Skimo Co

Atomic Backland Carbon Boot - 2021/22


The Backland Carbon Boot from Atomic is a very serious boot, and it got a serious makeover for 2019/20 season. So serious, in fact, that we aren't gonna make any jokes for the rest of this product listing (well, maybe one at the end). All the updates are aimed at improving the Backland without adding any weight. Atomic incorporated a BOA closure system on the lower shell of the boot, ensuring that the fit feels even, snug, and sturdy. A 40mm cam power strap improves on the thinner power strap that older models featured, and the taller cuff means a more direct boot-to-ski feel on the way down. With carbon loaded polyamide making up the cuff and shell on this updated model, this boot can be altered (by a boot tech) to fit almost any foot. Atomic took a great boot and made it better in every way while still preserving the unique customizable fit that made older models so popular. The updated Atomic Backland Carbon boot is functional, reliable, and looks like boots RoboCop would wear-- perfect for serious skiers who do serious things in the backcountry.

  • The Frictionless Pivot provides an efficient and smooth stride, allowing for a natural walking motion that doesn't try to reinvent the wheel-- it is just walking, after all.
  • Updated shell and cuff material offers excellent lateral power transmission so you can consider using these boots on fatter skis.
  • BOA closure system wraps the foot evenly and snugly, you can ski down without slop then skin right back to the top in comfort.
  • Free/Lock 2.0 ski/walk mech is proven solid and still really simple to use while offering great support in ski mode.
  • Full rubber sole means confidence when walking on stuff that isn't snow, which does happen in the real world.
  • Fully moldable shell and liner means it can fit some big hooves.

Update 2021/22: The Backland Carbon pops a little more this year with a stiffer, red upper.

Update 2022/23: A new Backland Carbon replaced this version.

convert to ounces
1110g [27/27.5]
Weight (pair) 2220g [27/27.5]
Buckles   1 + 40mm Cam Strap + BOA
Boot Sole Length   268mm [24/24.5]
278mm [25/25.5]
288mm [26/26.5]
298mm [27/27.5]
308mm [28/28.5]
318mm [29/29.5]
328mm [30/30.5]
Binding Compatibility   Tech only
Cuff Rotation   74°
Forward Lean(s)   13°, 15°
Specs Verified Yes
Materials   Carbon infused polyamide, Carbon fiber
Liner   3D Platinum Light
Sole   Skywalk Full Rubber
Skimo Co Says
Usage Lightweight touring
Notes Breathable and Washable Liner
Bottom Line A sweet boot now streamlined and sexy
Compare to other Touring Boots

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Questions & Reviews

Question from Eamon B
I was reccd techinca zero gs, atomic hawx, and head kores by a boot fitter based on my high instep and narrow toe box. I have two questions. A) Based on reviews, this boot seems to fit a high instep quite well. Do brands tend to keep the same foot shape profile for all their touring boots, or does it differ with models? And B) The three boots I was reccd are beefier and downhill oriented. The weight and comfort of the uphill oriented boots (backland, zero G peak) looks all too enticing for north cascades skimo. What should I know about these style of boots before I start seriously considering them?
Answer from jbo
Hi Eamon, thanks for reaching out. There are some lighter weight options you could consider as well. Best bet is to visit our online boot fitter to narrow down your options. To answer your question about the whole category, they are generally colder, a little less supportive, and have a lower max ski size/power they can accommodate. But given the somewhat shocking increase in uphill performance, it's a worthy trade-off for many!
Answer from Tjaard B
Hi Eamon, I have a similar foot, and have Hawx Ultra XTd for my resort boot, and the Backland (not XTD) as my touring boot because they fit me so well.
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Question from Chris
I'm investing in my first backcountry setup and have already purchased 190cm 4frnt Ravens (104 mm waist). I'm 6'3", 190-200 lbs before any gear. I've tried on a bunch of backcountry boots and the best fitting are pretty clearly (1) Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130s and (2) Atomic Backland Carbons which are obviously very different boots. I think given my size and ski choice the Hawx would probably be the most obvious natural pairing but I'm pretty into the ridiculous comfort and feel of Backlands and am wondering if it's too much to expect that they'd be able to handle that setup reasonably strongly in *most* backcountry conditions. I consider myself a pretty aggressive "expert" skier but am not going to be jumping off any cliffs and more often than not ski reasonably neutrally in that I'm not throwing a ridiculous amount of weight into the fronts of my boots.

