Glad you enjoyed it! We’ve had a few people asking about what to get with Dion snowshoes, and here’s the general advice from @esambo and @Dave_K and me. To start, the Dions are a bit more expensive than other snowshoes, but aside from the fact that they’re well-built and made in the US, their parts are interchangeable and replaceable, so if something were to break, you don’t have to replace the entire snowshoe. Plus, they’re really nice about providing us with the rental snowshoes for Super Frosty Loomis.
Frame: Get the 121 frame. The 120 frame is lighter but can be bent and is most appropriate for serious racing.
Binding: There are two choices here, the velcro-based Quick-Fit and the Ladder-lock-based Secure-Fit. Eric says that in certain snow conditions, the velcro can fill up with snow and ice and not hold very well, so he generally prefers the Secure-Fit binding. But others have pretty good luck with the Quick-Fit binding and it is easier to put on and take off.
Cleat: The steel Ice Cleat weighs a little more than the aluminum Standard Cleat, but it’s cheaper and a lot more durable and you don’t have to worry about hurting it if you’re on pavement briefly.
So from our perspective, the choices mostly come down to these two:
One note. If you have really small feet (like women’s 5.5, which came up at Loomis), I recommend calling Dion and making sure you’re getting the right binding size. The woman whose feet were that small had to borrow a different pair of Dave’s snowshoes that were probably sized for kids.