The manual hubs aren't required. I swapped them out in favour of manual ones because my auto hubs were 14 years old and if both of them ended up sticking on it would really suck driving on icy roads because even in two wheel drive your front wheels would be locked together and make it more difficult to turn. I put them in to make sure the front wheels were disengaged when I wanted them to be.
Have not had a chance since I put it in this year. RobcaryNC has ran it in the snow.
I Know my OEM LSD will stay locked up on black ice bridges (2000 my with highest BAT of 1st Gens). Only testing somewhat close so far for me has been wet red clay. Made it through that with being able to turn in a controlled fashion. Setting the Lokka up correctly will dictate how well it locks and unlocks. Getting it gapped correctly and evenly on both sides of the pinion so the one side does not try to stay locked on you. That is where most people run into trouble. Then people say it is horrible in winter weather conditions. Do not forget that tires do make a difference. Might get to test it out this weekend if it rains & snows a little this weekend that they are forcasting. If it does; I will give you an update on here. I grew up on one of the Canadian border States. I know the miles of black ice, slick packed snow, ice covered snow, ice, & hills to go with it. I understand your concern. I do not drive like the idiots down here. I let them crash and abandoned their cars on the road so you cannot make it down most of the roads like they did a couple years ago here.
Using it in the snow is no problem, I've done it. The issue is when you are driving at faster speeds on icy surfaces it makes it more difficult to turn. It's better to have an open diff in those situations. It just won't unlock if it's really slippery/icy so it almost forces a tire or two to lose traction. When you are driving in deeper snow you typically aren't driving as fast.
i was thinking if you had manual hubs you could unlock one an it would act like an open diff. most said though, that as long as your not on the throttle turning... (drifting) in 4wd your fine. otherwise you can get understeer.
I was in the last lokka group buy, installed it myself along with a diff drop kit, off road they are amazing it doesnt feel out of the norm and it just let me 'goannawear'
the only down side ive noticed is that if you use it on dry pavement it pulls the car a really good amount, although as stated in other posts prior to me purchasing, the 4wd isn't meant to really be used on dry pavement even before the lokka, the other thing I have noticed at least while driving in Colorado roads this snowy winter, is that when i'm letting my foot off the gas i can actually feel the lokka disengage as its suppose to similar to if i was turning and releasing the throttle but when you give it gas again and it re-engages it gives a little tug to the side,
Overall i'm really happy with it, I got it for off road and when it comes to that it does exactly what they say it does, its a great bang for the buck, it doesnt take much of a rotation to engage or disengage when going from 2wd to 4wd.