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Tubbs Panoramic Review

A well-rounded snowshoe for most winter hikers as long as your feet aren't too big
tubbs panoramic snowshoes review
Off to some beautiful views in the Panoramic.
Credit: Ian McEleney
Price:  $270 List
Manufacturer:   Tubbs Snowshoes
By Ian McEleney ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 20, 2022
51
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 12
  • Flotation - 30% 6.0
  • Traction - 25% 3.0
  • Stride Ergonomics - 15% 6.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 7.0
  • Bindings - 15% 4.0

Our Verdict

The Tubbs Panoramic is a very versatile snowshoe. The deck-to-binding attachment combines straps and hinges, giving it a slightly more comfortable walk without sacrificing a ton of agility. It's not our favorite for mountaineering, but its decent traction and heel lifter allow it to venture into moderate alpine terrain. It's also one of the quickest models in our test to put on and take off. That said, some users found the Boa adjustment knob to be poorly placed when used with certain boots. While this could be a deal-breaker for certain foot sizes and boot types, this model still deserves consideration for most types of snowy travel.
REASONS TO BUY
Easy on/off
Versatile
REASONS TO AVOID
Can fall off when paired with bigger boots and feet
A bit pricey
Editor's Note: This review was updated on December 20, 2022, after retesting the newest version.

Compare to Similar Products

 
tubbs panoramic snowshoes review
This Product
Tubbs Panoramic
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $249.95 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$350 List
$349.95 at REI
$150 List
$149.95 at REI
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$111.85 at Amazon
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Pros Easy on/off, versatileRigid, precise, excellent binding security, impressive tractionInexpensive, easy to use, versatileLarge, easy stride, great flotationGood flotation, inexpensive
Cons Can fall off when paired with bigger boots and feet, a bit priceyNew binding trades ease-of-use for comfortUnimpressive tractionHeavy, heel lifter is clunkyLess reliable binding technology, poor traction
Bottom Line A well-rounded snowshoe for most winter hikers as long as your feet aren't too bigThe best snowshoes in our test, complete with high end features and simple engineeringThis snowshoe does everything well and at a low price, making it a great valueAn all-around snowshoe that tilts its preferences to the wild and deep environmentsIf you're not getting out much or going far, these budget snowshoes could be right for you
Rating Categories Tubbs Panoramic MSR Lightning Ascent Atlas Helium Trail Crescent Moon Big S... Chinook Trekker
Flotation (30%)
6.0
5.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
Traction (25%)
3.0
9.0
5.0
4.0
2.0
Stride Ergonomics (15%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
4.0
4.0
Ease of Use (15%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
5.0
3.0
Bindings (15%)
4.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
4.0
Specs Tubbs Panoramic MSR Lightning Ascent Atlas Helium Trail Crescent Moon Big S... Chinook Trekker
Uses Spring snow and moderate terrain Spring snow and steep terrain Spring snow and moderate terrain Deep snow Spring snow and 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 22": 90-130 lbs;
25": 130-210 lbs;
30":180-250 lbs;
36": 250-300 lbs
Weight (per pair) 4 lbs 8 oz 4 lbs 0 oz 3 lbs 7 oz 5 lbs 2 oz 4 lbs 4oz
Surface Area 200 in² 188 in² 207 in² 256 in² 205 in²
Dimensions 25 x 8" 25 x 8" 27 x 9" 32 x 10" 25 x 8"
Crampon/Traction Aids Steel crampons and rails Steel crampons, rails, and teeth Steel crampons and rails Steel crampons Aluminum crampons and teeth
Frame Material Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum
Deck Material Plastic and fabric Fabric Nytex nylon Polyurethane fabric Polyethylene fabric
Heel Lift Yes Yes Yes Optional No
Binding/Deck Connection Hybrid Hinged and Strapped Hinged Hinged Strapped Strapped
Binding System Boa and rubber strap Rubber net and straps with pin-in-hole Nylon straps with plastic buckles, rubber strap with pin-in-hole Rubber straps with plastic buckles Ratchet straps with plastic buckles, nylon strap with ladder-lock buckle
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 (32") 22", 25", 30", 36"
Tested Size 25" 25" 26" 32" 25"

Our Analysis and Test Results

Tubbs markets the Panoramic as a snowshoe for day hiking. Our team thinks it excels at that, with its easy on/off and its hybrid hinged and strapped deck/binding attachment.

