Discover what we love about Yukon Charlie’s Elite SPIN Snowshoes in our gear review!
Affiliate Disclosures: 1. As a Yukon Charlie’s Ambassador, I received a complimentary pair of snowshoes for review purposes, but all words and opinions are my own. 2. This post contains affiliate links through which I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!
Over the years, I’ve tried several kinds of snowshoes from old school rawhide and wood (my grandfather’s) to the most modern and innovative. This seemingly simple mode of transportation is constantly being reinvented with different shapes, bindings, and materials for convenience and comfort. The newest snowshoes are nothing like my grandfather’s snowshoes – and that’s a good thing!
For mountain snowshoeing, I look for snowshoes with robust frames, aggressive traction, heel risers, and bindings that stay put. These features can be found on higher end backcountry snowshoes which will typically set you back about $300 or more, so we were happily surprised to see all these features for less than $300 in the Yukon Charlie’s Elite SPIN snowshoes. I also prefer women-specific models which are narrower to allow for a natural gait. Narrower women’s snowshoes are lighter too! The Elite SPIN snowshoes come in men’s and women’s frames, and in two different lengths.
With rocker aluminum frames, Mountain Claw crampons, heel risers, and easy-to-use Northwave SPIN (dial) bindings, The Yukon Charlie’s Elite SPIN backcountry series snowshoes get rave reviews from everyone who tries them. In this gear review, we’ll share our experience with them and what we love about them!
My husband and I have been testing the Elite SPIN snowshoes (regular and women’s versions, respectively) for over two months. We’ve used them on packed snow with icy patches, and deep powder, on easy to moderate terrain. They have performed well and required no maintenance. (2020 Update: After three winters, my Elite SPIN snowshoes are still in great condition!)
What we love about the Yukon Charlie’s Elite SPIN Snowshoes
Our favorite thing about the Elite SPIN snowshoes is their Northwave SPIN bindings with toe boxes. Cyclists and snowboarders will recognize the Northwave name. If you’re not familiar, I can tell you that these dial bindings are top notch and easy to use. Simply spin the dial to tighten the bindings (tighten the heel strap first). To remove the snowshoes, pull the toggle on the top of your snowshoe to instantly open the SPIN dial and free your toes, then loosen the heel strap. It’s so easy, I can do it with thick mittens on!! This is a huge plus if you have Raynaud’s like me, or have gotten cold hands fussing with your kids’ hats, mitts, boots, and snowshoes in -15 (why can’t they keep their stuff on?!?). Besides being incredibly easy to use, the SPIN dial also means you can make micro-adjustments for the perfect fit.
The bindings were extremely comfortable and stayed securely fastened in all conditions while the toe boxes and foot pads kept our feet properly positioned.
Intended for backcountry use, the 6000 aluminum frame is the “strongest and most torsionally rigid frame” Yukon Charlie’s has ever offered. Surprisingly, these rugged snowshoes weigh little more (4-5 ounces) than backcountry snowshoes that cost over $100 more! (If you are looking for ultralight snowshoes to run in, check out Yukon Charlie’s Yukon Run Snowshoes! Only 2.5 lbs per pair! Available from Amazon or Yukon Charlie’s.)
The rocker shape (turned up tips and tails) and Free Flex axle system allows for a more natural gait, so you can walk comfortably and easily in your snowshoes. We could actually notice a difference between our other snowshoes which are quite flat in comparison and liked the momentum and agility the rocker shape provided! Although the tails are turned up, they do not collect and flip up snow as we expected, but I still recommend wearing shell/snow pants when snowshoeing so you can have fun in the snow without getting cold. Half the fun of snowshoeing is lying in the snow and making snow angels!
The integrated heel lift is easy to engage and reduces the burn in your calves when climbing uphill. Check out how in this quick 8 second video from Yukon Charlie’s here!
