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MSR Revo Trail Review

We like this fairly-priced snowshoe for everything but the most technical terrain
msr revo trail snowshoes review
Credit: Backcountry
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Price:  $200 List
Manufacturer:   MSR
By Ian McEleney ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 12, 2022
61
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Flotation - 30% 6.0
  • Traction - 25% 7.0
  • Stride Ergonomics - 15% 6.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 5.0
  • Bindings - 15% 6.0

Our Verdict

The MSR Revo Trail has a proven feature set. This includes rubber strap bindings, a rigid hinge binding/deck attachment, and a respectable amount of traction aids on the bottom of the snowshoe. Our testers love the 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 you're staying away from the rugged steeps and deepest snowpacks, we think this is a good snowshoe for most winter hikers.
REASONS TO BUY
Excellent binding security
Good traction
Decent flotation
REASONS TO AVOID
Binding straps can be a little fiddly or uncomfortable with soft footwear

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


msr revo trail snowshoes review - 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.
Credit: 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. 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.

msr revo trail snowshoes review - the rigid deck helps with flotation.
The rigid deck helps with flotation.
Credit: Jessica Haist

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. 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.

msr revo trail snowshoes review - the traction aids on the bottom of the revo trail
The traction aids on the bottom of the Revo Trail
Credit: Ian McEleney

Stride Ergonomics


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.

msr revo trail snowshoes review - 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.
Credit: Ian McEleney

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.

Bindings


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.

msr revo trail snowshoes review - these snowshoes stayed on even when breaking trail with a heavy pack.
These snowshoes stayed on even when breaking trail with a heavy pack.
Credit: Bruce Tocher

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.

msr revo trail snowshoes review - 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.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Value


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.

Conclusion


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.

msr revo trail snowshoes review - the traction on this snowshoe was plenty for crossing the occasional...
The traction on this snowshoe was plenty for crossing the occasional frozen lake.
Credit: Bruce Tocher

Ian McEleney
 
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