Up until this year, I have never gone out and tried snowshoeing. It’s probably really weird to hear an outdoorsy Canadian admit to that. I guess my hesitation can be linked to snowshoeing looking a lot more complicated and awkward than it actually is. It turns out that you’re no longer strapping a pair of wonky tennis rackets onto your feet and walking bow legged down the trail. With the numerous technological advancements that have been made in the snowshoe industry, it’s now dead simple to get into a pair of snowshoes. The GV Mountain Trail snowshoes will allow you to get up and going in no time.
- Ratchet buckles (Rambus Buckle System)
- Weight (4.94 lbs combined for the 9″x29″ size)
- Narrow footprint design
- Sturdy frame
- Made in Canada!
- No toe bucket
- Coating on the frame
The GV Mountain Trail snowshoes are a good mid-level snowshoe. They’re not entry level, but they’re also not in the expensive, super-decked-out-high-end category. One of the biggest selling features for me here is the ratchet buckle system. They’re so easy to tighten and loosen that you can even work the buckles while wearing thick winter gloves. All you have to do is stick your foot into the binding, tighten both straps using the ratchet buckles (so that they’re snug) and tighten the heel strap. Done. No more than 30 seconds. The only minor annoyance when putting these snowshoes on, is that there is no toe bucket to use as a guide. The toe bucket sits at the front of the binding and is a quick indicator that your foot is positioned properly in the binding. Without the toe bucket, you have to position your foot by sight and feel. However, this isn’t hard to figure out and comes with a little practice. The ball of your foot should be sitting at the pivot joint near the front of the binding. Want to loosen the straps? Just grip the wings on the side of the ratchet lever and pull. Voilà! The strap has released your foot from its sturdy clutches.
The narrow design of the snowshoes is great. It means you’re actually able to walk normally while they’re on your feet. The frame is made of strong, lightweight aluminum. I have noticed that after a few treks out in various different terrain types, the coating or paint on the frame has gotten a little scratched in places. To be fair, rocks and fallen tree stumps are very hard surfaces, even more so in the frigid winter temperatures. The frames are not dented in any way though. The decks of the snowshoes are made of a durable plastic that uses Entech™ technology. The company states that the Entech™ decks are more durable, can resist extreme temperatures down to -50° Celsius (-58° Fahrenheit), prevents friction on the deck bottom and generates 50% less plastic waste. Not too shabby. Good job on reducing plastic waste GV; you get extra points for that one. The crampons feel sturdy and offer great grip when traveling up or down inclines. During our outing the other night, we had to cross a bare patch of paved road. We were a little worried about what might happen to the crampons as we crossed. When we were done, we did a thorough inspection of the bottoms of the snowshoes. The crampons were fine; no bending or dents, not even scuffed paint.
GV is a purely Canadian company, with their base of operations located in Quebec. They locally source the materials to manufacture their many snowshoes; another win in my books.
- With the GV Mountain Trail snowshoes strapped on, you’ll be able to trek farther into the depths of winter on your search for the ever-elusive and mystical Yeti. Or just get a really good workout, while having fun in the snow.
Copyright © 2015, Ben Aerssen. All rights reserved.