For the most part, the Atlas Aspect was neck-and-neck with the eventual Editors' Choice winner. In this sort of test, it is inevitable that we reward the most technically proficient product on the market. With snowshoes, there is a broad range of applications. Those products that work the best in rugged mountains will also work pretty well on trails. Specialized trail products will perform slightly better on trails than those for technical terrain, but they lag far behind when pressed into duty off trail. For this reason, our overall winner will always be a technically proficient snowshoe.
Snowshoes for technical terrain must be robust, rigid, float well, and have excellent traction. The Aspect does all that. They must also allow for precise and confidence inspiring footwork. The most secure footing comes with a nearly rigid attachment of boot to deck and spikes. This requires, again for technical terrain, a hinged joining of binding and deck. As opposed to a strapped junction that allows for significant play. The Aspect has all the attributes of a technical snowshoe, except for the hinged deck/binding interface. For this reason, the MSR Lightning Ascent edged ahead.