Today's review hails from the winter section of the shop.
We carry both Tubbs and Atlas snowshoes in this area.
The Atlas 12.25!
"The Atlas 12.25 is one awesome shoe for the price. It comes with a sweet 'one-pull' binding system that is easy to adjust with mittens. When viewing the shoe from the underside one is immediately struck by the evil smile that the toothy fixed crampons form. It makes a person think about bashing ice, crawling up mountainsides and howling arctic gales...... Yeah.. hmmmmm...
The frame of the shoe is now built with oval construction in the load bearing area of the shoe. (From the ball of the foot to the heel.) This construction, borrowed from bicycle chain-stays, significantly increases the strength of the shoe along the load bearing axis. In addition, it limits the torsional flex of the shoe when powering off of rocks and other snowshoe destroying obstacles.
The Atlas includes a heel lift for long uphill slogs through deep snow. It is a simple solution to Achilles tendinitis and a welcome addition to the Atlas mountaineering design.
The best part of the shoe is the redundancy built into the binding system.
As a person who breaks just about every piece of outdoor equipment ever owned, I really appreciate the double attachment point of the binding system. Blow a strap out on most other snowshoes and it becomes an opportunity to imitate the Frank Zappa Dancing Fool. (Uh oh... Zappa references.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Trqfeg-5Duo ) The Atlas allows a person to carefully hike out. Cool!
Improvements? Really not all that much can be improved. The weight is comparable to other snowshoes in this category. The rivets seem improved this year and are easily replaced if they break. I even dig the color. (Tough to miss outside the tent even when half buried by an overnight snowfall....)
4.5/5 Arcadian Pine Trees granted... only because I feel like being tough this morning!"