This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS — When Outside Magazine released its rankings of the best snowshoes of 2016, the first entry on the list was the Fimbulvetr Rangr. If the brand looks unusual, it's because Fimbulvetr is a Norwegian company (the name is an old Norse word for "The Great Winter") and it only recently entered the American market.
The reviewers from Outside said the Rangr performed incredibly well in powder and its only weakness was the lack of a heel crampon for uneven terrain. With the Hikr, Fimbulvetr has solved that issue. It has a stainless steel rear crampon that bites into snow with a vengeance, giving you impeccable traction on steep surfaces.
The Hikr snowshoes are stronger and lighter than most snowshoes on the market, courtesy of their super-flexible, molded-plastic deck. It's made from Dupont Hytrel TPC-ET, which is a thermoplastic commonly used in car components like shock absorbers. The openings in the deck are large enough for snow to pass through from above, but small enough to give maximum floatation.
At the center of the Hikr is a flexible, plastic hinge that gives you smooth motion in any direction. While the words "plastic hinge" may make it sound unreliable, it's actually as tough as they come. And all Fimbulvetr come with a limited lifetime warranty, so you've got that to fall back on if something were to break.
As for the bindings, the Hikr employs a simple webbing system. The polypropelene straps hold your feet securely, while the buckles allow for quick adjustments on the fly.
All in all, these are amazing snowshoes. They were sleek enough to allow me to cruise on flat ground, but really shined as I trekked up steep hills. I didn't lose my footing even once, as the Hikr snowshoes proved they also belong on the shortlist for best of 2016.
Grant Olsen joined the KSL.com contributor team in 2012. He covers outdoor adventures, travel, product reviews and other interesting things. He is also the author of the book "Rhino Trouble." You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.