The MSR Revo Ascent (MSRP $239) 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 (MSRP $299), 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
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.
- 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
- 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.
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 decking on the Revo Ascent is a lightweight plastic that’s 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 / Model||Heel Bar||Binding||Weight (25")||Price|
|Atlas Serrate||Yes||Strap||4 lbs||$290|
|Atlas Spindrift||Yes||Strap||3 lbs 13 oz||$270|
|Crescent Moon Gold 10||Yes||Rachet Strap||4 lbs 10.1 oz||$269|
|Louis Garneu Blizzard II||Yes||Boa||4 lbs 11 oz||$200|
|Louis Garneau Versant||Yes||Boa||4 lbs 11 oz||$265|
|MSR Lightning Ascent||Yes||Strap||4 lbs 3 oz||$300|
|MSR Evo Ascent||Yes||Strap||4 lbs 1 oz||$200|
|TSL Symbioz Elite||Yes||Boa||4 lbs 5 oz||$299|
|Tubbs Flex VRT||Yes||Boa||4 lbs 8 oz||$260|
|Tubbs Mountaineer||Yes||Pull Webbing||4 lbs 11 oz||$270|
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.
- MSR Snowshoe Guide: How to Choose the Right Snowshoes for Winter Hiking and Backpacking
- MSR Revo Explore Snowshoe Review
- MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe Review
- MSR Evo Ascent Snowshoe Review
Disclosure: MSR provided the author with a sample pair of snowshoes for this review.Editor's note: Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support SectionHiker's unsponsored gear reviews, articles, and hiking guides.