OWNER REVIEW - Atlas 1225 Snowshoes
- Owner Review: Atlas Snowshoes 12 Series
June 6, 2005
Name: Mike Helminger
Weight: 180 lbs (82 kg)
Location: Seattle, WA USA
I moved to Washington State in January, 2004. Since then, I've
fallen in love with hiking and now try to go every weekend. Typical
hikes are on well-maintained trails in the Cascade Mountains.
Average hikes are 10-15 miles (16-24 km) roundtrip with 2000'
(610 m) elevation gains. I pay close attention to detail with all
hiking accessories I own and, like the engineer that I am, try to
observe flaws and improve the overall design (if possible). Now with
a full year plus under my belt, I will be venturing into longer
backpacking trips around 50 miles (81 km) in length. Being
relatively inexperienced, I generally pack heavily, preparing for
the worst case situation.
Listed Weight: 4 lbs 4 oz (1.9 kg)
Weight as Purchased: 4lbs 7 oz (2.0 kg)
Extras: Carrying straps and protective cover
This report is based on five uses of the Atlas 1225 Snowshoe. Three
of the uses were in light, fluffy snow either in backcountry areas
or on a normal hiking trail covered with snow. The other two were on
a hard-packed surface.
Overall, I'm very satisfied with the 1225. The shoes are
designed and leave little to be desired. Traversing proved to be
very comfortable relative to other shoes I've tried. The traction
above average and the float is acceptable. The narrow width allows
me to take a normal stride, even if I were to walk duck-footed.
Weight is average for newer model snowshoes. These are the quietest
shoes I've used out of all the new models I've tested (see
Details). The binding system is second to none. For the price, I
don't think there's a better product out there.
Snowshoeing was a completely new sport to me. I was first introduced
to it at the Winter Trails Day event held at a local Mountaineers
lodge. At this event, they had new snowshoe products from all the
major manufacturers including Atlas, Tubs, MSR, Redfeather, and
others. Therefore, my first experience using snowshoes was highly
objective, not having any brand preference. During the course of the
day, I tested each of the shoes for traversing capabilities, general
traction, weight, noise, ease of use, and general overall feel. The
Atlas 1225 was not the clear-cut winner in every category, but
overall, it was superior. Plus, at the list price at the time, it
was a bargain like none other.
Material: The frame is tubular 7075 Series Easton aluminum, TIG
welded, and incredibly lightweight. Binding material is injection
molded urethane. The crampon and side bar traction rails are
stainless steel. The deck material is reinforced Duratek® which is
comprised of nylon, PVC, Elvaloy, and urethane. All materials are
covered by a lifetime warranty that is valid under normal use
Binding: This is where the 1225 stands far above others. The binding
system is similar to that of a snowboard ratcheting system, except
easier. First I set the straps to my boot size, a task that only
needs to be performed once. Then, all it takes to mount the shoes is
stepping in and ratcheting two straps until snug. This can easily be
performed with gloves or mittens on, a huge plus when it's frigid
outside! The only drawback I've seen with the bindings is that
they tend to come loose after awhile while trekking though deep snow.
Somehow, the snow must place pressure on the release and loosen the
bindings. Regardless, it's easy and quick to retighten (about 3
Traction: Of all the shoes I tested, the traction was above average.
The system is mounted with a spring-loaded binding that provides
lateral flex and movement, allowing the crampon to dig into the
terrain with more of a natural feel to your ankle and knees. This
feature was incredibly noticeable compared to other shoes I've
tried. For example, while traversing, I found the outside of my
ankles becoming sore with other brands. Most new snowshoes do not
flex transversely, and therefore, create stress on parts of the body
not desirable to most. The 1225s were incredibly comfortable in this
regard. To hold you in place while traversing, two small toothed-
side bars run parallel with your foot and are located directly
beneath the center of the foot. And for coming down the mountain,
these shoes are a blast. The traction is such that if desired,
glissading is quite easy a feature that is not only fun, but
saves time and energy.
Float: In general, I find myself sinking in the snow a bit more than
I would like with these shoes. Granted, the times I've gone out
I've had powder to deal with, but I'm well within the
weight range, including pack, for the 1225s. I tried the 1230s (30
inches / 76 cm long) and they felt cumbersome and less natural.
Sound: Aside from the sound of the snow flying up and hitting you in
the backside, these shoes are silent, which to me is a big deal.
There's nothing better than being out in a remote snowfield and
having silence, at least in my opinion. Other shoes I tested were
squeaky, rattled, or trapped snow between the deck and my boots,
causing a popping sound when the snow hit the deck.
Durability: Through my limited use, I have found no wear on the
shoes. I have not used them in conditions other than snow, but I
don't plan to either.
Packing: The shoes come with carrying straps that wrap the shoes
together, making it convenient to carry or place on your pack. The
straps have a plastic cover that protects the crampons from other
objects. I strap mine to my backpack and have no problems with
easily transporting them. When packed down, they consume a volume of
25" x 8" x 4" +/- (63 cm x 20 cm x 10 cm) (LxWxH).
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