Review: MSR Evo Tour

Post-holing through deep snow is my definition of a cold day in hell. Luckily, snowshoes are a dime a dozen and the only problem is choosing the right pair. For unparalleled traction on hardpack, shallower snow, and slippery sub-surface layers, the MSR Evo Tour is a solid choice. Constructed of hard plastic and rather narrow, this hyper-modern snowshoe is light and fast. I used mine on a grouse hunt early in the season, and the aggressive toe crampon and twin steel traction bars grabbed the slick grass and rocks under the snow, allowing me to climb near-vertical hills without slipping. The three-strap SpeedLock binding was easy to use and kept my foot secure, while the easy-to-deploy Televator heel lift saved precious energy on steep sections. As the snow got deeper I attached the modular, six-inch tails for increased floatation; they also came in handy during the descent, where I leaned back, weighted the tails, and took long, gliding strides down steep powder fields… damned if I wasn’t skiing! Most fun I’ve had on snowshoes, ever. Available at Northern Lights, Round House, Schnee’s, Girls Outdoors, Gallatin Alpine Sports, Grizzly Outfitters, and Timber Trails. $140;