Gear Review: Tubbs Flex VRT Snowshoes

April 26, 2017
The rotating toe cord (rotation limiter), heel risers, and flex tail — these are binding and traction features that really stand out in the Tubbs FLEX VRT snowshoes. Tubbs Snowshoe Ambassador Lyndon Scott reports.

By Lyndon Scott, Tubbs Snowshoe Ambassador

After being selected as a Tubbs backcountry snowshoe ambassador in 2015, I anxiously awaited my “care package” from Tubbs. I did not know what I would receive, as the folks at Tubbs assigned snowshoe models to the ambassadors based on the ambassador’s snowshoeing history, as well as their plans for the upcoming season. I was beyond excited when I pulled my new Tubbs FLEX VRT snowshoes from the package!

Prior to my ambassadorship, I had used snowshoes from various manufacturers. Looking at Tubbs’ line of snowshoes, I was intrigued by the features of the Tubbs FLEX VRT. Now into my second season as a Tubbs snowshoe ambassador, I am impressed; the Rotating Toe Cord (Rotation Limiter), heel risers, and Flex Tail all performed as expected.

The features that have really stood out to me and my snowshoeing companions were the binding and traction systems:

  • Bindings – The DynamicFit Bindings feature the BOA closure system. EVA foam evenly spreads the pressure of the binding across the top of your foot, instead of creating pressure points as strap systems can. The BOA system is easy to tighten and loosen (this can be done with one hand) and is very secure. After adjustment, the heel strap locks into place. With other closure systems, I’ve found myself needing to adjust the bindings several times during a snowshoeing trip. With BOA and the locking heel strap, I found myself only touching the bindings twice per trip – once to put them on and once to take them off. I have been so impressed with BOA that I am researching trail runners and hiking boots that use the same system. Tubbs FLEX VRT snowshoes features the BEST binding system I have used by far. The only thing that has come close is the ActiveFit+™ binding used on the Tubbs MOUNTAINEER snowshoes.

Tubbs-FlexVRT-Gear-Review-2-640x426DynamicFit bindings, featuring the BOA Closure System.
Tubbs-FlexVRT-Gear-Review-3-640x426EVA Foam on the underside of the binding.
Tubbs-FlexVRT-Gear-Review-4-640x428Locking heel strap.

  • Traction – The Torsion Deck, Traction Rails, and Viper 2.0 toe crampons combine to create a solid traction system. The rails and crampons are the most aggressive I’ve seen on any snowshoe. The flexibility of the Torsion Deck allows the snowshoe to conform to the profile of uneven terrain, insuring the rails and crampons are making contract with the snow or ice and are allowed to do their job.

Tubbs-FlexVRT-Gear-Review-5-640x428 The FLEX VRT traction system, featuring the Torsion Deck, Traction Rails, and Viper 2.0 toe crampons.
Tubbs-FlexVRT-Gear-Review-6-640x428 Tubbs-FlexVRT-Gear-Review-7-640x427Close-up of the Traction Rails and Viper 2.0 toe crampons.

While my hiking companions and I were impressed with the FLEX VRT snowshoe as soon as we started using them, just how superior they are to other snowshoes became apparent while I co-led a large group of snowshoers on a cross country trip. While others were questioning their footing and stopping to re-adjust their bindings, those of us using FLEX VRTs were plugging along, making progress up the mountain and taking in the scenery. That day several in the group became believers in the Tubbs FLEX VRT’s snowshoe design and made plans to purchase them in the future.
Tubbs-FlexVRT-Gear-Review-8-640x427 Using my Tubbs FLEX VRT snowshoes on a steep slope, where the snowshoe’s features really stood out.