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blendergasket
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blendergasket
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PostFri Oct 20, 2017 8:17 pm 
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Hi All!

I'm considering investing in a pair of showshoes. I went once last year with some REI rentals and absolutely loved it. I like the idea of lightweight snowshoes, so I'm interested in the Northern Lites.

Has anyone tried these? Are they pretty durable in many different types of snow? Does anyone have any experience with their limits or would anyone recommend a different snowshoe? Are they durable?

Thank you for any insight you may have.

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"He who would understand the Book of Nature must walk its pages with his feet"
~Paracelsus
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blendergasket
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PostFri Oct 20, 2017 8:53 pm 
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I also see the TSR ones are pretty interesting. Anyone have any experience with them? It looks like they may be more capable in rugged terrain while being more comfortable than MSRs or other less flexible showshoes?

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"He who would understand the Book of Nature must walk its pages with his feet"
~Paracelsus
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Jeff
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Jeff
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PostFri Oct 20, 2017 9:22 pm 
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Northern Lights are great for when you are going to have your snowshoes strapped on your pack instead of using them. If you are going to use something on your feet you want MSRs. Ignore weight when buying snowshoes.
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Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostSat Oct 21, 2017 9:17 am 
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ditto.gif The most important consideration is the proposed use rather than weight.  You do not lift them very much most of the time. An aggressive crampon is more important if you are intending to go up steep hard snow for example. Large size if the snow is soft powder is great but not so good if you step on your shoe.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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blendergasket
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PostSat Oct 21, 2017 11:00 am 
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OK, so since I moved here from flat, powdery Minnesota 20 years ago I've only been snowshoeing once, that was last year, and it made me realize what I'll be doing all winter this year. When I tried snowshoeing last year I used the REI rentals, I can't remember if they were REVO or Lightning, but the bindings kept coming loose, which was a huge pain and I felt like I would prefer something different. I do understand now that likely the Northern Lites won't be a good idea as they're more for the midwest powder type snow.

I assume the MSRs are being recommended because of the hard, sticky type snow our warm weather creates. I was also looking that the TSR showshoes, which appear to have a fair amount of traction on them, big spikes that come out across the length of the snowshoe as well as plastic tags that stick into the snow , is there something inherently worse about a design like that to the sort of sawtooth metal design of the MSRs in the type of snow we have here in the Olympics and Cascades?

Thanks again for the tips and info!

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"He who would understand the Book of Nature must walk its pages with his feet"
~Paracelsus
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Tom
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PostSat Oct 21, 2017 11:10 am 
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I really like my Atlas 1225s.  Much better bindings than MSR (have both, I prefer the Atlas), Have a back up pair of brand new 1225s that I picked up on closeout a while back that I'd be willing to part with as I don't snowshoe much any more and they are just gathering dust in the garage.  You're welcome to test run.
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blendergasket
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blendergasket
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PostSat Oct 21, 2017 11:14 am 
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Thank you for your offer! I'm a pretty big guy (6'6", usually over 200lbs) so it seems I'm a little big out of the range for those shoes.

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"He who would understand the Book of Nature must walk its pages with his feet"
~Paracelsus
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Tom
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PostSat Oct 21, 2017 11:24 am 
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Not at all.  Max length you want to go with around here (wetter snow) is 25".  My buddy is 250+ and uses 22" MSRs.
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blendergasket
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PostSat Oct 21, 2017 12:09 pm 
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Interesting, the rei page for these suggests up to 200lbs

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"He who would understand the Book of Nature must walk its pages with his feet"
~Paracelsus
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HermitThrush
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PostSun Oct 22, 2017 7:55 pm 
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Northern Lites are great for powdery snow, very happy customer here. Durable, yes. Lightweight, yes. I would recommend, however, that you should look at something with bigger "spikes" as the others have recommended.

Snowshoeing is unreal. When you really get going in some good powder....phew. Amazing.

By the way, a must snowshoe is Reflection Lakes up at Mt. Rainier. Look it up on WTA - Reflection and Louise Lakes. Probably in my top 5 outdoor experiences of all time.
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blendergasket
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PostMon Oct 23, 2017 9:33 am 
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Thanks for the tips! I'll check those places out for sure! I opted against the Northern Lites because they're not as versatile. If I were back in MN I think they'd rock.

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"He who would understand the Book of Nature must walk its pages with his feet"
~Paracelsus
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HermitThrush
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PostMon Oct 23, 2017 9:42 am 
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blendergasket wrote:
Thanks for the tips! I'll check those places out for sure! I opted against the Northern Lites because they're not as versatile. If I were back in MN I think they'd rock.

Wise choice. To be clear, for anyone else who may be reading this, the Northern Lites are great snowshoes, and work well for me, but are likely not the best snow shoe you can get for the conditions we have out here in Washington and Oregon.
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rossb
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rossb
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PostTue Nov 07, 2017 7:41 am 
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I own a pair and it is the only snowshoe I use. I like them a lot. They are light and comfortable. My wife wasn't thrilled with them, though, and ended up getting MSR lightnings.  A lot depends on how you use them, and how much control you need. If you are like me, and don't mind slopping around a bit, they are fine. I actually enjoy the play -- it is great for going downhill. There are times where I wish I had more grip, but that is rare -- I just adjust my hiking for the conditions. Besides, when it get really nasty, I typically take off my snowshoes and scramble.

But I don't snowshoe that much in the winter. I tend to cross country ski or backcountry ski then. As a result, I've probably used those things only a couple dozen times in the Winter.

I use snowshoes a lot in the Spring. A typical hike involves several miles of walking on dry ground, followed by snow. The snowshoes are almost an insurance policy. Sometimes the snow is firm enough that you don't need them. But if you misjudge, you will be very happy to have snowshoes, and the lighter the better.
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