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Tubbs Mountaineer - Women's Review

A snowshoe with a comfortable binding that cinches evenly and easily around the foot, with great traction in deep or packed snow
tubbs mountaineer for women snowshoes review
There are better options for icy terrain but the Mountaineer will take you from rolling hills to steel ascents without a hitch.
Credit: Matthew Blake
Price:  $280 List
Manufacturer:   Tubbs
By Hayley Thomas ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 23, 2022
82
OVERALL
SCORE


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

Our Verdict

The Tubbs Mountaineer is a high-traction snowshoe, great for the backcountry. It comes in three sizes and can accommodate a wide range of body and load weights, from 80 to 250 pounds. The Soft-Tec decking and a hollow Pro-Step frame offer decent float on deep snow. The large toe and heel crampons provide great traction on deep and packed snow, although they get in the way when hiking on hard ice. The shape allows for a natural stride, while the pivot inhibitor keeps the toe from smacking your shins. If you're looking for a snowshoe to take on the backcountry with, the Mountaineer will surely get you off the beaten path.
REASONS TO BUY
Comfortable and secure binding
Wide weight range
Natural stride
Large crampons
Heel crampon for descending
REASONS TO AVOID
Traction suffers on ice
A little expensive
Editor's Note: We updated this review on December 23, 2022, after testing the most recent version of the Mountaineer.

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Pros Comfortable and secure binding, wide weight range, natural stride, large crampons, heel crampon for descendingStellar 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 Traction suffers on ice, a little 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 snowshoe with a comfortable binding that cinches evenly and easily around the foot, with great traction in deep or packed snowThis 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 Mountaineer -... MSR Lightning Ascent Atlas Range-MTN - W... Tubbs Wilderness -... MSR Evo Trail Snows...
Flotation (30%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Traction (25%)
8.0
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%)
9.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Bindings (15%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Specs Tubbs Mountaineer -... MSR Lightning Ascent Atlas Range-MTN - W... Tubbs Wilderness -... MSR Evo Trail Snows...
Uses Mountain terrain All terrain Mountain terrain Day hiking Flat and variable rolling terrain
Optimum Weight Load (per size) 21": 80-150 lbs
25" 120-200 lbs
30": 170-250 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) 4.7 lbs 3.8 lbs 4 lbs 4.1 lbs 4.0 lbs
Binding Mount Full Full Full Full Full
Binding System Active Fit 2.0 Paragon Binding Wrapp MTN, Boa Fit Quick-Fit Binding Paraglide
Crampon Anaconda toe crampon
Python heel crampon
DTX Crampon X-Trac toe crampon Cobra Toe Crampon
Tubbs Heel Crampon
Steel traction rails
Frame Material Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Martensitic steel
Deck Material Nytex nylon Nylon Nytex nylon Nylon Polypropylene
Surface Area (for tested size) 164.6 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", 30" 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 snowshoe is offered in a few different sizes, and we tested the 25-inch version. It is roughly 8.25 inches wide and weighs a hefty 4.7 pounds. It is made of an aluminum rail, Nytex Nylon Decking, and carbon steel toe and heel crampons. This durable snowshoe is sure to last. Read on to see why it's such a great option for the backcountry.

Performance Comparison


tubbs mountaineer for women snowshoes review - the mountaineer is super comfortable and works wonders on most...
The Mountaineer is super comfortable and works wonders on most mountain terrain.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Flotation


The Mountaineer is composed of Soft-Tec decking and a hollow Pro-Step frame. The frame is oriented slightly below the decking for improved flotation. It is offered in three lengths, accommodating a load of 80 to 250 pounds, which is slightly more than the average snowshoe. The curved nose and tail bend help pack snow through your entire stride, while the smooth Soft-Tec decking sheds snow with every step.

tubbs mountaineer for women snowshoes review - the mountaineer offers great float on most terrain.
The Mountaineer offers great float on most terrain.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Traction


