2023 Powder Buyer’s Guide — Stepping Lightly

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One of last season’s most exciting new boots was Lange’s XT3 Tour, combining downhill performance with uphill comfort. The Lange XT3 Tour Women is identical to the unisex version in construction but is slightly shorter in height, wider at the boot cuff and has a warmer liner—all nods to better female performance. Like the men’s boot, it has a sandwich of soft and hard plastics variably layered across the boot, softer in areas where vibration absorption is desired and harder where required for power transmission. The hike-ski lever is metal on metal to ensure a stiff spine. As well, there’s a grippy Vibram sole, 53-degree range of motion and tech inserts for easy touring. The women’s version comes in two models: a 115 flex Pro and a 95 flex Sport; both weigh less than 1.5kg per boot. $780; lange-boots.com


There are two directions to approach a ski touring boot that weighs less than a kilogram. Most brands come at it from an uphill approach, adding downhill features to skimo race boots. Tecnica’s first foray into the category, the Zero G Peak, comes with downhill performance as the driver. It’s a rare lightweight boot with a customizable liner and an overlap design. $950; blizzard-tecnica.com


Dyanafit has had a TLT boot in its line since 1984 and the latest update, the TLT X, is its tenth iteration. Dyanafit says it builds on the Tourlite Tech franchise to provide a lightweight boot that’s still comfortable and powerful. At 101mm, the last is wider than many boots in the lightweight touring boot category. While pounding out a slushy logging road at 15°C the extra acreage allowed our dogs to splay and swell all they wanted. A dial-style lace system pulls a plastic plate down over the instep to hold the heel snug, even when the skin track pointed to the sky.  A few extra cranks locked it down for the descent. At the top of the boot is a powerstrap-buckle combo. The camming power of the buckle allows for a snugger fit than a power strap alone. Opening it up also puts the boot in walk mode, providing a 60-degree range of motion. We found the progressive flex, which started soft and steadily stiffened, could drive a carve and swing skis quickly. It worked best for lighter skis; what we expect from a 1kg boot. A good choice if you’re looking to go far, log big vertical and spend the day in your touring boots. $800; dyanafit.com


 Here’s a thought experiment: if fingerprints are unique, does that mean every hand is too? And if so, do we need custom pole grips? If you answered yes, then check out the Black Crows Meta. The rubber handle is hand-carved and can be further shaped for individual digits. Personalized or not, these aluminum sticks have a nice swing weight, a versatile, 90mm basket and come in a range of vibrant colours, for even more individualism. $65; black-crows.com

from Buyer’s Guide 2023 – Vol 51 #22023 Powder Buyer’s Guide

Ryan Stuart
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