Tag Archives: snowshoeing gear reviews

February 7, 2018 Boise Mountains, Idaho.

Review: The Best Gloves For Winter 2018

In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   16 Comments

By Michael Lanza

I love getting outdoors in winter, especially skiing in all of its varieties—climbing up and sliding down mountains in the backcountry, skate skiing, resort skiing with my family, and touring on gentler terrain in the forest. Problem is, I have the worst fingers for being outside in sub-freezing temperatures: My Raynaud’s disease is so bad that my fingers turn white and numb even when I’m chopping vegetables that are still cold from the fridge. That’s made me picky about gloves. I’ve tested many over the years, and I use different models depending on the activity and temperature. Here are the best gloves I’ve found for winter. Continue reading →

Gear Review: MSR Lightning Explore 22-inch Snowshoes

December 20, 2017  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
MSR Lightning Explore Snowshoes 22-inch.

MSR Lightning Explore Snowshoes 22-inch.

MSR Lightning Explore 22-inch
$280, 3 lbs. 15 oz. (men’s), 3 lbs. 11 oz. (women’s)
Sizes: men’s and women’s 22-inch and 25-inch, men’s only 30-inch

Here’s the thing about snowshoes: This isn’t rocket science. In fact, it’s not even bicycle science. The basic concept of the snowshoe has been around for at least 4,000 years. But while today’s models essentially resemble the footwear worn by ancient Eurasian hunters and others who were trying to mimic the oversized feet of snowshoe hares, they employ modern materials and designs, and they differ in purpose and details that affect performance noticeably in the backcountry. And that’s exactly where the Lightning Explore 22-inch snowshoes, um, float above the competition. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Pieps DSP Sport Avalanche Beacon

February 15, 2017  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
Pieps DSP Sport

Pieps DSP Sport

Avalanche Beacon
Pieps DSP Sport
$320, 8 oz. (with three AAA batteries, included, not including harness weight)

I have more than a few friends—all of them experienced backcountry skiers, trained in avalanche awareness, and none of them reckless—who’ve been caught in avalanches. In each case, fortunately, it was minor and they emerged uninjured. But each of them realized it could have gone very badly. While an avalanche beacon represents yet another pricey piece of gear in an already expensive pastime, for backcountry riders traveling in mountainous, avalanche-prone terrain in winter and spring, it’s as indispensable as a shovel and climbing skins. So I decided to check out the more-affordable Pieps DSP Sport during several days of backcountry skiing in the mountains around Lake Tahoe and in Idaho’s Sawtooth and Boise Mountains. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Rab Alliance Gloves

February 4, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
Rab Alliance Gloves

Rab Alliance Gloves

Winter Gloves
Rab Alliance Gloves
$165, 8 oz. (medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XL

In winter activities like backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, and snow or ice climbing, you’re out for many hours and can face a huge range of temperatures and weather conditions—and often have your hands right in the snow. To me, gloves that fend off all precipitation and wind—and are super warm when my fingers turn white but versatile enough for moderate cold—are worth every penny. Several days of backcountry and resort skiing in Idaho’s Boise Mountains convinced me that the Rab Alliance are some of the best gloves I’ve ever used. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Gregory Targhee 45L Snow Pack

October 29, 2013  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Gregory Targhee 45L

Gregory Targhee 45L

Backcountry Skiing/Riding Pack
Gregory Targhee 45L
$199, 4 lbs. (medium)
Sizes: S-L in 45L/2,746 c.i. and 32L/1,953 c.i. versions (fit torsos from 16-22 inches); one size in 26L/1,587 c.i. and 18L/1,098 c.i. versions

For a multi-day backcountry skiing, riding, or snowshoeing trip to a hut or yurt, you need a pack with a split personality: It has to be big enough to fit all the food and gear you need for at least four days, yet morph into a smaller pack when you fill it only partially for day tours. The new Targhee 45L assumed both personalities convincingly on a four-day, backcountry skiing trip to the Baldy Knoll yurt in Wyoming’s Tetons, thanks to superior stability and a highly versatile design. Continue reading →

Like This Story? Get My Free Email Newsletter!

Enter your email for updates about new stories, expert tips, and gear reviews.

Grand Canyon Hiker