MSR Evo Ascent
MSR Evo Ascent
4.4 out of 5 based on 5 user reviews.
|Ever so often a gear company finds a revolutionary way to re-invent a product and that is exactly what Mountain Safety Research did when they came up with the Denali Evo Ascent snowshoe. Billed as a backcountry, goes anywhere, with any load snowshoe, MSR has truly shown what their design team can do.|
The Denali Evo Ascent is a new breed of snowshoe that has so many attributes it is hard to detail them all. The MSR Televator heel lifter allows the user to climb steep grades with out calf fatigue. Coupled with the steel traction blades that run down the sides of the deck and the aggressive crampon and molded braking bars this is one unstoppable snowshoe.
Another great advantage to the Denali Evo Ascent is its ease of use. The step in bindings allows you to enter and exit the snowshoes with little effort. Once in place simply secure your boot with four burly straps and your feet will stay where you place them and heel drift is a thing of the past. Theses traps were also designed to be easily manageable with gloved hands, a tight pull across the latching pin and viola they are tight and secure.
The tapered design of the deck both front and rear allow walking in these snowshoes which feels akin to walking in regular shoes, not the cumbersome process usually associated with snowshoeing.
I have had a pair for three years now and have covered many, many backcountry miles ranging from fresh deep powder, to glazed over wind blown slopes. This is truly a do anything snowshoe, in fact I recently competed in a 20 mile snowshoe race while wearing my pair, and they performed excellent in every aspect.
In addition to being an outstanding product, these also make great snow shovels or tent anchors!!
On the down side I will say that the Televator while easy enough to lift up it is sometimes difficult to disengage and I have had to kneel in order to get enough downward pressure to drop it. But this should in no way detract from this over all amazing product.
As with any product make sure you know how to use them properly. I have read other reviews of this snowshoe and have come to realize that those that have had a negative experience usually stems from not properly fastening the snowshoes or not placing their feet appropriately or other minor errors in application. While not all that complex, any gear you buy make sure you are comfortable with the products functions before you leave on a trip. The backcountry is not the place to admit ignorance!!
Make sure you spend the extra bucks for the 6 flotation tails!
|There's a lot I like about these snowshoes...|
They feel great when you're walking in them. I like them on my feet better than my MSR lightning ascents even though these are notably heavier.
Excellent traction on steeper slopes or in packed snow. The upturned toe is perfect on steep places where you want to kick your foot into the snow and really grip with the crampon. Great flotation with the optional flotation tales in powder. Bindings are secure, even without the instep strap.
And my favorite MSR snowshoe feature, the heel elevator bar, is on these which is wonderful for long ascents.
With the right boots, the binding system can be very quick and easy to use, but...
|Despite the praise I've seen for this new Speedlock binding system, I am not a fan of it. There are many issues I have with it and I wish MSR would just go back to the old 4-strap step-in system.|
First off, if you're using these snowshoes on more than one pair of boots, the binding system takes a lot of time to adjust for each boot, and it's not always easy to tell if you have the toe strap set right until you walk in them for a bit.
Also, because you have to slide your toe under the toe strap, boots with raised eyelets for the laces don't work well with these because the eyelets get stuck on the edge of the strap and it is very difficult to get the snowshoe binding on your foot.
This brings us to the instep strap, which I also don't like.
The instep strap is removable, but the end of it which you don't adjust has a tendency to fall out while you're putting your boots in the bindings, basically it's a little too removable and falls off on it's own. The other problem with this strap is the free end of it has a pin in it used to secure the excess strap down on top of your foot, but this pin has to push down through the top of the instep strap. So to secure the slack, you have to take off your gloves, squeeze your fingers between the tightened strap and the top of your boot, and pinch the pin through one of the holes in the instep strap. Way more complicated than the old clip method.
Thankfully the instep straps are removable, not necessary for most boots/terrain, and mine now live in my drawer of spare parts never to be used again.
Almost done with the bad here.
The heel elevator bar is far more difficult to put up and down than the one on my Lightning Ascents. I don't know why, but the lightning's is made to put up and down with the handle of your trekking pole, and this one has a silly (and noisy because it bounces as you walk) plastic pull tab that you need because they are so hard to get up and down you need something you can grab onto and yank really hard.
|MSR makes great products, I still definitely recommended any of the MSR ascent snowshoes from before they put these new odd bindings on them.|
|Review by codym on Jan. 10, 2011|
|Light. Good binding System. Tails. Great crampons. Pivots well to lift out of deep snow without carrying snow on top of snowshoes.|
|Have used several other snowshoes (renting, borrowing, etc.) and all were inferior to these.|
|Light, awesome grip! Climbing bar is great for big uphills. Bindings fit on any boot. Tails can be added so you don't need two different pair.|
|Awesome snowshoes. I love mine so much. They are comfortable, very adjustable, durable, and just great.|