Skimo Co

Atomic Backland Carbon Boot - 2018/19


Notice: Atomic released a new boot under the name "Atomic Backland Carbon Boot", which you can find here.

Atomic pulled out all the stops for the new Backland series of touring boots. This figurative expression not only refers to pipe-organ knobs, but also to financial constraints, production impediments, and reasons that may stop you from buying them. This includes the most common reason for not-buying a ski boot: poor fit. With a unique heat-moldable shell, the Backland Carbon boots may fit just about everyone.

Here are the main points that might stop you from not-buying:

  • Carbon reinforced Grilamid shell transfers power throughout the flex.
  • Free/Lock 2.0 is a simple transition lever that doesn’t interfere with crampons.
  • Platinum Liner is breathable which helps to prevent blisters. Also washable.
  • Memory Fit heating process allows you to adapt the shell to your foot.
  • Quick Click tongue lets you walk freely and then add stiffness for the down.
  • Carbon spine and removable power strap further increase the performance.
  • Skywalk rubber sole is grippy and appears to be reasonably durable.
  • Cross laces and support zones in the liner brace your calf, ankle, and shin.

Update for 2017/18: Atomic updated the color scheme and added a handy pull tab on the ski/walk lever.

convert to ounces
1155g [27/27.5]
Weight (pair) 2310g [27/27.5]
Buckles   2
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-reinforce Grilamid
Liner   Platinum
Sole   Skywalk
Skimo Co Says
Usage Lightweight touring
Notes Breatheable liner
Bottom Line Complete package
Compare to other Touring Boots

Questions & Reviews

Question from Holly
Does anyone know the ramp angle or drop, what have you, from heel to toe on these boots?
Answer from Emmett I

Unfortunately Atomic doesn't publish the drop on their boots, and we don't have a reliable way to measure it. If you're looking for a specific ramp angle, I'd recommend experimenting with some various footbeds.
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Question from Jean-Paul
Does anyone know how the fit on the lower foot--the width, instep height, heel pocket--compares with the Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130 boots, which also have a 98mm last?
How does the stiffness compare with the Scarpa F1 and Maestrales? (slightly stiffer than the F1 but softer than the Maestrales?)
Answer from Tristan M
Hi Jean-Paul,

I just tried these boots on side by side. Compared with the Atomic Backland Carbon (2019/2020), the Atomic Hawx Utra XTD 130 has a noticeably wider last, as well as a higher instep. I did not notice a huge difference in the heel pockets. Maybe a little wider on the Hawx.

In terms of stiffness, I am assuming you are referencing the Atomic Backland Carbon. Compared with the Scarpa F1, the Atomic Backland Carbon will be a little softer. The Scarpa Maestrale RS 2.0 will be stiffer than either of these lighter weight touring boots. If you would like more detailed information on how these boots will fit you, I would recommend that you check out our boot fitter tool:
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Question from Mike
I have the 2018/19 Carbons (not Carbon Lites), but as with your photo above, the tongues are black, not orange. I had understood the tongues that came with the Carbon were the stiff version, but reading your Backland tongue page, maybe I need to buy the orange if I want more stiffness? School me!
Answer from jbo
Hi Mike, there was a version with stiff black tongues. The replacement stiff tongues are the older orange.
Answer from MikeB
Aaack. I just ordered the orange replacements based on your earlier response that the blacks were soft. Oh well, I guess I have an extra set... The main thing is the tongues I have now are stiff. all good.
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Cody B (downright abused product)
First off a comment about my star rating, it's for how I have my boots right now after some non permanent* mods. BONE STOCK these are 4 stars.

Yes this is a VERY late review considering there is now the newer version with the BOA. But has a good collection of reviews for race to burlier boots so figured add to it for people looking to buy used ones.

160lbs sans gear
Foot has a high instep that's narrow otherwise

Mods done to boots:
-Replaced stock "powerstrap" with Scarpa stretch one that came off a TX Comp
-Liners are now the stock Tecnica Pro Tour liners
-Shaved down the tongue tab to make removal WAY easier (only permanent mod)
++no longer running++ Tried replacing the clog's cable system with dyneema cord which let me drop 25grams off each boot but the fiddle factor wasn't worth it for me.

-Sans tongue the walk mode rivals race boots
-Great ROM
-Light (and ways to make it lighter)
-Enough stiffness for large majority of touring needs (110-105 w/ tongues, 100-95 sans per TGR "true" AT flex consensus)
-Moldable shell
-Can add adapter to make compatible with Kingpin and Tecton.

