The 2021/2022 Full Tilt First Chair 120 was tested in the men’s All-Mountain Traditional medium category by the experts at America's Best Bootfitters, powered by Masterfit.
Our test team acknowledges the First Chair’s heritage and fan following and can see why so many elite bump skiers and freestyle athletes find a match with the Raichle-descended Full Tilt designs—the long travel flexion and under-edged set up makes perfect sense in high impact and highly steered applications. For modern all-mountain skiing the First Chair 120 will appeal to soft snow junkies and wave feature slashers on straighter, softer ski styles, our test team said.
The fit runs short enough that all of our testers went up one size larger than their normal test boot size, and this has been consistent with our tests of Full Tilt across the range of models—other brands boot sole lengths have stretched out over the decades, but this one has remained fixed at its original 1984 dimension. This is not a slight, merely an observation. If you are new to Full Tilt and aren’t sure of your size, be sure to make your purchase after trying on your model at a brick-and-mortar ski shop (when wouldn’t you do that, anyway, right?). The Intuition liner allows for adequate shape changes via full thermo molding with pre-pads for bony prominences, which we fully recommend. Testers characterized the overall fit as cushioned and comfy—good for guided shmears and slashes rather than tip and rip frontside arcs.
First Chair is aptly named, said our testers who liked it best in soft snow on smooth surfaces. As an untracked pow skiing fanatic’s boot it may have no equal with its tip lofting flex feel and finely feathered edging moves. The warmth and comfort factor is high here, testers said, lending credence to its catalog tagline: From first chair to last call. Here’s to that.
The First Chair sports a handy down-hook power strap release (not original but still cool) with a cinch-locking cam buckle closure on it. GripWalk soles breathe a bit of new life into a 35-year-old design and make for more comfortable treks out the gate to find the fresh.