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