-Flex pattern is a little weird compared to alpine boots or burlier AT boots but with a stretch powerstrap it's much better.
-If using tongues you either have to accept a walk mode that feels more like a TLT6 or a little more time at the top transition.

-Stock powerstrap is worthless IMO
-Tongue from the factory is hard to remove (but easily modded to make easier w/o sacrificing performance)
-Stock liners not the best long term

Before this I had some TLT6's that never got along with my feet even after mods. This boot though (especially for my high instep) is awesome especially when compared to a TLT 7, its true contemporary. It's lighter than the TLT7, skis better, and walks with FAR less resistance (sans tongues), plus no dumb speed nose. I've used them in the Sierra's, Shasta, Oregon, and CO. Everything from skimo race sticks up to BD 116 Helios at 186cm. Raced in them, summited Shasta, and even some 10'ish drops. I REALLY enjoy having the removable tongues as it makes the boot walk as well as race boots since there is almost no resistance, so it makes a great average person once a year race boot. When I summited Shasta last spring they actually felt easier to hike in than many mountaineering boots since the cuff didn't offer resistance like a mtn boot. Now to the flex pattern, like many carbon cuffed boots the first bit of the flex profile can be a little harsh. When I added the Scarpa stretch power strap it really helped ease the transition of that first part of the flex curve into middle and end of the curve. At the end of the flex curve with tongues it doesn't feel like you're hitting a brick wall or continuing to fall forward like some other light touring boots will feel like. Without tongues you go through the middle of the flex much faster than with. I can't comment too much on the stock liner feel since I got these used and they were already towards the end of their life, but from other users I've heard they don't last long term (but the vented aspect of them is clutch for sweaty footed people like me).

Re modding the tongue: 1. Chamfer the front edge of tongue nub on the clog shell. 2. For the tongue slot that interfaces with that nub increase the radius on the edges of the slot that face downwards. This makes removal MUCH, MUCH easier. And because of how the tongue interfaces with the clog you don't lose ANY performance. Not modding of the boot, but another way to make tongue transitions quicker is to have a carabiner/ice clipper on your waist belt to clip the tongues on the uphill so you can easily have them on hand and not need to take off your backpack.

In Conclusion:
So if I'm going out and not planning to hit drops, or high speeds I'm reaching for these boots. Especially if I have a big day planed. I'd say for a large majority of the BC crowd that isn't looking to hit drops and just wants to get some good snow in the BC I think they'd really like this boot (if it fits your foot).
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Question from Caleb G
I love my Backlands. Three years of quality skinning and skiing. I’m ready to buy some of the black (softer) tongues, mainly because I love going tongueless for our long north Idaho approaches and my gaiters are looking pretty ragged. I used some glue last year to try and stop a tare in the gaiter but after last spring they are in bad shape. So my question... apart from using tongues have you guys seen any nifty gaiter repairs... reading a prior review you mentioned using an external gaiter? Any tips would be appreciated to get another season or two out of these boots without getting powder snow down in the Shell. Don’t worry though I’m still gonna buy some new boots from you guys.
Answer from TSB
Hey Caleb, glad to hear the Backlands are holding up to extended Panhandle usage! If you're going with a gaiter rather than a tongue, I'd recommend using the Scarpa Alien external gaiter or running a pair of pants with stirrups and integrated gaiters (e.g. Dynafit PdG pants). Repair options are a bit limited given the flexibility of the material; you could try patching (as JBo recommended) with some nylon and seam-seal, but I wouldn't have total confidence in the patching holding up to the cold.
Answer from Skiboyj
There are different stiffness tongues with the 18/19 backland carbon boots? I just snagged a pair in my size (elsewhere, b/c they weren't available here) and they came with the black tongue. Is there a stiffer tongue, and if so, can skimo get them?
Answer from TSB
Hey Jeff K., Skimo gets all tongues, and someday we aim to speak in all tongues, too! We are stocking the stiffer orange tongue and currently have it in the three larger sizes.
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Question from Max Bond
How do the fit of these compare to the Dynafit Speedfits?
Answer from Jeff
Max, The Backland has a 98mm last , so is considerably narrower then the Speedfit. They also have a snug heel pocket.
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Michael Pappas (used product regularly)
These took me a little while to get dialed in but i really enjoy them now. I initially had a lot of rubbing/bruising on my inner leg just above my ankle on just my right foot only while skinning and walking. I had the liners molded to allow for extra room here and also had both inner ankles punched out and ground down a bit. The boot fitter i went to mentioned that the rubbing i had was common for this boot. My rubbing persisted until i figured out that while skinning and walking i need to have the tongue out and the top buckle on the tightest notch possible. I think this is what the manual describes so I should have just RTFM. I cannot skin pain free with the tongue IN but the range of motion and lack of resistance without the tongue is so good that I have no interest in skinning with the tongue in. I really like how supported my leg feels while skinning. I skied a few days on some TLT7s but didn't like how unsupported my ankle was as compared to these. Downhill performance is good. I feel pretty locked in even though the liner height is significantly lower than on the scarpa maestrales i'm coming from. I really wish there was a spot for clipping a binding leash but i see that's been addressed in the new model.
Reply from Steph
Interesting. Seems to be a similar spot as the one that is giving me problems.
Reply from Kam
I had a similar problem with my ankles. After initially molding the boot and using it for ~20 days, something about the fit changed (either because the liner packed out or the boot reassumed its old form) and it felt like it was too tight in the ankles. Working with a bootfitter, we were able to mold the shell around the medial part of the ankle and make it fit. I can skin with the tongue in or out, usually going with out unless I'm yo-yo-ing.

