Continuing with new AT boot , there are several more new boots worthy of further research. Garmont unveiled the new Cosmos four-buckle AT boot (women’s version is Celeste). Paul Parker, Garmont’s boot design consultant, gave us the full tour of the new boot, and we were impressed. It proved to be the lightest four-buckle AT boot at the show. The new Dyanfit boots are light too, but the new series are three-buckle styles. Garmont is moving back to traditional tongue construction from recent overlap designs like found the Radium. The Garmont Cosmos offers great cuff range (60 degrees), and the cuff mechanism stands out as a nice piece of engineering. It should translate to nice skinning. There are two forward lean positions (11.5 and 13). All of this comes in a boot, according to Parker, built to drive today’s big skis. The boot uses Grilamid (polyamide) in the body to give it its power. Grilamid was the new catch phrase plastic in the boot world at the show – characteristics like lighter and stiffer than PU/Pbex were being thrown around. The bottom line is that the Cosmos appears to be nice bridge between lightweight racer-style boots and stouter freeride boots.
Not to be outdone, the Scarpa alpine touring boot collection includes a good looking new four-buckle boot, too – the Maestrale RS. Although not quite as light as the Cosmos, the RS is only a few ounces heavier and claims asimilar flex rating (120ish). Flex ratings seem to be all over the board, so i am not real inclined to use them to make comparisons. The Maestrale RS has 40-degree cuff range and big ski driving power.
The new Garmont and Scarpa AT boots look like great candidates for touring minded skiers who like to drive big skis. Once we can get samples in something beyond the tradeshow 27.5 testers, we’ll put some time in and post more beta. It looks like we will do a full four-buckle AT boot review in the mag for 2012.