Tubbs Pinnacles 25 LTR (Cora)
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Tubbs Pinnacle Snowshoes
Long Term Report
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.
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.
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
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.
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