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Tubbs Flex VRT - Women's Review

A composite decking snowshoe with easy-to-operate and comfortable bindings and excellent traction
tubbs flex vrt for women snowshoes review
The easy, comfortable bindings of the Flex VRT, paired with the flexible composite decking provide ample support.
Credit: Matthew Blake
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Price:  $280 List
Manufacturer:   Tubbs
By Hayley Thomas ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 23, 2022
72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 13
  • Flotation - 30% 6.0
  • Traction - 25% 7.0
  • Stride Ergonomics - 15% 8.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 7.0
  • Bindings - 15% 9.0

Our Verdict

The Tubbs Flex VRT is a well-thought-out snowshoe with an above-and-beyond binding system. The BOA closure is easy to operate on the go, in deep snow, and even with large warm gloves on. The composite decking is semi-flexible and offers support on uneven ground. The aggressive traction rails are great for packed snow, and the large toe crampon is perfect for slick ice. The picot limiter allows the shoe to shed snow without hitting you in the shins and the EVA foam provides additional support for your joints on long hikes. Although the Flex is expensive, it's a great option for those looking to hike mixed terrain in total comfort.
REASONS TO BUY
Comfortable bindings
Easy to use
Semi-flexible supportive decking
Aggressive traction great for packed snow and ice
REASONS TO AVOID
Loud plastic decking
Expensive

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Overall Score Sort Icon
72
84
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74
Star Rating
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Pros Comfortable bindings, easy to use, semi-flexible supportive decking, aggressive traction great for packed snow and iceStellar traction, heel lifts for steep terrain, easy to use, add-on flotation tail compatibleGreat for varied terrain, comfortable bindings, super easy to use, good floatation, large crampon and traction rails, pivot limiter for a natural stride, well-roundedComfortable and simple binding system, carbon steel crampons, uniquely placed heel crampons, quietAffordable, stellar traction, wide fit bindings
Cons Loud plastic decking, expensiveExpensive, front of binding difficult to navigate with thick gloves on, side and back stepping are laboriousTraction suffers a little while descending, expensiveExtra rotation causes shin impact, mediocre flotation on fresh snowLoud 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 tractionThis is a serious snowshoe for people that want superior traction and versatility while out in steep and variable backcountry terrainA high-performing, all-terrain snowshoe with a comfortable and easy-to-adjust binding system and excellent 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 types
Rating Categories Tubbs Flex VRT - Wo... MSR Lightning Ascent Atlas Range-MTN - W... Tubbs Wilderness -... MSR Evo Trail Snows...
Flotation (30%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Traction (25%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Stride Ergonomics (15%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Ease of Use (15%)
7.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Bindings (15%)
9.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
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
180 lbs
Weight (per pair) 4.3 lbs 3.8 lbs 4 lbs 4.1 lbs 4.0 lbs
Binding Mount Full Full Full Full Full
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.

Performance Comparison


tubbs flex vrt for women snowshoes review - the flex is super easy to walk in and the boa fit system makes...
The Flex is super easy to walk in and the BOA Fit System makes adjustments easy on the fly.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Flotation


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.

tubbs flex vrt for women snowshoes review - the flex is a little heavy which negatively affects float.
The Flex is a little heavy which negatively affects float.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Traction


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.

tubbs flex vrt for women snowshoes review - the toe crampon and irregularly shaped side rails are great for ice...
The toe crampon and irregularly shaped side rails are great for ice and packed snow.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Stride Ergonomics


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.

tubbs flex vrt for women snowshoes review - the composite decking on the flex vrt is supportive yet flexible.
The composite decking on the Flex VRT is supportive yet flexible.
Credit: Matthew Blake

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.

tubbs flex vrt for women snowshoes review - here you can see the rotation limiter at work, keeping the toe of...
Here you can see the rotation limiter at work, keeping the toe of the snowshoe from hitting the shin.
Credit: Matthew Blake

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.

tubbs flex vrt for women snowshoes review - the option to adjust your bindings one-handed is super helpful on...
The option to adjust your bindings one-handed is super helpful on the go.
Credit: Matthew Blake

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.

tubbs flex vrt for women snowshoes review - the flex vrt heel lift is very easy to pop up and down, making hills...
The Flex VRT heel lift is very easy to pop up and down, making hills easy to tackle.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Bindings


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.

tubbs flex vrt for women snowshoes review - the boa fit system is an all time favorite, offering even tension...
The BOA Fit System is an all time favorite, offering even tension and and one handed adjustments.
Credit: Matthew Blake

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.

tubbs flex vrt for women snowshoes review - if you're looking for a flexible composite decking snowshoe, the...
If you're looking for a flexible composite decking snowshoe, the Flex VRT is worth the money.
Credit: Matthew Blake

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.

Hayley Thomas
 
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