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Atlas Montane - Women's Review

A well-rounded traditional snowshoe suitable for all-terrain that boasts better traction than most tubular snowshoes
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Atlas Montane - Women's Review (The Atlas Montane features reasonably solid traction most occasions, although the tubular, long frame is slippery on...)
The Atlas Montane features reasonably solid traction most occasions, although the tubular, long frame is slippery on descents.
Credit: Kate Pitts
Price:  $250 List
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Manufacturer:   Atlas
By Kate Pitts and Hayley Thomas  ⋅  Apr 5, 2024
63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 14
  • Flotation - 30% 6.0
  • Traction - 30% 7.0
  • Walkability - 20% 5.0
  • Bindings - 20% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Atlas 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 flips a lot of snow behind the user. A decently sized footprint offers average flotation, but this snowshoe is best for packed snow. The aggressive crampons and long track rails inspire confidence you don't normally find on tubular snowshoes. Heel lifts help quickly get you up steep hills and round out the solid design. If you're looking to explore semi-packed trails and don't want a little ice to stop you, then the Montane is a great choice.
REASONS TO BUY
Decent traction
Excellent binding system
Heel lift
Suitable for lightly packed terrain
REASONS TO AVOID
Tail flips up a lot of snow
Toe shape feels a little wide
Flotation in deep snow is not great
Editor's Note: We updated this review on April 5, 2024, after updating our metrics and retesting the Montane.

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Bottom Line This is a well-rounded and solidly performing snowshoe for all kinds of terrain and objectivesThese snowshoes provide excellent flotation and support for heavy loads in all winter conditions, offering the float and durability you can trust for winter backpackingExcellent traction and versatile bindings mean you will have no problem heading into a wide spectrum of snow types and terrain levels with this widely popular and durable snowshoeA high-traction snowshoe, with a flexible deck, great for ice and packed snowThis snowshoe is perfect for everyday use with its easy-to-use and comfortable binding system, superior flotation, and ability to carry heavy loads
Rating Categories Atlas Montane - Wom... Tubbs Mountaineer -... MSR Evo Trail Snows... TSL Symbioz Hyperfl... Tubbs Wilderness -...
Flotation (30%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
4.0
7.0
Traction (30%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
9.0
6.0
Walkability (20%)
5.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
Bindings (20%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Specs Atlas Montane - Wom... Tubbs Mountaineer -... MSR Evo Trail Snows... TSL Symbioz Hyperfl... Tubbs Wilderness -...
Measured Weight (per pair) 4 lbs 4.56 lbs 3.69 lbs 4.31 lbs 4.12 lbs.
Sizes Available 23", 27" 21", 25", 30" 22" 20.5", 23.5", 27" 21", 25", 30"
Binding System Wrapp Swift Binding Active Fit 2.0 Paraglide Symbioz telescopic bindings Quick-Fit binding
Frame Material Aluminum Aluminum Martensitic steel Composite, carbon reinforcements Aluminum
Measured Surface Area 154.1 in² 157.5 in² 162.8 in² 127.1 in² 156.1 in²
Measured Dimensions 8 x 23 sq in 8.5 x 21 sq in 8 x 22 sq in 7.5 x 20.5 sq in 8 x 21 sq in
Binding Mount Full Full Full Full Full
Crampon All-Trac toe crampon, StabiLock rear traction Anaconda toe crampon
Python heel crampon
Steel traction rails Stainless steel toe crampon and verticle blades Cobra toe and
Tubbs heel crampon
Deck Material Nytex nylon Soft-Tec PVC-coated polyester Polypropylene Composite Soft-Tec PVC-coated polyester
Flotation Tails Available? No No Yes, 6" No No
Load with Tails (per size) N/A N/A 22" : up to 250 lbs N/A N/A
Men's and Women's Versions? Yes Yes Unisex Unisex Yes
Optimum Weight Load (per size) 23": 80-160 lbs
27": 120-200+ lbs
21": 80-150 lbs
25" 120-200 lbs
30": 170-250 lbs
One size: 180 lbs 20.5": 65 - 180 lbs
23.5": 110 - 260 lbs
27": 150 - 300 lbs
21": 80-150 lbs
25": 120-200 lbs
30": 170-250 lbs
Size Tested 23" 21" 22" 20.5" 21"

Our Analysis and Test Results

Fun, functional, and easy to use — that's the Montane. This is an all-around great snowshoe with a fantastic binding system (one of our favorites), sticky traction, and enough flotation for more casual terrain and packed snow.

Performance Comparison


atlas montane for women - we tested our snowshoes in the snows of different ranges in the...
We tested our snowshoes in the snows of different ranges in the Rocky Mountains.
Credit: Kate Pitts

Flotation


We tested the Montane in the 23" length, the smallest of three sizes available. The curves of this teardrop-shaped snowshoe make the footprint thinly taper towards the back of the shoe. This is great for stride ergonomics but hinders the ability to float in bottomless snow, rendering the Montane a better option for well-packed trails and less ideal for the backcountry.

atlas montane for women - the montane doesn't provide the best float in deep unpacked snow.
The Montane doesn't provide the best float in deep unpacked snow.
Credit: Matthew Blake

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.

atlas montane for women - the montane's traction is great for ice, packed snow and even...
The Montane's traction is great for ice, packed snow and even slippery fallen trees or rocks
Credit: Kate Pitts

Walkability


The Montane snowshoes have a slightly wider ball of the foot than most snowshoes, which can be felt while walking. Occasionally, testers hit one foot into the other if they were not paying attention. Consider this when deciding on your purchase, as everyone has a different body frame and may not need to adjust their gait. Our adjustments were minor but noticeable compared to other models in the review.

atlas montane for women - the spring loaded suspension is fun on packed snow.
The spring loaded suspension is fun on packed snow.
Credit: Matthew Blake

The Montane also has a fixed binding system, which means the shoe's tail closely follows the foot's natural movement when walking. This can cause the snowshoe to feel marginally heavier for some users due to the back flipping up. It also tends to throw a lot of snow onto the back of the legs.

atlas montane for women - walking in the montane is generally pleasant, though the spring...
Walking in the Montane is generally pleasant, though the spring loaded binding system kicks up a lot of snow.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Bindings


The binding on the Montane feels very comfortable and fits our boot snugly from all sides, although the bindings may be small for oversized boots. They do leave more tails than we would like and feel a little clumsy to put on and off. The comfortable straps didn't give us pressure points on longer hikes, but our feet did shift within them on steep descents.

atlas montane for women - roller buckles on the heel and ankle straps provide easy entry into...
Roller buckles on the heel and ankle straps provide easy entry into the bindings, although the straps don't stay as neatly tucked as we would like.
Credit: Kate Pitts

Should You Buy the Atlas Montane?


The Montane rings up at a very fair price. It has a comfortable binding system, impressive traction, okay float, and heel lifts for steep climbing. Fit for technical hiking and variable mountainous terrain, the Montane is a solid choice if you want to get technical without completely breaking the bank.

What Other Snowshoes Should You Consider?


If you want solid float, the MSR Lightning Ascent or the Tubbs Wilderness will keep you from sinking in deep powder. Another good option for all-terrain that earns top marks for being easy to walk in, is theCrescent Moon Leadville 29 which is excellent for women with narrow hips and walking naturally in all snow conditions.

atlas montane for women - the atlas montane features reasonably solid traction most occasions...
The Atlas Montane features reasonably solid traction most occasions, although the tubular, long frame is slippery on descents.
Credit: Kate Pitts

Kate Pitts and Hayley Thomas