Performance Comparison


tubbs panoramic snowshoes review - great for day trips, this model can also go bigger.
Great for day trips, this model can also go bigger.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Flotation


Along with traction, flotation is one of the main reasons hikers wear snowshoes. The Panoramic puts a respectable amount of square inches underfoot, and its gentle taper is a good compromise between walking comfort and flotation. The traditional tubular frame adds rigidity to the snowshoe, enhancing its above-average number of square inches.

tubbs panoramic snowshoes review - this is an above-average pick for flotation.
This is an above-average pick for flotation.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Traction


Enhanced traction is the other major benefit winter travelers get from strapping on snowshoes. The Panoramic has good traction and is surpassed in this metric only by snowshoes intended more for mountaineering. A generous amount of steel teeth under the forefoot bite into the snow, and these are supplemented by two lateral traction rails under the heel.

tubbs panoramic snowshoes review - traction on the panoramic. the steel teeth under this hiker's toes...
Traction on the Panoramic. The steel teeth under this hiker's toes may be hard to see in this photo, but you'll feel them underfoot out in the snow.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Stride Ergonomics


Several factors contribute to stride ergonomics, but none so much as how the binding is connected to the deck. Some snowshoes have a rigid connection made of metal hardware, and some use strong, flexible straps. The Panoramic is unique in that it uses a combination of the two, giving some advantages from each.

The hybrid design isn't quite as rigid as the connection found on models designed for mountaineering, but it is still quite a bit more stable than just straps. While it doesn't provide the same cush as a strapped connection, it still provides some shock absorption. Our testers found this middle-of-the-road design to be decent all of the time while not excelling at anything in particular.

tubbs panoramic snowshoes review - this hybrid deck/binding attachment on the panoramic features a...
This hybrid deck/binding attachment on the Panoramic features a rigid steel pin fitted to a flexible strap.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Ease Of Use


Though we don't time our testers while putting on and taking off snowshoes, our team unanimously felt that the Panoramic provided a quick and easy experience. It was basically a one-handed process. To put them on, we just stepped in, pulled the strap tight around our heels, and turned the Boa knob to the desired tension.

tubbs panoramic snowshoes review - the standard rubber heel strap.
The standard rubber heel strap.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Bindings


In the comfort consideration of bindings, the Panoramic falls in the middle of the pack. The forefoot is secured by a Boa lacing system mounted on a plate. The Boa knob allows hikers to really dial in and adjust lace tension with precision. The plate distributes the force of the Boa and has a bit of foam on it for extra cushion. This worked well with most of our testers' boots, but some boots (noticeably mountaineering boots) with prominent metal hardware did produce a few pressure points. This wasn't painful, but it was noticeable.

tubbs panoramic snowshoes review - a boa knob lets you dial in the tension more delicately.
A Boa knob lets you dial in the tension more delicately.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Security was a different matter. The binding is composed of the aforementioned Boa for the forefoot and a rubber pin-in-hole strap for the heel. Many winter hikers will be familiar with this type of heel strap, and it's quite reliable. The Boa system, however, gives us some issues.

While most of our testers found the Boa to be secure, our lead tester (who wears a men's size 10 boot) found a unique design flaw when using this snowshoe with a bulky winter mountaineering boot. In this specific situation, when the front of the binding passes through its cutout in the front of the snowshoe, the Boa knob catches on the deck and is pulled into the "open" position, which lets the snowshoe fall off. This happened over a dozen times on a hike of 90 minutes. While this won't happen with all hikers and all boots, we think this snowshoe should be tried on with the boots you plan to wear before committing to a purchase.

tubbs panoramic snowshoes review - the boa knob kept getting hung up on the deck when used with these...
The Boa knob kept getting hung up on the deck when used with these size 10 La Sportiva Nepal boots.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Should You Buy the Tubbs Panoramic?


The Panoramic is a decent all-around model. It doesn't excel at anything but is well-rounded enough to be of good service in any situation you would want a snowshoe. However, it is pretty expensive. Hikers considering this snowshoe should also be aware that larger or bulkier boots can conflict with the binding.

What Other Snowshoes Should You Consider?


Hikers looking for a good general-purpose snowshoe should check out the MSR Evo Trail. Its binding is more durable and plays well with all boots. Our testers have found its feature set useful for all sorts of winter travel, including moderate mountaineering, and you can add supplemental tails to increase the flotation. Also worth considering is our overall favorite, The MSR Lightning Ascent. It can handle anything the Panoramic can and then some.

tubbs panoramic snowshoes review - this is what a snowshoe is made for!
This is what a snowshoe is made for!
Credit: Jessica Haist

Ian McEleney
 
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