Which Yukon Charlie’s snowshoes are best?
Wearing snowshoes to travel through wintry conditions began thousands of years ago in Central Asia, but snowshoeing is among the fastest-growing sports today. Since the late 1990s, Yukon Charlie’s has designed snowshoes for all levels of recreation and terrain. Snowshoes allow wearers to glide along flat, rolling or mountainous trails, depending on the design.
Whether breaking the ice with your first pair or gearing up for black diamond snowshoeing, Yukon Charlie’s has options for every age, fitness level and terrain. When searching for the best Yukon Charlie’s snowshoe for beginners, look no further than Sherpa Snowshoes.
What to know before you buy Yukon Charlie’s snowshoes
When choosing the best fit for you, it could be said that the size of the snowshoe shoe plays no importance, but what matters is your weight. Each pair has a maximum recommended load, measured by adding your weight, plus that of your equipment. There are a host of sizes, with the smallest, 20-inch models going up to a maximum of 80 pounds, and the 35- or 36-inch snowshoes being recommended for individuals over 200 pounds.
Any skier can tell you powder is ideal for hitting the slopes, and snowshoes with larger surface areas can keep you floating on powdery trails. However, the snow is the limit with the right pair of shoes. If you plan to handle compact, steep or icy terrain, then go for smaller sizes, which are actually shorter.
Newbies can strut with confidence in flat terrain snowshoes, which offer easy walking on flat to rolling landscapes and come at a lower price tag but have low traction and no heel lift. To handle rolling terrain, you need moderately aggressive crampons (spikes) for traction, sturdy binding (straps) and a heel lift to climb steep slopes. Mountain terrain snowshoes are more expensive but include an aggressive crampon system, heel lift and binding systems for bigger boots.
What to look for in quality Yukon Charlie’s snowshoes
Snowshoe frames are typically made of wood, plastic or aluminum tubing and come in an assortment of shapes. Yukon Charlie’s models come in three frame material options: aluminum, molded and inflatable. Aluminum is lightweight, compact and strong, while molded frames are made of hydrocarbon polymer and provide walkers with flexibility and less weight. Finally, inflatable models are perfect for storing in your pack for spontaneous, on-the-go adventures but offer little in terms of stability and structure.
Bindings keep your boots attached and maintain your feet alignment to keep you moving forward. The Ratchet Quik Clik II bindings provide sturdy support and are simple to click in. Yukon Charlie’s more comfortable and efficient option is the Fast Fit Easy Pull Bindings. Advanced snowshoers should take note of the Northwave Dial binding system, which fits snugly with an easy dial-in tension and rear heel strap for quick removal.
Crampons are the tiny metal teeth on the underside of a snowshoe that offer traction by helping you pivot and dig with each step. Icier or steeper terrain calls for more aggressive crampons. Aluminum crampons are the lightest option and great for snow walking, but steel ones can cut through more advanced mountaineering paths.
The decking refers to the flat surface that distributes your weight so you can walk on top of snow. Most Yukon Charlie’s shoes are made with either Tech Weave or HDPE decking. The first is a light and durable nylon, ideal for backcountry winter hiking, and the latter is a stronger material that’s able to withstand tougher conditions.
As you get used to walking atop snow, axle systems give the extra lift to improve your balance. Free Flex and Energy Flex axle systems allow wearers a comfortable grip for easy mobility to walk with a more natural stride. Free Pivot and Snow Motion styles give additional rigidity for supreme traction on double fall lines.
How much you can expect to spend on Yukon Charlie’s snowshoes
Yukon Charlie’s snowshoes generally range from $75-$200 for adult snowshoes, with price depending on features such as weight and durability. Snowshoes for mountainous terrain are made of sturdier materials and include more features, so they can range up to $300.
Yukon Charlie’s snowshoes FAQ
What’s the difference between men’s and women’s snowshoes?
A. Women’s shoes generally run in smaller sizes and require a narrower gait. In snowshoes, that means the tails are tapered so users can comfortably strap their insulated boots into the binding. Women’s shoes are generally around 1 inch narrower than men’s and have a narrower stride. In particular, Yukon Charlie’s offers a few unisex models, but overall, men’s snowshoes are designed to accommodate larger boots and heavier weights.
Do you need trekking poles?
A. A breathable winter coat and insulated, waterproof boots are a must for any wintry activity, but poles are a helpful tool for all levels of athletes. They reduce stress on your knees by transferring your weight and increase your workout by incorporating your upper body. In addition, poles with bales or baskets provide better balance, and adjustable trekking poles are helpful when facing changing elevations.
What are the best Yukon Charlie’s snowshoes to buy?
Top Yukon Charlie’s snowshoes
Yukon Charlie’s Sherpa Snowshoes
What you need to know: This beginner-friendly, unisex board is lightweight and ideal for trail walking.
What you’ll love: The Quick Click II Ratcheting Binding and Rapid-Lite Flex heel strap are accessible with mittens for easily getting in and out of your shoes, while the forged steel crampons can take you wherever you want to go in comfort.
What you should consider: The biggest size option has a weight limit of 300 pounds.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods
Top Yukon Charlie’s snowshoes for the money
Yukon Charlie’s Men’s Advanced Snowshoes
What you need to know: The only difference between the Advanced and Sherpa snowshoe is that Advanced Float uses Fast Fit II binding, which is a basic strap pull.
What you’ll love: Lightweight and strong, these snowshoes are reactive and allow for a more natural stride. The rocker V-shaped tail on the women’s model, the Advanced Float, also offers greater mobility and performance, whether walking or sprinting through the snow.
What you should consider: The Fast Fit II binding doesn’t clasp down, so it’s better for backcountry snowshoeing.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods
Worth checking out
What you need to know: These run you between $115-$170, but the Pro series is designed to take on tough terrain, so they’re optimal for those who want to take the road less traveled.
What you’ll love: The Tech Weave decking and molded traction fasteners stay soft in low temperatures and are quieter. Users can take the Pro snowshoes across extended incline terrain comfortably, thanks to the rocker frame and integrated heel lift system.
What you should consider: This model uses the Fast Fit II binding system and may feel bulky for beginners.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Bob Beacham writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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