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Reviews > Snow Gear > Snowshoes > MSR Revo Ascent 2017 Snowshoes > Test Report by Morgan Lypka
MSR REVO ASCENT 2017 SNOWSHOES
TEST SERIES BY MORGAN LYPKA
Initial Report - November 10, 2017
Field Report - January 22, 2018
Long Term Report - March 9, 2018
NAME: Morgan Lypka
HEIGHT: 5’4” (1.6 m)
WEIGHT: 110 lb (50 kg)
EMAIL: m DOT lypka AT yahoo.com
City, Province, Country: Fernie, British Columbia (B.C.), Canada
Backpacking Background: I started backpacking 2 years ago, when I moved to the Rocky Mountains. I am originally from Saskatchewan, Canada, where I have done overnight canoe trips. Most of my backpacking ventures are 1 to 3 days long. I get cold quickly, but handle heat well. My backcountry trips involve hiking, trail running, ski touring and cross-country skiing. I am getting into kayaking, rock climbing and fly fishing. This year, I started solo camping. I camp with a lightweight 3-person, 3-season tent. Decreasing my packed weight in the backcountry is a developing focus of mine (fitting everything was the first).
PRODUCT INFORMATION AND SPECS
Manufacturer: Cascade Designs Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2017
Manufacturer’s Website: https://www.cascadedesigns.com
Listed Weight: 4 lbs 5 oz (1.92 kg)
Measured Weight: 4 lbs (1.81 kg)
Width: 8 in (20 cm)
Length: 22 in (56 cm)
Binding Type: PosiLock
Colour Testing: Olive
Additional Colours: n/a
Size Testing: 22 in (56 cm) (website refers to this size working for U.S. 4.5 W - 14 W, or EU 35 - 46)
Load for size: up to 180 lbs (80 kilos)
Load for size with tails: up to 250 lbs (114 kilos)
The Revo Ascent Snowshoes are designed with steel DTC Crampon, perimeter teeth, PosiLock AT bindings and Ergo Televators heal lifts. The deck is injection-moulded plastic. The binding straps are said to work with gloves on, so I will be testing this. The setup is fairly straightforward, with 3 straps over the top of the foot, and one going around the heel. To tighten, the straps go under a steel hook, and back around the hook, securing the correct hole into a steel tooth on top of the hook. There is then a rubber piece that moves around the strap where the extra strap end can be secured into. The Televators heal lifts, to help with hiking uphill, are said to be pulled up with the flick of a pole. I will be testing this in the field as well. Modular Floatation tails (5-in or 13 cm) are available for purchase as an add-on.
I love the rubber elastic bands that came around the snowshoes. My inclination is that these came just for packaging transport but I plan to keep these to hold them together in the backcountry when I'm carrying them (I have no idea how long the rubber will last in the backcountry though). I like the mix of colours on the snowshoes.
The informational paper that came with the snowshoes refer to them as being "men's" snowshoes. In the application process nor on the website did I see them referred to as men's snowshoes, so I'm curious to see if, while using them, I will notice any aspect of the design that doesn't work as well for me. The snowshoes seem to hold onto my boots very well, as can be seen from the hanging boot photo. The Televators seem possibly a bit too far back for my size of feet. In the picture below I'm testing them with my largest boot (outside of my snowboard boots which I will try them with as well). Field tests will tell! The snowshoes are fairly straightforward to put on, which is nice. The straps are also a bit long for my size of boot. This can especially be seen in the bottom right photo, the Televator photo, where the back strap sticks out a fair bit. I could be at risk of stepping on it while hiking, so I will likely figure out the best spot to tuck it.
Informational Paper | Snowshoes Stacked | Snowshoes Stacked Side View with Rubber Bands
Boot in Snowshoe Hanging | Boot with Televator
I’m excited to test these snowshoes on the mountains! I'm already realizing from initial review that the snowshoes might be fabricated for larger boots than mine. The straps seem to be a bit too long, and I'm interested to see if the Televators will work with my boots, as my boots seem to just be on the cusp of being long enough for them. Otherwise, my boots seem to fit securely in them.
