MSR Lightning Ascent 25 Review

MSR Men's Lightning Ascent SnowshoeMSR Men's Lightning Ascent Snowshoe Test | Photo Mike Hardaker Mountain Weekly News

The updated MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes are a must-have for anyone that finds themselves snowshoeing on slick winter trails.  One of the best snowshoes on the market designed for keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground regardless of what the conditions outside have in store.

Rubber Straps

Snowshoe Straps made of Rubber

MSR Rubber Snowshoe Straps | Photo Mike Hardaker Mountain Weekly News

With 4 straps that are easy to adjust, the MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes can be used with just about any winter boot, shoe and even in my case snowboard boots.  Some snowshoes are a pain in the but to get the straps on and off, luckily that is not the case with the Lightning Ascent.

The rubber straps simply lay over your boot, and instead of threading the strap back through a buckle like most snowshoes of the past, you just pull until tight and then fold the remaining part of the strap back over the top of your boot.  MSR calls this technology PosiLock AT bindings.

You shouldn’t have to expose your hands to the elements in the middle of winter to fuss with your gear. Luckily, opening and closing the 2 piece system on the MSR Lightning Ascent 25 Snowshoes can easily be done while wearing gloves.

MSR Snowshoe Sizing

MSR Snowshoe Review

MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes | Photo Mike Hardaker Mountain Weekly News

For sizing these snowshoes are available in 3-lengths. 22″, 25″ and 29″.  For this test, I used the MSR Lighting Ascent 25″ Snowshoes.

With a thicker steel crampon than in the past, this upgraded MSR Snowshoe can take you up the steepest and burliest of mountains, while always maintaining superior traction and most importantly peace of mind.  And if you really find your self pushing onto steep slopes the MSR Ascent Snowshoes come with a built-in climbing ladder.  The ladder can be opened by flipping your ski pole around and using the handle to lift up.  Once locked into place the stour climbing ladder does an amazing job at pushing your body forward, rising you up to climb tougher, steeper inclines.

MSR Lightning Ascent Review

Mike Hardaker Snowshoeing with his Dog Char in MSR Lighting Ascents | Photo Mountain Weekly News

These snowshoes are durable, made in the USA and come with a 3-year warranty. Need we say more?

Lately my favorite thing to do with these snowshoes is to take my dog for long walks on forest service trails, hopefully, you will get as much enjoyment out of the MSR Ascent Snowshoes as I do.


Mike Hardaker Snowshoeing in Hoback, Wyoming | Photo Mountain Weekly News

Last but not least: MSR makes some killer poles (Dynalock Explore Pole – shown above) to go along with these snowshoes for the perfect snowshoeing setup.

Overall Impression

MSR Backcountry Snowshoes

MSR Makes Great Snowshoes for the Backcountry | Photo Mike Hardaker Mountain Weekly News

There are tons of tools for exploring the backcountry and getting outside in the snow for exercise. One of the oldest and most tried and true of these activities is snowshoeing.  MSR really has a great product here with their popular Ascent Snowshoes.  And for good reason, these snowshoes are incredibly lightweight in the 4lbs range depending on the length.

Keep in mind the lengths of the snowshoe are based on weight among other factors. What’s great about the MSR Ascent 25″ Snowshoe ($349.95) is it has a weight range of 120 – 220 lbs, making it a great size for just about anyone looking to spent time recreating outdoors.

Related Articles:

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  2. Guide to Family Snowshoeing
  3. 10 Best Snowshoes of the Year
  4. Tubbs Mountaineering Snowshoes Review

About the Author

Mike Hardaker
Mike Hardaker grew up surfing and snowboarding in Orange County and followed his love of surfing to Hawaii before eventually moving to the mountains to concentrate on snowboarding. He went on to found Mountain Weekly News based in Jackson, Wyoming.

4 Comments on "MSR Lightning Ascent 25 Review"

  1. Hey Mike, I was wondering, how much harder is snowshoeing compared to splitboarding?
    Is it even an option with these snowshoes, as I have a Capita Neo Slasher and I kind of don’t like the ride down with it, but I have a splendid collection of normal boards, thus investing in a new split doesn’t feel justified.

  2. You forgot to mention the extension tails…

    • Mike Hardaker | March 19, 2019 at 8:41 AM | Reply

      Claus, thanks for the email. The tails do not come with the snowshoes. If you are wanting us to review the accessories let me know.

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