Atomic Backland Carbon

Model Year
2016-17
Category
Backcountry
Last Width
98mm
Flex Index
120
Price (MSRP)
$900.00USD

The Gist

Little known fact—the Backland Carbon had a secret tryst with the Hawx Prime W and out popped the Hawx Ultra, yep it's true. How do we know Backland Carbon was the dad? He's carbon—stiff and potent. And he's light and fast, always up for a quickie—or a long tour, this one's got multi-day game if you do.

Fit

The lower boot grabs the foot in a snug wrap with some extra space in the toebox and a super snug grip on the ankles. The cuff fits a little low on the leg and tight in circumference, with a firm liner feel on the shin and calf—testers were less pumped up on the cuff fit than they were on the lower fit. The beauty of the Backland series is that while these boots utilize Grilamid and carbon fiber, they also employ Memolink, the Memory Fit additive that lets the shell get cooked in an oven for 5 minutes and be molded straight to the foot—this is a huge benefit as the super thin shell walls here can make traditional bootfitting solutions tricky.

Performance

The foot feel is incredible, testers agreed—the carbon reinforced Grilamid lower boot is stiff and responsive and has a tactile feel for the snow and ski. Testers liked the moves the Backland carbon made when using the foot to make them happen. The cuff is aggressive—stiff, low and a bit abrupt on the leg, so testers docked it some points for big power carves and the ability to drive a big ski. This is a backcountry machine, so narrower waisted rides and softer snows will make more sense here. The range of motion was insane, testers said—one of the very best of all the backcountry boots they tested.

Cool Features

The Free/Lock 2.0 cuff release is straightforward and cool-looking—locked on solid for skiing and totally disengaged for touring. The Cross Lace instep buckle does a good job of retaining the foot with minimalist flare. The stiff external tongue can be pulled and stowed for touring to reduce weight and free up maximum range of motion. Note that the toe and heel lugs are not compatible with step-in AT "frame" style bindings—tech bindings only for Backland.

Gender 
Men's
Sizes (MP) 
24.0, 24.5—30.5
Hike Mode 
Yes
Construction 
Cabrio/3-PC
Boot width profile 
Narrow
Also in this Collection 
Backland Carbon Light $1100, Backland $775, Backland NC $725

Kudos

  • “Unparalleled range of motion in hike mode!” -- Jeff Harper
  • “Great hike mode!” -- Charlie Bradley
  • “Crisp feel underfoot makes for strong foot steering.” -- Mark Elling
  • “Good, neutral positioning helps drive the ski with quick effectiveness. Easy up.” -- Bob Gleason
  • “Lightweight with good balance.” -- Andrew Barr

Caveats

  • “Not a very anatomical fit with a rigid flex feel.” -- Kevin Gabriel
  • “A lot of pressure at the top of the cuff.” -- Jeff Harper
  • “Minimal liner padding with a sharp stop at front of cuff.” -- Charlie Bradley
  • “The flex isn't right.” -- Andrew Barr

This boot available at...

Ann Arbor, MI
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Westwood, NJ
Morris Plains, NJ
Teton VIllage, WY
Plymouth, NH

Special thanks to all of our sponsors!

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