A lot of people are well aware of just how much more energy it takes to move big heavy boots, as opposed to comparatively lightweight shoes. Every pound of weight on your feet is equal to approximately 5 pounds of weight on your back, in terms of energy expended. So it makes sense to try and find lightweight snowshoes, so that you’re not adding too much additional weight to what are likely already heavy winter boots or winter shoes.
Lightweight SnowshoesWhat you want to consider when looking for lightweight snowshoes.
- Intended Use – The weight of your snowshoes will have a lot to do with what the snowshoes are intended for. If you intend on running in snowshoes, or sticking to established trails, then there are some great lightweight snowshoe options available.
- Your Weight – The bigger you are, the bigger your snowshoes have to be. More weight means that the weight has to be distributed over a larger area, and so the snowshoes have to be larger, and this typically means that all other things being equal, the snowshoes also weigh more.
Best Lightweight SnowshoesSome of the better lightweight snowshoes for a few different uses.
- Atlas Race Snowshoes - If you just want the lightest possible snowshoes, then the Atlas Races are likely them. They use superior aluminum and a minimalist design to get down to a weight of just 2 pounds 1.3 ounces, or 943 grams, which is impressive for a pair of snowshoes. They're meant to be running snowshoes, but could be used on a trail for casual hiking without too many problems. They come in just one size, however, and have a maximum weight of 190 pounds, so if you're over that, you wouldn't want to use these for anything more than packed or groomed trails. Atlas also makes a slightly heavier, though quite a bit cheaper model called the Atlas Runs.
- MSR Evo 22 Snowshoes - When it comes to just general hiking, plastic is, on average, lighter than the more traditional aluminum frame and nylon deck design. These particular snowshoes weigh a very slim 3 pounds 7 ounces, which is 1.55 kilograms. They're 22 inches long, as the name suggests, and will only hold up to 180 pounds. There are some attachable tails, however, which will improve that to 250 pounds. So a good, basic lightweight hiking snowshoe that is also surprisingly cheap.
- MSR Evo Ascent Snowshoes - These are the same basic design as the Evo 22s above, but with improved crampons and the addition of a heel lift bar, which makes them much better suited to backcountry travel. Like the Evo 22s, these will only support up to 180 pounds, but the same attachable tails will work with these as well, and will boost the maximum weight capacity up to 250 pounds. And since they're plastic they don't weigh too much, at just 4 pounds, or 1.81 kilograms. And the price, when compared to other backcountry snowshoes, is very good, so definitely an excellent pair of lightweight snowshoes.