Lighter is better.
Being the lightest offering in Atomic's all-new line of touring-specific boots, the Backland Carbon Light Alpine Touring Boot is for the skier looking to shave ounces from their backcountry setup, while retaining much of the same downhill performance that can be found on stiffer and heavier options in the Backland line. Geared toward the lighter-is-better, more rando-focused crowd, the Backland Carbon Light weighs a feathery 2lb 3oz (987g) per boot in a 27.5 shell size and comes equipped with a soft tongue to further reduce weight.
The shell is made from a heat-moldable Grilamid material and has a 98mm last, making it a true low-volume boot. The Memory Fit shell can be customized to accommodate wider feet and feet that require more volume in the instep. The Platinum Liner can also be customized for a more precise and comfortable fit. Unique to all Backland boots is the washable liner that can be cleaned after consecutive days on the mountain. At first glance, the most notable feature on the Backland is the simple and burly Free/Lock 2.0 walk mode, which consists of an easily engaged and disengaged lever, that once locked in, remains fully rigid during the descent due to a metal-on-metal connection, which is all external, preventing icing and wear over time. As mentioned, the Carbon Light comes equipped with a soft tongue that can be left in when touring and skiing, or left out altogether to save weight. The addition of the soft tongue will add stiffness to the boot, which is punctuated by the carbon spine that is not only lightweight, but stiff and powerful for the descent.
- 98mm last
- Memory Fit shell (heat-moldable)
- Grilamid shell and cuff with carbon spine
- Platinum Light liner (moldable and washable)
- Free/Lock 2.0 walk mode (74-degree cuff rotation)
- Soft tongue included
- Adjustable forward lean (13- or 17-degrees)
- 7000-series aluminum buckles with cross lace system
- Skywalk rubber sole
- Item #ATO005J
- Q & A
Why is this boot so good?
I've put easily 75k of vertical feet on them by now and my feet still love me. And they love these boots.
And most of those vert have not been on some rando course (like some may believe these boots are made for)
People need to lose the misconception that a light boot can't shred. Cause they can. Especially with a lighter ski/lighter binding set up.
South face of Superior is proper wind zippa conditions. UTAH
Rippin buckets as well.
Backland DOES WORK on the up. but does not let you down on the "DOWN' (pun intended)
Days Fork, UT
The Killer Features of the Backland!
Here is a descriptive photo of the Backland carbon.
I can not even begin to express the range of motion on this - when you finally try it on you'll realize how insanely mobile and natural it feels.
Also - he mentions the liner is water wicking - this feature is also AMAZING. I can not express how rad this is. Imagine touring and your feet sweating - the liner allows the water to seap down away from your foot and through the liner.
There have been days after touring when I've opened my boot, removed the liner to find frost on the inside bottom of my boot - theres the sweat - not on my foot or sock - but where it should be - away from my toes
Light and OH SO right. Gamechanger.
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
When you first hold this boot in your hand, most will laugh.
It weighs as much as a half filled nalgene. Soaking wet.
Some may decide that this lightness is too much carbon/grilamid for one man to handle - and for some, you may be right. I'm going to lay out how this boot is my new AT jesus-piece.
1. It's so light it hurts. It hurts your friends chest as they attempt to keep up with you lap after lap, and you're still putting down the skin tracks like they were Lays potato chips. Carbon FIBER
That being said - this boot must be coupled with a ski and binding combo that is on the lighter side of the AT realm. You wont be able to slap a pair of beasts on a heavy metal core ski and be able to lay them over in this boot.
This thing needs a lighter tech binding (see Dynafit speed radical) - and a lighter ski (see DPS tour1 wailer 99) - With this one - two combo - you'll find this boot will ski just like any other AT boot - with a little getting used to.
2. Stiffness - before we all lose our minds, remember that this is an AT boot that will fall quite far in the lighter scale of the most current models.
The boot comes with a softer tongue insert that can be removed for the way up, and slotted in for the down. This tongue and the carbon/grilamid construction will give you something that feels like a 90 flex.
While this may not seem like lot - I always remind myself that, like mentioned before, a boot will ski the ski its on. I colloquially refer to this as "Power Transmission" -
big boot, big ski and binding = success
light boot, big ski and binding = slop and slow turn transmission
light boot, light ski and binding = success
Atomic offers a stiffer tongue that will fit this boot (orange in color) - and with this tongue (this is how i ski this boot) - you'll get something closer to 100-110 flex.
this then leads me to the...
3. UP ! - crushtown uptown raging cajun! with an immeasurable range of motion in the cuff (without the tongue in) - this thing feels like a mountaineering boot when on the up. Make a step, feel nothing. These steps add up. 4lbs for the pair. and natural range of motion in the walk mode - so nice.
4. Walk Mode mechanism - slap it down your ready to ski, flip it up your going back on the skin track. Its as simple as that. The lever is a metal on metal connection so the stiffness in the spine of this boot is coupled with the instant lock when flipped into ski mode. Not flimsy, won't ice up (or at least nothing that takes more than a pole whack to visibly see will clear out)
5. OVERALL FIT - probably the most important part of any boot is the fit. 98mm last - this boot actually feels a bit wider than most 98mm - this I believe is because of how thin the liner is (weight savings - but not a bit less warm than my maestrale intuition) - I have done NOTHING to mold these liners and right out of the box I had zero pain. Not kidding. I can't even say the same for the molded intuition liners I've used before.
I believe the lack of pain is a combination of the natural feel of the boot on your feet, i.e. the free range of motion in walk mode, and the thin grilamid shell (also weight saving, but like I said, no less warm)
The one thing I will say about the fit that is a bit different is the cuff height. While i do not believe this to be a bad thing, some may find that the "shorter" cuff height will feel odd at first when engaging turns, but I shortly adjusted the feel for my turns in these boots and now I can not tell the difference.
There is more I could say about this boot, but I am running out of room - as the season ramps back up again, you'll see the backland carbon light adventures - but first -
Here's a photo of these boots ripping with a pair of Blizzard 0G 95, dynafit speed radicals!
Has anyone got anything to say re sizing? I wear a 275 scarpa txpro, wondering if I would just step straight into a 275 backland with no issues?
Hey Kim - The sizing on Scarpa boots is slightly different than every other company. But if you are a 27.5 in the TX Pro (which I own too) I would recommend a 27.5 in the Backlands as well. Feel free to contact me directly with any additional questions.
Kyle L. - Expert Gearhead - email@example.com