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MSR Revo Trail Review

This a good all around snowshoe
MSR Revo Trail
Photo: Backcountry
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Price:  $180 List
Pros:  Excellent binding security, good traction, decent flotation
Cons:  Binding straps can be a little fiddly or uncomfortable with soft footwear
Manufacturer:   MSR
By Ian McEleney ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 10, 2020
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66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 12
  • Flotation - 25% 6
  • Traction - 25% 7
  • Stride Ergonomics - 20% 6
  • Binding Comfort - 10% 6
  • Ease of Use - 10% 5
  • Binding Security - 10% 10

Our Verdict

The MSR Revo Trail has a proven feature set. This includes rubber strap binding, rigid hinge binding/deck attachment, and a respectable amount of traction aids on the bottom of the snowshoe. Our testers love this secure binding configuration, though it can lead to some discomfort with softer boots. We also like the hinge attachment for its precision, despite a clunky gait on well-traveled or groomed trails. As long as they're staying away from the rugged steeps and deepest snowpacks, we think this is a good snowshoe for most winter hikers.

Compare to Similar Products

 
MSR Revo Trail
This Product
MSR Revo Trail
Awards  Editors' Choice Award   Best Buy Award 
Price $180 List$320 List$260 List$230 List$140 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
66
78
75
72
66
Star Rating
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Pros Excellent binding security, good traction, decent flotationRigid, precise, excellent binding security, traction, flotationFully featured for steep and technical useGood traction, and an easy-to-use, comfortable bindingInexpensive, simple, reliable
Cons Binding straps can be a little fiddly or uncomfortable with soft footwearNew 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 We like this snowshoe for everything but the most technical terrainOur 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 MSR Revo Trail MSR Lightning Ascent Tubbs Flex VRT Atlas Montane MSR Evo
Flotation (25%)
6
6
5
5
4
Traction (25%)
7
10
8
8
7
Stride Ergonomics (20%)
6
8
9
7
8
Binding Comfort (10%)
6
8
8
8
7
Ease Of Use (10%)
5
4
8
8
5
Binding Security (10%)
10
10
8
9
10
Specs MSR Revo Trail MSR Lightning Ascent Tubbs Flex VRT Atlas Montane MSR Evo
Uses Spring snow and moderate terrain 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) 120-220 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) 3 lbs 13 oz 4 lbs 0 oz 4 lbs 9 oz 4 lbs 7 oz 3 lbs 9 oz
Surface Area 194 in² 188 in² 179 in² 176 in² 173 in²
Dimensions 25 x 8" 25 x 8" 24 x 8" 25 x 8"
Crampon/Traction aids Steel crampon augmented with rail and frame teeth 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 Steel Aluminum Steel traction rails Aluminum Steel traction rails
Deck material Molded plastic Fabric Molded plastic Nytex fabric Molded plastic
Heel Lift No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Binding/Deck Connection Hinged Hinged Hinged Strapped Hinged
Binding system Rubber straps with pin-in-hole 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 22, 25 22, 25, 30 24, 28 25, 30, 35 One Size
Tested Size 25 25 24 25 One Size

Our Analysis and Test Results

The MSR Revo Trail is a solid all-around performer with good flotation and traction plus a very secure binding.

Performance Comparison


The Revo Trail does well in moderate terrain, even with a big pack.
The Revo Trail does well in moderate terrain, even with a big pack.
Photo: Bruce Tocher

Flotation


Flotation is a basic need for winter travelers, and the Revo Trail provides a decent amount for its 25-inch length. The slight taper in the deck doesn't remove too many square inches of surface area. Flotation is enhanced by the rigid steel frame and hard plastic deck.

The rigid deck helps with flotation.
The rigid deck helps with flotation.
Photo: Jessica Haist

We think this is a solid amount of float for most winter users. Those who know they'll be hiking in the deepest of deep and dry snowpacks should consider another model.

Traction


The Revo Trail offers a decent amount of traction for a model that seems to be built for easy to moderate ground. Two steel teeth sit under the toes, with a toothed steel rail running laterally under the ball of the foot. The steel frame of the deck is serrated throughout. Two more ridges are molded into the plastic deck under and behind the heel.

The traction aids on the bottom of the Revo Trail
The traction aids on the bottom of the Revo Trail
Photo: Ian McEleney

These plastic ridges are the only traction aids in the back and are slightly recessed. We think this is why we found the Trail to have a bit less traction on steep and firm downhill hiking.

Stride Ergonomics


The MSR Revo Trail is a bit clunky for mellow hikes. The rigid hinge that attached binding to deck offers no cushioning. The frame and deck are also quite stiff. Though these are good qualities in other metrics, when it comes to a smooth ride they don't help. This was most noticeable on well-packed or groomed trails.

Rigid hinge binding-to-deck attachment. We think a strapped system...
Rigid hinge binding-to-deck attachment. We think a strapped system could have been better on this model.
Photo: Ian McEleney

The deck does taper slightly towards the tail, which helped our testers from stepping on the other snowshoe.

Binding Comfort


Though most of our testers like the rubber strapped, "pin-in-hole" binding system, it needs to be done up tight to stay secure. On softer footwear or boots with a thin upper, this can make for some pinch points.

A boot with a sturdy upper (like this leather hiking boot) is ideal...
A boot with a sturdy upper (like this leather hiking boot) is ideal for the most comfort with the Revo Trail.
Photo: Ian McEleney

Ease Of Use


With three steps required to put the snowshoe on the MSR Revo Trail is about average for ease of use. When using this model with the same footwear, we found we could leave the heel strap in place when we took it off, saving a step. Rubber straps need to be tight to not lose the snowshoe, so it can take a bit of muscle to get enough tension.

Binding Security


We feel that the rubber strap bindings on the Revo Trail offer the best security. When strapped on snugly these snowshoes stay on any boot. A similar binding system can be found on many of the other MSR models.

These snowshoes stayed on even when breaking trail with a heavy pack.
These snowshoes stayed on even when breaking trail with a heavy pack.
Photo: Bruce Tocher

Value


With a retail price of $180, we think the MSR Revo Trail is a decent value. They're less expensive than most models in the review but score at or above average in every category.

Conclusion


We liked this snowshoe. Though the strap system can be a little tricky to use and occasionally uncomfortable, it works with most any footwear and is very durable. While the Revo Trail doesn't offer best in class flotation or traction, it does well in those metrics for it's intended users.

The traction on this snowshoe was plenty for crossing the occasional...
The traction on this snowshoe was plenty for crossing the occasional frozen lake.
Photo: Bruce Tocher

Ian McEleney