Atlas Range-MTN - Women's Review
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Atlas Range-MTN - Women's
$319.95 at REI
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|Pros||Great for varied terrain, comfortable bindings, super easy to use, good floatation, large crampon and traction rails, pivot limiter for a natural stride, well-rounded||Stellar traction, heel lifts for steep terrain, easy to use, add-on flotation tail compatible||Comfortable and simple binding system, carbon steel crampons, uniquely placed heel crampons, quiet||Easy and natural stride, unique 3-crampon traction system, easy binding system||Affordable, stellar traction, wide fit bindings|
|Cons||Traction suffers a little while descending, expensive||Expensive, front of binding difficult to navigate with thick gloves on, side and back stepping are laborious||Extra rotation causes shin impact, mediocre flotation on fresh snow||Subpar float on unpacked snow, only supports 200 pounds, bulky heel lift||Loud on packed snow, duck waddle for those with a narrower gait, straps can flow around a little|
|Bottom Line||A high-performing, all-terrain snowshoe with a comfortable and easy-to-adjust binding system and excellent traction||This is a serious snowshoe for people that want superior traction and versatility while out in steep and variable backcountry terrain||With its outstandingly comfortable binding system, decent floatation, and stellar traction, this snowshoe is perfect for casual use||A snowshoe with an extreme teardrop shape and three hefty crampons for a natural stride and extra traction||This affordable shoe is equipped with stellar traction and versatile bindings, making it a wonderful pick for varied terrain levels and snow types|
|Rating Categories||Atlas Range-MTN - W...||MSR Lightning Ascent||Tubbs Wilderness -...||Crescent Moon Leadv...||MSR Evo Trail Snows...|
|Stride Ergonomics (15%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Atlas Range-MTN - W...||MSR Lightning Ascent||Tubbs Wilderness -...||Crescent Moon Leadv...||MSR Evo Trail Snows...|
|Uses||Mountain terrain||All terrain||Day hiking||Technical mountain terrain and packed snow||Flat and variable rolling terrain|
|Optimum Weight Load (per size)||22": 75-150 lbs
26": 120-200+ lbs
|22": up to 180 lbs
25": 120-210 lbs
|21": 80-150 lbs
25": 120-200 lbs
30": 170-250 lbs
|Up to 200 lbs||180 lbs|
|Weight (per pair)||4 lbs||3.8 lbs||4.1 lbs||4.2 lbs||4.0 lbs|
|Binding System||Wrapp MTN, Boa Fit||Paragon Binding||Quick-Fit Binding||Cam buckle quick pull loop and ratchet heel strap||Paraglide|
|Crampon||X-Trac toe crampon||DTX Crampon||Cobra Toe Crampon
Tubbs Heel Crampon
|3 stainless steel crampon system featuring the climbing "toe" claw design||Steel traction rails|
|Frame Material||Aluminum||Aluminum||Aluminum||Aluminum||Martensitic steel|
|Deck Material||Nytex nylon||Nylon||Nylon||Nylon||Polypropylene|
|Surface Area (for tested size)||266.4 in²||179.2 in²||228.0 in²||192.9 in²||174.5 in² without tails, 220 in² with|
|Dimensions||26" x 7.5"||7.25" x 25"||9" x 30"||9.5" x 29"||8" x 22"|
|Flotation Tails Available?||No||Yes, 5"||No||No||Yes, 6"|
|Load with Tails (per size)||N/A||22": up to 240 lbs
25": up to 270 lbs
|N/A||N/A||Up to 250 lbs|
|Men's and Women's Versions?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unisex|
|Sizes Available||22", 26"||22", 25"||21", 25", 30"||29"||22"|
|Size Tested||26"||25"||25"||29"||22" plus 6" add-on tails|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This four-pound snowshoe is offered in two sizes to accommodate a decently wide range of bodies from 75 to over 200 pounds. The full binding mount is secure, comfortable, and easy to use, and the pivot limiter offers an organic stride. Read on to see how the Atlas Range-MTN held up to our rigorous testing.
The Range-MTN offers ample decking and lightweight material, which is the perfect combination for float. While it does have some heavier components, Atlas does a great job of keeping them to a minimum.
Generally speaking, the more decking, the more float, but there are many factors at work here. The more material, the heavier the shoe, which can negatively affect the float. The Range-MTN is widest at the ball of the foot, around 7.5 inches, and narrows by the heel and toe, offering a sleek construction that still offers admirable surface area.
