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Atlas Elektra Montane Review

This is a well-rounded and solidly performing snowshoe fit for all kinds of terrain and objectives.
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Price:  $200 List | $199.95 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Good traction and flotation, excellent binding system, heel lift, affordable
Cons:  A bit heavy, tail flips up a lot of snow, toe shape feels a little wide
Manufacturer:   Atlas
By Penney Garrett ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 28, 2018
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83
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 10
  • Flotation - 30% 8
  • Traction - 25% 8
  • Stride Ergonomics - 15% 8
  • Ease of Use - 10% 9
  • Binding Security - 10% 9
  • Binding Comfort - 10% 9

Our Verdict

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.

If you love Atlas snowshoes but need to keep the price down, check out the Elektra Rendezvous which is very similar in design. It's quite a bit less technical but also $60 cheaper and more than adequate for casual outings. If you're in the market for something that can take you into the most serious environments, we highly recommend our Top Pick for Technical Terrain, the MSR Lightning Ascent.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award   
Price $199.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$270 List$299.95 at Amazon$149.93 at REI$190 List
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Pros Good traction and flotation, excellent binding system, heel lift, affordableExcellent flotation, great traction, easy to use bindings, comfortable, pleasant to walk in no matter the terrainSuperior traction, heel lifts for steep terrain, easy to use, men's and women's versions, add-on flotation tail compatibleGreat traction, Boa binding system, comfortable binding, easy walking, quietExcellent traction, comfortable bindings, fantastic stride ergonomics
Cons A bit heavy, tail flips up a lot of snow, toe shape feels a little wideOn the heavy side, don't pack down as flat as other models, priceyExpensive, binding straps flop around, bindings take longer to get intoBoa system is more finicky and less repairable than a strap system, on the heavier sideBinding system potentially isn't secure, doesn't float well unless you're very light
Bottom Line This is a well-rounded and solidly performing snowshoe fit for all kinds of terrain and objectives.This well-rounded snowshoe is a pleasure to use and has all the features needed for a day out in some serious snow.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.
Rating Categories Atlas Elektra Montane Tubbs Mountaineer - Women's Lightning Ascent Louis Blizzard II Tubbs Flex RDG - Women's
Flotation (30%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
6
Traction (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
9
Stride Ergonomics (15%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
Ease Of Use (10%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
Binding Security (10%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
Binding Comfort (10%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
Specs Atlas Elektra... Tubbs Mountaineer... Lightning Ascent Louis Blizzard II Tubbs Flex RDG -...
Uses Mountain and technical terrain Mountain terrain Mountain and technical terrain Day hiking, variable rolling terrain Day hiking, mountain terrain
Optimum weight loads (per size) 23": 80-160 lbs, 27": 120-200+ lbs 21": 80-150 lbs, 25": 120-200 lbs, 30": 170-250lbs 22": 180 lbs, 25":120-210 lbs 22": 80-160 lbs, 25": 100-200 lbs 80-150 lbs
Weight (per pair) 23": 4.26 lbs, 27": 4.36 lbs 21": 4.3 lbs, 25": 4.8 lbs, 30": 4.9 lbs 22": 3.56 lbs, 25": 3.75 lbs 22": 4.2 lbs, 25": 4.4 lbs 3.5 lbs
Binding mount Fixed Full Full Full Full
Binding system Wrapp Swift binding ActivFit binding PosiLock AT bindings Boa binding CustomWrap binding featuring the Boa Closure System
Crampon All-trac toe crampon Anaconda toe & Python heel crampons Powder-coated steel Torsion2 crampons Traxion HCS front crampon & V-rail crampon Traction rails and carbon steel toe crampon
Frame material Aluminum V-frame Aluminum 7000-series aluminum 6061-T6 Aluminum ErgoStream Plastic frame and decking with steel traction rails
Deck material Nytex decking SoftTec decking Urethane-impregnated nylon EDGE molded polymer Plastic advanced Torsion Deck
Surface area (per size) 145 in² for 23" and 176 in² for 27" 136 in² for 21", 178 in² for 25", and 234 in² for 30" 160 in² for 25" 189 in² 151 in²
Dimensions 8.5 x 23"/27" 8 x 21"/25"/30" 7.25 x 22"/25" 8 x 22"/25" 8 x 22"
Flotation tails sold separately? No No Yes No No
Load with tails (per size) N/A N/A Up to 240 lbs for 22", 270 lbs for 25" N/A N/A
Men's and Women's versions? No, women's specific Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sizes Available 23" and 27" 21", 25", 30" 22" and 25" 22" and 25" 22"
Size Tested 27" 25" 22" and 25" 25" 22"

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.

Performance Comparison


The Montane did right by us no matter where we decided to wander.
The Montane did right by us no matter where we decided to wander.

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". The Mountaineer is even available at a whopping 30" if length is a top selling point for you, though it's a considerably more expensive shoe.

The Montane floats quite well, we had no complaints, but our Editors' Choice Tubbs Mountaineer was still better despite being 2" shorter. Still, we like that the Montane floats as well as it does without making our wallets feel quite so sad.

The Montane floats just like a competent snowshoe should.
The Montane floats just like a competent snowshoe should.

Traction


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.

Up steep hills and down slick slopes  the Montane keep us upright and secure.
Up steep hills and down slick slopes, the Montane keep us upright and secure.

Stride Ergonomics


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.

Walking in the Montane is generally pleasant  though the nature of the binding system means it does kick up a lot of snow.
Walking in the Montane is generally pleasant, though the nature of the binding system means it does kick up a lot of snow.

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.

This snowshoe has an incredibly fast and easy binding system that we really appreciated.
This snowshoe has an incredibly fast and easy binding system that we really appreciated.

Binding Security


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 system is highly secure and easy to use  though the back heel strap didn't like to stay in its retaining clip.
This system is highly secure and easy to use, though the back heel strap didn't like to stay in its retaining clip.

Binding Comfort


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++!

The Montane's binding system is hard not to love.
The Montane's binding system is hard not to love.

Best Applications


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.

If you love long walks on snowy trails  steep hills  and powdery meadows  the Montane would be a solid adventure partner for you!
If you love long walks on snowy trails, steep hills, and powdery meadows, the Montane would be a solid adventure partner for you!

Value


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.

Conclusion


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 Tubbs Mountaineer and MSR Lightning Ascent more, they are 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.

Yay snowshoeing!
Yay snowshoeing!


Penney Garrett