Rated 5 out of 5
by SHawthy33 Awesome Shoes
Bought these a little over two months ago to have some fun winter hiking with the dogs. Absolutley amazing improvement over my old Aluminum pipe style snowshoes. When I first got them I was concerned that the footprint was very small on the 24" model (6'1" ~ 195 lbs) but after hiking in a foot of fresh snow with a friend who was wearing traditional frame style snowshoes, my Tubbs Flex absolutely shined. I'm now thinking the smaller footprint is amazing and very nimble in tighter trails. Walking with these on your feet is very natural. There is no "straddle" feeling like with larger snowshoes.
The binding system holds your feet very snug without any pinch spots, very easy in and out.
Grip - at one point during the hike, a short hill to the side of the trail was sheer ice. Both myself and my buddy tried to walk up it to test the grip. I easily got to the top, he took three steps and slide all the way to the bottom. Amazing teeth and awesome side-hill bite.
Looking forward to winter hiking with a loaded pack (+25-35lbs) to see how these can handle the weight.
February 19, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Ayuh Durable, comfortable, great traction
Durability: My wife and I have a trail through the woods where we walk our many dogs a couple of times a day. We put enough miles on snowshoes to wear them out regularly. We have gone through two pairs of tubular-style Tubbs as well as a pair of tubular-style Atlas snowshoes, typically at a rate of a pair every year or so (this gets expensive!). The most common place of failure is the point where the decking attaches to the tubing at the very rear of the snowshoe. Once this goes the decking starts to ooch forward and eventually impacts the function of the binding pivot stop. Another point of failure has been straps on bindings. The Flex Alp snowshoes that we share have held up for two rigorous seasons now with little to no wear apparent.
Comfort: the bindings are great. I am able to stand freely, step into them, then reach down and tighten the straps while wearing gloves. I can also remove them while standing freely and wearing gloves. My wife is not quite so nimble so she has to sit down and fuss with the straps a little. I am able to fit my men's size 13 hiking boots into them no problem, though my insulated winter boots are too bulky to fit into the bindings. Size 11 women's also fit no problem. With the straps pulled as tight as possible there are no pressure points. I have never had the straps loosen nor have I ever had a problem with movement within the binding.
Traction: the crampons on these suckers consist of a saw-toothed steel frame along the perimeter of the decking that also act as the structure that the bindings attach to. They stick like glue to hard pack (almost too well) and seem to grind the snow up, grooming the trail and helping to minimize icy trails. After many miles there is no noticeable wear on the steel crampons unlike the aluminum crampons that early Tubbs used, which wore out rapidly. They are very sharp though and you have to be careful around dogs; I once stepped lightly on my dog's leg while frolicking and it left a two-inch gash right to the bone :( The plastic decking acts as a guard to some extent, but minimal.
Summary: Perfect for walking on hard pack or traveling along on a daily trail. Compact and nimble. Probably not great if you are primarily making fresh tracks in deep powder since they have a fairly compact deck that doesn't float well. Following snow storms they leave a perfectly groomed trail after a couple walks that is ideal for the smaller dogs! Will never return to tubular snowshoes!
February 19, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5
by LoonLadysFriend Where's the snow?
I do love LL Bean. They took my old snow shoes back because the bindings kept opening. Got a great consult from staff, and then while on line to pay was informed by another customer that my choice gets top rating in backpacking magazine. My new Tubb's look great..I'm so excited to try them.... but where's the snow????
January 15, 2012
Rated 4 out of 5 by MrAdamsaddict Great for icy conditions
I bought these to use on the lower slopes of Mt. Adams which is often icy and wet. The aggressive crampons work wonderfully in those conditions. They aren't as great in powder due to their small footprint. The strapping system is phenomenal! On and off with one gloved hand and no slipping when adjusted snugly. I highly recommend this product for all snow but deep powder.
January 4, 2012