The Tubbs Flex RDG offers a great, secure fit regardless of the footwear being used with it. The bindings’ hinged attachment to the molded composition decks of the Flex RDG allow the shoes to swing freely on each stride, keeping snow from loading on the tails. The one-size RDGs are best suited for light hikers or compact snow conditions—the Flex lack the flotation needed for substantial powder travel. Yet even with that notable limitation, The Flex RDG earned our respect as the Best Value in this year’s snowshoe class.
The molded plastic decks of the Tubbs Flex RDGs help reduce the snowshoe’s overall weight and price, though the addition of a Boa binding system drives the price back up a bit. For general-purpose use, especially for novices, the Flex RDG offers a good combination of ease-of-use and weight
Ease of Use The Boa binding system and simple molded plastic decking makes the Flex RDG among the easiest-to-use snowshoes I tested. The bindings lock on quickly and easily thanks to the simple crank of the Boa, and the decks and traction devices were clean and simple to maintain and use. If snow accumulates around the Boa reel, however, it can be touch to grip while wearing bulky gloves.
Binding Support/Effectiveness The Flex RDG sports the easiest-to-use and one of the most secure binding systems we’ve every encountered. The Boa closure on the binding cinches heel and forefoot in one easy operation—spin the Boa reel to tighten. Lift the reel housing to release. The binding locks the foot in proper alignment and holds it there. My foot didn’t slip or pivot once on this shoe. I did notice, however, some icing of the Boa reel when temperatures hovered in the mid-20s and I was traveling in wet, heavy snow.
Traversing, Ice, Technical Conditions Slim traction bars supporting aggressive teeth run the length of the decks on either side, providing great grip on ice and crusty surfaces. The sidehill grip can’t be beat thanks to these bars, and the small nature of the shoe. In fact, this is an area where the Flex RDG really shines—these snowshoes work perfectly in compact, crusty snow conditions were aggressive ‘biting’ traction is more important than flotation and breaking-style traction. When the snow is deep and loose, though, the RDGs lose points. The underfoot traction ribs are short and sometimes insufficient for breaking during steep descents.
Natural Stride The slim decks and small overall size makes tracking easy and comfortable strides.
Powder The single deck size and overall small design limits the Flex RDG’s functionality in deep, powdery snow. And the traction system, designed for optimal performance on crusty conditions, provides little traction on loose snow surfaces.