MSR Revo Explore Snowshoes Review
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MSR Revo Explore Snowshoes Initial Thoughts
I’ve never owned a pair of MSR snowshoes, but after testing MSR’s Revo Explore Snowshoes I’m hooked! I’ve always known MSR designs high-performance snowshoes. However, I never knew I would fall in love with the ease of the design and the overall performance so quickly. I’ve owned 2 other brands of snowshoes and I’ve struggled with getting in, securing, and adjusting the straps in the cold. I’m always freezing so taking off my gloves is not a welcoming option for me while adjusting straps. With MSR’s Hyperlink binding system, I’ve never adjusted anything so easily. If you’re looking for an all mountain snowshoe keep reading this review and you’ll be hooked too!
MSR Revo Explore Snowshoe Design
The design of the MSR Revo Explore Snowshoe is based around the sturdy ExoTract Deck. It’s comprised of a strong steel frame with perimeter teeth and crampon teeth. This feature allows for increased traction in all conditions or while traversing. The main deck is injection molded plastic to help minimize wear and provides an added torsional flex to aid in traction and comfort. So if you are trekking up a mountain side or down a slope on ice, the ExoTract Deck will hold you in place.
The amazing Hyperlink binding system offers an easy-entry cradle around your boot with a two-strap ratchet system. The two strap system allows for easy adjustments and helps eliminate pressure points. Other binding systems I’ve used, I slid into a toe box, and could never get the binding to conform to my boot comfortably. The Hyperlink binding has a ratchet system around your heel and your forefoot. When you slide your boot into the MSR Revo Explore Snowshoe you adjust the heel strap ratchet first, then your instep (forefoot) strap. The beauty of the two-strap design is that if you are stopping for a break or just need to take your snowshoes off you only have to release the instep ratchet. The heel strap only has to be adjusted once.
As stated above, the ratchet system is quick, easy, & convenient. I don’t like taking off my gloves to adjust equipment, that only results in my fingers freezing. With the ratchet system I don’t have to! Just slide the strap into the buckle and use the silver ratchet to adjust. It’s that easy! On both sides of the silver ratchet lie two red release arms. If you’ve tightened your Hyperlink bindings too much you can easily release tension by pressing the red release arms one at a time. This allows you to micro adjust your bindings to get the perfect fit. When you need to take off your MSR Revo Explore Snowshoes simply press both release arms and the strap pops out of the buckle.
Not only is the Hyperlink binding system quick & easy. It is lightweight, freeze resistant, and has a pack friendly design. I love how the Hyperlink binding literally cradles my boot. There isn’t gapping or pressure on my toes, it just hugs my boots for all day comfort. With frigid close to zero temps on one snowshoe adventure the Hyperlink binding stayed pliable and didn’t become stiff from the cold.
The MSR Revo Explore Snowshoe also has an Ergo Televator feature, which helps reduce lower leg fatigue on those long up hill treks. The Ergo Televator bar you can efficiently engage by simply placing your pole grip under the bar and flipping it up. The Ergo Televator distributes pressure across the frame to enhance traction. If you plan to do any steep climbs with your MSR Revo Explore Snowshoes this feature will drastically enhance your ability to last all day. The Ergo Televator makes trekking up hills more effortless and saves the strain on your legs!
An additional add on to each of the Revo models is a modular flotation tail. This add-on tail allows you to essentially have two snowshoes in one preparing you for any condition that may come your way. The tool free modular flotation tail gives an additional 5 inches of length to the snowshoe. I was unable to test the modular flotation tail because I did not receive it, however, I would’ve loved to!
MSR Revo Explore Snowshoe Performance
With all the snow that has fallen in the rockies during November I had many opportunities to try out my MSR Revo Explore Snowshoes. My first impression was that I loved how easy it was to get into them. Most snowshoes I have owned in the past have had straps that were difficult and not easy to adjust without taking my gloves off . I had my MSR Revo Explore Snowshoes on in less then a minute and was on my way. I was a little worried about the two strap design holding over the course of a long hike, but after almost 10 miles on a variety of terrain and almost no slipping I was sold on the Hyperlink bindings. The bindings also offered a high degree of comfort over a long day of use, which can’t be said for a lot of snowshoes.