Not sure how relevant this is but I'm coming from an alpine setup of Tecnica Mach1 130s, Moment Wildcats (190) and J Skis Hotshots (189) - so heavy boots and heavy skis even as far as alpine gear is concerned.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
Answer from jbo
Hi Chris, thanks for the details! My initial reaction would be to trust your instinct and go with the Hawx for your size and that ski. You should find enough comfort in those boots, especially if you go through the molding process. The Backlands would be better paired with a lighter setup, and probably do OK there if you are generally a neutral stance skier. The flex difference between those and your Mach1s is probably a bit too far for your first BC setup, however.
Answer from Chris R
Thanks jbo - makes a lot of sense. Out of curiosity, if I was open to returning the Ravens and going with something lighter (maybe a Dynastar M Tour or Atomic Backland 100) - would you consider that a more reasonable pairing and if so, does it seem sensible for a first backcountry setup or do you think the smarter play is to stick with a heavier more "freeride" type setup (Ravens + Hawx) coming straight from alpine only experience? You mentioned the flex difference on the Backlands being a bit much but not sure if that's just in the context of being paired with the heavier skis or if you'd consider that to be the case regardless of which skis are being used (I could see lighter skis + lighter boots theoretically making the transition even tougher as I'd lose stability in both pieces of equipment). Thanks!
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Constantin T (downright abused product)
I bought these boots 2 years and 1 month ago (not from Skimo), I liked their lightness, but downhill performance is quite limited AND they wear very fast. The gaiter breaks into pieces, the liners got nearly pierced through by the outer shell, everything becomes very loose and flexible in the first year.
The worst is that they simply broke around the toes (see pic) when skiing on hard snow.
I received a useless defensive answer from Atomic, they don't seem to care about the safety of their customers.
Reply from Raphael G
I have the exact same model in 26.5 and my shells have also cracked in precisely the same spot. Pretty disappointed with these... I didn't expect these to last for more than a couple years given how light they are but to have the shell crack in the middle of their first season was a bummer. And at 145lbs I'm not a very heavy dude either. Will be switching to Scarpa F1 LTs.
Reply from Jozef K

same issue and as well I’ve got just generic answer from Atomic customer service. Let’s see if they fixed it in new generation.
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Question from Tyler B
Recommendation for a new liner?

I bought some of these from a few years ago and am in search of a new liner with a bit better downhill performance and better fit. The shell is definitely the correct size for me but like someone mentioned above my relatively low instep doesn't allow the BOA to really cinch my foot down. I also have plenty of room in the calf for a higher volume liner.

I'm willing to lose a bit of walkability for a better fit in the forefoot / calf and better downhill performance. I have a 26.5 boot, also.
Answer from Tristan M
Hi Tyler,

For a liner that is a step up on the stock liner in volume and performance, take a look at the Palau Power LT. This liner will fill up quite a bit of volume in the lower shell, and if you do not have extra space in the cuff, you may have some issues closing the cuff buckle. Also, this liner will add some friction to the cuff rotation.

When it comes to eating up instep space, a thicker liner would not be my first choice. I would start with shim, or a thicker footbed like the Superfeet Green. If you have further questions, feel free to reach out to!
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Question from Cecily Decker
What temperature should I heat the oven to for the memory fit mold?
Answer from Tristan M
Hi Cecily,

