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What is the best wheel for hiking in snow?

When it comes to powdered snow all wheels will roll through it just fine. Depending on how deep the powder is the taller the wheel you will want for increased clearance with panniers. We have hauled boned out elk in powder that was a foot deep with a small 24 inch wheel in ease. With the 24 inch wheel the panniers would push through the loose powder without any trouble.

Where different wheels make the greatest difference is in wet deep snow. We have found that taller wheels with knobby tires around the two inch width perform best. With a heavy boned out elk no matter the width of the tire it is going to sink into the snow — a wide fat tire is just not going to float on top of wet snow. With a wide fat tire you have much greater resistance along the front as to push it through the heavy wet snow. It requires more energy to push through the heavy wet snow with a fat tire. The Rogue 36 and 29ers are our favorite for all snow travel.

 
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