Winter is upon us, the snow fallen, and you’ve got a choice to make… crank up the heat and relax or gear-up and explore all that winter has to offer. If you’re anything like us you choose the 2nd option without thinking twice. For that we’d like to introduce you to the Atlas 9 Series Snowshoe Kit which we recently had a chance to fully test and review on the snow covered trials weaving in and out of Lake Michigan’s coast line. The Atlas 9 Series Snowshoe Kit features a patent-pending FRS (Free-Rotating Suspension) that was designed to make snowshoeing as simple as possible. The 9 Series was engineered by the folks at Atlas for winter performance to keep you in-shape year round. The kit even comes equipped with two adjustable length trekking poles and a zippered carrying case for storage.
9 Series Kit Key Features:
– The Review –
(9 out of 10) Ascetically, the 9 Series from Atlas is among the best looking snowshoes we’ve seen anywhere. They have a killer graphics layout which stands out in the snow and brings some overdue style to the trails. From a purely structural standpoint we were also very impressed with the 9 Series. These snowshoes have a shockingly sturdy (25 inch) aluminum frame which is lightweight (4.22 lbs each), surprisingly agile and proved to be a pleasure to hike with in moderate snow conditions. This kit was designed for flatter terrain, but proved it can also handle rolling hills and slick conditions throughout our treks along the Lake Michigan coast. Some of our favorite features the 9 Series comes equipped with was the FRS (Free Rotating System) which gave us full range of motion while walking with very little resistance noticeable. Additionally, we found the adjustable trekking poles which are included with the kit to be a godsend for long and strenuous hikes. Each pole can be adjusted to fit hikers of almost any height.
One gripe we have with these snowshoes is the bindings… while yes they’re very comfy and easy to slip on. Taking them off proved to be a bit of a struggle. I’m sure that with time spent breaking them in they might become easier to loosen, but after each of our hikes our reviewers came back with the same complaint. Removing them was a pain in the butt.
(10 out of 10) Atlas’s Wrapp Trail bindings fit snug and secure when tightened. As long as you’re laced up in some comfortable boots you’re going enjoy the ride. Snowshoes can take some getting used to, but after having the 9 Series strapped on for a few minutes we barely noticed we were wearing them anymore. Additionally, the binding’s lacing system is super easy to operate and get a tight fit.
(8.5 out of 10) The bottom of each snowshoes is fitted with six metal cleats which work together to grab the snow and earth. These cleats proved to function perfectly in moderate snow and provide ample traction for brisk hikes on flat land and even over rolling hills. In very deep snow the we noticed that the cleats had trouble connecting with anything and became less stable. In our opinion these snowshoes are best suited for casual hikes on managed trails or in snow that is less 1.5 feet deep.
(9 out of 10) Hiking rugged trails can put a beating on snowshoes. After our treks with the Atlas 9 Series Snowshoe Kit we notice a few scratches on the frame, but nothing to get too worried about. All of the materials used to produce theses snowshoes are made with very high quality. The only concern over time we would have is the Nytex Decking which could be susceptible to sharp rocks. Though during our testing sessions it held up very nicely.
(9.5 out of 10) When you consider that most trekking poles run upwards of $100 and a nice pair of snowshoes will cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 it becomes very easy to see the value in this snowshoe package. Not to mention Atlas throws in a nifty carry back for transport and storage.
The Bottom Line:
This snowshoe kit is excellent for beginner to avid snowshoes enthusiasts. It comes with everything you need to get up, get out and start enjoying mother nature. Snowshoeing is an excellent way to stay active in the winter months. The Atlas 9 Series Snowshoe Kit is ideal for anyone who lives in a cold weather climate, enjoys staying active and hiking. If you’re looking for a new pair or your first pair of snowshoes we highly recommend you check out the 9 Series Kit from Atlas.
Buy Now: $159 or go to: AtlasSnowshoe.com