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||$230 List|
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|Pros||Excellent binding security, good traction, decent flotation||Good traction, easy-to-use and comfortable binding||Inexpensive, easy to use, versatile||Large, easy stride, great flotation||Inexpensive, simple, reliable|
|Cons||Binding straps can be a little fiddly or uncomfortable with soft footwear||Mediocre flotation for the length, strapped binding attachment isn't ideal||Unimpressive traction||Heavy, heel lifter is clunky||Loud decking on crusty snow|
|Bottom Line||We like this fairly-priced snowshoe for everything but the most technical terrain||This is a great traditional snowshoe that's outshone in a few areas by newer designs||This snowshoe does everything well and has a low price, making it a great value||An all-around snowshoe that tilts its preferences to the wild and deep environments||This molded snowshoe is reliable, inexpensive, offers widespread appeal, and is compatible with add-on tails for improved flotation|
|Rating Categories||MSR Revo Trail||Atlas Montane||Atlas Helium Trail||Crescent Moon Gold 10||MSR Evo|
|Stride Ergonomics (15%)|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Specs||MSR Revo Trail||Atlas Montane||Atlas Helium Trail||Crescent Moon Gold 10||MSR Evo|
|Uses||Spring snow and moderate terrain||Spring snow and moderate terrain||Spring snow and moderate terrain||Deep snow||Spring snow and moderate terrain|
|Optimum Weight Load (per manufacturer)||22": up to 180 lbs;
25": 120-220 lbs
|25": 120-200 lbs;
30": 150-250 lbs;
35": 180-300+ lbs
|23": 80-160 lbs;
26": 150-220 lbs;
30": 200-270+ lbs
|up to 225 lbs||up to 180 lbs (up to 250 lbs with tails)|
|Weight (per pair)||3 lbs 13 oz||4 lbs 7 oz||3 lbs 9 oz||5 lbs 2 oz||3 lbs 9 oz|
|Surface Area||194 in²||176 in²||191 in²||256 in²||173 in²|
|Dimensions||25 x 8"||25 x 8"||26" x 8"||32 x 10"||22 x 8"|
|Crampon/Traction Aids||Steel crampon augmented with rail and frame teeth||Steel crampon augmented with traction rails||Tempered steel||Steel crampon||Steel crampon augmented with traction rails|
|Frame Material||Steel||Aluminum||Aluminum||Aluminum||Steel traction rails|
|Deck Material||Molded plastic||Nytex fabric||Plastic||Polyurethane fabric||Molded plastic|
|Heel Lift||No||Yes||Yes||Optional add-on||Yes|
|Binding System||Rubber straps with pin-in-hole||Nylon straps with cam buckles, rubber strap with plastic buckle||Nylon straps with plastic buckles, rubber strap with pin-in-hole||Rubber straps with plastic buckles||Rubber Straps with pin-in-hole|
|Flotation Tails Sold Separately?||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Men's and Women's versions?||Yes||Yes||Unisex||Yes||Unisex|
|Sizes Available||22", 25"||25", 30", 35"||23", 26", 30"||One size||One size (22")|
|Tested Size||25"||25"||26"||One Size||22"|
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. Overall, it provides 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 less traction on steep and firm downhill hiking.
The Revo Trail is a bit clunky for mellow hikes. The rigid hinge that attaches the binding to the 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. However, the deck does taper slightly towards the tail, which helped our testers from stepping on the other snowshoe.
Ease Of Use
With three steps required to put on, the Revo Trail is about average for usability. 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 ensure your snowshoe doesn't fall off, so it can take a bit of muscle to get enough tension.
The rubber strap bindings on the Revo Trail offer excellent security. When strapped on snugly, these snowshoes will stay on any boot. A similar binding system can be found on many other MSR models.
Though most of our testers like the rubber strap, "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. It takes practice to find the right amount of tension to apply.
The MSR Revo Trail is a decent value. They're less expensive than many models in our review but score at or above average in every category.
We like this snowshoe. Though the strap system can be a little tricky to use and occasionally uncomfortable, it works with most 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 its intended users.
— Ian McEleney
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