The Alpine series of snowshoes from Redfeather are marketed as all-purpose snowshoes meant for on or off trail travel. Redfeather even claims that the Alpine shoe can be used for running.
The binding on the Alpine 30 is a combination of strap bindings that run over the top of the foot, combined with a plastic, ratcheting strap around the heel. The straps have two adjustments: one at the toe and one over the arch of the foot. The binding itself is attached to a stiff pivot strap with little or no float to the heels. Because of how the front crampons are attached on the underside of the deck (and this strap) it gives the same results as if the bindings were attached directly to the deck. During my limited usage during Oregon’s pitiful 2004-2005 winter, this translated into a lot of snow being thrown up my back from the snowshoes “rebounding” each time I lifted my feet.
On a lightly packed trail and well below the shoes’ weight limit, the Alpine 30s performed as any snowshoe should: they kept me on top of the snow where I belonged and kept me moving in a forward direction with plenty of momentum. Further use in more varied conditions will reveal how well the crampons work, whether or not the bindings loosen up with time, and whether flipping snow on my backside is really a problem or not. Look for the full review sometime in January.
Specifications and Features
- Manufacturer: Redfeather
- Year/Model: 2004/2005 Alpine 30
- Dimensions: 9 in wide x 30 in long (23 cm x 76 cm)
- Frame: Aluminum alloy tubing, 3/4 in (19 mm) diameter, powder coated
- Deck: Hypalon II
- Binding: Ultra Binding – straps over foot with a ratcheting heel system
- Crampons: Eagle Crampon – stainless steel, powder coated
- Weight: Measured weight 4.6 lb (2.09 kg) per pair; manufacturer specification 4.8 pounds (1.72 kg)
- Load rating: Up to 220 lb (100 kg)
- MSRP: $209 with Ultra Binding; $199 with Pilot Binding