The hefty carbon steel Anaconda toe crampon has eight sharp teeth. — two of these face forward, two face backward, and four run parallel to the foot. They are really big and aggressively angled, which is great for packed and deep snow. The heel crampon offers great traction when walking downhill, as your weight is in the back of your feet. It is composed of six teeth that also run parallel to the foot. Unfortunately, those massive crampons pose an issue on hard icy terrain. Because they are so big, they don't slice into thick ice like smaller sharper crampons and side rails do.

tubbs mountaineer for women snowshoes review - these massive crampons work wonders on packed and deep snow but they...
These massive crampons work wonders on packed and deep snow but they get in the way on sheer ice.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Stride Ergonomics


The R2 rotation limiter articulation system absorbs shock and helps keep the toe from bumping into your shin as you walk. However, the rotation is still wide enough that snow is shed from the shoe quickly, offering a natural heel-to-toe stride.

tubbs mountaineer for women snowshoes review - the pivot limiter works wonders on steep terrain, ensuring a...
The pivot limiter works wonders on steep terrain, ensuring a comfortable and natural stride.
Credit: Matthew Blake

The widest part of the Mountaineer is 8.25 inches, which is one of the wider options in our test suite. That being said, our testers don't need to adjust their gait as it tapers nicely at the heel and toe.

tubbs mountaineer for women snowshoes review - the shape of the mountaineer ensures that the average person will...
The shape of the Mountaineer ensures that the average person will not need to adjust their natural gait while walking.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Ease of Use


The Mountaineer offers a 19-degree lift to reduce calf fatigue on steep ascents, while the three sizes help accommodate a wide range of bodies and pack loads.

tubbs mountaineer for women snowshoes review - 19 degrees of lift makes hike up steep hills a breeze.
19 degrees of lift makes hike up steep hills a breeze.
Credit: Matthew Blake

The Active Fit 2.0 binding is tightened easily. While it requires two hands to apply even tension across the front of the foot, it can be loosened with one hand. The EZ Heel Buckle can also be operated one-handed, making the entire binding system very easy to adjust. Overall the Mountaineer is very easy to put on and take off, but it's not as easy to adjust on the fly as some of the other options in our test suite that have the BOA Fit System.

tubbs mountaineer for women snowshoes review - removing the bindings of the mountaineer is made simple with a singe...
Removing the bindings of the Mountaineer is made simple with a singe pull loop.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Bindings


The ActiveFit 2.0 is tightened by pulling two TPU cinch straps simultaneously, which provides an even distribution of tension across the entire front of your foot. The EZ Heel Buckle has some stretch, reducing friction and enhancing stability. The straps all tuck away neatly, reducing ice build-up and general floppiness.

tubbs mountaineer for women snowshoes review - the mountaineer straps tuck away neatly and ensuring no dangly bits...
The Mountaineer straps tuck away neatly and ensuring no dangly bits getting in the way.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Should You Buy the Tubbs Mountaineer?


If you're looking for a comfortable, well-rounded snowshoe, the Tubbs Mountaineer is a great option. The soft decking absorbs shock while you walk, and the bindings are comfortable and secure. It's a little on the heavier side, but that doesn't seem to negatively affect the float. The toe and heel crampons offer stellar traction on deep and packed snow, but their performance suffers a little on ice. Still, if you're looking for a good backcountry snowshoe and don't mind spending a bit of money, the Mountaineer is a great option.

tubbs mountaineer for women snowshoes review - the mountaineer offers a natural stride and a comfortable binding to...
The Mountaineer offers a natural stride and a comfortable binding to help you take on steep ascents and varied snow conditions.
Credit: Matthew Blake

What Other Snowshoes Should You Consider?


If you tend to find yourself in icy conditions, the TSL Symbioz Hyperflex Elite is a better fit, though it will cost you more. If you are simply looking for the best bang for your buck, the MSR Evo Trail is a great snowshoe for the price. Maybe money is no object, and you want the cream of the crop. If that sounds more like your style, the MSR Lightning Ascent is an all-time favorite. Lastly, if you want a snowshoe that performs equally across all terrain, the Atlas Range-MTN will easily take you from icy slopes to deep fresh powder.

Hayley Thomas
 
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