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Tubbs Panoramic Review

A well-rounded snowshoe for most winter hikers
Tubbs Panoramic
Photo: Tubbs
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Price:  $250 List
Pros:  Easy on/off, versatile
Cons:  Can fall off when paired with bigger boots and feet, pricey
Manufacturer:   Tubbs Snowshoes
By Ian McEleney ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 24, 2020
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67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 12
  • Flotation - 25% 7
  • Traction - 25% 7
  • Stride Ergonomics - 20% 7
  • Binding Comfort - 10% 6
  • Ease of Use - 10% 8
  • Binding Security - 10% 4

Our Verdict

The Tubbs Panoramic might be the most versatile snowshoe in our review. The deck to binding attachment is a combination of strapped and hinged designs, which gives it a slightly more comfortable walk without sacrificing a ton of agility. It's not our favorite for mountaineering, but it's decent traction and heel lifter allow it to venture into moderate alpine terrain. It's one of the quickest models in our test to put on and take off. 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.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Tubbs Panoramic
This Product
Tubbs Panoramic
Awards  Editors' Choice Award   Best Buy Award 
Price $250 List$320 List$260 List$230 List$139.95 at REI
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Pros Easy on/off, versatileRigid, precise, excellent binding security, traction, flotationFully featured for steep and technical useGood traction, and an easy-to-use, comfortable bindingInexpensive, simple, reliable
Cons Can fall off when paired with bigger boots and feet, priceyNew binding trades ease-of-use for comfortLoud decking and bulky harnessMediocre flotation for the length, strapped deck/binding attachmentLoud decking on crusty snow
Bottom Line Winter hikers will find this model works well most of the timeOur overall champ combines simplicity and high-quality materials, features, and engineeringThis is a top-scoring model with excellent traction and comfortThis average performer will keep most winter hikers happyThis reliable and well-priced snowshoe is versatile and easy to use
Rating Categories Tubbs Panoramic MSR Lightning Ascent Tubbs Flex VRT Atlas Montane MSR Evo
Flotation (25%)
7
6
5
5
4
Traction (25%)
7
10
8
8
7
Stride Ergonomics (20%)
7
8
9
7
8
Binding Comfort (10%)
6
8
8
8
7
Ease Of Use (10%)
8
4
8
8
5
Binding Security (10%)
4
10
8
9
10
Specs Tubbs Panoramic MSR Lightning Ascent Tubbs Flex VRT Atlas Montane MSR Evo
Uses Spring snow and moderate terrain Spring snow and steep terrain Spring snow and steep terrain Spring snow and moderate terrain Spring snow and moderate terrain
Optimum weight load per tested size (per manufacturer) 25: 120-200 lbs, 30: 170-250 lbs, 36: 220-300 lbs 120-220 lbs up to 190 lbs 25: 120-200 lbs, 30: 150-250 lbs, 35: 180-300+ lbs up to 180 lbs
Weight (per pair) 4 lbs 8 oz 4 lbs 0 oz 4 lbs 9 oz 4 lbs 7 oz 3 lbs 9 oz
Surface Area 200 in² 188 in² 179 in² 176 in² 173 in²
Dimensions 25 x 8" 25 x 8" 24 x 8" 25 x 8"
Crampon/Traction aids Steel crampon augmented with traction rails Steel crampon augmented with rail and frame teeth Steel crampon augmented with traction rails Steel crampon augmented with traction rails Steel crampon augmented with traction rails
Frame material Fit-Step Aluminum Steel traction rails Aluminum Steel traction rails
Deck material Fabric and molded plastic Fabric Molded plastic Nytex fabric Molded plastic
Heel Lift Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Binding/Deck Connection Hybrid Hinged and Strapped Hinged Hinged Strapped Hinged
Binding system Boa with rubber strap Rubber Straps with pin-in-hole Boa Nylon straps with cam buckles, rubber strap with plastic buckle Rubber Straps with pin-in-hole
Flotation tails sold separately? No Yes No No Yes
Men's and Women's versions? Yes Yes Yes Yes Unisex
Sizes Available 25, 30, 36 22, 25, 30 24, 28 25, 30, 35 One Size
Tested Size 25 25 24 25 One Size

Our Analysis and Test Results

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

Performance Comparison


Great for day trips, this model can also go bigger.
Great for day trips, this model can also go bigger.
Photo: 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. Its gentle taper is a good compromise between walking comfort and flotation. The traditional tubular frame adds rigidity to the snowshoe, which enhances its above-average number of square inches.

This is an above-average pick for flotation.
This is an above-average pick for flotation.
Photo: 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.

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.
Photo: Ian McEleney

Stride Ergonomics


Several factors contribute to stride ergonomics, but none as 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 that gives some advantages from each.

This hybrid deck/binding attachment features a rigid steel pin...
This hybrid deck/binding attachment features a rigid steel pin fitted to a flexible strap.
Photo: Ian McEleney

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 quite 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.

Binding Comfort


The Panoramic falls about in the middle of our testing pack for comfort. Your forefoot is secured by a Boa lacing system mounted on a plate. The Boa knob itself 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.

The Boa knob lets you dial in the tension.
The Boa knob lets you dial in the tension.
Photo: Ian McEleney

Ease Of Use


Though we don't time our testers while they are 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.

The standard rubber heel strap.
The standard rubber heel strap.
Photo: Ian McEleney

Binding Security


This was one category where we got mixed results from the Panoramic. 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 its lever is quite secure. The Boa system, however, give us some issues.

While most of our testers found the Boa to be quite 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.

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.
Photo: Ian McEleney

Value


The Tubbs Panoramic is among the more expensive snowshoes in our review. It's also one of the better all-around models we tested. It doesn't excel at anything but is well rounded enough to be of good service in any situation you would want a snowshoe. We think it offers a slightly below-average value.

Conclusion


The Panoramic is a good all-purpose snowshoe. While it's not designed specifically for mountaineering, it's good traction and heel lift means it can be pressed into service on trips to the alpine. The hybrid deck/binding connection also gives it a bit more comfort for civilized jaunts on groomed or hard-packed trails. The easy to use binding makes on and off quick for shoulder season trips where you only need snowshoes some of the time. As long as the binding works well with your boots (see the "Binding Security" metric above), this is a decent snowshoe for most winter trips.

Off to some beautiful views in the Panoramic.
Off to some beautiful views in the Panoramic.
Photo: Ian McEleney

Ian McEleney