– Ski Haus sells a ton of snowshoes each and every winter. On one hand it continues to surprise us how many pairs we sell. On the other hand it really doesn’t surprise us that much since so many of our staff like to snowshoe. Snowshoeing is a fun and easy way to enjoy a winter day!
Buying snowshoes is easy. Think about where you will be snowshoeing most often and what kind of snow will you be romping through most often? Typically, when I snowshoe I go up the same trail right outside my kitchen door. I use the same trail all winter long and it packs down pretty good. The only fresh snow I have to break trail through is the snow that has fallen overnight. I’m not out breaking a new trail in deep snow each time I go out. I can get away with using a smaller snowshoe deck. The next guy up may be about the same size as me but if he is going up on the pass every time and breaking a new trail he will want a larger deck – increase his floatation.
Most snowshoe manufacturers publish weight ranges for their snowshoes. The thing is most of these weight ranges cover everyone for each size so it really doesn’t eliminate models you can choose from. Think about the snowpack you will be out in most often. I think this is a better judge for deck size, floatation, or mobility.
Typically, the higher end snowshoes, the snowshoes with all the bells and whistles, offer the best binding retention and traction. These users are usually adventuring into steeper uphill and downhill terrain. You don’t want to be futzing with your bindings on a steep climb and you don’t want to be slipping backwards as you climb either.
As you move down the snowshoe price change, typically these users are hiking through tamer terrain like golf courses or mellow trails in the valleys. Traction is not necessarily the main consideration…
So when it comes time to buy your first pair of snowshoes think about the places you’ll be going most often and purchase a snowshoe for those conditions. You’ll make the buying process all the easier.
Ski Haus sells Atlas, MSR, and Crescent Moon Snowshoes.
Have fun out there!