Backpacker - - Snow Safety -

OUR TAKE Snow and ter­rain can change a lot over the course of a hike, but the TRAILR is built to han­dle it all. In­stead of fail­ure-prone metal pivot points, the bind­ing is at­tached di­rectly to an arched part of the deck. This de­sign pro­vides fore, aft, and lat­eral ar­tic­u­la­tion for nat­u­ral—yet sta­ble—strides, even un­der a 35-pound load. Seven cutouts in the flexy, plas­tic deck pre­vent un­der­foot balling on up­hills, but the TRAILR is wide enough for good float in soft snow.

THE DE­TAILS When con­di­tions got icy on a trek in Wash­ing­ton’s Gif­ford Pin­chot Na­tional For­est, the 10-point front cram­pon held fast. The TRAILR’s bind­ing is sim­ple, em­ploy­ing a hy­brid be­tween a lace-up and a clamshell that can be cinched in one pull. (Ding: It’s hard to op­er­ate with bulky gloves.) A 2.5-inch, sin­glestage heel riser helps on up­hills.

TRAIL CRED “With its three-way flex­i­bil­ity, the toe cram­pon stuck on mixed-ter­rain tra­verses up to Camp Muir on Mt. Rainier,” our tester says. “I didn’t have to think twice about side­hilling on gen­tle slopes.” $249; 4 lbs. 8 oz.; 22 inches;

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