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Tubbs Pinnacles 25 LTR (Cora)

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  • Cora
    Hi Mike, Thank you in advance for your editing help. I hope this goes a little way toward nicely closing this (in)famous test, and I hope you had a good
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 31, 2004
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      Hi Mike,

      Thank you in advance for your editing help. I hope this
      goes a little way toward nicely closing this (in)famous
      test, and I hope you had a good holiday.
      You can find the HTML version at:

      test > TESTS > Tubbs Pinnacle LTR - Cora
      or
      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/Tubbs%20Pinnacle%20LTR%20-%20Cora/

      Cora

      ======================================================

      Tubbs Pinnacle Snowshoes

      Long Term Report

      Reviewer Information
      Name: Cora Shea Background: I began backpacking in 1997.
      I love backpacking in spring and winter snow more than
      anything, especially on skis. My pack weight ranges from 15
      to 90 lbs (7 to 40 kg), and I vary sleeping in a tarp,
      tent, quinzhee, snowcave, bolt-hole, bivy, people-pile, or
      straight under the stars. I spend a lot of my time
      outdoors, and I prioritize gear durability and
      functionality above weight.
      Age: 24
      Gender: Female
      Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
      Weight: 150 lb (70 kg)
      Email address: cahhmc at yahoo dot com
      Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
      Date: December 30, 2004

      Basic Product Information
      Manufacturer: Tubbs Snowshoes, $239 Year of Manufacture:
      2004 URL: http://www.tubbssnowshoes.com/
      Listed weight: 4 lb (1.8 kg) Weight as delivered: 2 lb 3
      oz (1 kg) per snowshoe, 4 lb 6 oz per pair Size: Pinnacle
      25, supporting 120-200 lb (54-91 kg)

      The Pinnacles are snowshoes with ArcTec decking material
      (puncture resistant to -40 F/-40 C) supported by an Easton
      7075-T7 Aluminum frame. They measure 8 x 25 in (20 x 64
      cm), and support my feet using a Bear Hug binding. The Bear
      Hug consists of two plastic flaps which come up on the
      sides of the foot, one adjustable strap over the flaps, and
      one strap on the heel.

      This report covers long term use, care, and maintenance
      from April 2004 through December 2004. For field testing
      performed during April to June, 2004, please see my Field
      Report. For more general product information, more visual
      details, more reporting on appearance, structure, and items
      that can be tested and commented on without field testing,
      please see my Initial Report.

      Field Use Summary

      I continued to use the snowshoes into the spring last
      season, and briefly had a few day opportunities to use them
      this season. Their flotation continues to be spot-on. My
      forward stride with them feels very balanced and natural,
      and the binding rotates evenly and freely.

      The terrain I took the Pinnacles into was mostly
      mountainous, and involved late and early season hard snow
      as well as warm and mid-season soft snow. Temperatures
      hovered right around freezing on all trips, and the
      Pinnacles did not see temperatures above 50 F (10 C) after
      the Field Report.

      The decking and cleats are superb. The decking sheds snow
      like it is liquid water, and the cleats have excellent
      grip. I used the Pinnacles mostly in hard snow for their
      grip, and was never disappointed. The one place I had
      trouble was during traversing because the decking tended to
      not tilt enough to get purchase with the cleats, but this
      was not a problem with the cleats themselves.

      When in powder snow, the Pinnacles also performed well. I
      have had limited snowshoe experience before (I mostly
      travel on skis) and the other snowshoes I have used feel
      much softer and more adaptable to changing terrain. The
      Pinnacles felt dependably stiff, which was nice and natural
      feeling on hard snow for purchase, and sometimes wobbly on
      variable terrain in soft snow.

      I never understand weight ratings for snowshoes. For the
      Pinnacles, I consider the weight rating to be accurate for
      up to about a layer of foot (0.3 m) deep maritime soft snow
      with a loaded pack. (For me, this is about 200 lb / 91 kg.)
      With powder snow any deeper, I sink enough to call it
      'wallowing', and desire a snowshoe with more flotation. I
      feel that the snowshoe rating that Tubbs lists (just the
      weight range) is not enough to give the full picture. In
      other words, in five feet of powder, will they still float
      200 lbs (91 kg)? Of course not. Here, I would give a 'full
      picture' rating for the Pinnacle 25 snowshoes as 120-200 lb
      (54-91 kg) for 0-1 ft (0-0.3 m) powder.

      Overall, my biggest problem with the Pinnacles continued to
      be the bindings. First, I realized that I had not tried
      soft boots with the snowshoes, and had only used my big
      hard snow and ice plastic and leather boots. With soft
      shoes, I had to cinch the single strap on the Bear Hug so
      tightly that it pinched my feet such that they hurt! And my
      shoes still kept sliding around because the binding sides
      and straps were too soft to conform to lightweight hiking
      boots or tennis shoes. Thank goodness I was only trying it
      on a short trip.

      Also, the boots and shoes must match the angle of the sides
      of the Bear Hug to fit well. I used some larger, moderately
      stiff boots with large toes and narrow heels. The heels
      would always slide around because the one strap would
      tighten the flaps around the toe, but tons of air would be
      around the heel. With other snowshoes with multiple top
      straps, I have been more likely to get a better fit over my
      range of boots. Oh well.

      One other little nitpick I had was their packability. After
      a while, I got the sides of the Bear Hug binding all
      flattened out and worn in so they packed a little flatter,
      but I think having to wear in (or, wear out) a binding in
      order for the snowshoes to pack well is silly.

      But as long as my boots fit, and I had the patience to
      strap them in with the fiddly adjustment and locking
      mechanism (which is difficult to adjust to a new set of
      boots in the field with gloves on -- I learned to do it at
      home beforehand if possible) then the Pinnacles were great.
      My favorite part is certainly their great cleat design
      which works very well.

      Long Term Opinions

      Care and Maintenance:

      Overall, the Pinnacles have needed no maintenance. I shake
      them out and let them dry after each trip, and any dirt
      just shakes right off. The cleats are clean and shiny and
      sharp still, even after walking a good bit over rocky parts
      of snow. The rotation of the foot and binding is not as
      smooth as it once was, but with my other snowshoes some
      sewing machine oil solves that issue, so I am not too
      worried about the binding gumming up in the future. I
      consider it to be a natural part of snowshoeing.

      Durability:

      The Pinnacles have been quite durable. The foam around the
      Bear Hug is still intact, much to my surprise. I have
      always carefully packed the bindings in toward my pack to
      protect them when bushwhacking, however. The decking has a
      number of scratches from endless bushwhacking (including a
      lot of over-my-head willow groves) on my way to late-season
      snow approaches. But functionally, the Pinnacles are very
      much intact and performing well after a great deal of
      abuse.

      Summary

      Overall, the Pinnacles are very nice snowshoes with grippy
      cleats and decent flotation. However, this is only true as
      long as the binding fits the shoes I am wearing. Some pairs
      of shoes get squashed, some have the heel slide around, and
      some fit just fine. The Pinnacles performed best on harder
      snow when the cleats were needed along with some flotation.

      Likes Dislikes
      Natural, easy stride Binding squashes soft shoes
      Solid decking Difficult to pack
      Sharp, dependable, and grippy cleats Binding is very
      fiddly and grips inconsistently on differently shaped boots
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