A new design concept for snowshoes
There’s a few fresh storms about at the moment dropping even more snow on some areas, with this in mind getting about can be hard work, especially if you get caught out in some way and there’s more snow than you expect or you need to walk into somewhere that’s not so accessible, even if that’s your shed at the end for the yard!
In the past we’ve used rigid snowshoes when we need to get around on the white stuff, but there is a new kind of inflatable snowshoe on the market. They weigh less than three pounds and take up only about 1 liters worth of space. Snowshoes have not changed an awful lot over the centuries. There have been developments in the materials used, from aluminium and plastic to carbon fiber. However, the design is largely based on a rigid frame design used practically since the ice age, and while they’ve got smaller over the last 120 years they’ve never got this small. There’s a great video at the bottom of the article that shows what the snowshoe can do in real life.
They started on Kickstarter but now you can buy them directly after a successful funding campaign. These shoes have an outer layer of double AC coated Cordura1100, weigh 21 ounces, only 3.5 inches thick and the width at about 11.8 inches. They can carry is up to 287 pounds. A repair kit, a pump, an emergency mirror, two bags and a deflation cap are included with the shoes.
The principal of this snowshoe is the same as previous designs but the concept is entirely new. The inner part of the snowshoe is covered by a zip up Cordura sleeve which in turn is covered by a rubber air bladder. The layers of the boot are strapped safely over the foot: a strap over the toes and another behind the boot. A thick layer of Cordura covers the seams and the under part of the shoe. The best fit comes when a lug or tab is in place to stop the straps from slipping.
An ordinary bicycle tire pump is the type that is used to pump up the boot in the same way that tires are filled. It takes about one and a half minutes to fill each of the shoes to the right pressure.
The Small foot snowshoe weighs only in the region of 21 ounces per shoe and comes in medium and large. These sizes fit American size 4 to size 13.
The design allows for better traction by the toes because the foot is able to pivot. This also allows a fast downhill movement for the same reason. You will certainly have a spring in your step. It is like walking on air!
When tested, the shoes were easily able to support a big body with a loaded backpack. These shoes also were shown to pack down better than any snowshoe that has come before. They are just the thing for serious hikers but are great for beginners. The price of these revolutionary design shoes is well within the ballpark of regular snowshoes ranging from $160 – $250.
The design of the shoes includes a tubular “hull” around both sides of the foot. This causes an unnatural way of standing. It gives you a comical gait which is not an issue once you get used to it. It does not however cause any real problems.
It’s worth having a look for yourself if you enjoy time on the snow.
If you have any comments then please drop us a message on our Outdoor Revival Facebook page
If you have a good story to tell or write a blog then let us know about it on our FB page. We’re also happy to receive article or review submissions and we’d love to hear from you.
We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.
Outdoor Revival – Reconnecting us all with the Outdoors.