Location: Elizabeth Parker Hut in Yoho National Park, Alberta, Canada
Length: 2 days, 2 nights in backcountry
Temperature and Weather: -10 C (14 F), lightly packed snow trails, overcast
I carried the snowshoes in which were attached to my backpack, while cross-country skiing in. I was able to attach them readily with the spaces between parts of the snowshoes, and the straps on my backpack. I used the snowshoes to hike around the area in the day. I used them with a pair of hiking boots, and they fit well. I had been a little concerned that they would be too small, but I had no concerns with the fit. I walked around with minimal elevation, on an open lake and on unpacked snow. They kept me afloat and I had no concerns of snow flicking up.
Montane Hut, Castle Mountain, Fernie, British Columbia
Roughly 7.5 km (5 mi) with 300 m (1000 ft) elevation gain
Length: 2.5 hrs
Temperature: -3 C (27 F)
Fairly well packed snow on trail, with loose snow on sides of path
I went with my friend, and her snowshoes kept flicking snow on the backs of her legs. I was very happy with the MSR snowshoes, as I got no snow down my boots nor on the backs of my legs. The plastic tail of the snowshoe worked very well to keep snow from flicking up.
On this hike I used the Televator heal lifts. I was very happy, as I was able to lift them up and down with little difficulty with my hiking poles. I prefer the one height for this reason, as it snaps exactly in place. My boots fit them very well, and I had no concerns about my boot "slipping through" them. I had expressed this as a possible concern in my initial report. The shorter length of the snowshoes were very conducive to climbing uphill.
I took the snowshoes off at the hut, and when I went to put them back on, one of the little clips had slipped off. I noticed it because I was looking for the spot to tuck my strap in, but had snow been a lot deeper, I possibly wouldn't have been able to retrieve it. My feedback is that it's nice the clips move readily along the straps, but I think that they slip off a little too easily. My snowshoes did bang together a little bit, maybe 20 times over the 7.5 km (5 mi). I am on the smaller side for the snowshoes, pronate a bit and am a bit bowlegged... 20 times is a better result than I've gotten in the past with other versions!
These snowshoes are proving to work very well in mountain terrain. They are easy to figure out and put on. They are a bit wide for me, as I clunk them together by accident sometimes when hiking. They are light and not too long, with very good grip.
Quick shots: Easy to use. Clips slip off a little too easily. Don't flick up snow (big win!). Good length for climbing.
Location: Lizard Range, Rocky Mountains, British Columbia, Canada
Length: 2 days, 1 night in backcountry
Temperature and Weather: -5 to -10 C (23 to 14 F), lots of fresh powder
Trek to hut: 5 km (3 mi) and 760 m (2500 ft) one way, accessed by snowshoe with snowboard on back
Trek for touring: 120 m (400 ft) elevation gain over 250 m (800 ft) distance x2
It was a fairly steep hike in, but the snowshoes dug in no problem to the already made track. The snowshoes dug in fairly well when going slightly downhill as well. I did struggle a bit pushing down and pulling up the Televators with my ski poles on this trip; particularly pulling them up. Part of this had to do with my large snow baskets on my poles getting in the way for pulling the Televators up. Without a notch in the Televators my poles would slide around rather than gain traction when I was trying to push the Televators down. My friend hiking behind me ended up pulling them up for me every time to speed things up. I wore the snowshoes with my snowboard boots, and they fit well. However, numerous straps came out of the double-back clip (meaning they didn't come undone from their hooks and lose tension, but the ends were loose). Sometimes I did them back up, sometimes I left them undone. None of them ever lost tension, so that was good, but it was a bit of a nuisance and did cause me some concern that they might lose tension. My shoes banged a bit together again, and sometimes one snowshoe would catch the bottom of my ski pants. I never fell from this but it did cause me to stumble. I tried tucking in my snowpants after and that helped. When I was hiking up on the fresher snow to tour, the snowshoes had more trouble digging in and gaining traction. However, they covered enough area that I felt pretty stable. The snowshoes worked well for touring, but I did struggle with the weight of my backcountry backpack and the additional weight of my snowboard on my back.
Summary: These snowshoes are practical for mountain terrain. They have great traction on packed snow as well as steep ascents and icy sections. They are compatible with multiple shoes, small and large. They are reliable, and fairly easy to put on and adjust. The Televators work very well when up, but can be difficult to put up and down with ski poles.
The snowshoes were sometimes clunky (for me), and the straps slip out of the double-back clips easily (but don't lose tension). The snowshoes were compatible with snowboard boots, and I noticed no wear and tear throughout the testing.
Thank you BackpackGearTest.org and MSR for allowing me to trial the Revo Ascent Snowshoes in the backcountry! They will be coming with me on many more adventures.
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