As many of you know, my wife and I are the proud parents of a strong-spirited 2-year-old girl and a busy 9-month old boy. And when you put these two energized bunnies together, you get a chaotic orchestra of noise and activity. Our aging dog, Diesel, is actually happy to be losing his hearing.
Now, don’t get me wrong; my wife and I love our babies, but like any parent can understand, we appreciate the quiet peace and sweet solitude that comes with venturing out into the snow-covered wilderness of North Idaho.
And that’s why, on a rare day where we found ourselves child-free, we decided to test out our new ALPTREK Snowshoes on the snowy forest trails of Canfield Mountain in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. And after our frosty adventure, I decided to write a review of our brand-spankin’ new snowshoes.
Unboxing the ALPTREK Snowshoe Kit
- Pair of Snowshoes – available in small (150 lbs. max) medium (200 lbs. max) and large (250 lbs. max). Here’s a link to their sizing chart.
- Pair of Trekking Poles (with optional mud or snow baskets)
- Mesh storage bag
So here’s the down-low. After receiving positive feedback from members of the MTN Talk Outdoor Hub Facebook group, my wife and I put these snowshoes on our Christmas wish list. My awesome in-laws gifted us these on X-mas (because I’ve been a good boy this year; I can’t speak for my wife).
Pro Tip: My mother-in-law, Wendy, purchased these particular snowshoes at Costco. They’re no longer available in store, but you can purchase them online here for $90. And if you’re not a Costco member, you can buy them on Amazon for $141. And if that’s not a good enough reason to get a Costco membership, just know their $1.50 hot dog and soda deal is still a thing in 2022.
Humble Humphreys Review
OK. Let me begin this review by saying that I’m no snowshoe savant. Shoot, I sometimes get winded after climbing up a long flight of stairs depending on the lunch I just ate – Philly cheese steak, yes, house salad, no. I will, however, give my honest opinion from the perspective of a guy who’s snowshoed a handful of times. If you’re an experienced snowshoer, feel free to share your knowledge in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
In this MTN Talk gear review, we’ll look at the functionality, durability, ease-of-use, and value of these snowshoes. Let’s get down to it!
Functionality and Ease-of-Use
After pulling out the aluminum-framed snowshoes and trekking polls from the convenient drawstring storage bag, it’ll just take a few moments to strap the AlpTrek snowshoes over a pair of weather-proof boots.
Two adjustable fabric straps, which remind me of snowboard bindings, are easy to tighten and loosen to achieve the perfect fit. There’s also a rear strap that goes around the heel – this is also simple to adjust and lock into place. The clever engineers at ALPTREK even designed these bindings with an “easy-pull” and “quick-release” system. It’s pretty slick.
Quick Tip: The first use may require additional strap adjustments to accommodate larger boots. (I actually wore my big ol’ snowboard boots because I’m cool like that. OK, the truth is I don’t own legit snow boots.)
Once you have these bad boys strapped to your feet, now’s the time to trudge the trails and frolic through the fields of fluffy stuff. The word ”frolic” just isn’t used enough these days, so I’m glad I had a reason to write it.
As with all modern showshoes, you’ll notice that your heel is not attached to the snowshoe. Instead, the frame pivots underneath your toe as you pick up your feet. This ergonomic design makes it easier to hike in the snow. One drawback to this design, however, is that snow may accumulate on the rear portion of the snowshoe, which may then be flicked up the back of your leg as you walk. For this reason, I suggest wearing snow pants that cover the top of your boot to avoid snow going down the back of your boots.
OK, now this next discovery was rather surprising and totally awesome. As we made our way up a steep incline near Canfield Mountain, I noticed this neat little metal piece on the snowshoe that’s positioned underneath the wearer’s heel. And, upon closer inspection, this metal component can be pulled up to provide additional support on steep inclines. How cool is that?! I noticed that if you leave this integrated heel lift engaged on flat ground, it feels like you’re wearing high heels. Don’t ask me how I know what that feels like.
In terms of performance, I was quite impressed by these snowshoes. They provide excellent traction thanks to a pair of aggressive metal crampons on the bottom of each shoe (aluminum in the front and steel in the back), and the lightweight design makes it easy to walk in compared to the old-school, heavier snowshoes with the wider frame. And they really do help to keep you on top of the snow as you step. We hit a couple areas with deeper snow, which caused us to sink farther down than normal, but they do well to keep you from sinking into the snow in most cases.
And let me tell you, the trekking poles are a real treat. These lightweight, aluminum poles provide adjustable height (a range of 26″ – 54″) so you can customize them for the perfect fit.
This kit also comes with two sets of pole baskets – mud and snow. Both are super easy to remove and replace. I’m not a huge pole hiker, but it’s actually helpful to have the additional support and balance aid when you’re trudging around with bigger-than-normal feet beneath you.
Quality & Durability
And that leads me to the quality and durability of these metal snow bunnies. After doing some digging into their design, I learned that the frames of the ALPTREK snowshoes are built with aircraft-grade aluminum. That explains why they’re not all bent out of shape after the first use. However, I believe that the true quality of a product depends on how long they last. And that’s why I’ll be sure to provide an update on the longevity of these snowshoes after a few more uses. Keep your eye out for a future comment in the comment section of this blog, or feel free to reach out to us by email (email@example.com) for an update on our findings!
As for my initial thoughts on the quality and durability of this snowshoe kit, the ALPTEKs seem sturdy and well-built. They don’t feel cheap.
After considering their performance, quality, and ease of use, I’d be happy to pay $90 for a pair of these snowshoes. I’d even consider purchasing them for the $141 pricepoint on Amazon. (It’s just unfortunate you can’t get the hot dog and soda on Amazon while you shop). I think, if you’re looking for a good deal on a pair of beginner/intermediate snowshoes and trekking poles, this might just be the kit for you.
I don’t get to review products every day, and to be honest, I’m having a lot of fun. That’s why I wanted to provide ratings for each review category we’ve covered in this post.
- Functionality – 8/10
- Ease-of-Use – 8/10
- Quality – 8/10
- Durability – 8/10
- Value – 9/10
Overall Score – 8/10
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And don’t forget to share your snowshoeing experiences in the comments, and subscribe to our blog down below!
One thought on “ALPTREK Snowshoe Kit: Honest Review”
Thank you for your review. I purchased a different pair on Amazon last year and they work okay. Purchased this brand at my local Costco the other day (on sale for $62) and love them. The great thing is that costco has a return policy of up to a couple years, so if they break, you can go get a new pair.