The Crescent Moon Gold 13 is a well-constructed snowshoe, excellent for both the casual and serious trail hiker. The aggressive teardrop shape isn't the best for flotation in deep snow. But, if you want to move quickly and with confidence on beginning to advanced packed trails, this is a great choice. The Gold 13 has one of our favorite bindings, an intuitive system that feels both ultra-secure and super comfortable. Fixed rotation bindings flip snow off the tail of the shoe with every step and an upturned toe aids with the ergonomics of navigating steeper terrain. All in all, this is a fun and unique snowshoe that we liked when keeping to the appropriate terrain.
Crescent Moon Gold 13 Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Secure and comfortable binding system, fixed bindings for easy snow clearing, great on trails
Cons: Feels heavy in deep snow, doesn't float super well, fixed bindings cause heel to flip up snow
Manufacturer: Crescent Moon
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Crescent Moon Gold 13
|Price||$199.00 at REI|
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|$319.95 at REI|
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|$199.95 at REI||$200 List||$139.95 at REI|
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|Pros||Secure and comfortable binding system, fixed bindings for easy snow clearing, great on trails||Superior traction, heel lifts for steep terrain, easy to use, men's and women's versions, add-on flotation tail compatible||Good traction and flotation, excellent binding system, heel lift, affordable||Great traction, Boa binding system, comfortable binding, easy walking, quiet||Affordable, great traction, easy to use, versatile|
|Cons||Feels heavy in deep snow, doesn't float super well, fixed bindings cause heel to flip up snow||Expensive, binding straps flop around, bindings take longer to get into||A bit heavy, tail flips up a lot of snow, toe shape feels a little wide||Boa system is more finicky and less repairable than a strap system, on the heavier side||Plastic frame is loud, requires most women to widen their gait a bit, straps flop around|
|Bottom Line||This is a fun and innovative snowshoe that's great for athletic hiking on beginner to advanced trails.||This is a serious snowshoe for people that want superior traction and versatility while out in steep and variable backcountry terrain.||This is a well-rounded and solidly performing snowshoe fit for all kinds of terrain and objectives.||This is a well-performing snowshoe with great traction suitable for many different kinds of terrain and snow.||This is a solid snowshoe with great traction and versatile bindings that will have no problem taking you into a wide spectrum of snow types and terrain levels.|
|Rating Categories||Crescent Moon Gold 13||Lightning Ascent||Atlas Elektra Montane||Louis Blizzard III||MSR Evo Snowshoe|
|Stride Ergonomics (15%)|
|Ease Of Use (10%)|
|Binding Security (10%)|
|Binding Comfort (10%)|
|Specs||Crescent Moon Gold...||Lightning Ascent||Atlas Elektra...||Louis Blizzard III||MSR Evo Snowshoe|
|Uses||Flat terrain and mellow trails||Mountain and technical terrain||All terrain||Flat, rolling and mountain terrain||Flat and variable rolling terrain|
|Optimum weight loads (per size)||Up to 165 lbs||Without tails: 120-210 lbs, With tails: up to 270 lbs||120-200+ lbs||100-200 lbs||Without tails: up to 180 lbs, With tails: up to 250 lbs|
|Weight (per pair)||3.95 lbs||3.75 lbs||4.36 lbs||4.4 lbs||3.56 lbs without tails, 4.4 lbs with|
|Binding system||SPL binding system||PosiLock AT bindings||Wrapp Swift binding||Boa binding||DuoFit|
|Crampon||3 stainless steel crampons including a toe claw||Powder-coated steel Torsion2 crampons||All-trac toe crampon||Traxion HCS front crampon & V-rail crampon||Steel traction rails and brake bars|
|Frame material||TIG welded 6063 aluminum tube frame||7000-series aluminum||Aluminum V-frame||6061-T6 Aluminum ErgoStream||Plastic frame and decking with steel traction rails|
|Deck material||TGS decking||Urethane-impregnated nylon||Nytex decking||EDGE molded polymer||UniBody deck - injection-molded plastic|
|Surface area (per size)||Not stated||160 in²||176 in²||189 in²||174 in² without tails, 220 in² with|
|Dimensions||8.5 x 24.5"||7.25 x 25"||8.5 x 27"||8 x 25"||8 x 22"|
|Flotation tails sold separately?||No||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Load with tails (per size)||N/A||Up to 270 lbs||N/A||N/A||Up to 250 lbs|
|Men's and Women's versions?||No, women's specific||Yes||No, women's specific||Yes||Unisex|
|Sizes Available||24.5"||22" and 25"||23" and 27"||22" and 25"||22"|
|Size Tested||24.5"||25"||27"||25"||22" plus 6" add-on tails|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Gold 13 is a unique snowshoe designed specifically for women who love hiking with confidence on snowy trails. It's not the model to choose if you plan to spend most of your time in deep backcountry snow. But if efficient movement on packed rolling terrain is your jam, then this may be the perfect snowshoe for you.