I would not use your home oven for a Memory Fit in your Atomic Backland Carbon boots. There is a lot that could go wrong. I would recommend visiting your local Atomic dealer for a boot fitting with a boot specific oven!
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Question from Dan
Thinking about these and the F1. I'm tall, 6'4. On the down hill which would perform better? And what's the widest ski you would recommend for either of these? I'm wanting a lightweight setup but to go as wide as possible like 104-108 if possible. Is that asking too much of these boots?
Answer from Ian C
Hey Dan! I would say this boot skis pretty comparably to others in its weight class such as the Fischer Travers, while the F1 will offer a bit more power on the downhill. Assuming you can achieve a proper fit in either, I might suggest the F1 for a skier of your size on skis over 105mm!
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Question from dave
I am thinking to buy the Atomic Backland Carbon or Dalbello Quantum Free 130. I am searching for a boot that can make Up and Downhill well.
Both shoes are fitting good, but I am searching the shoe which is better for down.
Maybe someone can helps my with some tips.
Answer from Zak M
Hey Dave, I would go to say that the Dalbello Quantum Free 130 will have a bit better downhill performance and a tad bit more of a progressive feel to it. Both boots perform very well in the touring weight class!
Answer from David R
thank you for your opinion!
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Chad W (used product regularly)
Best touring boot I've ever used in both ski and tour mode. After a few TLT carbon cuffs, F1's, and other boots, this boot out performs all of them. The ankle has the easiest articulation I've tried yet the downhill performance is awesome. It's the first booth that I can tour in with the buckles slightly snug (I don't have to totally loosen them to get them to actually tour). It's nice to have a touring boot with a REAL liner and start around the 1000g mark. Makes the TLT series feel like trash. Would be 5 stars if the gusset worked better.
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Jordan D (downright abused product)
Best ever walking boot? Maybe! Rockered sole, minimal friction, and so comfortable.

Best ever skiing boot? NO! At this weight you can do a LOT better

I also look forward to the day boas are no longer used in ski boots
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Emily (downright abused product)
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Emily (downright abused product)
I am HERE for these boots! I always loved the Atomic backland for its insane walkability, comfort, and custom fit options, but these are a huge upgrade in stiffness from the 17/18 women's model that I used to ski. Yes, I upgrade all my backlands with Intuition pro-tour liners, and I wish they came with better liners. That said, these boots ski great for me (smaller skier, not super aggressive, 130 lbs), walk amazing, and are comfy AF. I don't mind the boa at all, they're super easy to get bootfitting work done on, and they seem durable enough after two seasons of heavy use. The power straps are worthless in my opinion, I removed them right away. These transition quick and easily. If these came with an Intuition liner, they'd be near-perfect for me.
Comment on this review:

Kyle (used product regularly)
This boot walks incredibly well but performs very poorly on the downhill for its weight class. The fit is rather high volume and the boa has no ability to put any pressure on my instep, even with heel shims and other modifications. You definitely need a very high instep to fit this. Beyond the fit, the boot is very floppy and has a lot of play, even in downhill mode. Compared to other boots in its weight class, it is very soft.

I have also had serious durability issues. Screws have fallen out in the field (apparently they don't put lock-tite on them in the factory) and the shell cracked after only about 15 days. Friends have had the same issue with screws. Overall, not impressed and going back to my tlt7s, which ski downhill much better, although they don't walk as well.
Comment on this review:

Ryan S (used product regularly)
It only took 2+ years of trying on boots before I finally found the one. And these boots have not disappointed. Light enough to keep up with the best of them, stiff enough to let you shred on the down. The best part is how comfortable they are. I have fairly low volume feet, and while there is some wiggle room, my toes aren't complaining. The boa keeps things locked down just enough to prevent blisters and allow for excellent edge control. Cannot say enough good things about this boot!
Comment on this review:

andrejs g (used product regularly)
I tried on a couple other pair of boots I had access to and even though I bought the backland carbons sight unseen, I find them super comfortable in comparison. I've gotten no hot spots, they're plenty warm, easy to adjust, great in walk mode and more than enough in ski mode for me. I used the included liner to bring the size down from 28.5 to 28 and that made it an even better fit for me.

All these positives said though, I've found that that the upper strap needs re-tightening occasionally and I sometimes wish I had purchased the backland ultimate boot instead given the weight savings there. My experience wearing different boots is minimal, but at 1200g I would not call these very light. This is certainly a boot I'd wear all day long though. Comfortable!
Comment on this review:

Will McKay (used product regularly)
I've put in a fair amount of days in these boots and am ultra psyched. Personally they fit my foot extremely well which is why I'm partial to them. I find they ski really well for their weight and are a pure joy on the uphill. The BOA was a little loose on my foot but after adding custom foot beds, that problem was eliminated. Time will tell for durability but if they're anything like the previous Backland Carbon, I have no doubt they'll hold up to a beating.
Comment on this review:

