MSR Revo Trail Review
Cons: Binding straps can be a little fiddly or uncomfortable with soft footwear
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MSR Revo Trail
|Price||$180 List||$320 List||$260 List||$230 List||$139.95 at REI|
|Pros||Excellent binding security, good traction, decent flotation||Rigid, precise, excellent binding security, traction, flotation||Fully featured for steep and technical use||Good traction, and an easy-to-use, comfortable binding||Inexpensive, simple, reliable|
|Cons||Binding straps can be a little fiddly or uncomfortable with soft footwear||New binding trades ease-of-use for comfort||Loud decking and bulky harness||Mediocre flotation for the length, strapped deck/binding attachment||Loud decking on crusty snow|
|Bottom Line||We like this snowshoe for everything but the most technical terrain||Our overall champ combines simplicity and high-quality materials, features, and engineering||This is a top-scoring model with excellent traction and comfort||This average performer will keep most winter hikers happy||This 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|
|Stride Ergonomics (20%)|
|Binding Comfort (10%)|
|Ease Of Use (10%)|
|Binding Security (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|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The deck does taper slightly towards the tail, which helped our testers from stepping on the other snowshoe.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
— Ian McEleney