MSR® Snowshoes FAQ

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What is the right size snowshoe?

The primary purposes of a snowshoe are to provide flotation and traction. Since all MSR® snowshoes deliver exceptional traction, your next consideration is flotation, and this is where size comes into play.

Once you’ve decided on a snowshoe, assess your weight, including all the gear and clothing you’ll be wearing the majority of the time you snowshoe. If you only go on a couple of overnights a year, don’t include that 50-pound pack—just your fully clothed weight, plus a daypack and water. Then consider the snow conditions you’re likely to travel in most often—deep, untracked powder, or groomed trails and established snowshoe routes. Are you at a high altitude or very far north where snow generally falls deep and light and a larger snowshoe is in order, or are you at lower elevations or in a coastal range where snow has high moisture content and generally consolidates rapidly, making a smaller snowshoe your best choice?

The idea is to find the smallest possible snowshoe that matches your needs in most–not all–situations so you can maximize your agility and efficiency. Now, with Modular Flotation tails available across all MSR adult snowshoes, we’ve made that easier than ever. Should you find yourself on the cusp between sizes, always go with the smaller one and then simply add tails for added flotation as needed.

What are the differences between the Evo™ and Lightning™ snowshoes?

Both of these snowshoes offer outstanding traction, aggressive bindings, ergonomic deck shapes, Modular Flotation and excellent durability. However, when it’s all said and done, the all-aluminum Lightning snowshoes offer it all with a bit less weight. You’ll also find that because the 360° Traction™ frames of the Lightning snowshoes is vertical all the way to the edge, it offers slightly better traction on traverses. And don’t forget that the composite, Unibody™ decks of our Evo shoes are built from an incredibly tough, injection-molded plastic, giving them a slight advantage in durability in the course of normal use.

How do I store my snowshoes?

Dry your snowshoes after each use. Then store them with bottoms together to keep the sharp under-bits form damaging other gear.

Why is traction so important?

Inadequate traction is horribly inefficient, with every misstep wasting precious energy. That’s why we provide the industry’s best traction, regardless of what shoe you purchase—from kid’s snowshoes, to our most aggressive shoes. The result is a far more enjoyable experience with the increased efficiency of solid, no-slip footing and the confidence to go anywhere.

What should I look for in a binding?

First and foremost, you should seek out bindings that suit your needs. Do you prioritize comfort or security? The best bindings do both. It’s also important to understand that regardless of what a tag says a binding does, it can’t do it if it’s frozen. Be leery of excessive use of nylon webbing and cordage–both absorb water and can leave your bindings rendered useless when frozen. Look for simplicity (fewer parts and potential for things to break) and light weight, and try them on in the store with the same footwear you’ll use in the field. Unless you have an exceptionally small or large foot, a good binding will be able to adapt to a range of footwear to keep your options open.

Where are MSR snowshoes made?

All MSR snowshoe components are proudly made in Seattle, USA, and the employees of Cascade Designs build every snowshoe we make. Shoes found in North America and Japan are entirely built in the USA, while those found in Europe have some final assembly done in our Cork, Ireland facility.

  
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