Reviews You Can Rely On

Atlas Montane - Women's Review

This is a well-rounded and solidly performing snowshoe for all kinds of terrain and objectives
Atlas Montane - Women's
Credit: Atlas
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $230 List | $229.95 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Good traction and flotation, excellent binding system, heel lift
Cons:  Tail flips up a lot of snow, toe shape feels a little wide
Manufacturer:   Atlas
By Hayley Thomas ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 9, 2022
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
76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 9
  • Flotation - 30% 6.0
  • Traction - 25% 8.0
  • Stride Ergonomics - 15% 7.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 9.0
  • Bindings - 15% 9.0

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 does fling a lot of snow up 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 on even the most technical terrain. Heel lifts help get you up steep hills quickly and round out the solid design. If you're looking to spend some time exploring semi-packed trails and don't want a little ice to stop you, then the Montane is a great choice.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Top Pick Award  Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $229.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$219 List
$219.00 at Amazon
$159.96 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$111.97 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
76
80
80
71
68
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 liftEasy and natural stride, unique 3-crampon traction system, easy binding systemComfortable and simple binding system, carbon steel crampons, uniquely placed heel crampons, inclusive sizing, quietAffordable, stellar traction, easy to use, versatile bindingsEasy binding adjustments, excellent traction, flexible, budget-friendly, good for packed snow, lightweight
Cons Tail flips up a lot of snow, toe shape feels a little wideSubpar float on unpacked snow, only supports 200 pounds, bulky heel liftExtra rotation causes shin impact, mediocre flotation on fresh snowLoud on packed snow, duck waddle for those with a narrower gait, straps do not stay in placeLoud, below average float on fresh snow, straps flop around
Bottom Line This is a well-rounded and solidly performing snowshoe for all kinds of terrain and objectivesA snowshoe with an extreme teardrop shape and three hefty crampons for a natural stride and extra tractionWith its outstandingly comfortable binding system, decent floatation, and stellar traction, this snowshoe is perfect for casual useThis affordable shoe is equipped with stellar traction and versatile bindings, making it a wonderful pick for varied terrain levels and snow typesA lightweight snowshoe perfect for beginner terrain with easy-to-adjust bindings, great traction, and flexible decking
Rating Categories Atlas Montane - Wom... Crescent Moon Gold 15 Tubbs Wilderness -... MSR Evo Trail Snows... Atlas Helium Trail...
Flotation (30%)
6.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
Traction (25%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Stride Ergonomics (15%)
7.0
10.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Ease of Use (15%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Bindings (15%)
9.0
8.0
10.0
8.0
7.0
Specs Atlas Montane - Wom... Crescent Moon Gold 15 Tubbs Wilderness -... MSR Evo Trail Snows... Atlas Helium Trail...
Uses All terrain Technical mountain terrain and packed snow Day hiking Flat and variable rolling terrain Trail walking
Optimum Weight Load (per size) 23": 80-160 lbs
27": 120-200+ lbs
Up to 200 lbs 21": 80-150 lbs
25": 120-200 lbs
30": 170-250 lbs
180 lbs 23": 80-160 lbs
26": 150-220 lbs
30": 200-270+ lbs
Weight (per pair) 4.1 lbs 4.2 lbs 4 lbs 3.5 lbs without tails
4.4 lbs with tails
3.3 lbs
Binding Mount Full Full Full Full Full
Binding System Wrapp Swift Binding Cam buckle quick pull loop and ratchet heel strap 180 EZ Pro Binding DuoFit WrapTrail
Crampon All-Trac Toe Crampon 3 stainless steel crampon system featuring the climbing "toe" claw design Cobra Toe Crampon
Tubbs Heel Crampon
Steel traction rails and brake bars Toe crampon
Frame Material Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Martensitic steel Composite
Deck Material Nytex Nylon SoftTec, Composite Polypropylene Composite
Surface Area (for tested size) 182.25 in² 192.5 in² 225 in² 174 in² without tails, 220 in² with 190 in²
Dimensions 8" x 27" 9.5" x 29" 9" x 30" 8" x 22" 8" x 30"
Flotation Tails Available? No No No Yes, 6" No
Load with Tails (per size) n/a n/a n/a Up to 250 lbs n/a
Men's and Women's Versions? No, women's specific Yes Yes Unisex Unisex
Sizes Available 23", 27" 29" 21", 25", 30" 22" 23", 26", 30"
Size Tested 27" 29" 30" 22" plus 6" add-on tails 30"

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 - Women's snowshoes - off we go in the montane, an excellent snowshoe well suited for...
Off we go in the Montane, an excellent snowshoe well suited for packed and icy terrain.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Flotation


We tested the Montane in the 27" length, the largest of three sizes available. This is about average for our tested models, but the curves of this teardrop-shaped snowshoe make the footprint a little smaller. This is great for stride ergonomics but hinders the float on particularly deep snow, rendering the Montane a better option for well-packed trails and less ideal for the backcountry.

Atlas Montane - Women's snowshoes - the montane does not provide the best float in deep unpacked snow.
The Montane does not 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 - Women's snowshoes - 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: Matthew Blake

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. 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 up onto the back of the legs.

Atlas Montane - Women's snowshoes - 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.
Credit: Matthew Blake

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 a loop. The back heel belt straps everything down securely with an easy pull; no funny body angles or awkward yanking required. The fixed binding system has a different feel when walking then a full rotation one, but the learning curve is fast and straightforward.

Atlas Montane - Women's snowshoes - the montane has an incredibly fast and easy binding system that we...
The Montane has an incredibly fast and easy binding system that we really appreciated.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Bindings


The binding on the Montane feels highly secure and robust. It has strong webbing, a toe cage on the front, and a well-functioning pull strap system around the heel. The retainer clip which houses the excess strap length on the Montane's newest iteration works much better than its predecessor. This is a highly comfortable binding system. There's arch support, and the straps cinch down evenly and uniformly with no pinch points.

Atlas Montane - Women's snowshoes - the montane's binding system is simple and highly effective.
The Montane's binding system is simple and highly effective.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Value


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

Conclusion


The Atlas 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, although it lacks a bit in regards to flotation. More serious models are available, but almost all of them come at a little higher price point.

Atlas Montane - Women's snowshoes - 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.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Hayley Thomas
You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More