MSR’s Ascent and Trail Series Snowshoes have a binding that closes with ski-style straps along the top and rear. The binding has four elastane straps, three that loop over the top of your winter boots and one around the heel. It’s designed that way so that the straps lay flat when packed, making them easier to carry on a backpack. They’re also compatible with all boot types, virtually indestructible, and easy to replace, even if you do manage to tear one of the straps.
The ski-strap style binding is used on the:
- MSR Lightning Ascent
- MSR Evo Ascent
- MSR Revo Ascent
- MSR Lightning Trail
- MSR Evo Trail
- MSR Revo Trail
- MSR Shift Youth
- MSR Tyker Kids
But the rear heal strap can be tricky to close when you put on the snowshoes and it does have a tendency to open at least once a day. It’s not a showshopper because they are great snowshoes, but it’s an annoyance. It doesn’t matter if the top straps pop open, since they’re easy to reset. But that rear heel strap requires twisting and stooping at a weird angle and can hurt your knees in the process.
There’s a simple way to prevent the rear strap from coming undone and that is to tape the end to the main strap on the setting you prefer with duct tape or some other durable sticky tape (I’ve used super-sticky Tyvek Tape above). This limits their use to one pair of boots, but it can still be easily removed and re-taped if you want to switch to a different pair of shoes that are wider or have a different length.
Taping the rear heel strap works because you can step into the binding from above. It also ensures that the front of your boot will always be positioned the way you like it, with enough front clearance so your boot can rotate over the front crampon without hitting the frame.
A friend told me about this hack and it works great. I’d thought about replacing my trusty MSR Evo Ascents because I was getting so sick of that heel strap, but this taping hack had restored “our relationship.” Try taping that heel strap and you’ll see what I mean. This hack is a winner!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.