I tested the snowshoes in soft snow as well as icy conditions. The ExoTract perimeter teeth excelled in the icy hard packed conditions and did a great job of holding traction. The injection-molded plastic deck flexed just enough with each step to prevent my feet from rolling on uneven terrain. On a couple of up hill sections I tried out the Ergo Televator lifts. These were a nice added feature that took a fair amount of strain off my calfs. The Ergo Televator lifts were easy to pull up with the power baskets of my poles. The Televator lift stayed firmly in place and did require some pressure to lower them flat.
The only area of concern I had was how the plastic deck would hold up over time. I used my MSR Revo Explore Snowshoes on some rough terrain and only had minimal wear to the bottom. So far so good.
The MSR Revo Explore Snowshoe is Unisex and comes in either a 22 inch or a 25 inch model and can fit a foot size 4.5-13. The 22 inch model can support a load up to 180 lbs while the 25 inch model can support up to 220 lbs. The advertised weight for the 22in model is 3 lbs 9 oz. making the MSR Revo Explore Snowshoe very lightweight. Both my husband and I were able to use the MSR Revo Explore Snowshoe. We received the 22 inch model. My husbands shoe size is US 12 and mine is 8.5. Even though our shoe sizes are completely different, we were both able to test the MSR Revo Explore Snowshoe. The Hyperlink binding system conformed and fit our boots perfectly. It is great to have a pair of snowshoes we can both enjoy. Now we just fight over who gets to wear them!
MSR Revo Explore Snowshoe Final Thoughts
The MSR Revo Explore Snowshoe is a great snowshoe that offers all terrain versatility. MSR’s ExoTract Deck will hold you in place whether you are trekking up a steep incline or down hill on ice. The Hyperlink binding system surpasses all other binding systems in that it’s quick, easy, & convenient. You can effortlessly secure your Revo Explore Snowshoes while keeping your gloves on. The Ergo Televator reduces leg fatigue, muscle strain, and helps distribute pressure across the frame for enhanced traction. Overall, the MSR Revo Explore Snowshoe will provide you with all day comfort and efficiency no matter what conditions mother nature throws your way.
The MSR Revo Explore Snowshoe is perfect for any all-terrain outdoor enthusiast wanting bang for their buck! I believe the MSR Revo Explore Snowshoes are well worth the MSRP of $199.99. If you or a family member are looking for a new pair of snowshoes this winter I would strongly consider the MSR Revo Explore Snowshoe.
For more information on the MSR Revo Explore Snowshoe and sizing options please visit https://www.msrgear.com/ or www.amazon.com/msr.
Unisex MSR Revo Explore Snowshoe
I purchased the MSR Revo Explore 25″ just after Christmas 2014 and spent New Year’s weekend trying them out. I’m 6’4″ 210 pounds with a size 13 foot, so I figured the larger shoe was for me. I tested them in the conditions that were available–packed snow and ice, and soft snow ranging from 1 1/2 feet to 2 feet in depth. I was not carrying any gear. The positives: Love the bindings! I’ve never used shoes that were this easy! Traction is excellent in all conditions. Negatives: I sank in soft snow, making walking an effort.
Granted, conditions were unseasonably warm (60 degrees) and snow quality not the best right now in California, so more testing will be necessary. But overall, I love the fit and the bindings. That in itself makes a great snowshoe.
Thanks for the feedback Mark! I typically go up to a larger sized snowshoe which typically helps you stay on top of the snow. I usually go snowshoeing in the Colorado Rockies and our snowpack is 3 feet plus. I weigh 170lbs and 30″ is my go-to size for snow shoes. Just a little feedback, hope it helps. Thanks!