Like other MSR Snowshoes, MSR Revo Explore lives up to the company’s popularity as one of the best snowshoe makers in North America. Even though it is not equipped with any heel crampons, this snowshoe still features the aggressive traction frames that can secure your stance no matter what the terrain condition is. Its compact profile also makes it easier to stroll through narrow trails. Meanwhile, the two-strap cinch system offers a user-friendly experience even for anyone who has never put on any snowshoes before. As a mid-range snowshoe, we believe MSR Revo Explore performs the best as opposed to the competition.
MSR Revo Explore Review – In a Nutshell
Frames and Platform
Similar to the Ascent series snowshoes, MSR Revo Explore still comes with perimeter teeth molded into the frames. The only difference is the cleats do not cover the entire outer edge of the snowshoes; they only go from the toe to the tails. As for the decks, they’re made from a durable plastic composite. While we are happy to find that it’s very lightweight, we’re not very fond of the fact that it creates noise on crusty or packed snow.
The snowshoe itself is available in 22-inch and 25-inch versions. With such a compact profile, you won’t have any hard time tackling narrow trails crowded with trees and branches. The slimmer platform also allows you to maintain your normal stance. Well, you will probably need to adjust it a little, but compared to other large snowshoes, it’s far more comfortable. Sadly, like many small snowshoes, powder performance is not too excellent with MSR Revo Explore. Once the snow gets quite deep, you’ll notice that the snow starts to build up on the decks, as it sinks a little.
As we have pointed out earlier, MSR Revo Explore is still equipped with perimeter crampons, although they’re not as aggressive as those of Ascent series. The instep crampons are also very similar to MSR’s higher-end snowshoes. They’re still constructed of solid stainless steel, so you don’t need to hesitate when you have to really kick it into the snow to secure your ground, especially on steep terrain.
Since it’s not intended for full backcountry exploration, the snowshoes are not equipped with heel crampons. In their place, it’s given some protruding structures molded from the plastic decks. They would act as a secondary brake as you descend. That said, you may find going downhill a little tricky and maybe even slippery on very steep hills. You may want to learn to shift your weight on your toes where the snowshoe gives you maximum traction.
Ease of Use
MSR Revo Explore features an intuitive two-strap cinching system that the company dubs as Hyperlink bindings. It’s very easy and quick to adjust since you only need to deal with two straps: one on your forefoot and the other is around your heel. Both of them are secured using a ratchet buckle. You really won’t need to do any guesswork to figure out how it works. Anyway, this binding accommodates any footwear from size 4.5 to size 13 only.
Security and Comfort
This is where MSR Revo falls a bit short. You see, since there is only one strap securing your forefoot, you will need to adjust it a bit tighter than you would normally do with more straps. This can cause a hot spot to appear. If your footwear has somehow thin and flexible upper, you may occasionally feel pain on your feet. Loosening the strap is not a good solution since you will probably end up pulling your boots off of the snowshoes. The only way to get around this is by wearing boots with thick upper, which may not be comfortable for all of you because they’re heavy.
Still not convinced? Find out how MSR Revo Explore snowshoes fare compared to other snowshoes in our list of Top 10 Best Snowshoes of 2019.