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Fast, light, and durable.
When fast, light, and durable are all features you're looking for in a snowshoe, look no further than the Women's Revo Explore Snowshoe from MSR. Injection-molded plastic for the decks provides a stable, durable platform while the HyperLink two-strap bindings ensure a reliable, secure fit. Ergo Televator heel-risers help to combat leg-fatigue when you're climbing uphill, and metal crampons deliver secure traction in all conditions.
- Injection-molded plastic decks
- HyperLink two-strap ratchet bindings
- Ergo Televator heel-risers
- Metal crampons
- Item #CAS001R
- Q & A
10" Straps Are Available...
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
The 2016 snowshoes using the Men’s HyperLink binding (Revo Explore & Lightning Explore men’s models) are now coming with two additional 10” straps to accommodate customers with bigger feet and larger boots. IN fact, since the Hyperlink Snowshoe binding has been produced (2 seasons now) 10” strap kits are available free of charge from MSR and can be installed easily by the user. Please Note: the 2016 (current season) version has the straps tucked between the two snowshoes.
Mild to wild, these snowshoes do it all.
- Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
I bought a pair of these (22" size) to keep on hand for female friends who don't have their own snowshoes to borrow. So far 2 have used it, one new to snowshoeing and one who's been doing it for over 3 years, and while they both liked the simple and quick-to-secure bindings they both also said the front strap had to be tightened nearly to the point of discomfort. Maybe this is because they were wearing lighter-duty boots, but I think a wider strap or a 2" wide foam-backed plastic backing would allow the pressure to be spread out. The straps ARE pretty narrow.
With that being said, there were no complaints about the snowshoes' performance. My experienced friend wanted to try them after having to listen to me rave about my MSRs all season, and said they have slightly better flotation than her Tubbs Mountaineer 21s, slightly less traction on ascents, but better traction on descents thanks to the 1 steel and 2 molded plastic braking/traction bars. She also really likes the steel traction rails for side-stepping or cutting switchbacks on steep slopes. They're also 1/2lb lighter than the Tubbs. What she didn't like was banging the 'shoes together a lot more than with the Tubbs. She's only 5 feet tall and maybe 95lb, and even though the Revo Explores and Mountaineers are both 8" wide the Revos bang together a lot more. She thinks it's due to the less-secure binding on the Revos allowing the snowshoes to move on her feet. All in all, though, she likes them but is more comfortable in her Mountaineers.
My new-to-snowshoeing friend also liked them a lot, mainly for the simple bindings. We only went on a mild established trail, with very little off-trail travel, but she was impressed with their flotation once she realized that there's always going to be SOME sinking. The tightness of the front straps bothered her more so we used the micro-adjust feature to alleviate the pressure without making the 'shoes TOO loose. They were looser than she liked, though. Part of the problem may have been due to her boots, which were lightweight insulated winter boots (I didn't catch the brand.) I still overtighten my MSR Lightning Ascents from time to time, so I'm not going to lay it all on the Hyperlink binding. I still think wider straps with 2" wide plastic backings attached to the bindings, which would slide over each other and spread out the contact, would be a good idea. And perhaps making the women's models slightly narrower than the men's, like is done with the Lightning series snowshoes, would help alleviate 'shoe banging for users with shorter or narrower gaits.
Update - 03/28/15
Today I took a friend's 16 y/o grandson and his friend snowshoeing at a local ski area (Pat's Peak in Henniker NH.) The friend had never snowshoed before, and he used the Revo Explores. We started at the bottom of the hill and snowshoed up the mountain via the longest trail, actually going around the back of the summit to the bottom of their reverse slope chair, then up the steep climb to the summit. Trails worn smooth by a morning's worth of skiers & riders, a narrow goat trail through the woods taken as a result of my misreading the trail map, and a crazy cross-country climb up another steep wooded slope full of rocks, stumps, and downed trees - the Revo Explores were just superb on them all. We headed upslope at an angle of about 60 degrees from the perpendicular, which meant traversing the whole way, and you could see from the tracks that the molded-in braking bars were really digging in and holding. And I don't think there's any question to the effectiveness of the side traction rails in rough terrain. He had no complaints about the binding straps having to be tightened to the point of discomfort, but he was wearing leather work boots that looked a lot more sturdy than what my female friends were wearing when I wrote the original review.
So the Revo Explores definitely earned a 4th star from what I saw today. I just may pick myself up a pair during the off season to complement my MSR Lightning Ascents and Lightning Trails.