Here we have prepared for you an impressive collection with best MSR snowshoes for men and for women that are currently on the market, all very reliable and top-quality items from this renown brand.
Perhaps you did not know MSR means Moutain Safety Research, and this brand is known for its top-quality outdoor items designed for safety in harsh conditions. The snowshoes in the list are designed for winter hiking and backpacking, and they are equipped with features that provide excellent traction and flotation.
This brand has many of their snowshoes on the market and it is known for its warranty conditions and a great reputation for replacing items if they do not work properly. So you know what you are buying when you decide on an item from such a reputable brand.
How to choose your MSR snowshoes
Snowshoes for men and for women: In principle, snowshoes are almost always unisex. But this is about the tool that is supposed to keep you floating on the snow, so the size matters. Yes, they use different colors in some of the women’s snowshoes, and in some cases they are such that men probably wouldn’t consider using them, you will see some examples in the list below.
In general, if you are a women, you might need smaller and lighter snowshoes that will keep you floating, so you will save energy by avoiding some larger model which you perhaps do not need.
Something similar holds for men, they will usually need a larger (and this means also heavier) snowshoes that will work well for a heavier user.
Traction and flotation: The whole idea behind snowshoes is in saving energy by keeping you on the snow and by eliminating sinking, slipping, and sliding. These snowshoes have a variety of traction elements, and it is important to know that they work differently in different snow conditions where you can have packed trails, ice, or a soft and unconsolidated powder. So you need a type that will provide just right flotation and decking surface area.
Softer snow will require longer snowshoes to have a great flotation. But note that they sell also extensions which will help in such situations. Bear in mind that the weight is your body plus what you carry in the pack. The carried stuff can vary dependent on your activity, so such extensions are a great option.
Several different groups/types: MSR has several types of crampons and traction features that include:
- Lightning, and
In the Evo system, you have two aggressively toothed-rails bolted lengthwise on the underside. The main difference from the other types is usually the weight, Evo is heavier due to an injection-molded plastic decking. But this also makes them more durable than the others. You can use them off-trail, on packed trails, and on mixed ice & rocky terrain.
With the Lightning traction system you have a full 360 degrees of traction. This includes teeth in the frame, on crossbars, plus a crampon under the ball of the foot. So this is the best traction system they have, suitable for all conditions (powder, packed trails, ice). They are designed to handle a higher degree of torsional flex than the other types. This is why they are usually more expensive than others. Please see more about one of these snowshoes in this short video:
The Revo traction system is with the teeth cut into the sides of the frame, so this is not full 360 degrees around the front and back. It has a crampon under the ball of the foot, but there are no teeth on the crossbars under the heel. So the traction is inferior to the Lightning models. it is best to use such snowshoes on packed trails and on flat or gently rolling terrain.
You will see also that all of them come as Trail, Explore, and Ascent types. There are a few tips below related to this.
Sizing (Length): Typically this brand builds snowshoes in the lengths of 22″, 25″, and 30″. There are differences in the width as well but those are probably far less essential than the length differences.
Bindings: They have several types:
- The Paragon binding: Here you have a mesh that covers the top of the boots, combined with a flexible rear strap. It packs flat, and it is mostly used in the Lighting group.
- The 3-strap Posilock binding: You have three flexible plastic straps that run over the top of your boot and one in the rear. This is a very secure system.
- The ratchet-style Hyperlink binding: Here you have two straps, one over the front of the boot and the other behind the heel. It is easy to adjust it, and to put on and off the snowshoes.
- The 2-strap Duofit binding: In this system, you have two flexible straps that run over the top of your boot and in the rear. It is less secure than the other types and it is best to use such a system on a flat terrain.
To summarize with a few useful tips:
- For off-trail activities in hilly terrain, you might want to go for MSR Evo Ascent or Lightning Ascent.
- For a flat terrain think of using the Revo Explore.
- On packed trails in mountains, think of using the MSR Lightning Ascent or Lightning Explore.
Observe that many of the snowshoes here are Amazon Prime products and you can have them shipped for free. Note that we have yet another list that also includes snowshoes for men from other top brands, and a list of snowshoes for women.
So here is our list with best MSR snowshoes for men and for women grouped by the types mentioned in the text above, and alphabetically within each of the group. So this is not ranking, please have a look:
- Rugged and durable snowshoes with superior traction and floatation for hiking, breaking trail, trekking, and extended winter trips
- Injection-molded ExoTract plastic deck with steel perimeter teeth and Pivot crampons offer edge-to-edge traction in varied alpine terrain
- HyperLink binding provides an easy-entry cushioned cradle, and fast macro-adjustment strap keeps feet centered for exceptional all-day comfort
- Increased uphill efficiency and traction with the Ergo Televator heel lift bar that easily flips up to reduce fatigue and provide help on the steeps
- Snowshoes measure 8 x 25 inches, weigh 4.3 pounds, and can carry a 180-pound load; bindings fit men’s shoes sizes 4.5-15; made in the USA
- Rugged and durable women’s trail snowshoes save weight and improve agility for a narrow gait, while providing edge-to-edge traction on variable terrain
- Perimeter teeth offer secure grip, while Pivot crampons provide bite on steeper sections of trail
- Injection-molded ExoTract tapered plastic deck withstands abusive conditions, and adds torsional flex for better control
- DuoFit bindings deliver freeze-proof, glove-friendly adjustable attachment to a wide range of footwear
- Snowshoes measure 7.25 x 22 inches, weigh 3.44 pounds, and can carry a 180-pound load; bindings fit women’s shoes sizes 4.5-14; made in the USA
Last update on 2023-11-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Editor’s Choice Snowshoes
This is our favorite pair:
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