by: Dave D’Abate
Looking for a way to get outdoors in the winter cold? How about grabbing a pair of snowshoes! There are countless choices to decide from when looking for snowshoes so let me tell you about my experiences so far with Crescent Moon’s Gold Series 10. I took these snowshoes up to Idaho last weekend on a 7 mile trip up Bloomington Canyon near Bear Lake. I was surprised to see about 5 to 6 feet of snow on the ground up there so I was certainly excited about breaking out these snowshoes in the deep stuff. I previously had a brief time in the Gold 10’s while at Outdoor Retailer’s All Mountain Demo at Snowbasin here in Utah. It was a pleasure meeting the President and Co-Founder, Jake Thamm at the show where he showed me some of the features that set Crescent Moon’s snowshoes apart from competitors and I was able to take the pair around Snowbasin. My initial thought when I first tried on the Gold 10’s was that once I started walking, I forgot I even had them on. Crescent Moon Snowshoes offers a unique tear-drop shape to mimic the shape of your foot, wide up front and narrow at the heel. A lot of other snowshoes I’ve tried and seen simply feel awkward to walk in, which increases fatigue and shortens the length of time spent enjoying the outdoors. Crescent Moon was also the first company to offer snowshoes designed specifically for a woman’s shorter and narrower stride. The Gold 10’s provide a great natural stride that makes you forget you even have them on and allows you to focus on and enjoy your surroundings so much more.
Next up is their amazing Single Pull Loop (SPL) binding. It is simply the quickest and easiest binding to get in and out of. You can break the system down into 4 steps; Step In – Pull – Ratchet – Done. All the while you’ll be standing there waiting for you friends to strap-in to a competitor’s pair like I was last weekend. The SPL binding is molded polyurethane that won’t stretch or freeze so you always have the same comfortable fit from when you first put them on and the SPL system is the only one that binds your foot in all directions, from toe-to-heel. Getting out of these snowshoes when you want to warm up with some hot cocoa is also a breeze. Just pull the release loop, squeeze the ratcheting heel buckle, and step out. The SPL binding system is definitely the easiest and quickest I’ve ever used.
On to the traction system! The Gold Series, as opposed to their Silver Series, has durable stainless steel crampons that will bite into any icy terrain you wish you explore. The footplate has a stiff stabilizer to eliminate any lateral twisting on steep traverses and the Gold 10’s have an extra set of traversing spikes to help with the grip. I haven’t slipped once the entire time I’ve been testing these snowshoes thus far. The crampon traction is superb in any condition I’ve set foot on.
In the world of Green manufacturing, Crescent Moon is a leader among the outdoor industry. Not only are their snowshoes PVC-free, they are made right here in Boulder, CO with their entire factory being 100% wind powered. They also recycle everything; from the aluminum, stainless steel, and cardboard used in manufacturing all the way down to their office supplies. As Jake Thamm says, “We find it a paradox to build outdoor products that aren’t environmentally friendly or consistent to the outdoor world in which they are used.” Good on you, Jake!
I’m definitely looking forward to more snowshoe experiences this winter in Crescent Moon’s Gold 10. Look for more updates coming soon!
After taking the Gold 10’s with me to Glacier National Park in Montana recently, it was awesome to see how well they perform in the different snow and ice conditions between there and Utah. The weather was a bit warmer than normal during my visit to Glacier which provided some interesting trail surfaces. The warm weather had turned the trail into mixed snow and ice, while most of it being slippery, solid ice. This was a great way to test the crampon system’s bite in conditions other than powder and hard-pack snow. I was happy to see that the stainless steel crampon system on the Gold 10’s didn’t slip once during our 7 mile guided trip through the park.
The length of the snowshoe trip really speaks to the comfort and natural stride the Gold 10’s provide. I felt like I could have easily gone 20 miles or more that day in these snowshoes, which is amazing. Usually the weight of the snowshoes and the awkward stride can suck the fun from an outing but the Gold 10’s really shine through here with the natural gait and walking motion.
Well it has certainly been one great ride with the Crescent Moon Gold 10 Snowshoes. Snowshoes give the awesome benefit of making a lot of winter sports so much more accessible. The Gold 10’s are my new favorite snowshoes for outdoor winter activities when the only way to get to the destination is to snowshoe in. The Gold 10 performed admirably in every situation I could get them into with no exception. They were able to keep me afloat in 5 feet of powder in Idaho, the crampons provided excellent traction on the iced-over trails at Glacier National Park in Montana, and the added benefit of the traversing claw really shines through when finding a route up and across a steep slope toward the crustier snow for a bit of mountaineering.
After three months of heavy use, the Gold 10’s show nothing but minuscule amount of cosmetic wear. The stainless steel crampons show no sign of dulling or wear, and it is clear that these snowshoes really will live up to their lifetime guarantee. The only issue I had was a simple design fluke. The knot that ties the release loop on to the red tab of the binding seems to make a small impact toward allowing the top pull loop tightening system to completely secure the strap. I noticed on one shoe in particular that the spring-tightened clasp was letting the binding strap slip through simply because the knot was in the way. I can see this being easily fixed by elongating the tab by a small amount to allow the tab to cleanly close tight with the knot sitting just a little higher above the binding on the same system. It is a very small detail that make an impact away from the entire design being perfect but will hopefully be fixed in the future.
The Crescent Moon Snowshoes Gold Series 10 was everything I’ve ever wanted in a snowshoe, and more. With a lot of other manufacturers of snowshoes in the market, it can be difficult for one company to set themselves above the crowd but Crescent Moon has set a new standard in bindings and build quality. I can certainly see other manufacturers attempting to improve their binding systems in the future and only imitating Crescent Moon’s fantastic SPL design. Simply put, it is the best binding system I have ever used. So If you’re looking for a great fitting snowshoe with a comfortable and natural stride that will last you a lifetime, put Crescent Moon Snowshoes on the top of your list.
Gold Series 10 – $269/ pair – 4.4 lbs. – 10″ x 32″ – crescentmoonsnowshoes.com