The Nytex Infinity Decking is a lightweight nylon and spans the entire snowshoe offering solid float on fresh snow. The single-piece construction of the Reactiv-Trac Frame eliminates the need for unnecessarily heavy hardware on a large, 26-inch-long snowshoe. The aluminum traction rails run two-thirds the length of the shoe, which provides plenty of traction without weighing it down. The Range-MTN weighs a little over four pounds, which is light for the length and surface area it provides, ensuring that the weight does not negatively affect the float.
Atlas refers to the Range-MTN as its "go anywhere, do anything" snowshoe, and the amazing traction plays a huge role in this. From the hefty toe crampon to the serrated traction rails, it performs impeccably on a variety of terrains.
The aluminum traction rails line two-thirds of the snowshoe's perimeter. These teeth are angled backward, making it easy to tack steep terrain, even if it's sheer ice. Unfortunately, these serrated rails don't do much for the descent, but the toe crampon picks up their slack.
The Range-MTN has an aggressive carbon steel X-Trac Toe Crampon. The front teeth are angled forward, and the smaller tooth on the ball of the foot is angled backward. This combination bites the ground throughout your entire stride. We test each snowshoe on mixed terrain, complete with rocks, shrubbery, ice, deep snow, and packed snow. The Range performs a little better walking uphill than it does walking downhill, but overall this snowshoe is great for all seasons and terrain.
Generally speaking, a narrower snowshoe offers a more natural stride, as you're less likely to bump them into each other while walking. However, too narrow of a snowshoe will affect the float and comfort. The Range-MTN walks this line perfectly.
Women tend to have a somewhat narrow gait, meaning they need a narrower snowshoe so as not to waddle and step on their own toes. The Range-MTN is offered in two lengths, 22 and 26 inches. Its width ranges from 7.5 to 4.7 inches, with a narrower toe and heel. These dimensions offer an organic stride without needing to adjust your natural step.
The Range-MTN also has a Pivot Limiter, which allows a more comfortable, steady stride. The Pivot Limiter keeps the snowshoe from pivoting too much where the binding connects to the shoe. Without the limiter, snowshoes can pivot so much that the toe of the snowshoe hits your shin as you walk. With too little pivot, the snowshoe will not unload the snow you pick up while walking, making the shoe heavier and harder to maneuver. The Range offers the perfect pivot.
Ease of Use
The Range-MTN is super easy to use. This snowshoe works seamlessly from the quick-to-adjust binding system to its durable materials.
The single-piece construction of the Reactiv-Trac Frame with Nytex Infinity Decking is very durable. The Wrapp MTN Binding and the BOA Fit System take a moment to figure out how to operate, but once you do, they are extremely easy to adjust on the fly. The knob is easy to twist, even with thick gloves on, and the EZ Heel buckle is comfortable and tucks away neatly, ensuring no flapping straps get in your way.
The large carbon steel crampons on the toe and ball of the foot, paired with the aluminum traction rails and the 19-degree heel lift, ensure a consistent performance across all terrain. The Range-MTN is also available in two sizes that can support bodies that range from 75 to 200+ pounds. Overall, this Range is a well-thought-out, user-friendly snowshoe.
Snowshoe bindings range from stretchy rubber straps to full-on snowboard-style ratchet bindings. The Range-MTN is extremely easy to adjust on the fly, and the Evo padding on the bottom is very comfortable no matter what kind of boots you're wearing.
The intuitive Wrapp MTN Binding and the BOA Fit System work together to make adjustments easy at the car, in the parking lot, or on the go. You pull the know to release the top of the binding or simply press and twist to tighten. It tightens and loosens very evenly, mitigating any potential pinching.
The toe strap covers the entire front half of your foot, and the heel strap stretches. This makes for a very secure binding regardless of your choice of footwear. The foot padding is made of EVA foam, which absorbs some shock if you're a heavy stomper, further contributing to this extremely comfortable snowshoe.
Should You Buy the Atlas Range-MTN?
If you're in the market for a catch-all snowshoe that can take you from packed local trails to deep backcountry powder or icy hills, the Range-MTN is pretty close to perfection. On that note, this snowshoe is not cheap, so if you're just getting into snowshoeing and don't want to commit to a multi-hundred dollar purchase, some other performers in our test suite come pretty close in performance and cost significantly less.
What Other Snowshoes Should You Consider?
If investing a large amount of money in a pair of snowshoes gives you anxiety, the MSR Evo Trail is a wonderful budget-friendly option. The Tubbs Wilderness falls only slightly behind the Atlas Range-MTN in overall performance and rocks an easy-to-use and comfortable binding system for a fraction of the price as well. If you are a stick-to-the-path kind of person and would prefer a snowshoe that performs best on packed snow, the TSL Symbioz Hyperflex Elite is the option for you.
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