There’s no doubt that one of the most considerable improvements in snowshoe design over the last decade or so are the bindings. I started snowshoeing about 15 years ago, and the only thing I disliked about the sport was putting the equipment on my feet — and making sure everything stayed put.
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The Key Components of the Snowshoe
The Yukon Charlie’s Pro Float (formerly 825 Pro II) women’s snowshoes have a Fast Fit (in 2021, Fast Fit II) binding that makes ‘shoe entry easy, even with gloves. You can easily adjust the bindings, too. They come off simply by pulling the strap out to the side.
One of my favorite features on the snowshoes, especially on steep grades, is the heel lift. The lift helps keep the heels up to relieve calf muscles from straining during uphill climbs.
On one rigorous mountain walk in unbroken snow up Meadow Mountain outside of Minturn, CO, I really noticed and liked the lightweight feel of the Pro snowshoes (just around 4 pounds /1.8 kg for the pair). Plus, the V-shaped tail made for a natural stride with every step.
When I first tried the snowshoes, it did take me a little bit to realize the importance of positioning my heels on the center of the rear heel plate. If my boots were too far forward, the toe side would stick on the front lip of the snowshoes with every step.
Once my heels were in the right place, I loved how the bindings held my boots in place as I made my ascent.
The Key Components of the Trekking Poles
This several-hour session was made more sustainable using the Yukon Charlie’s Aluminum (Pro) Trekking Poles. I hadn’t tailored the length of the poles until I was at the trailhead. When I did, I found the Fast Lock system both intuitive and fast to adjust.
The three-piece poles are light and easy to compress and pack into a bag (like the convenient carry bag that comes with the snowshoes). The soft rubber handle was easy to grip with gloves and bare hands.
The snow baskets on the end of the poles were great for keeping the ends of the poles pressing firmly into the top of the snow. Unfortunately, I did lose one of my snow baskets on the hike up (I didn’t check to see how tight it was on the pole). But then I found it on my descent and screwed it back on tightly to the base of the pole.
For an even lighter experience in your hands, try Yukon Charlie’s Carbon Lite Trekking Poles. They are 100 percent carbon fiber, strong, and have an easy locking system for fast adjustments. In addition, the feather-like weight of the poles makes them easy to transport in your pack. Or, you can even carry them in your hands when your snowshoe walk turns into a run.
Have you or would you use Yukon Charlie’s Pro Float Snowshoes or snowshoe poles? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
This article was first published on January 26, 2015, and was most recently updated on December 5, 2021. The Pro Float (then Pro II) model tested in this review was the 2015 model. Since then, many components have remained the same, including the Tech Weave decking, molded decking clips, and heel lift. The Fast Fit binding, though, has been upgraded.