Western New York has a reputation for being one of the snowiest regions east of the Rocky Mountains, where annual snowfall of over 100 inches is quite common. Snowshoeing is therefore one of the many winter recreational activities that warm West New Yorkers and visitors to the area love to participate in. This winter season took a while to get started but once it did I had a great time trying and reviewing my Dion 164 snowshoes while hiking, running and walking in the thick snow. .
The Dion 164 are excellent snowshoes. Thanks to their interchangeable accessories, you can adjust them to work great in all snow or ice conditions. For example, I used the Quickfit binding and the ice crampon. Two other types of bindings (easy fit, secure fit) and types of cleats (deep, standard) are available.
When you order the rackets, they arrive in 3 pieces: frame, binding and cleat. There are 2 crampons on the rackets, one under the foot and the second at the back. I especially liked that you can easily swap the different crampons depending on the character and depth of the snow cover.
Every winter I take my annual winter camping trip with my friend. We bring our snowshoes, cross-country skis and our backpacks. Then we transport our equipment from our vehicles to a cabin in the backcountry with sleds. On a recent day in the “ski country” south of Buffalo, NY, I had the opportunity to test and review Dion’s 164 snowshoes in beautiful powder snow. A lakeside snowstorm off Lake Erie dumped up to 3 feet (91cm) of very fluffy snow in the area!
The Dions 164 were ready for the job at hand. Overall the shoes worked very well. They are sturdy but lightweight constructions. Dion’s 164 racquets tip the scales at just under 3 lbs (1.3 kg) with crampons and bindings attached. The frames of these shoes are made of very strong aircraft grade aluminum. They have heavy-duty polyurethane scraper plates on the front and back that protect the interlocking decking. You feel confident when you put on these snowshoes that they will perform well. I felt comfortable in various conditions, especially on new tracks without worrying that they would stand up to the punishment.
Due to the modular design of snowshoes, they can be adapted to work in just about anything Mother Nature could give you. They flex very well and the little springs on the hinges keep enough tension on the shoes, so that they don’t fall or drag when you take steps, whether walking or running.
There was very little snow that fell on my legs. Admittedly, it was light, fluffy snow in relatively cold conditions. But, there was no snow stuck to the bottom of the snowshoes at all. Once my pace was reduced, walking in it was almost effortless. Or, it was at least as little effort as you can spend in a deeper snowpack.
However, it took some getting used to the Velcro straps. I am used to the rubber straps on the other racquets I own. I used my heavier hiking boots in cold weather and in deep snow. So I had to swap the medium straps that I had first put on the new rackets for the larger size. Once I figured that out, things turned out a lot better.
Thanks to the “quick-turn” fasteners of the velcro straps and cleats, I had no problem changing one configuration for another. With my running shoes on, I felt that these rackets could easily participate in a race. The size of the racquets, their lightweight construction and excellent response make them excellent candidates for running.
Overall I’m very happy with Dion’s 164 rackets. Although they are listed as hiking snowshoes, I could easily use them for standard walking and even for running due to their lightweight construction. With a modular system of crampons and straps, you can adapt these shoes to anyone, regardless of the weather conditions. What more could you ask for in snowshoes!
What is your opinion on Dion’s 164 rackets? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Dion Snowshoes has given permission for publication of this notice.
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