Denali Classic


Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Denali Classic
Manufacturer MSR
Page By GreenNerve
Page Type Feb 18, 2003 / Feb 18, 2003
Object ID 671
Hits 6197
photo shown with Flotation Tails

UniDeck Platform
Expedition proven, nonstick deck sheds snow and ice.
4- and 8-inch flotation tails make MSR snowshoes a 3-in-1 package, eliminating the need for multiple pairs of snowshoes (sold separately).
Steel Traction Bars
Serrated edges run the length of the shoe on both sides and grip the snow for unmatched traction while traversing.
Durable Steel Crampons
Hardened steel crampons with four aggressive front teeth and three rear teeth offer unrivaled traction.
Braking Bars
Quad-point braking bars work in conjunction with the steel crampons to stop you in your tracks.
Heel Stabilizer
Crampon extension eliminates heel drift while traversing.
Flexible Binding
Packs flat; stays moisture-free and adjustable in freezing conditions.



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GreenNerve - Feb 18, 2003 6:01 pm - Voted 4/5

Untitled Review
Excellent traction in all directions. It’s plastic platform design functions as an okay snow shovel, not a great one but I like not having to bring a 2-pound shovel. Me plus pack are about 240-250 pounds and I’ve concluded that the add-on 8” tails will be a mandatory next purchase to better float me. I wouldn’t screw around with the 4” tails and I’m not sure why they even bother to make them. I like the option of going tailless for better maneuverability in some spots. I haven’t tried it yet, but the bindings with their two rows of teeth (I hesitate to call them crampons) come off of the platforms. It seems to me you could use these without the platforms for traction on hard snow. You would have little lateral traction however.
There are some good, relevant comments on the Denali Ascent page. The Classics are about the same shoes without the heal lifters.

Alan Ellis - May 26, 2003 12:36 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Lightweight. Stable. Easy to take on and off, even with gloves. Great traction. Very easy to walk, climb, or descend. Definitely recommend the tails for softer snow. These things saved the day for me on an early season climb.

summitman - May 29, 2003 10:21 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Excellent choice for steep terrain both travelling uphill and downhill. Modular design allows for adding tails for heavier packs but even without the tails, I have carried a 60 lbs pack. Their light weight is another great feature.

Sylvain - Oct 30, 2003 2:04 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Really nice and durable snowshoes. I also recommend the tail in soft snow condition. The bindings are very easy to use even with mittens. Very high quality for a reasonable price.

Tweezer - Dec 26, 2003 2:30 am - Voted 4/5

Untitled Review
Very Stable and easy to take on and off. Great for deep snow or Icy slopes. Wonderful traction and very durable. Straps are easy to tighten and never come undone. It is a pain that they do sell the tails separate for an additional $20. Worth the $130 !!!!!

IceAxe18 - Jan 19, 2004 8:30 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
I went to the summit of Mt St Helens with these snowshoes without having to put on the tail. I had no problems with them. I would recommend them.

vertx - Jan 21, 2004 11:43 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Very nice snowshoe at a good price. The bindings are simple to use even with gloves. The best feature is the nearly full length "crampons" on the bottom. These provide for excellent traction while climbing and decending. I do not use the extra float and have had no trouble with them. Quality product. Well built.

Reiksgib - Jan 25, 2004 4:50 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Excellent snowshoe for the price. I was constantly getting blistered heals in the atlas shoes probably because they rotate too mush from the webbing, but the MSR shoes are laterally stiff and reduce that flexation. I've climbed steep slopes with icy snow to deep power and these shoes perform exceptionally in all conditions. I highly recommend them!

miztflip - Mar 16, 2004 11:09 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Lightweight, compact, easy to adjust and great price.

These things pack away to nothing and don't weigh much at all. the adjustment straps are easy to use with even the thickest mitts. They fit well even on big double plastic mountaineering boots or any other footwear. The rows of teeth on the bottom grip well on ice and hard packed snow, even on steep terrain.

Difficult when traversing on soft snow as there is no lateral give in the snowshoe. Without the extended tails they do not work well in soft powder snow.

Keyser Soze - Sep 16, 2004 12:12 pm - Voted 3/5

Untitled Review
Great design, good traction. However, if you intend to do lots of steep climbs, it makes sense to go for the ascent or Evo ascent...your calves will be grateful!

