The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of gear

Atlas Elektra Montane Review

This is a well-rounded and solidly performing snowshoe fit for all kinds of terrain and objectives
Atlas Elektra Montane
Photo: Atlas
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $200 List
Pros:  Good traction and flotation, excellent binding system, heel lift
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  ⋅  Feb 11, 2020
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
83
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 8
  • Flotation - 30% 8
  • Traction - 25% 8
  • Stride Ergonomics - 15% 8
  • Ease of Use - 15% 9
  • Bindings - 15% 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 great shoe at a very fair price.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Atlas Elektra Montane
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award  
Price $200 List$319.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$205 List$139.95 at REI$190 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
83
86
79
77
77
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Good traction and flotation, excellent binding system, heel liftStellar traction, heel lifts for steep terrain, easy to use, add-on flotation tail compatibleGreat traction, Boa binding system, comfortable binding, easy walking, quietAffordable, stellar traction, easy to use, versatile bindingsExcellent traction, comfortable bindings, fantastic stride ergonomics
Cons A bit heavy, tail flips up a lot of snow, toe shape feels a little wideExpensive, front of binding difficult to navigate with thick gloves on, side and back stepping are laboriousBoa system is more finicky and less repairable than a strap system, on the heavier sideLoud on packed snow, duck waddle for those with a narrower gait, straps do not stay in placeBinding system potentially isn't secure, doesn't float well unless you're very light
Bottom Line The Montane is an easy to use snowshoe that offers great features for mountainous and technical terrainIf superior traction and versatility out in the steep and variable backcountry terrain is what you're looking for, the Lightning Ascent delivers in spadesThe Blizzard III with its impressive crampons and good flotation will make for happy snowshoeing no matter what the terrainGreat traction and versatile bindings mean you will have no problem heading into a wide spectrum of snow types and terrain levels with the EvoThe Flex RDG offers fantastic traction and great stride ergonomics for women while being easy to use and comfortable
Rating Categories Atlas Elektra Montane Lightning Ascent Louis Blizzard III MSR Evo Trail Snowshoes Tubbs Flex RDG - Women's
Flotation (30%)
8
8
8
8
6
Traction (25%)
8
9
8
8
9
Stride Ergonomics (15%)
8
9
8
7
9
Ease Of Use (15%)
9
8
7
7
8
Bindings (15%)
9
9
8
8
7
Specs Atlas Elektra... Lightning Ascent Louis Blizzard III MSR Evo Trail... Tubbs Flex RDG -...
Uses All terrain All terrain Flat, rolling and mountain terrain Flat and variable rolling terrain Variable rolling and mountain terrain
Optimum Weight Load (per size) 23": 80-160 lbs
27": 120-200+ lbs
22": up to 180 lbs
25": 120-210 lbs
22": 60-160 lbs
25": 100-200 lbs
180 lbs 80-150 lbs
Weight (per pair) 4.4 lbs 3.8 lbs 4.4 lbs 3.5 lbs without tails
4.4 lbs with tails
3.5 lbs
Binding Mount Fixed Full Full Full Full
Binding System Wrapp Swift binding Paragon Binding Boa binding DuoFit CustomWrap binding featuring the Boa Closure System
Crampon All-trac toe crampon DTX Crampon Traxion HCS front crampon & V-rail crampon Steel traction rails and brake bars Traction rails and carbon steel toe crampon
Frame Material Aluminum V-frame Aluminum 6061-T6 Aluminum ErgoStream Martensitic steel Plastic frame and decking with steel traction rails
Deck Material Nytex decking Nylon EDGE molded polymer Polypropylene Plastic advanced Torsion Deck
Surface Area (for tested size) 176 in² 180 in² 189 in² 174 in² without tails, 220 in² with 151 in²
Dimensions 8.5 x 27" 7.25 x 25" 8 x 25" 8 x 22" 8 x 22"
Flotation Tails Available? No Yes, 5" No Yes, 6" No
Load with Tails (per size) n/a 22": up to 240 lbs
25": up to 270 lbs
n/a Up to 250 lbs n/a
Men's and Women's Versions? No, women's specific Yes Yes Unisex Yes
Sizes Available 23", 27" 22", 25" 22", 25" 22" 22"
Size Tested 27" 25" 25" 22" plus 6" add-on tails 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.
Photo: Penney Garrett

Flotation


At 27", the Montane is the longest shoe in our review (not counting the length achieved with supplemental flotation tails for our MSR models). The large surface area allowed excellent flotation, among the best of our tested models. No complaints.

The Montane floats just like a competent snowshoe should.
The Montane floats just like a competent snowshoe should.
Photo: Penney Garrett

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 the 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 kept us upright...
Up steep hills and down slick slopes, the Montane kept us upright and secure.
Photo: Penney Garrett

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, everybody 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 tends to throw a lot of snow up onto the back of the legs.

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

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 place the foot correctly, and the straps tighten up and release with a simple pull of the loop.

The back heel strap ratchets everything securely with an easy pull, no funny body angles or 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...
This snowshoe has an incredibly fast and easy binding system that we really appreciated.
Photo: Penney Garrett

Bindings


The binding on the Montane 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++!

The Montane's binding system is hard not to love.
The Montane's binding system is hard not to love.
Photo: Penney Garrett

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.

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

Conclusion


The Montane 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. There are more serious models available, but almost all of them come at a much heftier price point. For the outdoorswoman who wants to get technical within a more modest budget, this is a fabulous option.

If you love long walks on snowy trails, steep hills, and powdery...
If you love long walks on snowy trails, steep hills, and powdery meadows, the Montane will be a solid adventure partner for you!
Photo: Penney Garrett

Penney Garrett