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Crescent Moon Gold 10 Review

An all-around snowshoe that tilts its preferences to the wild and deep environments
Crescent Moon Gold 10
Photo: http://www.crescentmoonsnowshoes.com/
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Price:  $275 List | $219.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Large, easy stride
Cons:  Heavy, limited icy snow traction
Manufacturer:   Crescent Moon
By Jediah Porter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 2, 2017
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63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 12
  • Flotation - 25% 10
  • Traction - 25% 2
  • Stride Ergonomics - 20% 4
  • Binding Comfort - 10% 7
  • Ease of Use - 10% 9
  • Binding Security - 10% 9

Our Verdict

The Crescent Moon Gold 10, is an all-around snowshoe, with a size and feature set that leans toward serving those that get off-trail into softer snow some of the time. They don't grip as well as the techier products, but they stride nicely and float in the fresh. If you will venture onto the windswept and hard snow above treeline, and the sometimes icy conditions of the US Northeast, something with more crampon bite and rigid hinged bindings is a better choice. For the forests, trails, and open meadows of the US Mountain West, and for users who prefer an American made product, the Gold 10 is perfect.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Crescent Moon Gold 10
Awards  Editors' Choice Award   Best Buy Award 
Price $219.00 at Amazon$320 List
Check Price at REI
$260 List$230 List
Check Price at REI
$139.95 at REI
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Pros Large, easy strideRigid, precise, excellent binding security, traction, flotationFully featured for steep and technical useGood traction, and an easy-to-use, comfortable bindingInexpensive, simple, reliable
Cons Heavy, limited icy snow tractionNew binding trades ease-of-use for comfortLoud decking and bulky harnessMediocre flotation for the length, strapped deck/binding attachmentLoud decking on crusty snow
Bottom Line A good choice for off trail travel and softer snowOur overall champ combines simplicity and high-quality materials, features, and engineeringThis is a top-scoring model with excellent traction and comfortThis average performer will keep most winter hikers happyThis reliable and well-priced snowshoe is versatile and easy to use
Rating Categories Crescent Moon Gold 10 MSR Lightning Ascent Tubbs Flex VRT Atlas Montane MSR Evo
Flotation (25%)
10
6
5
5
4
Traction (25%)
2
10
8
8
7
Stride Ergonomics (20%)
4
8
9
7
8
Binding Comfort (10%)
7
8
8
8
7
Ease Of Use (10%)
9
4
8
8
5
Binding Security (10%)
9
10
8
9
10
Specs Crescent Moon Gold... MSR Lightning Ascent Tubbs Flex VRT Atlas Montane MSR Evo
Uses Deep snow Spring snow and steep terrain Spring snow and steep terrain Spring snow and moderate terrain Spring snow and moderate terrain
Optimum weight load per tested size (per manufacturer) up to 225 lbs 120-220 lbs up to 190 lbs 25: 120-200 lbs, 30: 150-250 lbs, 35: 180-300+ lbs up to 180 lbs
Weight (per pair) 5 lbs 2 oz 4 lbs 0 oz 4 lbs 9 oz 4 lbs 7 oz 3 lbs 9 oz
Surface Area 256 in² 188 in² 179 in² 176 in² 173 in²
Dimensions 31 x 10" 25 x 8" 24 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 crampon augmented with traction rails Steel crampon augmented with traction rails
Frame material Aluminum Aluminum Steel traction rails Aluminum Steel traction rails
Deck material Polyurethane fabric Fabric Molded plastic Nytex fabric Molded plastic
Heel Lift Optional, aftermarket add-on Yes Yes Yes Yes
Binding/Deck Connection Strapped Hinged Hinged Strapped Hinged
Binding system Rubber straps with plastic buckles Rubber Straps with pin-in-hole Boa Nylon straps with cam buckles, rubber strap with plastic buckle Rubber Straps with pin-in-hole
Flotation tails sold separately? No Yes No No Yes
Men's and Women's versions? Yes Yes Yes Yes Unisex
Sizes Available 7, 10, 17 22, 25, 30 24, 28 25, 30, 35 One Size
Tested Size 10 25 24 25 One Size

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.

Performance Comparison


For open, deep-snow terrain, the Crescent Moon Backcountry is gold.
For open, deep-snow terrain, the Crescent Moon Backcountry is gold.
Photo: Jediah Porter

Flotation


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.

Traction


The Crescent Moon Backcountry snowshoe isn't the most grippy in our...
The Crescent Moon Backcountry snowshoe isn't the most grippy in our test. The only crampon points are those directly under the user's foot.
Photo: Jediah Porter

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.

Stride Ergonomics


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.

Binding Comfort


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


The binding of the Crescent Moon is similar to that of the Atlas...
The binding of the Crescent Moon is similar to that of the Atlas Montane. The forefoot is attached with this single-pull pair of straps, while the heel is secured with a ratcheting "snowboard binding" style strap.
Photo: Jediah Porter

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.

Binding Security


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.

In more technical terrain, the strapped interface and limited...
In more technical terrain, the strapped interface and limited traction of the Crescent Moon suffers a bit. Careful balance and route selection can mitigate the adverse sides of the performance.
Photo: Jediah Porter

Value


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.

Conclusion


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