One weekend, after a spring snowstorm dumped two feet of snow around the metro area, we headed downtown Denver to REI with the intent of renting snowshoes for the weekend. Happening upon one of their garage sales, we came across a pair of Atlas 1030 snowshoes. They were very slightly worn, but in great condition and at a price too good to refuse. After securing the purchase, we made our way down to rent Stella a pair of snowshoes. That was Saturday, April of 2016.
Fast forward to the winter of 2016, 2017. We were finally able to get back on the winter trails to take full advantage of my Atlas 1030 Snowshoes. We trekked many miles in a myriad of conditions and terrain: packed trails, steep inclines, icy snow, slanted alongside the mountain, breaking trail, and waist-deep powder – these snowshoes performed extremely well.
The Atlas 1030’s use a Wrapp Swift binding that allows for a great fit, minimizing foot movement in the toe box. There are two straps that lock the front foot into the binding with EVA padding to protect the top of the foot. The back of the binding allows for a snug fit on the heel. In addition to the binding system, the snowshoe also has a heel lift bar. And even though we have snowshoed in steep terrain, on multiple occasions, I have never used the heel lift. The heel lift is designed to minimize fatigue of the calf muscle when you find yourself on a steep incline. Sometimes I have found that after about a mile down the trail, a slight adjustment is needed to tighten the binding across the top of my foot, and maybe once again later in the trek. Adjustments to the heel were infrequent. Overall, the binding system is well-designed and allows complete articulation of the foot from side to side.
The frame of the snowshoe is made of 6061 aluminum and is tapered front to back, or what Atlas refers to a V-Frame. The decking is made of Nytex, a durable yet light material. Below the decking is a very solid and well-designed toe crampon dubbed ‘All – Trac’ by Atlas Snowshoes. The design of the crampon provides excellent traction control, particularly in steep or icy terrain. Never once did I feel as though I was not in control when making a technical move on the trail, nor had the fear of the crampon failing under full weight.
Overall, the snowshoes have exceeded my expectations. They are lightweight and great for long snowshoeing adventures, are very stable in all terrain, and are technically designed to be used in the mountains – steep and deep. The binding system is easy to use and provides excellent stability.
Since my purchase, the Atlas 1030’s, have been replaced by the Atlas Montane and the Atlas Stratus. The Montane is the direct replacement for the 1030’s, and the Stratus uses the newer BOA binding system. I have provided the link to Stella’s review of her snowshoes where she describes the BOA system in detail. Check out Stella’s review of her Louis Garneau Blizzard II Snowshoes (Womens).
NOTE: In 2022, I purchased the Tubbs Flex VRT snowshoes.
Overall: Steal of a Deal
Price paid: $50.41
Place purchased: REI Denver, Garage Sale
Link to Atlas Snowshoes website: Atlas Snowshoes
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