The Atlas Elektra Montane is a well-performing snowshoe with supremely easy to use and comfortable bindings. The spring-loaded fixed suspension aids in maneuverability while walking, though it does fling a lot of snow up behind the user. A generous surface area produces excellent flotation, and aggressive crampons and long track rails inspire confidence on even the most technical terrain. Heel lifts help get you up steep hills quickly and round out a really solid shoe at a very fair price. The fixed binding kicks up a lot of snow, and the characteristic Atlas diamond-shaped toe makes us widen our gait a wee bit. But at the end of the day, all our testers enjoyed and appreciated the Montane.
Atlas Elektra Montane Review
Cons: A bit heavy, tail flips up a lot of snow, toe shape feels a little wide
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Atlas Elektra Montane
|Price||$199.95 at REI||$319.95 at REI|
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|$200 List||$190 List||$139.95 at REI|
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|Pros||Good traction and flotation, excellent binding system, heel lift, affordable||Superior traction, heel lifts for steep terrain, easy to use, men's and women's versions, add-on flotation tail compatible||Great traction, Boa binding system, comfortable binding, easy walking, quiet||Excellent traction, comfortable bindings, fantastic stride ergonomics||Affordable, great traction, easy to use, versatile|
|Cons||A bit heavy, tail flips up a lot of snow, toe shape feels a little wide||Expensive, binding straps flop around, bindings take longer to get into||Boa system is more finicky and less repairable than a strap system, on the heavier side||Binding system potentially isn't secure, doesn't float well unless you're very light||Plastic frame is loud, requires most women to widen their gait a bit, straps flop around|
|Bottom Line||This is a well-rounded and solidly performing snowshoe fit for all kinds of terrain and objectives.||This is a serious snowshoe for people that want superior traction and versatility while out in steep and variable backcountry terrain.||This is a well-performing snowshoe with great traction suitable for many different kinds of terrain and snow.||This is a comfortable snowshoe with fantastic traction and great stride ergonomics for women.||This is a solid snowshoe with great traction and versatile bindings that will have no problem taking you into a wide spectrum of snow types and terrain levels.|
|Rating Categories||Atlas Elektra Montane||Lightning Ascent||Louis Blizzard III||Tubbs Flex RDG - Women's||MSR Evo Snowshoe|
|Stride Ergonomics (15%)|
|Ease Of Use (10%)|
|Binding Security (10%)|
|Binding Comfort (10%)|
|Specs||Atlas Elektra...||Lightning Ascent||Louis Blizzard III||Tubbs Flex RDG -...||MSR Evo Snowshoe|
|Uses||All terrain||Mountain and technical terrain||Flat, rolling and mountain terrain||Variable rolling and mountain terrain||Flat and variable rolling terrain|
|Optimum weight loads (per size)||120-200+ lbs||Without tails: 120-210 lbs, With tails: up to 270 lbs||100-200 lbs||80-150 lbs||Without tails: up to 180 lbs, With tails: up to 250 lbs|
|Weight (per pair)||4.36 lbs||3.75 lbs||4.4 lbs||3.5 lbs||3.56 lbs without tails, 4.4 lbs with|
|Binding system||Wrapp Swift binding||PosiLock AT bindings||Boa binding||CustomWrap binding featuring the Boa Closure System||DuoFit|
|Crampon||All-trac toe crampon||Powder-coated steel Torsion2 crampons||Traxion HCS front crampon & V-rail crampon||Traction rails and carbon steel toe crampon||Steel traction rails and brake bars|
|Frame material||Aluminum V-frame||7000-series aluminum||6061-T6 Aluminum ErgoStream||Plastic frame and decking with steel traction rails||Plastic frame and decking with steel traction rails|
|Deck material||Nytex decking||Urethane-impregnated nylon||EDGE molded polymer||Plastic advanced Torsion Deck||UniBody deck - injection-molded plastic|
|Surface area (per size)||176 in²||160 in²||189 in²||151 in²||174 in² without tails, 220 in² with|
|Dimensions||8.5 x 27"||7.25 x 25"||8 x 25"||8 x 22"||8 x 22"|
|Flotation tails sold separately?||No||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Load with tails (per size)||N/A||Up to 270 lbs||N/A||N/A||Up to 250 lbs|
|Men's and Women's versions?||No, women's specific||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unisex|
|Sizes Available||23" and 27"||22" and 25"||22" and 25"||22"||22"|
|Size Tested||27"||25"||25"||22"||22" plus 6" add-on tails|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Fun, functional, and easy to use — that's the Elektra Montane. This is an all-around great snowshoe with a fantastic binding system (one of our favorites), sticky traction, and more-than-adequate flotation.
At 27" the Montane is the longest shoe in our review. We did try out the 6" add-on flotation tails for the MSR Evo, our Best Buy for Versatility, which makes them 28" long, but the base shoe without the tails is only 22". Overall though, the Montane floats quite well, it is among the best in our review.
Feeling secure on technical terrain is no problem in the Montane. The toe crampon is multi-directional with wide teeth. And two traction rails run parallel down each footbed to help provide solid footing on steep slopes and icy patches. A few options in our review feel grippier and are better suited to advanced terrain, but the Montane is more than adequate for most situations.
The Montane is ever-so-slightly wider across the ball of the foot than most snowshoes and, believe it or not, we could feel that while walking. Every once in a while our testers would knock one foot into the other if they weren't paying attention. While this is something to keep in mind when deciding on your purchase, every body is shaped differently. You may not need to adjust your gait whatsoever. Our adjustments were minor, though noticeable compared to other models in this review.
The Montane also has a fixed binding system, which means the tail of the shoe closely follows the natural movement of the foot when walking. For some users, this can cause them to feel marginally heavier due to the back flipping up. It also does tend to flip a lot of snow up onto the back of your legs.
Ease of Use
A big aspect of a pleasant-to-use snowshoe is a good binding system, and that's one area where the Montane has no problem shining brightly. The positive toe locator makes it easy to know your foot is placed correctly and the straps tighten up and release with a simple pull of the correct loop.
The back heel strap ratchets everything securely with an easy pull, no funny body angles and awkward yanking required. The fixed binding system has a different feel when walking than a full rotation one, but the learning curve is fast and straightforward.
The Montane's binding feels highly secure and robust. It has strong webbing and padded support on the front and a well-functioning ratchet system in the back. The only issue we had was with the retainer clip on the heel strap, which houses the excess strap length. It isn't great at keeping that strap in place, particularly when it's cold out. While this could be annoying, it did not affect the integrity of the heel strap in the slightest.
This is a highly comfortable binding system. There's arch support, padding, and the straps cinch down evenly and uniformly with no pinch points. A++!
From packed trails to rolling terrain and technical slopes, the Montane is at home. If you're looking for a fairly technical shoe without spending a fortune, this is a great option. While our review highlights a few options that might be better for specific kinds of objectives, this snowshoe is well-rounded and will suit you well for most all situations.
The Elektra Montane rings up at a very fair price indeed. It has a stellar binding system, impressive traction, good float, and heel lifts for steep climbing. If you want to get technical without breaking the bank, this is a solid choice.
This is a well-rounded snowshoe fit for technical hiking and variable mountainous terrain. It offers everything you will need to stay happy and comfortable while out, from a great binding system to burly traction to heel lifts for steep ascents. While we enjoyed the MSR Lightning Ascent more, it is also quite a bit more expensive. For the outdoorswoman who wants to get technical within a more modest budget, the Montane is a fabulous option.
— Penney Garrett