Another great MSR product
I wish I could give these shoes a 5 star rating since they're nearly perfect for so many reasons. The only thing that drives me nuts is that the plastic framing/decking is LOUD on crust or a compacted trail.
Just a few hints...1) slide the strap clips close to the buckle to keep the straps in place, 2) when you go to take the shoes off, slide the strap out from under the clip first. Don't simply pull on the strap, especially in cold weather or you'll snap the clip, 3) get the field maintenance kit. I've never had to use it but it contains everything you need for an emergency repair, 4) get the floatation tails regardless of your size. At some point you'll find them incredibly useful!
The description says they're good for rolling terrain but I've been more aggressive with them in the back country and haven't been disappointed. All in all, another awesome MSR product!
Great for all snow conditions
I first started using these to set trails while working for the Forest Service after trying another brand. What a difference! They changed my attitude about snowshoeing. I worked and play in the Sierras where the conditions are usually wet or icy and on a great day there is powder. When its icy, and the terrain is steep these will get you to places because of the rails. When there is powder or a chance of breaking through the surface, make sure you have the tails with you - I won't go out without them. I used them hard for five years and they still work great and look good. Yes, they are noisy on ice but that is the least of my worries when I am going up slope to take a picture or see what its like just beyond the rise.
My friend and I went out on an overnight backpacking trip in the snow with our sons and bought 4 pairs of these snow shoes. We backpacked in the snow for 5 miles with our MSR Snow Shoes and they worked beautifully! I am 6'-2" tall and weigh 235 lbs and was carrying a 40 lb. backpack. I didn't slip in the snow once and in no time at all forgot I was even wearing them. Southern California snow is different from other regions in the country in that the snow is usually thin and icy. We hiked through a mixture of 1-2 ft. of iced over powder and I felt secure at all times. I am confident that these shoes will work in all conditions and I cannot wait until our next snow trip to try them out.
Buy em once, use em for life.
After using these over the past month in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan (+200 inches) a year, I can say that they are far and away the best snowshoes I've ever used, owned or rented. Hiked down a 35% icy grade next to a waterfall. The crampons on these dug right in while my friends in lesser quality snowshoes slid down past me. I bought the 6" float tails as I'm 6' 5" 200 lbs and they make a huge difference. Keep in mind that an 8" float tail is available, although Moosejaw doesn't stock it. Had I known the 8" was available I would have bought those. I literally plan on using these for the rest of my life, and MSR gives me the confidence that they'll make it.
The best part about these snowshoes are the long spiked metal rails. The rails dig into hard snow and make ascending easy.
Buy the tails if you are ever planning on hiking through powder, regardless of your weight.
The only beef I have with them is the strap closest to the toe can slip out of the secondary strap clip and flap around while you are walking. Another reviewer suggested moving the strap clip very close to the strap lock to keep them in place. I think this will work.
Perfect for a beginner
I'm new to snowshoeing and when I had gone to REI to purchase these the REI rep recommended them over the snowshoes meant for steep hills. She saved me about $40. I use these to go hiking up the cascade and olympic mountains in WA state. They work great. The only problem I have with it is that one of the clips that hold the straps broke pretty easily. It's not a big issue seeing as the strap still stayed in place. I would definitely recommend these for any beginners in snowshoeing.
My first pair of snowshoes and they got me hooked. I spent a month trying to find the best deal I could (not wanting to spend more than $100 in case I hated it) before deciding to spend a little bit more on the MSRs. Definitely the correct way to go. The one piece body is a great and provides excellent traction. The shorter deck makes daily hiking much easier and when the snow gets deep I just pull the tails out of my backpack, slap them on and keep on going.
I rented these from REI for my first shoeing experience and had no issues. I found them easy to get on and off. Traction was great on snow packed trails and deep powder ascents. Hiked about 5 miles and my legs still felt great when I was finished. I didn't get the tails with my rental so I cannot say if they would help or not, but I was close to 200lbs with my pack on and only sunk in when I was goofing around in back country powder.
Served me well
I bought a pair of these years ago when they first came out. There were 3 straps that went over the foot and one back strap. The straps just flopped around but that didn't really bother me. They've served me faithfully all these years except last week the back strap cracked and broke. Took off one of the middle straps to replace the back strap. I think maybe the rubber is just wearing out. I would recommend them and it looks like they've made some improvements.
Great snowshoes so far
These are great snowshoes, especially for myself as a beginner. They are affordable, but high quality. I really love them. I actually purchased a pair of Tubbs from REI, but returned them and got these. I love these so much more. The only bad thing is you may need the attachments depending on the snow conditions. I haven't bought them yet and have been fine, but I may need them in the future.