Gear Review: Wildhorn Outfitters Delano X2 Snowshoes – Premium Product at Low-End Price

Steven Agar | | Gear ReviewGear Review
snowshoes,
The Delano X2. Credit: SnowBrains

Last weekend was Martin Luther King weekend, one of the busiest weekends of the year at a ski resort. Living in a ski town means I’m lucky enough that I can pick and choose my ski days, and a busy holiday weekend is always one to avoid. But the weather was beautiful; the temperatures perfect, the sun shining, and fresh snow on the ground, so I still wanted to get outside. I live less than half a mile from a trailhead, so snowshoeing seemed the perfect activity to enjoy the outdoors.

I recently replaced my clunky, aging snowshoes with a new pair from Wildhorn Outfitters. Wildhorn is a company out of Salt Lake City, UT that focuses on high-end performance gear at low-end prices. I received the Delano X2 snowshoes from them and have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to try them out. That came last weekend…

snowshoes,
Super easy to carry. Credit: SnowBrains

The super lightweight snowshoes come equipped with convenient carry handles, perfect for picking them up and transporting them up the road to the trailhead near my house. Once at the trailhead, the snowshoes were extremely simple to put on… slide your foot into the straps, pull the quick lock bindings tight, and strap in the heel. Quick and easy. I was hiking within seconds.

As we ventured deeper and deeper into the woods, the snow got deeper and deeper. Not that I would have known, I was walking on top of it with ease. My partner, however, was walking in knee-deep snow, then thigh-deep then was crawling in waist-deep snow. I stood watching. Laughing. Taking pictures. And when the snow eased a little, and we were walking on packed trails, the hardpack grip teeth made easy work of the variable conditions.

no snowshoes,
Guess which one of us wasn’t wearing snowshoes. Credit: SnowBrains

The snowshoes stayed strapped on for the whole walk. Previous pairs I’ve had often slipped off at the heel, or had to be locked down to the point of discomfort. The Delano X2s I was wearing were barely noticeable on my foot. Super light and comfortable, they made hiking in the snow enjoyable. For me, anyway.

My favorite thing about these snowshoes is how light they are. After an afternoon of hiking, my previous pair would feel like bricks on my feet, and I would tire quicker. The Delano X2s were barely noticeable, and made a significant improvement to how long and far I could hike in a day, and how tired my legs would be the following day. The snowshoes also have an incline heel riser for making those steep climbs more accessible and saving your poor calves.

At the end of the walk, the quick release bindings meant I wasn’t frustrated bending over trying to release my feet or sitting on the snow, fighting with frozen straps. I just released the tension and stepped out of the snowshoes in seconds.

Premium snowshoes can cost north of $200. The Delano X2s retail for $120 and from my experience they are superior in looks, features, and usability to more expensive pairs.

A trail ready for breaking. Credit: SnowBrains

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