Crescent Moon Gold 10 Review
Cons: Heavy, limited icy snow traction
Manufacturer: Crescent Moon
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Crescent Moon Gold 10
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|$329.95 at REI||Check Price at Backcountry|
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|$293.89 at Amazon||$61.55 at Amazon|
|Pros||Large, easy stride||Rigid, precise, excellent binding security, traction, flotation||Inexpensive, simple, reliable||Compact, with uniquely excellent stride ergonomics||Good flotation, inexpensive|
|Cons||Heavy, limited icy snow traction||New binding trades ease-of-use for comfort||Loud decking on crusty snow||Small footprint and flexible deck creates limited flotation||Less reliable binding technology, poor traction|
|Bottom Line||An all-around snowshoe that tilts its preferences to the wild and deep environments||The best snowshoes in our test, complete with high end features and simple engineering||This molded snowshoe is reliable, inexpensive, and offers widespread appeal||Excellent snowshoes for packed trail and firmer snow use||These unimpressive snowshoes can be a great value for hikers who won't be asking much of them|
|Rating Categories||Crescent Moon Gold 10||MSR Lightning Ascent||MSR Evo||TSL Symbioz Elite||Chinook Trekker|
|Stride Ergonomics (20%)|
|Binding Comfort (10%)|
|Ease Of Use (10%)|
|Binding Security (10%)|
|Specs||Crescent Moon Gold 10||MSR Lightning Ascent||MSR Evo||TSL Symbioz Elite||Chinook Trekker|
|Uses||Deep snow||Spring snow and steep terrain||Spring snow and moderate terrain||Groomed trails||Spring snow and groomed trails|
|Optimum weight load per tested size (per manufacturer)||up to 225 lbs||120-220 lbs||up to 180 lbs||S: 65-180 M: 110-260 L: 150-300 lbs||19: 50-90 lbs, 22: 90-130 lbs, 25: 130-210 lbs, 30: 180-250 lbs, 36: 250-300 lbs|
|Weight (per pair)||5 lbs 2 oz||4 lbs 0 oz||3 lbs 9 oz||4 lbs 9 oz||4 lbs 4 oz|
|Surface Area||256 in²||188 in²||173 in²||162 in²||205 in²|
|Dimensions||31 x 10"||25 x 8"||22 x 8"||25 x 8"|
|Crampon/Traction aids||Steel crampon||Steel crampon augmented with rail and frame teeth||Steel crampon augmented with traction rails||Steel spikes throughout bottom of deck||Aluminum crampons with heel bindings|
|Frame material||Aluminum||Aluminum||Steel traction rails||Composite||Aluminum|
|Deck material||Polyurethane fabric||Fabric||Molded plastic||Composite||Polyethelene|
|Heel Lift||Optional, aftermarket add-on||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Binding system||Rubber straps with plastic buckles||Rubber Straps with pin-in-hole||Rubber Straps with pin-in-hole||Combination of rigid plastic, nylon straps, cam locks, and ratchet style straps||Ratchet straps with plastic buckles, nylon strap with ladder-lock buckle|
|Flotation tails sold separately?||No||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Men's and Women's versions?||Yes||Yes||Unisex||Unisex||Unisex|
|Sizes Available||7, 10, 17||22, 25, 30||One Size||S, M and L||19, 22, 25, 30, 36|
|Tested Size||10||25||One Size||M||25|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Crescent Moon is a relative newcomer to the snowshoe game. While they've been making snowshoes in Colorado since 1997, it is only in recent years that they've fully entered the national market. As a completely domestic company, from design to manufacturing, they appeal to consumers in a different way than others.
In our review, a review for which the product selection largely focused on the all-around, the Gold 10 is among the larger snowshoes we tested. There are much larger snowshoes available, including Crescent Moon's super-sized Expedition 17 model, but among the all-around types, the Gold 10 is among the largest. It comes in with 256 OGL measured square inches of flotation. The shape puts the bulk of that surface area under the user's center of gravity, leaving the tails and tips narrower for better stride ergonomics. In short, the Crescent Moon tops our charts, for flotation. You won't find a better floating snowshoe that is also suitable for packed trails.
In order to achieve a great deal of surface area at a reasonable weight, Crescent Moon has equipped the Gold 10 snowshoes with minimal metal spiking, limited only to the binding/crampon area. The result is poorer-than-average traction on the firmest of snow conditions.
For snowshoes this large, the highly tapered shape makes for a stride and ergonomic experience that isn't as cumbersome as you might think. The tapered tail nestles next to the somewhat narrowed tip with each step, allowing almost a standard gait without stepping on yourself. The shock-absorbing strapped deck/binding interface allows for some little cushion.
As they are shoes designed for deep snow on mellow terrain, as evidenced by the minimal crampon and the larger size, the strapped deck/binding interface is the most comfortable. This allows for some spring in your step. Hinged interfaces, are more precise in technical terrain, but this isn't what the Gold 10 is optimized for.
The wide straps of the Gold 10 spread the force of retention over even the softest of winter footwear. As long as you use even slightly insulated shoes, which you'll want for winter use anyway, the straps won't cut or compress your foot or boots. The tension in the bindings is maintained by mechanical buckles. This makes for the most comfortable binding arrangement. Stretchy rubbery straps are slightly more secure, but make for a constricting fit when snugged enough for truly effective foot retention.
Ease of Use
With one handed on and off, the bindings of the Moon Gold 10 are among the easiest to us. We are 100 percent confident they will not ice up for you, and even the clumsiest of our testers were able to figure them out immediately.
We had no problems, as long as we stuck to gentler terrain, with the binding of the Gold 10. With the other design attributes taken into account, like the minimal cramponing and the strapped binding/deck interface, it is clear these aren't designed for technical terrain. In that case, the binding is as secure as is necessary.
The suggested retail price of the Moon Gold 10 is near the median of our entire test. It is above average, but below that of the most technical products in our test. For an American-made product that has inspired durability confidence in our testing team, it is certainly not a bad value.
We like the Crescent Moon Gold. The harness is careful, innovative, and simple. The size and walking ergonomics are optimized for most soft snow applications. The small company inspires consumers that value that sort of thing.
— Jediah Porter