L.L. Bean Winter Walker Snowshoes Review

For decades, L.L. Bean has been synonymous as a quality provider of outdoor recreational gear and equipment, especially winter sporting equipment. Available in Men’s, Women’s, and Kids’ options, the L.L. Bean Winter Walker Snowshoes are L.L. Bean’s signature recreational snowshoe.

Pair of L.L. Bean Men's 25" Winter Walker Snowshoes

Testing Experience

We tested both the Men’s 25″ and Women’s 21” on dedicated snowshoe trails in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. These sets were purchased as the complete Winter Walker Package in the beginning of the 2020-2021 season. 

The company advertises that the intended use is “for fitness walking and exploring on flat to rolling terrain.” We wouldn’t recommend taking these to summit mountains or for intensive winter trekking, but they are up to the task of handling most beginner and intermediate terrain. 

Product Description and Details

Price

At $129, the Men’s and Women’s L.L. Bean Winter Walkers might not be the cheapest product, but are definitely an affordable snowshoe compared to many competitors. The Adult Winter Walker Packages are $179 each.

The Kids’ are either $79.95 for the 16” or $89.95 for the 19” size. Similarly, the Kids’ Package starts at $119.95 for the 16” or $129.95 for the 19”. Essentially, paying $50 to upgrade any of the standalone snowshoes to the Snowshoe Package that includes the poles and snowshoe bag.

ModelStandalone SnowshoesSnowshoe Package
Men’s$129.00$179.00
Women’s$129.00$179.00
Kids’ 16”$79.95$119.95
Kids 19”$89.95$129.95
L.L. Bean Winter Walker Snowshoe Pricing

Sizing 

Both the Men’s and Women’s Snowshoes are available in 21”, 25”, and 30” models which can hold between 80 to 150 pounds, 120 to 200 pounds, and 170 to 250 pounds respectively. There is also a 36” Men’s model which is not available as an option in the Winter Walker Snowshoe Package.

Frame Size Weight Capacity
21”80 lb. to 150 lb.
25”120 lb. to 200 lb.
30”170 lb. to 250 lb.
36”200 lb. to 280 lb.
L.L. Bean Men’s and Women’s Winter Walker Snowshoe Sizing

The Kids’ Winter Walker Snowshoes are available in 16” or 19” sizing options.

Frame Size Weight Capacity
16”80 lb. to 150 lb.
19”50 lb. to 110 lb.
L.L. Bean Kids’ Winter Walker Snowshoe Sizing

Construction

The 6000-grade aluminum frame is categorized as a medium strength aluminum alloy and quite capable of handling normal snowshoeing trails. L.L. Bean advertises that they have been tested to thoroughly withstand temperatures as low as -20F.

Crampons on the Winter Walkers are constructed from hardened steel, and we reported no issues traversing over hard snow or even icy sections on the trail.

The ratcheting binding system was very intuitive for a beginner to securely attach to their boots and adjust as needed. Our boots were kept snug and secure inside using the bindings.

The L.L. Bean Winter Walker Snowshoe shares a similar construction to many Yukon Charlie snowshoes. In particular, the Yukon Charlie’s National Park Snowshoe Kit has very similar design, construction, and sizing options to the Winter Walker.

Quality

The Winter Walkers are a newer product to the snowshoe industry, and they haven’t had an opportunity to build a reputation, for better or worse. Despite retaining a loyal following, in recent years some prospective L.L. Bean customers have started to question the quality of new equipment. For example, there was a 2017 recall of more than 3,000 L.L. Bean Adventure Adjustable Snowshoe Packages. 

While this recall did not result in any reported injuries, these snowshoes were primarily composed of cheaper plastic which was more susceptible to breaking and posed a fall hazard for users. All users were issued full refunds and the Adventure Snowshoe line is no longer carried, so L.L. Bean proved to be responsive and proactive with respect to this incident.

After using the Winter Walker Snowshoes for the full season, we can attest that there were no major concerns with the quality of the Winter Walkers. The plastic bindings and frame may not stand the complete test of time and seem like they would take a beating compared to higher quality snowshoes, especially on more intense terrain. However, they are a clear upgrade over the previous L.L. Bean Adventure Snowshoes. 

Design

Although design is not one of our primary considerations, we’re a fan of the coloring and design options although somewhat disappointed that the Adult Walkers are each available in only two colors/designs.

The Men’s are available in:

  • Green Geo
  • Ocean Blue/Bright Navy

The Women’s option includes two options:

  • Dark Mulberry Chevron
  • Teal Blue Fracture

However, the Kids’ options are livelier and available in five different options:

  • Blue Pine Hidden Bears
  • Polar Camo
  • Rainbow Dots
  • Red/Black Buffalo Plaid
  • Ripe Plum Sketchy

Additional L.L. Bean Winter Walker Package Options

Telescopic poles and a snowshoe bag are included in the Winter Walker Package. This extra equipment can be handy for beginners, but more serious snowshoers might opt to upgrade these gear items. 

The three-piece telescopic poles themselves are lightweight but don’t feel the sturdiest. They can be set from an adjustable length between 110 and 135 centimeters. On the trail, we had one small issue where the snow basket came loose off one pole and became buried in the snow, but we were luckily able to find it and resume the trip. They can handle the job but there are certainly better trekking pole options on the market for snowshoeing.

The snowshoe bag that is included is a great way to store each set of snowshoes and poles. It has straps that can be used like a backpack while on the trail, but we’d recommend taking a dedicated trail bag that offers better support.

Free L.L. Bean Snowshoe Pass

By purchasing via the L.L. Bean Website, we received a free L.L. Bean Snowshoe Pass through a partnership with the Cross Country Ski Areas Association. While the program expired at the end of April 2021 and it is unclear whether the program will continue in the future, it was a nice bonus to have the option of three free trail passes at nearby participating locations.

Final Thoughts

The L.L. Bean Winter Walker Snowshoes have their limitations but appear to be a smart choice for the recreational snowshoer who wants to jump into the sport at a reasonable price.

From tests on the trail, they proved to be easy to use and reasonably durable, and it appears that L.L. Bean has moved past previous manufacturing issues for their signature snowshoes. 

They live up to their name and are truly best used as “Winter Walkers” rather than “Winter Climbers” or “Winter Runners”. The different styles and sizing options make the Winter Walker a good option for the whole family to begin experiencing snowshoeing in winter.

Pros

Competitive Price

Variety of Sizing Options

Adjustable Bindings

Great for the Whole Family

Cons

Limited Terrain Use

Untested Long-term Quality

Limited Color Options