Keeping active in the winter can be difficult for some people when so many local, favorite trails are covered with snow. This is a great time to explore the world of snowshoeing. At Backcountry Essentials, we both rent and sell the MSR Evo™ snowshoes because of their functionality, durability, and warranty.
First and foremost, the best thing about these snowshoes is the “gription,” which allows you to walk naturally across any slope. Not only do the MSR shoes have a claw under the toe (as do most snowshoes), but they also use long serrated rails down the length of the shoe to help it maintain direction when traversing a slope. Because other brands lack this component, these other snowshoes want to pivot around the toe claw, so in essence one has to side step across when traversing a slope.
Furthermore, the Evos have an option to add “tails” which increase the flotation in deep snow or when carrying a heavier pack. And lastly, MSR also offers “Ascent” models that incorporate a heel riser for increasing your efficiency when going uphill; a huge advantage on a big day.
The other reason we have only carried the MSR snowshoes since day one is their durability. Once upon a time, I used to lead 21-day snowshoeing trips in the Oregon cascades and literally had to fix just about every other brand of shoes at one point or another, but never an MSR. On top of that, every MSR snowshoe is backed by a lifetime warranty against defect. That peace of mind is tangible whether going out for a day or for weeks.
Chris Gerston owns Backcountry Essentials, an outdoor specialty shop located at 214 W. Holly in Bellingham, WA.