The Mountain Claw crampons have lots of teeth to grip ice and snow. We found the traction to be great whether we were on packed snow or icy sections of the trail. We have yet to test the snowshoes on super steep inclines, but on moderate hills with packed snow/slush/powder/icy sections, I felt confident and sure footed.
The lightweight decking sheds snow so you don’t carry extra weight and looks good too. My husband says these are the most attractive snowshoes he’s ever had and I agree!
Differences between the Women’s and Men’s Elite SPIN Snowshoes
The women’s and men’s Elite SPIN snowshoes have the same main features, but when it comes to size and shape, they are quite different. The women’s snowshoes are narrower, more angular, and thereby lighter. At 120 pounds, I get good flotation from the 8×21″ women’s snowshoes. My husband is 150 pounds and found the men’s 8×25″ snowshoes work well for him. When selecting your size, be sure to take into account your outer wear and pack weight so you get adequate flotation.
Women’s Elite Spin Snowshoe Dimensions and Weight:
- The 8×21″ are 3.8 pounds; for snowshoers up to 150 pounds.
- The 8×25″ are 4 pounds; for snowshoers up to 200 pounds.
Men’s Elite Spin Snowshoe Dimensions and Weight:
- The 8×25″ are 4.2 pounds; for snowshoers up to 200 pounds.
- The 9×30″ are 4.8 pounds; for snowshoers up to 250 pounds.
The Yukon Charlie’s Elite Spin Snowshoes are attractive, rugged, snowshoes with a rocker frame, integrated heel lifts, and innovative bindings that make for comfortable snowshoeing.
Where to Buy
Purchase Yukon Charlie’s Elite SPIN Snowshoes from Yukon Charlie’s, Amazon, or Costco.
- Snowshoeing Pack List
- 10 Tips for Fun Family Snowshoeing – Yukon Charlie’s Blog
- Where to Snowshoe Near Calgary
- Why You Need Avalanche Skills Training
- Pack the 10 essential systems on every snowshoe outing
- Pond and Lake Ice Safety
Now is your chance to win a pair of snowshoes! I have one pair of Yukon Charlie’s Elite SPIN for Women Snowshoes, size 8×25″, color: blue for one lucky reader in Canada. Please complete the Rafflecopter form below. Shipping is within Canada only. Contest closes March 16, 2017 at 12 am MST.
Thanks for entering the contest! Marion M was the winner!
I haven't snowshoes since I was a kid. We lived on an average and snowshoes on on property. I'm lucky to live in Alberta and would enjoy snowshoeing in the Rockies. Closer to my door is McKinnon Flats on the Bow River and it's a great place to enjoy nature all seasons.
WE LOVE just going through the trails in the metro parks!! i would love these!
I've been snowshoeing only a couple times but my favourite was on a quiet piece of land close to Rocky Mountain House!
My fiance is from Maine near Portland and I would love to go snowshoeing near there.
Love these Snowshoes!
Also, Rawson has been my favourite so far, as well as Chester 🙂
Appreciate the reviews of the snowshoes! Great post 🙂
I love the snowshoe trails in West Bragg Creek. I found out about them thanks to your blog 🙂
My favourite place to snowshoe is in Waterton Lakes National Park. I haven't been able to go yet this winter as I'm recovering from a concussion, but I'd love to win these and take them out for a spin before the snow melts. 🙂
My favourite trail was penstock loop
Black Prince Cirque would be very neat, there's so much powder on the side of the trail
I have never been snowshoeing. I would love to visit Canmore and snowshoe.
Any trail I can get to is my favorite trail!
Let kids (or other people) lead the way, it's sometimes the only way I slow down and fully take it all in
Waterton is the only place I've been snowshoeing. I'd love to check out other places in Alberta.
I've yet to do a serious trail, I own snowshoes for myself and these would be perfect for my daughter
I'm heading out for a wander tomorrow but could use a new pair of 'shoes for next winter!
I like snowshoeing at Silver Star bc, buy always have to borrow gear. Would love my own pair!
I've never tried snow shoeing but love cross country skiing and trail running so think I'd love it!
