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This weekend I was out for the third time on my MSR Lightning Ascent snowshoes. I'm pretty happy with them, particularly the traction on ice or heavy crust. However, the bindings are driving me crazy! The bindings are rubber straps with eyelets. They wrap over your foot, and around a hook with a post that catches in the eyelet. The straps are stretchy, and the tension from the stretch holds the strap in place on the post. The excess strap folds back over, and is tucked into a small clip attached loosely to the root end of the strap.

My complaint about the binding is two fold. First, I really have to torque on the straps to hook an eyelet with enough tension to hold it securely on the post. The problem is particularly bad with the heel straps. Second, the excess strap invariably pops out of the tidying clip, and they all end up waving in the air. I then invariably catch the loose strap on something, the strap pops off the post, and I have to stop and re-secure the strap.

Has anybody had a similar experience with these bindings, or am I doing something horribly wrong? What can I do to keep the straps fastened securely?

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I have the Denalis and I also found it difficult to tighten the straps in the cold (it was -20 C the first time I put the snowshoes on.) I found if I fit them to my boot first in the warmth of my house and then loosened the heel straps a couple of holes it was easy to tighten them up again in the cold.

I found the the straps came loose in the frontmost position over the toe, and it helped to take off the strap, switch the clip so now it opens to the front of the snowshoe, then reattach the strap.

I made it even more secure by buying a replacement set of clips and adding them on to each strap in the opposite direction, so each strap has a pair of opposing clips holding it down.

  • The opposing clips sounds like a promising idea. I'll give that a try. – Charles E. Grant Mar 9 '18 at 5:34
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Some things you can try to hold the boot in place that work for me:

  • Strap the toe, then the heel. Strap the rest of the foot straps. Then, re-tighten the toe & top straps so they are really tight. It helps to think about pushing your foot back into the heel strap.
  • Really pull on the straps. You're probably already doing this, but you can always pull harder! Basically you want all the straps to be spring-loaded.
  • Try a different shoe: It could be your boots are too small for the snowshoe. Try a different pair of boots (e.g., mountaineering boots) for one outing. If that helps, you should change snowshoes.
  • If nothing helps, get new snowshoes. It sucks, but it sucks a lot less than using gear you dislike. Sell these to a friend and (hopefully) try out a different strap system before you buy.

To have the straps "kept" neat, I usually just slide the keeper plastic bit all the way to the opposite side and that seems to help. Make sure you're not wearing your snowshoes reversed (it's pretty easy to do): the buckles should be on the inside and the straps should go out, not in.

If that doesn't help, you could try tucking the leftover strap under the tensioned strap (probably don't try this with gloves on), or try some aftermarket magnet modification.

  • "Sell these to a friend" when you are switching because you're not satisfied by the system doesn't sound like something you want to do to a friend - I'd rather sell them to a stranger then :P – imsodin Mar 9 '18 at 9:22
  • heh. True, unless it's a boot-fit issue and your friend's boots fit just fine. – Felix Mar 9 '18 at 9:48

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