MSR Revo Explore - Women's Review
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MSR Revo Explore - Women's
|Price||$187.46 at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
$219.95 at REI
$191.99 at Amazon
$149.95 at Amazon
$195.93 at REI
|Pros||Lightweight, full coverage decking, simple ratchet system, heel lift||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||Amazing traction, comfortable bindings, versatile fit, ascent heel|
|Cons||Loud, subpar traction for descending, wide, no curves, pricey||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||Poor floatation, difficult to walk backward and side-step, bindings take a moment to get used to|
|Bottom Line||This lightweight snowshoe offers full coverage decking, one metal toe crampon, and a simple binding system for casual rolling hill hiking||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||A flexible and comfortable snowshoe with incredible traction, perfect for icy packed conditions|
|Rating Categories||MSR Revo Explore -...||Tubbs Wilderness -...||Crescent Moon Leadv...||MSR Evo Trail Snows...||TSL Symbioz Elite -...|
|Stride Ergonomics (15%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Specs||MSR Revo Explore -...||Tubbs Wilderness -...||Crescent Moon Leadv...||MSR Evo Trail Snows...||TSL Symbioz Elite -...|
|Uses||Deep snow||Day hiking||Technical mountain terrain and packed snow||Flat and variable rolling terrain||Technical mountain terrain and packed snow|
|Optimum Weight Load (per size)||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||20.5": 65 - 180 lbs
23.5": 110 - 260 lbs
27": 150 - 300 lbs
|Weight (per pair)||4 lbs||4.1 lbs||4.2 lbs||4.0 lbs||4.2 lbs|
|Binding System||HyperLink||Quick-Fit Binding||Cam buckle quick pull loop and ratchet heel strap||Paraglide||Symbioz telescopic bindings|
|Crampon||Toe crampon||Cobra Toe Crampon
Tubbs Heel Crampon
|3 stainless steel crampon system featuring the climbing "toe" claw design||Steel traction rails||Stainless steel|
|Frame Material||Martensite Steel||Aluminum||Aluminum||Martensitic steel||Composite|
|Surface Area (for tested size)||168.7 in²||228.0 in²||192.9 in²||174.5 in² without tails, 220 in² with||221.4 in²|
|Dimensions||22" x 8"||9" x 30"||9.5" x 29"||8" x 22"||27" x 8.5"|
|Flotation Tails Available?||Yes||No||No||Yes, 6"||No|
|Load with Tails (per size)||22": up to 240 lbs
25": up to 270 lbs
|N/A||N/A||Up to 250 lbs||N/A|
|Men's and Women's Versions?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unisex||Unisex|
|Sizes Available||22", 25"||21", 25", 30"||29"||22"||20.5", 23.5", 27"|
|Size Tested||25"||25"||29"||22" plus 6" add-on tails||27"|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Revo Explore is a beginner-friendly snowshoe with a simple binding system and lightweight decking. It is a little loud and works best on flat, casual terrain with packed snow.
Staying afloat on deep snow is one of the main reasons we wear snowshoes, but the float level varies significantly from shoe to shoe. A larger surface area and a lighter shoe often help contribute to better float, but other factors like decking coverage and shape can help too.
The 22-inch Revo Explore has a surface area of roughly 158 square inches and is recommended for people up to 240 pounds. This is definitely a smaller snowshoe, but it still offers decent float. The ExoTrac decking is very lightweight, which helps keep you on top of the snow, but the Explore works best in slightly packed snow as it tends to posthole in the fresh deep stuff.
The benefits of wearing snowshoes do not stop at flotation. Traction is an essential attribute to pay attention to, especially if you plan to hike steep icy terrain.
The aggressive perimeter teeth of ExoTrac deck and Pivot crampons help provide traction. They work especially well on crusty snow over rolling hills or on flatter terrain as the perimeter teeth sink nicely into the snow. However, the Revo Explore only has one aggressive metal toe crampon, which can make ascending on icy terrain a little precarious. A heel crampon would help significantly here.
Most people have to adjust their gait a little to accommodate snowshoes because they are significantly large than their feet. While larger shoes offer better flotation, smaller or curvier shoes help encourage a more natural stride. The Revo Explore is a smaller snowshoe with little to no curvature, and the rectangular nature makes it difficult to walk without a waddle, especially if you have a narrower gait. This is a non-issue for those with wider hips or longer legs but be prepared to waddle if you are particularly petite.
Ease of Use
Motivation to get out into the cold can be hard enough to find, and a pair of difficult-to-use snowshoes may be enough to keep you inside instead of going on an adventure. When testing for this metric, we put on, take off and adjust each pair of snowshoes on the go. The general fit and how inclusive the sizing of each shoe is also taken into account here.
The two-strap ratchet binding system is quick and easy to adjust, but the rachets are a little small and difficult to grip with gloves on. A slide-to-adjust feature also allows the user to switch the strap length from a medium to a small. This adds to overall fit inclusivity but is a little difficult to figure out at first. The Erg Televator heel lifts help reduce fatigue on steeper terrain and are easy to deploy. Our major issue with the Revo Explore is how loud the decking is. If you are not sensitive to white noise, this probably won't bother you, but we found it hard to hold a conversation or enjoy the sounds of nature while hiking in these snowshoes.
During our binding testing, we assess the level of comfort and convenience the bindings provide. A binding that unevenly distributes pressure can cause pinching and chafing, drastically reducing the amount of time you can spend in them.
While the HyperLink bindings on the Revo are convenient and offer inclusive sizing, they are not the most comfortable. The EVA foam cushions are comfortable, but the placement is not — it puts all the pressure on the sides of the forefoot. This creates a very uneven distribution of weight, pinching the sides of the foot and disregarding the top of the foot.
Should You Buy the MSR Revo Explore?
Like many MSR brand snowshoes, the Revo Explore is rather expensive. If you're looking for a compact shoe with decent float for rolling hills or flat terrain, this shoe may be a good choice; however, there are less expensive options that perform better in our test suite.
What Other Snowshoes Should You Consider?
The Revo Explore is great for casual terrain, but the MSR Evo Trail is too, and for quite a bit less money. If money isn't an issue and you want the best for technical terrain, the MSR Lightning Ascent and Atlas Range-MTN are our top recommendations.
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