For those avid readers of Hiking Lady, you probably notice a common theme in the gear reviews of items I really like – they are high quality, lightweight, and products that have survived my rigorous tests.
I just bought a pair of Women’s MSR Lightning Ascent 25 Snowshoes and put them to the test on snowshoeing trip in Yosemite National Park. I snowshoed around the grand sequoias of Mariposa Grove! One of my friends bought these Lightning Ascents last season and when she let me borrow them I loved them so much I decided that this year I was going to buy myself a pair.
Why I like the Lightning Ascents:
- Lightweight. They are even lighter than the plastic MSRs! Surprising, but true, and my legs thanked me after a recent snowshoe trip to the peak of San Gorgonio in Southern California.
- Excellent Traction. These have an extremely good grip, which comes in handy on icy patches! The crampons on the bottom dig into the snow and ice. My bum has thanked me for this feature. 🙂
- Heel lift. I hadn’t ever used snowshoes with a heel lift until this pair. MSR calls it the “Televator”. Basically, you use it to prop your heel up when snowshoeing up hill. My calves are thankful!
- Women’s Specific Design. The women’s version of the lightning ascents are narrower than unisex snowshoes, so my occasionally clumsy feet can walk in a normal stride, rather than a super wide stance like I’ve had to do using other snowshoes. In the past I’ve always had unisex snowshoes, and have wondered why they feel so bulky and why I have had to force my stride to be much wider than comfortable.
Bottom line: If you’re looking for bells and whistles, this pair has it. For lighter weight hikers or those of you who hike in less powdery conditions, the 22 inch pair is a good choice. The 25 inch pair is best for all around conditions, and is particularly good for deep powder.