Tubbs Flex VRT - Women's Review
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Tubbs Flex VRT - Women's
$279.95 at REI
$349.95 at Amazon
$319.95 at REI
|$149.96 at Backcountry|
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$121.01 at Amazon
|Pros||Comfortable bindings, easy to use, semi-flexible supportive decking, aggressive traction great for packed snow and ice||Stellar traction, heel lifts for steep terrain, easy to use, add-on flotation tail compatible||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||Comfortable and simple binding system, carbon steel crampons, uniquely placed heel crampons, quiet||Affordable, stellar traction, wide fit bindings|
|Cons||Loud plastic decking, expensive||Expensive, front of binding difficult to navigate with thick gloves on, side and back stepping are laborious||Traction suffers a little while descending, expensive||Extra rotation causes shin impact, mediocre flotation on fresh snow||Loud on packed snow, duck waddle for those with a narrower gait, straps can flow around a little|
|Bottom Line||A composite decking snowshoe with easy-to-operate and comfortable bindings and excellent traction||This is a serious snowshoe for people that want superior traction and versatility while out in steep and variable backcountry terrain||A high-performing, all-terrain snowshoe with a comfortable and easy-to-adjust binding system and excellent traction||With its outstandingly comfortable binding system, decent floatation, and stellar traction, this snowshoe is perfect for casual use||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||Tubbs Flex VRT - Wo...||MSR Lightning Ascent||Atlas Range-MTN - W...||Tubbs Wilderness -...||MSR Evo Trail Snows...|
|Stride Ergonomics (15%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Tubbs Flex VRT - Wo...||MSR Lightning Ascent||Atlas Range-MTN - W...||Tubbs Wilderness -...||MSR Evo Trail Snows...|
|Uses||Moutain terrain||All terrain||Mountain terrain||Day hiking||Flat and variable rolling terrain|
|Optimum Weight Load (per size)||21": 80-160 lbs
25": 120-200 lbs
|22": up to 180 lbs
25": 120-210 lbs
|22": 75-150 lbs
26": 120-200+ lbs
|21": 80-150 lbs
25": 120-200 lbs
30": 170-250 lbs
|Weight (per pair)||4.3 lbs||3.8 lbs||4 lbs||4.1 lbs||4.0 lbs|
|Binding System||Dynamic Fit 2.0 Boa||Paragon Binding||Wrapp MTN, Boa Fit||Quick-Fit Binding||Paraglide|
|Crampon||Viper 2.0 Toe Crampon||DTX Crampon||X-Trac toe crampon||Cobra Toe Crampon
Tubbs Heel Crampon
|Steel traction rails|
|Frame Material||Composite||Aluminum||Aluminum||Aluminum||Martensitic steel|
|Deck Material||Composite||Nylon||Nytex nylon||Nylon||Polypropylene|
|Surface Area (for tested size)||179.6 in²||179.2 in²||266.4 in²||228.0 in²||174.5 in² without tails, 220 in² with|
|Dimensions||25" x 8.25"||7.25" x 25"||26" x 7.5"||9" x 30"||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||21", 25"||22", 25"||22", 26"||21", 25", 30"||22"|
|Size Tested||25"||25"||26"||25"||22" plus 6" add-on tails|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This 4.3-pound snowshoe is available in two lengths, 21 and 25 inches, accommodating people from 80 to over 200 pounds. The composite decking and frame offer a unique level of support on uneven ground, and the binding system is both comfortable and incredibly easy to operate. Read on to see how the Tubbs Flex VRT measured up in our testing.
The Flex VRT is made of premium composite decking and offers average float. While plastic decking has the potential to offer great float due to its rigidity, it can also be a little heavy. The holes in the back of this snowshoe help dump snow quickly while walking, but they also make the surface area slightly smaller. The Flex VRT is not going to leave you post-holing too hard, but you won't be frolicking across fresh deep powder either.
The Flex VRT comes equipped with aggressive traction rails and the Viper 2.0 crampon. The teeth span about two-thirds of the shoe and vary in size, ensuring that this shoe can grip most terrain. It works especially well on packed snow and ice. The composite decking is quite stiff, but the FLEX tail allows for the traction rails to engage in the ground, ensuring that the entire foot is able to come in contact with the ground, making the this a great option for uneven terrain.
The Flex VRT is 8.5 inches at its widest and, like most snowshoes, narrows at the toe and heel. The Flex Torsion Deck technology allows the user to walk with a natural heel-to-toe stride. It also offers the perfect combination of rigidity and flex to provide support on uneven terrain.
The Torsion Deck also absorbs shock, making long hikes gentler on the joints. The Rotating Toe Cord design has a rotation limiter which keeps the front of the snowshoe from hitting you in the shin while still allowing the shoe to shed snow naturally with every step.
Ease of Use
The binding system has a BOA closure which is very easy to use, even on the fly. To tighten the bindings, you simply twist the knob to the right, and to take them off, you pull the knob out and lift the binding up. It can be done quickly, in deep snow, and even with thick gloves on. The EZ Heel Buckle can also be operated one-handed.
The Flex VRT comes in two lengths, 21 and 25 inches, good for a wide range of people from 80 to over 200 pounds. The 19-degree heel lift makes hiking up steep hills easier, and it pops down quickly with the push of a finger or a hiking pole. The only gripe we have with the Flex is that the loud decking can distract from enjoying the peaceful outdoors, especially on ice and packed snow.
The DynamicFit 2.0 binding wraps around the entire front half of the foot, and the BOA Fit System cinches down evenly, ensuring a very comfortable fit. The EVA foam also provides additional shock absorbency and a versatile fit.
Should You Buy the Tubbs Flex VRT?
If your main concern is a comfortable and easy-to-use binding system, the Flex VRT is next to perfect. Unfortunately, it is also on the pricier side of the spectrum. There are other options in our test suite that perform better and cost less, but if you plan to spend time on varied, uneven terrain, the semi-flexible composite decking provides a lot of support.
What Other Snowshoes Should You Consider?
The Tubbs Wilderness has a different but equally comfortable and easy-to-use binding system, but it's a little less expensive. If you're less concerned with pricing and more concerned with finding a snowshoe that can take on any terrain, the Atlas Range-MTN is an absolute dream and also offers a BOA binding system, which is easy to adjust on the go. If you are a beginner snowshoer and looking for something truly budget-friendly, the MSR Evo Trail offers great bang for the buck, although the binding system is a little more involved.
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