The loop between deck and binding is not too solid, it broke several times. I hope that this has been improved in the meantime. While MSR's importer repaired at no cost, it was still quite annoying to be stranded in powdery snow without working snowshoes. It makes sense to carry some material for repairs (fitting screws and nuts).

Andy - Oct 21, 2004 10:37 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Simple and straightforward - I've found these to be extremely reliable. They're easy to get in and out of even when wearing bulky mittens.

dspal - Nov 13, 2004 6:47 pm - Voted 4/5

Untitled Review
When I started getting into winter hiking and climbing I started looking for a decent pair of snowshoes...Seeing the well over $200 sticker price of most showshoes took me back a step. Then I saw the Denali Classic's...they looked a little differecnt than the rest of the showshoes on the market but sure were less expensive...

From the first time I strapped them on I was impressed...the big rubber straps were easy to pull and adjust even with heavy gloves. I have never had any problems with the straps coming loose during hikes and have rarely encountered much balling of snow on their bottoms, nor much need for the tails out here in the East, but the built in metal teeth are sufficient for all but the steepest and iciest of slopes. A great investment for any winter hiker/outdoorsman...

awagher - Mar 29, 2005 3:46 pm - Voted 3/5

Untitled Review
Rented these throughout this last winter season (they are the only model available) and have mixed feelings about them. First off they are easy enough to get in and out of. Though the binding straps have (one or the other) come undone here and there. They (the straps) are easily manipulated by a gloved hand. Second, when worn with plastic boots, I have had the toe catch under the front of the snowshoe on descents. This could be an adjustment problem but I have never the less experienced it from time to time. Finally they are heavy. On the good side they have an add on tails that really keeps you on top of the snow (without them I was postholing up the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek) and they handle abuse well (jumping across streams onto rocks etc.). They have good grip on mixed terrain. Probably not the worst snow shoes out there.

Mike Mc - Aug 30, 2005 2:07 pm - Voted 4/5

Untitled Review
I have only used these snowshoes a few times, and they have been more than adequate. The "crampon" edges really provide excellent traction. I have used shoes without this feature, and descending was almost like skiing! The Denalis can take quite a bit of abuse (jumping) and remain fastened. I was able to pick up a pair on clearance at REI for $95. The flotation tails came in handy while walking through deep, drifted snow.

jtmerrill - Oct 18, 2005 5:28 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
I owned a pair of Yakimas before these and the difference is incredible. They're LIGHT. The crampon rails allow for excellent grip on tough angles. I weigh 160 lbs. and haven't bought any tails for them. I believe they're around $25.00 for a 4 inch pair if you're interested. They have held up beautifully in deep snow. Easily strappable to my pack due their flatness.

tommi - Jan 20, 2007 9:47 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Very good allrounder. Use these snowshoes for ascents to waterfalls and easier mountaineering. The traction is excellent and they fit on nearly every boots. I use them without the tails.
Great gear

Chris Doig - Feb 7, 2007 4:20 am - Voted 5/5

Denali Classic
Went with a large group backpack trip with these. With pack I was over 300lbs. The Denali's with 4 inch tails worked very well in soft Sierra snow. I wasn't sinking in any more than all but the lightest in the group

J.J. - Mar 15, 2007 6:38 am - Hasn't voted

Best all around snowshoe in my opinion. Durable as hell, fairly light, good traction in all directions, easy to put on/take off, available vairied tail lengths, just an all around good shoe. I have used these very heavily for 3 years, and they are barely showing signs of use. Highly recommend. Leave the tubbs, and atlas's at home!!!

MountaingirlBC - May 7, 2007 2:29 pm - Voted 5/5

Good all round
As far as snowshoes go these are pretty good. Their steel side traction bars are a must have feature on steep traverses and their crampons will keep you stuck to whatever you're climbing up. They're light and durable too. The binding system is simple and easy to use even with gloves on. I find them a little bit wide for my stride but if they were any narrower you'd lose the flotation so it's a trade off. Tails available for extra flotation if needed.

dobsonian - Jul 26, 2007 5:03 pm - Voted 5/5

Simple, stable
I've had these for 2 years now, they've been great for winter ascents, I bought the tails but have never had to use them yet (maybe global warming in the NE is the reason). They are light weight and fairly comfortable, hold the snow well even on steep climbs and never have problem with snow build up. My only complaint is lack of an ascension clip for steep ups but that's my fault for not buying the ascent.

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