The Gold 13 is one of our least favorite models for flotation due to its narrow tailed design. This reduces surface area and directly affects flotation in deep snow. In addition, it has fixed rotation bindings, which means the tail of the shoe follows closely behind your heel with each step. This allows the snowshoe to mimic the natural movement of your foot more closely, but it means the tail flips up with each step you take.
In shallow snow, this is smart because it clears the snow off the top of the shoe quickly and efficiently, but it's not ideal in deeper snow. In deep snow, you will be physically flipping up wads of snow as you walk. If you plan to be in deep snow regularly, we recommend researching other models.
The Gold 13 has the perfect amount of traction for the terrain it's designed for, namely packed trails. Some models with really burly traction make climbing feel sticky on shallow, packed terrain. And some models meant for trails are practically useless on hills. The Gold 13 hits a great balance here and performs well on both. While the edges can feel a bit slippery, if you focus on the aggressive toe crampons when navigating steep areas, you will be fine. On moderate trails, you will be walking with ease and confidence.
This snowshoe performed decently here, though it wasn't our favorite. Despite the narrowness of the tail, the front toe portion is actually among the widest we tested. These shoes are designed specifically with a woman's gait in mind, but one of our testers still felt they had to widen their steps a bit. Most testers didn't have to change their gait much at all, though the way the heel flipped up took a bit of getting used to for everyone. The comfort of walking in these shoes is terrain dependent — in deep snow, we struggled a bit, but on packed or partially packed trails we felt great.
Ease of Use
This Gold 13 is very easy to use. The binding system is one of our favorites, though it does require that your foot is properly centered for optimal comfort and stability. And the heelflip from the fixed rotation bindings takes some getting used to. But the ratcheting heel strap is a cinch to master and walking on trails is a breeze. Overall this is an easy and straightforward snowshoe that trail hikers will love.
This snowshoe has one of our very favorite binding systems in regards to security and comfort. It may not be quite as burly or as versatile as the simple straps and buckles of the Lightning or the Evo, but it's close. The system hugs the entire foot evenly, and both tightens and loosens with the pull of a single loop. This makes for a very uniform feel and means that on-trail adjustments are quick and easy. The heel strap is a simple ratcheting system, much like a ski or snowboard binding.
The Gold 13 is so comfy! As long as your foot is properly centered before everything gets tightened down, you're good to go. The evenness of the cinch from the SPL (single pull loop) system means your feet will feel uniformly supported at all times. The built-in support areas and a well-supported ratchet buckle in the back certainly help. All of the models we tested had high quality and comfortable binding systems, but this one was a noticeable notch above many.
The Gold 13 is an ideal snowshoe for hikers that plan to stay on trails that are packed or newly packed. In deeper snow, the narrow tails impede flotation, but for quick and natural movements on trail, we really like this shoe. While this model isn't specifically designed for running, its shape is close to a runners design, and we did feel great the few times we ran for short distances. From beginner to advanced trail hiking, this is a great shoe to consider.
Retailing at $259, this is an expensive shoe. It's a rather advanced design, and while perfectly fine for the beginning snowshoer, isn't exactly a beginner model. If you know you want to snowshoe for years to come and plan to advance your trail skills along the way, it's a worthy investment for a well-made shoe.
As an additional bonus, Crescent Moon snowshoes are made in the U.S.A. and are eco-friendly, manufactured in a wind-powered factory where they have eliminated PVC and recycle everything. When you consider those aspects, we think this shoe is an even better value and a conscious way to spend your hard-earned dollars.
The Gold 13 is a well-made snowshoe with a comfortable and secure binding system and a smart design for quick and efficient navigation on trails. We don't recommend it if you plan to head out into deep backcountry snow drifts or super icy steep terrain, but for trail hiking, whether beginner or advanced, this is a solid purchase.
— Penney Garrett