Question from Chris
I’m curious why this boot doesn’t seem to get much love. The design is quite similar to the Scarpa F1 LT which people are drooling over. Does the Backland’s performance not live up to its potential? How does the downhill performance compare to the Alien RS/F1 LT?
Answer from Zak M
Hey, Chris currently I have put in a number of days on the Alien RS and have also had the opportunity to ski the Backland Carbon so I will try and give a bit of insight. I think overall the Backland Carbon's offering is quite good and offers great uphill performance at a pretty low weight that compares favorably to the Alien RS and F1 LT. I do believe that the Backland Carbon falls a bit short in overall downhill performance and feels a bit softer in general potentially because of where the power strap buckle combination is located, as well as the overall cuff height of the boot. In the Aliens RS the flex is quite stiff and abrupt because of the Dyneema cord while the new F1 LT is very similar it has bit more progressiveness to it. The Backland Carbon felt like the cuff just flexed a bit lower down and just wasn't quite as supportive. Because flex ratings are so subjective I would say any of the options you mentioned above would be relatively comparable but the age old saying of " the best boot out there is the one that fits your foot" should be more of the deciding factor!
Answer from Chris L
Thanks Zak, that's super helpful!
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Question from Mariusz
How would you compare fit comparing to Scarpa F1? I have narrow chicken like feet, a mid-height in instep. I've tried Backlands - they're narrow but not that low volume as I thought they coulde be. What about F1's? Are they less volume?
Answer from Julieana
Hey Mariusz, the Backland does have a squarer toe box than the Scarpa F1, so the F1 might feel a little more snug in the metatarsal area. Also with shell on the F1 the instep will be a little more snug, though it may not be a huge difference. Depending on the size of your foot you might actually want to check out the Scarpa F1 Women's Boot. That boot has a significantly snugger fit all around, especially in the instep area.
Answer from Mariusz W
Has anyone tried replacing Backland's stock liners with Intuition liners? What model would suit best this shell? I'm thinking of something bit warmer and with more snug fit
Answer from Julieana
I would suggest the Palau Tour Lite Pro Evo Liner over the Intuition liners for this boot. The Palau liner will definitely have more insulation than the stock liner and it will take up a fair bit of space, but it wont affect the walk mode as much as the Intuition liners. The Intuition liners are more ideal for beefier, higher flex, and higher volume boots.
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Question from Bruce
How would you characterize the last shape? Mid, Wide Narrow? Volume etc ? I currently ski the Dynafit ONEs from several years past and that is good once I get the area in the ball of the foot expanded a bit.
Thank you
Answer from Brett S
Thanks for your question, Bruce. Atomic characterizes this as a "narrow" lasted boot, however, it is definitely on the roomier end of "narrow." Also, this boot has a fully heat moldable shell to help dial in the fit (this process can help get an additional 6mm of space). The Dynafit "One" boots on paper are definitely quite a bit roomier than these, however, the saying goes "you never know until you try it on." Hope this helps!
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Question from Paul
Are these compatible with auto crampons?
Answer from TSB
Hey Paul, the Backlands definitely are! Not all automatic crampon bails mate perfectly with all ski boot toes, but the lip on the front of the boot should work nicely with the automatic crampons that we stock.
Answer from Kam
Very good fit with Grivel Haute Route ski-matic and mediocre but servicable with CAMP aluminum
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Question from Chris Cawley
Ok how about another ski performance comparison with Fischer Traverse Carbon?
Answer from TSB
Dr. Cawley, following your ignominious overtaking of the USS SkimoCo on the Flagstaff skinner last week, we refuse to give out any advice that may advance your skiing career. However, if someone in our good graces asked the same question, we would say that the Backland Carbon is in the same stiffness class as the Travers Carbon (now called the Travers CS), and a little less stiff both forward and laterally than the new Travers CC.
Answer from Chris C
I truly appreciate your diplomatic patronage. Please know that while I may appear to be yet another imperious Wasatch mouth breather, on the inside I am deeply tormented--primarily by ski boot fit and performance issues.
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Model: Backland Carbon MPN: AE5020260

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