Snowshoes have been around for thousands of years in some form. The first were bent tree limbs kept in place by gut or some other means. While traditional snowshoes and snowshoe bindings for wood frame snowshoes are still around. Many of today's snowshoes are made out of the latest materials and made to be durable in the harshest conditions.
MSR has 3 versions of snowshoes that will take a beating and keep on going. The MSR Lightning Ascent,
the MSR Lightning Explore
and the MSR Revo Explore
What is the difference between the models? The Lightning Ascent and Lightning Explore are made for long days of hiking, personally I use the Lightning Ascents and have no trouble doing 20 plus mile days in them. The difference is that the Lightning Ascent is slightly more maneuverable in places that are steep and falling is not an option. For example the descent down to Iroquois coming off Algonquin in New York.
For those looking to hike more flat and rolling hill terrain the Revo Explore are the better choice.
How to select a size? You must consider your weight and the weight of your pack and the types of snow and whether you will be on or off trail. For example I'm about 160 pound with an average pack of 15-20 pounds. By the book I would go with a 22 in the lightning ascents but I use a 25 as I'm off trail or in deep conditions more often than not. The only time I would not recommend a larger snowshoe is if you are a smaller person it is more weight and harder to maneuver.
Questions email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-448-7965.