Reviews You Can Rely On

Tubbs Mountaineer Review

This comfortable and easy to use snowshoe is nothing special but gets the job done
Tubbs Mountaineer
Credit: Tubbs
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $270 List | $269.95 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, easy to use
Cons:  Expensive, not the best traction
Manufacturer:   Tubbs
By Ian McEleney ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 12, 2022
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
#6 of 11
  • Flotation - 30% 7.0
  • Traction - 25% 6.0
  • Stride Ergonomics - 15% 7.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 7.0
  • Bindings - 15% 6.0

Our Verdict

The Tubbs Mountaineer typifies the modern snowshoe. Its tubular frame and deck construction are precisely what you'd expect, and they offer good flotation. The hybrid deck-to-binding attachment is fairly unique, and hikers benefit from both attachment types with no added drawbacks. This model is very easy to put on and especially to take off. The binding is secure enough and fairly comfortable, thanks to how pressure is distributed across the top of the foot. Without a lot of augmentation, tubular frame snowshoes have less traction than other types, and that's the case here. Overall, the Mountaineer ticks all the boxes without wowing us in any way.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Tubbs Mountaineer
This Product
Tubbs Mountaineer
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $269.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$209.08 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
66
75
69
68
62
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 Comfortable, easy to useRigid, precise, excellent binding security, impressive tractionInexpensive, easy to use, versatileLarge, easy stride, great flotationCompact, uniquely excellent stride ergonomics
Cons Expensive, not the best tractionNew binding trades ease-of-use for comfortUnimpressive tractionHeavy, heel lifter is clunkySmall footprint and flexible deck creates limited flotation
Bottom Line This comfortable and easy to use snowshoe is nothing special but gets the job doneThe best snowshoes in our test, complete with high end features and simple engineeringThis snowshoe does everything well and has a low price, making it a great valueAn all-around snowshoe that tilts its preferences to the wild and deep environmentsExcellent compact snowshoes for packed trail and firmer snow when flotation isn't the main concern
Rating Categories Tubbs Mountaineer MSR Lightning Ascent Atlas Helium Trail Crescent Moon Gold 10 TSL Symbioz Elite
Flotation (30%)
7.0
6.0
6.0
9.0
2.0
Traction (25%)
6.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
9.0
Stride Ergonomics (15%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
4.0
8.0
Ease of Use (15%)
7.0
6.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
Bindings (15%)
6.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Specs Tubbs Mountaineer MSR Lightning Ascent Atlas Helium Trail Crescent Moon Gold 10 TSL Symbioz Elite
Uses Spring snow and moderate terrain Spring snow and steep terrain Spring snow and moderate terrain Deep snow Groomed trails
Optimum Weight Load (per manufacturer) 25": 120-200 lbs;
30": 170-250 lbs;
36": 220-300 lbs
22": up to 180 lbs;
25": 120-220 lbs;
30": 150-280 lbs
23": 80-160 lbs;
26": 150-220 lbs;
30": 200-270+ lbs
up to 225 lbs S: 65-180 lbs;
M: 110-260 lbs;
L: 150-300 lbs
Weight (per pair) 5 lbs 5 oz 4 lbs 0 oz 3 lbs 9 oz 5 lbs 2 oz 4 lbs 9 oz
Surface Area 265 in² 188 in² 191 in² 256 in² 162 in²
Dimensions 30 x 9" 25 x 8" 26" x 8" 32 x 10" 22 x 8"
Crampon/Traction Aids Carbon steel Steel crampon augmented with rail and frame teeth Tempered steel Steel crampon Steel spikes throughout bottom of deck
Frame Material Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Composite
Deck Material Nytex fabric Fabric Plastic Polyurethane fabric Composite
Heel Lift Yes Yes Yes Optional add-on Yes
Binding/Deck Connection Hybrid Hinged and Strapped Hinged Hinged Strapped Hinged
Binding System Rubber straps with plastic buckles Rubber Straps with pin-in-hole Nylon straps with plastic buckles, rubber strap with pin-in-hole Rubber straps with plastic buckles Combination of rigid plastic, nylon straps, cam locks, and ratchet style straps
Flotation Tails Sold Separately? No Yes No No No
Men's and Women's versions? Yes Yes Unisex Yes Unisex
Sizes Available 25", 30", 36" 22", 25", 30" 23", 26", 30" One size S (20.5"), M (23.5"), L (27")
Tested Size 30" 25" 26" One Size M

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Mountaineer is everything the modern winter traveler has come to expect from a snowshoe, with nothing extra or special.

