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MSR Revo Ascent Snowshoes Review


The MSR Revo Ascent is a mountaineering-style snowshoe that has lightweight plastic decking, a saw-toothed crampon-style frame, televators, and MSR’s ski-strap style lay-flat binding. It shares many of the same features as the pricier MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe, but has one less rear crampon, making it somewhat less aggressive for steep terrain and better suited for more recreational snowshoeing.

Specs at a Glance

  • Size: Small / Medium
  • Recommended Weight Limits: 180 / 220 pounds
  • Dimensions: 22 x 8 x 2 (tested) / 25 x 8 x 2 inches
  • Frame: Steel with plastic decking
  • Weight: 4 lbs. 4 oz. / 4 lbs. 8 oz
Ascent Series Binding Closeup - plastic straps thread through the metal buckles and are secured on the metal spike like a belt buckle
Ascent Series Binding Closeup – plastic straps thread through the metal buckles and are secured on the metal spike like a belt buckle

Snowshoe Binding

The Revo Ascents use MSR’s ski-strap style lay-flat binding which has three top straps and one rear strap to hold your foot in place. Common across MSR’s “Ascent Series” snowshoes, there are advantages and disadvantages and to this style of binding.

  • Advantages
    • Easy to put on while wearing gloves
    • Compatible with all types and sized footwear
    • Won’t freeze shut if the binding gets wet
    • Can remove middle strap if it hurts the top of your foot
    • Easy to replace straps if you ever manage to break one
    • Binding lays flat when snowshoes are stacked, making them easy to attach to the back of a backpack
  • Disadvantages
    • Straps can come undone while snowshoeing and need to be re-secured

For example, the Ascent binding is easy to secure while wearing gloves and is compatible with any type or sized footwear. It can’t freeze up when it gets wet and it’s very easy to replace the straps if you even manage to snap one. But they do occasionally come undone when you’re snowshoeing and you have to stop and re-secure them. While annoying, the multi-strap system has enough redundancy that you won’t lose a snowshoe when this happens.

If the Ascent binding does not appeal to you, check out the MSR’s Explore Series snowshoes (Lightning Explore, Revo Explore) which have a ratchet style binding that’s easier to use.

The Revo Ascent has one horizontal crampon located near the front of the snowshoe
The Revo Ascent has one horizontal crampon located near the front of the snowshoe


There are three points of traction on the Revo Ascents: a red hinged crampon under the ball of the foot, a horizontal crampon located behind it, and the steel frame, which is serrated to dig into frozen snow or ice. Having a hinged crampon means you can dig your toes into icy sloped to get purchase. The horizontal crampon prevents backsliding, and the serrated frame is very good when side-hilling on a slope because it will retard lateral slippage. All three traction components complement one another and provide excellent traction on most surfaces.

How does the Revo Ascent Traction differ from that on the Lightning Ascent snowshoe? There’s a second horizontal crampon located under the heel of the Lightning Ascent and the frame wraps around the front and rear of the snowshoe, not just the sides. That can make a difference in more challenging terrain, especially since the televator is located above the Lightning’s rear horizontal crampon.


The Revo Ascents have televators which you can easily flip-up with your trekking pole handle. Televators are used when you hike uphill and position your foot so that your heel stays level with your toes when hiking up an incline. This significantly reduces calf fatigue. Snowshoes with televators are a must-have in any kind of hilly or mountainous terrain and you’ll be glad you have them.

The televators flip up to reduce calve fatigue when climbing hills
The televators flip-up to reduce calve fatigue when climbing hills

Snowshoe Decking

The decking on the Revo Ascent is a lightweight plastic that provides good flotation is all snow conditions. The decking has large cutouts around the forefoot that prevent snow from piling up on top of the snowshoes, which can hide your feet in deep powder or weigh you down in warmer conditions. While durable, the plastic is easy to scratch up if you snowshoe over rock. This won’t affect the performance of the snowshoe and is really just cosmetic.

Comparable Winter Hiking Snowshoes

Make / ModelHeel BarBinding
MSR Lightning AscentYesMesh Net
MSR Evo AscentYesTriFit Straps
Tubbs Flex VRTYesBoa
Tubbs Flex ALPYesRatchet Strap
TSL Symbioz EliteYesRatchet Strap
Tubbs MountaineersYesRatchet Strap
Atlas Range BCYesWebbing Strap
MSR Revo Explore YesRatchet Strap
Northern Lites BackcountryNoSki Straps
Crescent Moon Backcountry 32YesWebbing Strap


The MSR Revo Ascent Snowshoe is a high flotation recreational snowshoe that’s ideal for snowshoeing on packed trails or fresh powder in moderately hilly terrain. The lay-flat ski-strap style binding is easy to pack and easy to put on or take off while wearing gloves. It’s also compatible with any size or type of footwear. Traction is very good on steeps with the use of the televator feature while the sawtooth serrated frame helps prevent side slipping on slopes. But the lack of a rear crampon makes downhill braking on steep slopes more challenging, relegating the Revo Ascent Snowshoe to more moderate terrain.

See Also:

Disclosure: MSR provided the author with a sample pair of snowshoes for this review.

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