Get your kids excited about snowshoeing with the wonderfully-designed MSR Shift Youth Snowshoes and MSR Tyker Kids’ Snowshoes. Well worth the money and your kids will have a blast floating on snow.
Product: MSR Shift Youth Snowshoes and MSR Tyker Kids’ Snowshoes Price: $119.95 and $79.95 Pros: High-quality, built-in crampon, easy to maneuver Cons: Complicated straps Worth it? Yes
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MSR Kids’ Snowshoes: The Verdict
Overall, these are an excellent option if you’re looking for kids’ snowshoes. Richard, the founder of 10Adventures, bought these for his kids, and they’ve performed well. They’re high-quality and similar to the adult version, which allows them to last longer than one season. And having adjustable straps means there’s room for your kids to grow.
MSR has done it again with a wonderful product for kids. We’ll review two of their options in this post because they are very similar—the main difference is the size. The MSR Shift Youth Snowshoes are best for kids ages 7–12, and the MSR Tyker Kids’ Snowshoes are for kids ages 5–9. Choosing which one will fit your child will also depend on their weight. For more details, read the intro in our post about the best kids’ snowshoes. Richard’s family tested these out on hills, flat terrain, and on packed trails, and they certainly passed the test.
While your little ones wear these, they’ll feel a sense of maturity because they look just like mom’s and dad’s snowshoes, the MSR Evo Ascent that reviewed two seasons ago. But the Shift and the Tyker come in funky colours to show a little personality. These snowshoes are easy to use and maneuver and will have your kids eager to head out for a snowy adventure.
When to use
Around shoulder season in the fall, when winter hiking is no longer an option, it’s time to grab these snowshoes. You can explore deeper trails with a good pair of snowshoes than you could with just hiking boots. Because of the built-in crampon and traction bar, you can strap these on your kids and head out into the backcountry. Don’t worry about hard-packed snow or ice—the MSR kids’ snowshoes can handle it.
Weight and size
Your kids won’t be dragging their feet behind you on your snowshoe adventures. The MSR Youth Shift snowshoes weigh 1.15 kg (2 lb 8 oz) per pair, which your pre-teen should be able to handle. For the smaller kids in your crew, a pair of Tyker Snowshoes weighs only 0.93 kg (2 lb 1 oz), so they’ll be able to move about freely without significant weight added. You’ll also have to factor in the snowshoes’ width and length and your child’s weight. Both models are narrow enough that no one needs to walk like a penguin to move around! Here’s a quick comparison of the different specs for each pair of snowshoes.
MSR Shift Youth Snowshoes:
Weight per pair: 1.15 kg (2 lb 8 oz)
Weight limit: 57 kg (125 lb)
Frame: 18 cm x 50 cm (7” x 19”)
MSR Tyker Kids’ Snowshoes
Weight per pair: 0.93 kg (2 lb 1 oz)
Weight limit: 36 kg (80 lb)
Frame: 16.5 cm x 43 cm (6.5” x 17”)
High-quality materials. These gloves are designed to last more than one season. Your kids can try as they might to destroy them, but you can rest assured the durable material will withstand it.
Lightweight. After strapping the kids into these shoes, they’ll be off and running in minutes. The lightweight allows them great flotation on the snow without dragging their feet. Their lightweight is also good news for parents, in case you have to carry them at some point!
Great value. Because these are just a mini model of the adult version, the components are all the same, long-lasting, high-quality features. These will outlast one season, for sure.
Incredible traction. For hard-packed or icy trails, these snowshoes will not fail you. The steel traction bars and crampons have excellent grip for various snowshoeing terrain.
Straps require parents’ help. The three straps on these snowshoes tend to be too difficult for kids to fasten on their own. This can be a bit of a nuisance when you have a few kids to strap in. The good news is, once they’re strapped in, they stay in.
With similar features to the adult version, MSR has done a great job creating a durable snowshoe for kids. Parents can feel secure knowing that the Shift Snowshoes’ steel traction bars and injection-molded deck will grip and grab on all conditions. The Shift features three 3-point crampons on the toe and in the middle, providing excellent traction on hills and uneven terrain. These high-quality materials will stand up to multiple seasons of wear and tear. The Tyker Snowshoes have a molded traction bar instead of steel to add safety without compromising grip. While we’ve mentioned that straps can be a nuisance to adjust, and three straps might be overkill, they’re super secure and can fit a heavy snow boot if needed. For parents who are familiar with MSR’s Evo Ascent Snowshoes, you’ll have no trouble strapping your kids into the mini versions.
Play all day
These are so well-designed that once your kids are strapped in, they’ll be off and running in minutes. The MSR kids’ snowshoe bindings allow free pivoting, which means snow will slide off and not be kicked up or get stuck under the foot. When testing them out in deep snow, they never fell off, even when the kids were playing. Putting these snowshoes on won’t restrict freedom of movement—and good luck trying to limit the movement of a kid anyway! Keep the straps tight, and these snowshoes won’t fall off.
Great for beginners
The high-end design of these snowshoes makes for easy learning on snowy trails. Rather than a plastic crampon used by some other brands, the MSR uses a molded deck with metal toe and heel crampons. These features lend well to learning as each step connects securely with the snow. Your kids won’t feel wobbly or unstable, which is especially important for learning when they get frustrated by falling.
Should you buy the MSR Kids’ Snowshoes?
For anyone in the market for a long-lasting, high-quality pair of kids’ snowshoes, the 10Adventures family highly recommends MSR’s Shift and Tyker Snowshoes. The bonus is they’ll get used to the design quickly, and it will be a smooth transition to the adult version when it’s time to make the switch.