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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
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Price:  $250 List | Check Price at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Easy on/off, versatile
Cons:  Can fall off when paired with bigger boots and feet, a bit pricey
Manufacturer:   Tubbs Snowshoes
By Ian McEleney ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 12, 2022
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63
OVERALL
SCORE


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

Our Verdict

The Tubbs Panoramic might be the most versatile snowshoe in our review. 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.

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Pros Easy on/off, versatileGood traction, easy-to-use and comfortable bindingInexpensive, easy to use, versatileLarge, easy stride, great flotationCompact, uniquely excellent stride ergonomics
Cons Can fall off when paired with bigger boots and feet, a bit priceyMediocre flotation for the length, strapped binding attachment isn't idealUnimpressive tractionHeavy, heel lifter is clunkySmall footprint and flexible deck creates limited flotation
Bottom Line A well-rounded snowshoe for most winter hikers as long as your feet aren't too bigThis is a great traditional snowshoe that's outshone in a few areas by newer designsThis 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 Panoramic Atlas Montane Atlas Helium Trail Crescent Moon Gold 10 TSL Symbioz Elite
Flotation (30%)
7.0
5.0
6.0
9.0
2.0
Traction (25%)
6.0
8.0
6.0
5.0
9.0
Stride Ergonomics (15%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
4.0
8.0
Ease of Use (15%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
Bindings (15%)
4.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Specs Tubbs Panoramic Atlas Montane Atlas Helium Trail Crescent Moon Gold 10 TSL Symbioz Elite
Uses Spring snow and moderate terrain Spring snow and moderate 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
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 S: 65-180 lbs;
M: 110-260 lbs;
L: 150-300 lbs
Weight (per pair) 4 lbs 8 oz 4 lbs 7 oz 3 lbs 9 oz 5 lbs 2 oz 4 lbs 9 oz
Surface Area 200 in² 176 in² 191 in² 256 in² 162 in²
Dimensions 25 x 8" 25 x 8" 26" x 8" 32 x 10" 22 x 8"
Crampon/Traction Aids Steel crampon augmented with traction rails Steel crampon augmented with traction rails Tempered steel Steel crampon Steel spikes throughout bottom of deck
Frame Material Fit-Step Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Composite
Deck Material Fabric and molded plastic Nytex fabric Plastic Polyurethane fabric Composite
Heel Lift Yes Yes Yes Optional add-on Yes
Binding/Deck Connection Hybrid Hinged and Strapped Strapped Hinged Strapped Hinged
Binding System Boa with rubber strap 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 Combination of rigid plastic, nylon straps, cam locks, and ratchet style straps
Flotation Tails Sold Separately? No No No No No
Men's and Women's versions? Yes Yes Unisex Yes Unisex
Sizes Available 25", 30", 36" 25", 30", 35" 23", 26", 30" One size S (20.5"), M (23.5"), L (27")
Tested Size 25" 25" 26" One Size M

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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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, its 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, 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.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Ian McEleney
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