Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Outdoor Retailer Trends A/W 2014-DIALING IN=BOA-ed SNOWSHOES

Outdoor Retailer/SLC

The convenience of a dialing closure system -instead of tying up laces, or wrestling with a strap/buckle-w/w/o gloves -is massively appealing.

Boa® Technology, founded by a So-Cal surfer transplant to Steamboat Springs- owns this segment of techy know-how…with various options for different products that we have meaningfully paid up for.

In snowshoes…the pop out, turn, push in system is surprisingly really lightweight, durable (aircraft grade stainless steel cable the dog can't chew through), provides even pressure, a quick release (love this), and a super secure easy fit-adjustable on the fly (saving precious T1/T2 seconds re: tri bike shoes)- from toe to heel.

Louis Garneau of ginormous bicycle fame- has surprise to us-high- end snowshoes tricked out with Boa technology for a few seasons…(like the aforementioned bike shoes).
Course-men's 1.59 lbs-pictured above... 7075-T6 aluminum anodized frame, +Attack crampons also made of 7075-T6 aluminum -360º traction, Reflex Pro pivot for natural efficient stride-shock absorbing suspension, contact fit harness-so it stays with you no matter the terrain. Frame shape at the top-perimeter frame enhanced for hold. Made for guys weighing from 100-220lbs. We guess that has to include-the 6lb layers of winter clothing needed in Polar Vortex situations. $249.99

Course-Momentum frame-narrower-optimal surface area

For Fall----the brand continues to add to it four categories of snowshoes: 

Backcountry-Deep Powder snow-mountain terrain

Day Hiking-Hardpacked and powdered snow-rolling terrain

Trail Walking-Hardpacked snow-flat terrain

Running-Hardpack snow-flat/rolling terrain

…AND some with soooo convenient... dial it closures-including the Backcountry Yeti, Blizzard and Black or White Everest---all high performance snowshoes for steeps ascents and summiters (or wannabes)…with grippy crampons, pivoting systems, step up heel raisers for calf relief when going up, and front/backs that are shaped to shed(shred) the snow.

Transition-women's come in white-6061-T6 aluminum anodized frame. Patent pending-new...Instinct pivot natural stride, Contact fit harness-holds any terrain, Assault crampons 7075-T6 aluminum for 360º traction. 2.12 lbs. Perimeter frame
YETI: 7075-T6 aluminum anodized frame, weave decking-puncture proof, abrasion resistant-attached with connect faster system in an optimized lateral traction, Traxion SS front crampons, stay up heel raiser $249.99

Freeflex pivot-harness system with EVA padding

V-Rail Crampons-grip-up down sideways

secure fit too

Black Everest-Backcountry hiking-made with polymer molded deck-sturdy and resistant to -40Cº…Zero Boundary HCS crampons and V-Rail (see below pic)…made of high carbon steel for great grip on any terrain/condition, Freemotion pivot $184.99

V-Rail Crampons, U Bar technology-U shaped profile reinforces deck structure. Very cool.

We look forwarded to demo-ing---!

Tubbs introduced a Flex VRT backcountry snowshoe ($249.95) and Flex RDG ($189.95) at OR's Demo Day that also uses the Boa Closure System.
FLEX RDG w/ Tubbs’ new easy-to-use CustomWrap™ binding---all mountain ready---heel strap is incorporated into binding's construction


DynamicFIt™ Binding-
Super easy in out-we tried out a pair (forgot which one) on a guided jaunt with Utah Mountain Adventures…and positively loved how the snowshoe practically floated on top of the powdery snow---and gripped well when it came to the more packed  stuff. 

Lightweight and snow shedding-we barely noticed them on the way up the mountain… no click clacking, crossing over either. Yippy. Noticeable ease, comfort and flexibility vs. the pair we usually use.

On the way down-unfortunately-the Boa thing kept popping out- annoying to say the least.

When we talked with the Tubbs rep afterwards-it turned out the production of the test model was a WIP---and we have no reason to doubt that the deliveries and performance of the snowshoes-will be retail ready and---  flawless.

HA HA---surprised we were allowed to go yonder with this pair as is though…guess the guy didn't know we have 5 insurance lawyers in our family.
backcountry---but we can see using these on flat or rolling terrain…the crampons grip 
Tubbs’ signature FLEX Tail™ design eases stress on joints---barely notice the weight on your feet-at all. Really impressive.


Bottom Line-snowshoes are great way to get out on the snow-if one can walk-one can snowshoe---and they last practically forever-airline baggage tough????

Curious-we checked out the TSA website-no snowshoe specific mentions anywhere in the sporting equipment category but since those crampons probably qualify as a "sharp object"-imo wrap up -get some padding action---and check them in---like skis.