There are a lot of snowshoes on the market, but if you're going to be spending significant amounts of time in a pair of snowshoes you want the best snowshoes, the ones that you will be able to depend on day after day.
Best Snowshoes Features
There are a couple of important features of snowshoes that you should look out for when selecting the best snowshoes for yourself.
- Weight Load - One is the recommended weight load of the snowshoes. You can buy the best snowshoes you can find, but if they wont carry your weight, if they just sink in to the snow when you use them, then they are useless. Related to this, the best snowshoes for women will often have a smaller surface area than the best snowshoes for men, since women weigh less than men.
- Snowshoe Weight - Another feature to take in to account when looking for the best snowshoes is the weight of the snowshoes themselves. It's estimated that every pound on your feet is equivalent, in terms of energy expenditure, to five pounds on your back. So when you add your boots, and then a heavy pair of snowshoes on top of that, you can see how you will get tired fast if you don't pick a pair of lightweight snowshoes.
Best Snowshoes for Men
Here are a few of the best snowshoes for men, depending on what you plan to use them for.
- Atlas Run Snowshoes - These snowshoes are designed for light, quick travel over a snowy trail. They weigh just 1224 grams, or 2.7 pounds for the pair, and have a good binding system to keep your feet secure while you're moving quickly. The recommended load is 75 to 190 pounds. If you're looking for the best snowshoe to allow you to get a little running in when the weather turns ugly, these snowshoes from Atlas are a good bet.
- MSR EVO Ascent Snowshoes - The Ascent snowshoes from MSR are a little heavier, weighing in at 1816 grams, or 4 pounds, but are good with a load up to 250 pounds with the removable tails attached, so they are good for a variety of activities such as hiking or backpacking. they are plastic, however, so maybe not the best snowshoes for you, but they do get some great reviews so definitely worth checking out.
- MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes - This version of the Ascent snowshoe from MSR is similar to the version above, with a few key differences. One is the improved load capacity, which tops out at 280 pounds. Another is the material, which is aerospace-grade aluminum for the frame and specialized nylon for the deck, rather than plastic. They also have their own version of the removable tail system. The slightly beefier design will, however, cost you in the weight department, as these are the heaviest snowshoes on the list, weighing in at 2012 grams, or 4.4 pounds. If you're looking for quality materials over weight, this version of the Ascent snowshoes may be the best snowshoes for you.
Best Snowshoes for Women
Some of the very best snowshoes for women currently on the market.
- Atlas 1227 Elektra Snowshoes - These are some of the best snowshoes for women currently found on the market. They feature an aluminum frame and a nylon deck, which is the combination that most snowshoes use for a reason. The Elektra snowshoes are recommended for anywhere from 120 pounds to 200 pounds, which is less than many men's snowshoes, but then women weigh less then men, so this is perfectly fine. They weigh 3.75 pounds, or 1900 grams, so they're not the lightest snowshoes, even for a pair of women's snowshoes, but the extra weight means extra durability.
- MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes - These women's snowshoes from MSR feature a few slightly different materials that make them stand out from the crowd. They feature aircraft aluminum for the frame, and urethane instead of the more traditional nylon for the deck material. They are slightly narrower than the men's version, but this is standard for a women's snowshoe. They can also carry up to 250 pounds of weight, so you can load plenty in to your backpack and still walk on the surface. They weigh in at 3.6 pounds, or 1664 grams, so fairly lightweight, and MSRs serrated edges, so you get plenty of grip, even in treacherous conditions.