll by no means freeze up, they’re simple to interchange if torn or misplaced, however they are often laborious to connect when sporting gloves, they usually are likely to pop open a few times throughout a hike.


Snowshoes are available in all kinds of sizes. These are decided by the full weight you wish to carry (body weight + pack weight) and the quantity of flotation you require. Males’s sizes are often bigger than girls’s sizes, as a result of males are taller and heavier, whereas girls’s snowshoes are usually narrower than males’s as a result of their gait isn’t as vast.

In the event you’re shopping for a snowshoe that’s extra traction oriented, you possibly can typically drop a measurement beneath the producer’s advisable sizing, particularly in case you’re climbing in an space that doesn’t get a variety of snow otherwise you’re climbing on trails which were damaged out by different hikers. Sizing is straight correlated to gear weight and it is a tactic you need to use to lighten your load. If flotation is a precedence, you possibly can typically purchase tails, that are add-on snowshoe extensions that make them longer and improve their floor space. That is one other solution to minimize down on the burden of a snowshoe as a result of you possibly can carry your tails if you want extra flotation, however carry a lighter weight snowshoe in much less difficult circumstances.

SectionHiker is reader-supported. We solely earn a living if you buy a product via our affiliate hyperlinks. Assist us proceed to check and write unsponsored and unbiased gear opinions, newbie FAQs, and free climbing guides.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles