Crescent Moon Gold Series 10 Snowshoe Review

Gold-10’s are excellent for deep snow and backpack weights

Crescent Moon G10 snowshoes. Click to enlarge.By Rick Shandley

Crescent Moon Gold-10 Backcountry snowshoes showcase modern construction with excellent performance. Snowshoes have served the historical purpose of suspending a person’s body on the surface of deep snow, rather than creating post holes with every step. The Gold 10 series float you just like they are supposed to; in the same way as age-old rawhide-laced bent willow shoe frames. These modern Crescent Moon Gold 10 snowshoes fulfill the traditional role great, but they bring technology and reliability with them.

Although the Gold Series also include the Gold-9, and Gold-17, the Gold-10 are geared for guys up to 225 pounds, and designed to function in deep backcountry snow with or without a backpack. We overloaded the G-10’s recommended weight with the backpack on, but they worked great on the trip even with an extra 40 pounds on our back.  And when there was only a day-pack/camera bag, the Gold 10’s also worked just fine. The floatation and confidence in these snowshoes were unquestioned from the start.

The first snow day to try these Crescent Moon back country shoes was up in the Mt. San Jacinto wilderness area in Soutnern California. Conditions were

Gold 10 excelled in deep snow and icy trails.
Gold 10 excelled in deep snow and icy trails.

icy.  Consecutive, clear-skies and frigid days had elapsed since the last snowfall. The un-trampled snow was fairly deep, but the low temperatures caused the surface snow to crust up hard. How my truck swooped up onto an ice-coated parking area is still hard to say. But few other vehicles also made it up to that parking lot that day. We were there from early morning to late afternoon.

These G-10 snowshoes went on first thing. With three sets of stainless steel crampon cleats riveted to each shoe these Gold-10’s provided immediate traction on ice. This is a departure from historical snowshoe design by providing metal spikes on the bottom to grip the ice. That’s how we got out of the parking lot standing upright.

Strapping into the binding system with size 14 boots is relatively intuitive. The Crescent Moon SPL binding system on these snowshoes will fit up to a size 15 boot. We used them, on different trips, with a pair of LOWA Cevedale GTX mountaineering boots and a pair of Kamik Patriot 3 snow boots. The synthetic strap binding system uses a ratchet adjustment at the heel section and a webbed strap system at the front. A grab-handle for the forward binder allows you to cinch down the toe-section around the front of the boot. At the heel, the ratchet binding can be adjusted so you can pre-set the fit for easy in and out of the shoe.

Gold 10 binding system is easy on-off, and secure on the trail.
Gold 10 binding system is easy on-off, and secure on the trail.

Up in Mt. San Jacinto, the trail and terrain are more vertical, so conditions compelled us to climb and dig-in with upward momentum in these Crescent Moons. We were ascending upward along the snow encased trail, sometimes scrambling while other times just trudging along. On that trip these G-10’s were comfortable to use with those stainless steel crampons on the bottom of the shoes to grip the frozen top crust over a couple feet of snow.

That session in the snow started out gripping up a crusty, frozen, snow-covered trail in the morning and softened up a bit as the sun warmed the day. With no real weight on board, hiking and striding along the trail in the Gold 10’s was straight forward walking. There were no shoe tangles or awkwardness having to become accustomed to them. The G-10’s worked intuitively for this writer. That’s saying something right there because the guy wearing the shoes is not a graceful person.

Another thing we like about the binding system is that it’s easy, reliable and secure, even with gloved hands. On a later overnight trip in the Sierra Nevada, these snowshoes went on in the dark and came off in the dark. With only a headlamp to illuminate the effort, it is nice to be able to slip into the Gold 10’s and acquire the traction quick. The nighttime temperatures were in the single digits up in the Sierra’s, and it was serious cold. It didn’t escape our observation how pliable the binding system remains, especially when the snowshoes are simply planted in the snow throughout the night. When it came time to latch on the snowshoes, the bindings are good to go.

There was no tendency for the bindings to give-up the hold on the feet. The bindings were secure throughout each hike and snow

Crescent Moon Gold 10 bindings deliver full range of motion.
Crescent Moon Gold 10 bindings deliver full range of motion.

session we used them on. When you do want to snug up the snowshoe bindings on the Gold 10’s, it’s just a matter of reaching down and pulling on the harness strap. The primary harness strap is easy to grab with gloved hands and it tightens the toe and forefoot sections of the binding system. Once you have the heel strap adjusted to the length of your boots, the fore foot section is the main binding you can use to get in and out of the snowshoes.

Gold 10 Series Backcountry snowshoes are constructed of stout aluminum tube frames covered with synthetic webbing made out of recycled materials. At the front section of the shoe, the toe webbing appears to be a nylon material. And from the foot back vinyl webbing provides the floatation on the snow. All webbing is securely riveted to the frame. Both the materials and overall quality of construction lead one to assess these Crescent Moon snowshoes as being well built.

At a suggested retail price of $269.00, the Gold-Series 10 snowshoes are a significant investment, but considering how many years they could serve, and how easy they are to strap on your feet and walk over the snow, they are to be a good investment for living and playing in snow country. While we had these snowshoes in with us, we scanned competitor types and found these to be on the high-end of quality and capability, in our view.

Stainless steel crampons performed on icy trails second to none.
Stainless steel crampons performed on icy trails second to none.

Each snowshoe weighs little more than two pounds. If you are wearing warm boots you won’t be feeling any weight from the snowshoes. Shoe frames are anodized aluminum tubing constructed in a teardrop shape. Each frame measures 10 inches wide by 32 inches long. The pair of G-10’s we had a blast in were, as the photos indicate, bright metallic cherry red. Your other color choice is brilliant metallic green.

Up at the toe of Gold-10 there’s plenty of width and floatation directly under and in front of your foot. At the rear of the shoe, the shape of the frame behind the foot pulls into a pintail. Whether walking under the load of a winter backpack, and heavier gear, or snowshoeing without the extra weight, the Gold 10’s are great for walking and striding in a natural motion and gate.

  • 4.4lbs, recommended for snowshoers up to 225 lbs
  • 10 x 32 in, teardrop shaped frame for more athletic feel than traditional shapes
  • Excellent flotation in deep snow and winter pack weights

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