Joe Anderson is a snowshoe guide for our local Mission Ridge snowshoe treks. Joe recently shared his thoughts about the different MSR snowshoes he has tested.

by Joe Anderson

I have used many different brands of snowshoes but find those made by MSR particularly reliable. The hinge system is based metal on metal. Others are hinged in heavy plastic or rubber and can wear out or break. Below are thoughts I have about MSR snowshoes in general as well as thoughts about a test pair of MSR snowshoes I am currently using that don’t yet have a name.

  • The traction system on the MSR bottoms is by far the most secure. On rescues I have crossed ice slopes and the MSR did not slip. Other rescuers wearing less grippy snowshoes had to belay each other.
  • Since MSR is based in Seattle there is immediate service if needed. The company’s warranty is also excellent.
  • The new MSR snowshoes I am testing have a new and unique buckle system. I am finding it very easy to put on, secure, and take off. The buckle system is working great and the more I use it the easier it is to use. The shoes are also very light.
  • The snowshoe I am testing is still unnamed and hasn’t hit the market yet. I suspect it will be on the expensive end, but it does have a strong heel lift system which is an important matter.
  • The tested snowshoe worked way better than expected. It floated well in the deep snow.

Recommended Snowshoe Model: I still feel the MSR Lightning Ascent snowshoe is an excellent product with aggressive metal cleats and great support system. It’s an excellent choice if you are looking for one pair of snowshoes to last you for the long haul. WenatcheeOutdoors reviewed the Lightning Ascent a number of years ago. Read that review.

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