Performance Comparison


Tubbs Mountaineer snowshoes - the tubbs mountaineer in action.
The Tubbs Mountaineer in action.
Credit: Jessica Haist

Flotation


The driving factor of flotation is the surface area of the snowshoe, and the Mountaineer delivers what you expect in this department. There could be more flotation if the tail was less tapered, but we think it's a worthy trade-off for walking comfort. Tubular frames tend to be pretty rigid, which makes the most out of the surface area that this snowshoe does have.

Tubbs Mountaineer snowshoes - breaking trail is how we test flotation.
Breaking trail is how we test flotation.
Credit: Jessica Haist

Traction


The Mountaineer is nothing special in the traction department. Tubular frames do nothing traction-wise, so this model starts with a disadvantage. It has the standard underfoot and under-heel spikes, though they are slightly larger and more fearsome looking than on other models.

Tubbs Mountaineer snowshoes - scary looking spikes under the forefoot and heel.
Scary looking spikes under the forefoot and heel.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Stride Ergonomics


This metric is directly impacted by design choices. In the case of the Mountaineer, it's the hybrid strapped/hinged binding attachment that makes a noticeable difference. Unlike some hybrids, this design actually is the best of both worlds. It sports the precision of a hinged design and the shock absorption for firmer snow and packed trails that strapped models offer. The main difference between this and a pure strap attachment is that — like hinged models — the tail tends to drag in the snow. Our testers generally didn't have a problem with this.

Tubbs Mountaineer snowshoes - the unique binding attachment on display: the shiny rubber straps at...
The unique binding attachment on display: the shiny rubber straps at the top and bottom edges of the photo connect to the metal hinge pin that runs under the forefoot.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Ease Of Use


The Mountaineer is pretty easy to get into; slide your foot in, pull the heel strap tight and push the buckle down, pull the two forefoot straps tight, and away you go. Getting out is even easier: pull up on the forefoot release strap, pull forward on the heel strap, and you're out. Pretty much everyone who used these snowshoes for the first time had no trouble with the bindings-- ease of use is one of this model's strong suits.

Tubbs Mountaineer snowshoes - tugging on this green tab releases both of the forefoot buckles...
Tugging on this green tab releases both of the forefoot buckles simultaneously.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Some heel risers have a frustrating amount of resistance for locking the risers in place and for lowering them. We did not find that with this model — they are easy to raise and lower in all but the bulkiest of gloves.

Bindings


The bindings on the Mountaineer are all rubber pin-in-hole straps, a favorite type of our testing team for their security. The heel strap has a fairly standard latching buckle, and the two forefoot straps pull a piece of padded plastic down onto the top of your foot. These snowshoes were really secure — especially on the downhills. In addition, the padded plastic distributes the load in a fairly comfortable way.

Tubbs Mountaineer snowshoes - foam padding in the forefoot area of the binding adds comfort.
Foam padding in the forefoot area of the binding adds comfort.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Value


This is a pretty expensive snowshoe. While it puts in an above-average performance in all of our metrics, we expect more for the price.

Conclusion


The Tubbs Mountaineer is lacking nothing winter outdoor enthusiasts have come to expect from a snowshoe. It provides a decent amount of flotation, the deck-to-binding attachment is a pleasing hybrid, it's easy to use, and it's comfortable. However, it doesn't present any new ideas or excel in any notable way.

Tubbs Mountaineer snowshoes - a good snowshoe for a stormy day.
A good snowshoe for a stormy day.
Credit: Jessica Haist

Ian McEleney
You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More