Crescent Moon Gold 9 ReviewFebruary 16, 2012
- The gradual tapered shape.
- Being able to maintain a natural gait.
- Simple binding systems with one pull strap and a rear ratchet.
- Bindings are glove friendly.
- Float with 2 inches of extra length.
- Heel stayed close to the binding while walking for a natural feel on the snow.
- Lateral support on the binding for steep traverses or very technical conditions.
- Extra attention had to be paid to centering the foot on the binding.
- Binding did not accommodate snowboard boots (You can upgrade to the larger 32” Gold 10 which fits both).
- No heel lift for climbing (coming in 2012-2013 models).
A good minimalist design with a fast and simple binding system that is effective for touring, walking and running in moderate powder or hard packed trails. You might have the least chance of catching an edge with Crescent Moon’s tapered shape, and can keep going full speed ahead even on the narrowest trails.
The Crescent Moon Gold 9 design uses slightly less surface area up front with a tapered teardrop shape designed to minimize the overlapping of shoes when walking or running. The tapered shape allows Crescent Moon to add an extra 2 inches of “tail,” making our test pair 27″, although with the same surface area as the other snowshoes tested here, which all have a length of 25″. The tapered design allowed me to hike narrower trails and run with confidence in the powder.
The binding stayed close to the foot, eliminating heel drag, but still had slightly more “toe up” movement than some of the other test models, allowing the tips of the snowshoes to stay up with every step. Because of this feature, the tips were less likely to catch, and also provided an easier transition when slicing through thick snow on ascents. On hardpack, the Crescent Moons had some slip, especially on steeper terrain, with less traction along the perimeter of the frame. The small crampon at the very tip of the toe did not grip unless I was hiking on very steep angles.
The binding is one of the most uber-fast systems I have used, with the exception of the Tubbs Flex Alps, which was also tested. Once the foot is placed on the shoe, the single-pull-loop binding (SPL) quickly and easily brings two straps over the top of the front foot, followed up by one heel strap that attaches with a ratchet style buckle. The system did at times take some extra pulls and positioning of the foot to stay centered. And I would have liked to have better lateral support, especially in more technical conditions and steep traversing, as well as a binding that would accommodate larger boots (for backcountry snowboarding). Cresent Moon does offer a 32-inch model for use with snowboard boots. The 2012 model tested here did not come with a heel lift, which will be available in upcoming iterations.
Sub-Category Ratings (On a scale of 1-10)
Natural stride while walking and running: 9
Traversing, ice, technical conditions: 5
Binding support, effectiveness: 7
Ease of use: 9