The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of gear

MSR Revo Trail Review

This a good all around snowshoe.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $180 List | $179.95 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
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
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 11
  • 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

 
This Product
MSR Revo Trail
Awards  Editors' Choice Award   Top Pick Award 
Price $179.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$319.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$259.95 at Amazon$199.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$200 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
0
66
100
0
78
100
0
75
100
0
72
100
0
70
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
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 bindingLarge, with unique hybrid hinged deck/binding interface
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 attachmentLimited traction
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.One of our favorite snowshoes for deep snow.
Rating Categories MSR Revo Trail MSR Lightning Ascent Tubbs Flex VRT Atlas Montane Louis Garneau Blizzard II
Flotation (25%)
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
5
10
0
5
10
0
10
Traction (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
5
Stride Ergonomics (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
4
Binding Comfort (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Ease Of Use (10%)
10
0
5
10
0
4
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Binding Security (10%)
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
Specs MSR Revo Trail MSR Lightning Ascent Tubbs Flex VRT Atlas Montane Louis Garneau...
Uses Spring snow and moderate terrain Spring snow and steep terrain Spring snow and steep terrain Spring snow and moderate terrain Deep snow
Optimum weight loads 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 150-250 lbs
Weight (per pair) 3 lbs 13 oz 4 lbs 0 oz 4 lbs 9 oz 4 lbs 7 oz 5 lbs 6 oz
Surface Area 194 sq in 188 sq in 179 sq in 176 sq in 282 sq in
Dimensions 25x8 in 25x8 in 24x8 in 25x8 in 31x10 in
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
Frame material Steel Aluminum Steel traction rails Aluminum Aluminum
Deck material Molded plastic Fabric Molded plastic Nytex fabric LG "Lightec" fabric
Heel Lift No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Binding/Deck Connection Hinged Hinged Hinged Strapped Hybrid Hinged and Strapped
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 Boa
Flotation tails sold separately? No Yes No No No
Men's and Women's versions? Women's version availible Women's version avalible Women's version avalible Women's version avalible Women's version avalible
Sizes Available 22, 25 22, 25, 30 24, 28 25, 30, 35 825, 930, 1036
Tested Size 25 25 24 25 930

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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 frozen lake.
The traction on this snowshoe was plenty for crossing the occasional frozen lake.


Ian McEleney