The Atlas Elektra Rendezvous is a fantastic introductory women's snowshoe at a very reasonable price. It was our second favorite all-around model and the clear choice for our Best Buy Award. Easy to walk in with fantastic flotation, the Rendezvous is a great choice for beginner to intermediate terrain, whether on packed trail or out in deep snow. It fell a bit short on steep and icy slopes, but outside of that it performed admirably in all areas. We think it's a great snowshoe for beginner and seasoned winter enthusiasts alike.
Atlas Elektra Rendezvous Review
Cons: Not the best traction for steep terrain, back heel strap is finicky.
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Elektra Rendezvous by Atlas is a fun and stylish snowshoe that is designed very well for a woman's gait. It also floats extremely well in deep snow. The binding system is intuitive and secure, and we loved how comfortable it was on our feet. For icy and steep terrain this model isn't the best, but for beginner to intermediate trails and deep snow that doesn't get too steep, you will be well taken care of for an exceptionally nice price. The chart below indicates the Elektra Rendezvous's performance, further proving why it was our Best Buy winner.
The Rendezvous was our top performing shoe for flotation. This model hits a really fantastic design balance that allowed us to both float high on deep snow but also still walk with ease. The MSR Evo - Women's was a close runner up for the Best Buy Award as it is the same price and provides better traction, but it was more awkward for our female testers to walk in and didn't float quite as well.
An additional impressive aspect of the Rendezvous was the fact that we floated so well even though we tested the smaller 23" size and were pushing or sometimes exceeding the 160-pound weight limit with our clothes and gear. We can only imagine that the 27" size would have even more impressive flotation. The model that we floated the least successfully in was the Crescent Moon Gold 13 that has a more aggressive teardrop shape and therefore less surface area.
The Rendezvous did not particularly excel in this department, performing near the bottom of the pack. The only shoe we struggled to stick on steep terrain more with was the Tubbs Xplore - Women's. The Rendezvous has a patented heel cleat meant to increase traction when on steep or varied terrain, but it still didn't measure up to some of the other models. Climbing up steep hills felt awkward and required quite a bit of extra energy, and getting downhill was a bit sketchy.
We fared just fine, but if you're going to be on a lot of steep or icy terrain, there are simply better snowshoes to purchase. Our top performers for traction were our Editors' Choice, the MSR Lightning Ascent and our Top Pick for Ease of Use, the Tubbs Flex RDG. Both models have aggressive side traction rails and heel lifts to help make getting up steep hills almost as easy as walking on a flat trail.
We loved the Rendezvous for stride ergonomics! This is one of the main reasons this model eked out the Best Buy win over the MSR Evo which is the same price and also a very impressive snowshoe. The unisex Evo won the Best Buy Award in the men's category, but for a woman's gait, which is generally narrower, it felt a bit clunky.
The Rendezvous was extremely pleasant to walk in, whether on packed trail or in deep snow, which is something we were paying very close attention to for this women-specific review. The only shoe we liked better in this category was our Top Pick for Ease of Use, the Tubbs Flex RDG.
Ease of Use
Again the Rendezvous performed near the top for this category. The combination of good stride ergonomics and a straightforward intuitive binding system made for an easy and pleasant experience. We had a few issues with the back heel strap being difficult to get tight enough to ensure it was secure, and some users found that weaving their boot through the binding straps was a bit awkward (especially with larger boots), but for most testers these were minor and temporary inconveniences.
Be sure to also check out our Top Pick for Ease of Use, the Tubbs Flex RDG - Women's, which combined fantastic stride ergonomics with an easier and faster to use binding system.
The Rendezvous offers a decently secure binding system, though the back heel strap can be tricky to get tight enough. If you don't lock it in nice and tight, we found it has a tendency to come loose when hiking. The strap material is also a bit stiffer and less stretchy than those on the MSR Lightning Ascent - Women's and MSR Evo. The great thing about this style of strap though is the fact that they are easy to replace — both Atlas and MSR offer replacement straps that you can change out yourself.
We had to put the Tubbs Flex RDG at the bottom for this category because there are wire thin cables integral to the Boa binding system that are exposed to the elements and, if one of them breaks, the whole system will be rendered useless and the snowshoe will have to be sent back to Tubbs for repair/replacement. Our favorite binding system was found on the Crescent Moon Gold 13 — the combination of flexible polymer straps and burly ratchet straps across the heel was both secure and very comfortable.
All the snowshoes we tested had comfortable bindings, but the Rendezvous again nabbed a spot near the top of the pack. The front straps criss-cross across the top of the foot and cinch evenly and uniformly tight by pulling a single loop. A heel strap buckles across the heel and you're good to go. We felt secure without experiencing any pinch points or uneven areas.
We liked the Crescent Moon Gold 13 system slightly more, but it was definitely a close race. The only reason our MSR models scored slightly lower is due to the fact that the individual strap and buckle system, while more versatile, is also harder to get tensioned evenly across each foot and between the two feet.
The Rendezvous is best suited for beginner to intermediate terrain, either on trail or out in deep snow drifts. It floats really well and was one of the easiest models we tested for women to walk naturally in. It's not the smartest choice if you plan to spend the majority of your time on very steep or icy terrain though. For that, we would recommend the MSR Evo - Women's for the same price, or, for very serious backcountry terrain, an upgrade to the Lightning Ascent.
The Rendezvous retails for $140, a fantastic deal for a great walking and floating snowshoe. Hence our honoring it with our Best Buy Award. While this is indeed an introductory model, it performed surprisingly well across all our rating metrics. If you plan to be out in terrain where you need burlier traction but still want to stay affordable, check out our close runner-up for the Best Buy Award, the MSR Evo that is the same price and offers the option of add-on flotation tails if you need to upgrade it later.
The Atlas Elektra Rendezvous is a fantastic entry-level snowshoe that will keep you floating high on snow drifts without gouging your wallet. The binding is comfortable and easy to use and all our female testers could walk naturally without having to widen their gait. While this isn't the best choice for overly steep or icy terrain, we think this is a well-made snowshoe for most all beginner to intermediate outings that will last you for years to come.
— Penney Garrett