Cameron lake in Waterton. It's always a great time and finished off with wieners of waterton.
I agree – bindings make a huge difference! I have only snowshoed in the prairies, but would love to try it out in the Rockies as well.
We love going to Bragg Creek for snowshoeing! this way we don't have to far to drive with our two kiddos
Would love to go snowshoeing in the mountains.
It's been awhile since I've been snowshoeing, but last time I went to a place near Banff where we were winter camping. It was lots of fun!
These look awesome! My MSR's are amazing, but I constantly struggle with the bindings coming undone. The fact that you could put these on with mittens sounded pretty great too!
A Mackay, it's amazing when you can float in deep snow! We love it so much!! You've gotta take turns breaking trail though -super good workout!
Thanks Amber! The Elite SPIN are pretty rad! Have I said how much I love the bindings?! I'll post a video soon showing how cool they are!
Hope you get to go snowshoeing before winter is over, NewWife!
SO many great places to snowshoe in Kananaskis, Dana!! It's hard for me to pick a favorite!
That's my favorite too, Deirdre! The more powder, the better! 🙂
Thanks Tatjana! We would love to hang out with you again!!! Let's make a snowshoe date!
I have the MSR ones too, Shawna! These feel different with the rocker frame and surprisingly similar in weight (less than 4 oz more per pair). The crampons and bindings are also quite different – MSR have more side traction, but the Yukon Charlie's bindings are amazingly simple to use!
Emerald Lake is gorgeous! You would love the bindings, Tanya! They're so easy to put on and remove. I need to take a video to show people!
Sounds awesome, Shift Mama!
I've only been snowshoeing twice, but I just happened to post about our first family adventure on the blog today! So out of my two times (the first time being 10 years ago!), snowshoeing on the Wonderland Trail in Mount Rainier National Park was amazing!
I have had some great showshoeing times in Waskesiu.
I have loved snowshoeing in Alberta this winter. I may be the only person happy that the snow is here and still coming. 🙂
I've never been but the winters sure are long in New Hampshire so I would like to try it.
I would like to go showshoeing in Kananaskis country as its so beautiful out there!
I've never been snowshoeing but my sister has & she said Troll Falls in Kananaskis is so gorgeous & peaceful, plus it's for beginners like me so that's where I'd go!
With all this snow we've been having (even though it's quickly melting) snowshoes are a must!
I finally tried out snow shoeing, and I've been trying to see what to get. Thanks so much for the info, here's hoping I win so I don't have to buy!
These actually look pretty badass, I like the binding system.
I hope to win these for my Mom. She's got an old pair of my brothers. She totally deserves some nice ones suited for women.
I've only been snowshoeing once and because we were on a packed trail, it turned out to be easier to take them off and just hike. So I want to go snowshoeing somewhere with deep fluffy snow, where snowshoes are the only way I could be there!
Those are some nice looking snowshoes! My girls tried snowshoeing for the first time a few weeks ago, would love to get out with them for a walk before the winter is over.
Snowshoeing adventures are on our winter 2017 list of things to experience!
I have not been snowshoeing in a while but I love all the fun trails in Kananaskis 🙂
These snow shoes look great! I would love to try out those bindings. My favourite trail is anything with powder and snow to play in vs a packed down trail.
Great review Karen! Love to go out and snowshoe with you, your hubbie and your little ones <3. Preferably somewhere in Kananaskis as it is always gorgeous!
These look like great snowshoes. I'm curious to try them compared to my msr ones.
Favourite trail this winter is troll falls thanks to the fresh snow we enjoyed.
I love testing new snowshoes. And I'm very intrigued by the binding system with the dial for tightening because I find some snowshoes very hard to put on. Fav. snowshoe trail is the Emerald Lake Loop.
I've only been a few times, and not at all since moving to the Okanagan but I really want to get out again. My favourite trail was in St. Albert, River Lot 56. It was really beautiful….but so cold!
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