With affordable pricing, Tubbs Xplore could be quite a good deal for those who want to be a bit more serious with snowshoeing. If all of this time you only go for snowshoe rentals, this snowshoe is a good step-up. It’s relatively inexpensive and performs well on recreational trails. On top of all, it’s super easy to use. The binding only takes one pull to cinch your foot securely and one push to release it; it’s totally effortless. We’re going to talk more about Tubbs Xplore in this post. Should you want to see how it stands up against the competition, check out my favorite top 10 snowshoes.
Tubbs Xplore Snowshoes Review – In a Nutshell
Being an entry-level snowshoe that it is, Tubbs Xplore is more suited for day hiking and trail walking. You’ll find it very easy to move on packed snow and rolling terrain. However, its 25-inch and 30-inch lightweight aluminum frames offer an adequate surface area to keep anyone of average weight floating on deeper snow. If you have no idea which size to choose, here’s a quick cheat sheet: go for a bigger size if the terrain you’re going to cover is more powdery and smaller size if the trails are packed. The decks are all plastic, but it’s not of cheap quality. It’s lightweight but durable. You won’t find it crack easily under high pressure, and it’s completely freeze-resistant.
As a recreational snowshoe, it is expected from Tubbs Xplore that the traction system is moderate at best. It’s nowhere near the aggressiveness of real backcountry snowshoes like Tubbs Mountaineer. The toe crampons are structured like a small shovel and the heel teeth are very minimalist. The company itself claims that it can only be effective on packed trails. Still, given that it’s constructed of solid carbon steel, I believe it can dig well on crusty snow. As long as the going is not very steep, this snowshoe can take you anywhere without getting slipped.
This is where Tubbs Xplore snowshoe scores the highest. The intuitive QuickPull bindings offer the simplicity and security any beginner snowshoer wants. Really, no matter how thick your mittens are, tightening them is a piece of cake. All you need is one firm pull at the webbing strap, and it’s all done. Unbuckling it also takes nothing but a single push. By the way, the strap is designed to accommodate a wide range of boot sizes. Naturally, it’s pretty long. So, if your boots are on the small size, there may be quite an extra, and there’s only one clip to secure the remaining strap, which may not be enough.
The heel strap on Tubbs Xplore is quite stiff, but it’s good. That stiffness is necessary to secure your foot on the deck and to withstand the freezing temperature on the trail. The strap that crosses over your front foot is more flexible, but thanks to the ratchet buckle, it stays tight no matter how fast you walk. If you have small feet, the strap might appear too long, and you may end up with quite some loose extra. I think Tubbs could have given this snowshoe two clips to secure the unused strap.
Still not convinced? Find out how Tubbs Xplore snowshoes fare compared to other snowshoes in our list of Top 10 Best Snowshoes of 2019.