Great boots although the gaiter is not durable and the buckles have a tendency to fall off.
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Question from Steph
Following up on my last post, I noticed that the bottom and middle eye lids of the liner are very far apart. This results in an outside folding of the liner with every step. The the liner fabric is compressed between the shell and my ankle which seems to be the cause for my ankle bruise.
Compared to my old tlt6 liners the eyelids are about one inch further apart.
Has everybody else observed this?
Answer from jbo
Hi Steph! Interesting, none of us use the laces so haven't noticed that particular problem.
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Steph (used product regularly)
I bought these boots to replace my TLT6. I have a narrow foot and they seem to fit me much better than the TLT7 which are much wider than the TLT6. While they are light, climb well and and are sufficiently stiff for skiing I am having several issues with them.
I had the shell fitted (by a non Atomic boot fitter) but I am still having a lot of pressure on the inside of my ankle, even immediately after putting them on, resulting in bruised ankles. Strangely this doesn't happen all the time. There have been plenty of real long days where they fit super comfortably and I had no issues what so ever. Not sure why it differs so much from day to day but this issue has been so bad a couple of times that I got to a point where I am considering using those boots.
Also I find the buckles extremely fiddly and they seem to open easily when hitting on firm snow or rock while boot packing. I never had that issue with my TLTs.
The inserting the tongue and the transition from uphill to skiing mode also is quite a bit trickier than with TLT6. Also one gotta take care that the gaitor doesn't get stuck between the tongue and the shell otherwise the lower buckle doesn't close completely.
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Question from Peter
Wondering what size I would best fit into. I currently ski a 27.5 MTN lab and cochise 130 in a 27.5, those both fit well. The BSL looks to be quite a bit shorter on the backland, should i jump up a shell size to 28? or do yall think a 27.5 would be doable?

Answer from jbo
Hi Peter, the BSL is not the best indicator of internal length with touring boots. You should be the same size, 27.5.
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Question from Nick
The durability of gaiter seems to be lacking. I am using intuition pro tour liners so that could play a role as well.
Any suggestions on how to replace the gaiter or fix it up?
It seems to be glued to the shell. Duct tape doesn't seem to be a good solution as it needs to bend in too many directions.
Answer from jbo
Hi Nick, that's definitely a big liner for this boot! Might be adding some stress. Some nylon patches or similar might help. Or an external gaiter over top of the boot.
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Question from Chris
I am thinking about up-sizing to a 29 from a 28.5. Do you think I could swap the cuffs between the two shells if need be, or are they size specific?

Answer from Nate
Hi Chris, that's an interesting question. You might be able to do it, but we don't have any data on where the sizing changes to confirm for sure.
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jenda (used product regularly)
Bought them because on paper they were exactly what i was looking for. But....
I never could find a way how to ski in them. They are plenty stiff with the tongue, the support is not there though.
Might be because they are VERY low(and i have smaller feet for my height), but plenty time had a feeling like i could just fall out of the boot or even break my ankle(?!?).
Tried insert bigger tongues, change lean angle, different liners....nope
Buckle screws keep loosening...
OTOH pull out the tongue and the skinning is incredible, very close to a race shoe.
Atomic seem to make the shoe without significant changes years in a row now, so might be just be mine issue.
Reply from jbo
Hi jenda, it sounds like these were a poor fit for you; the instep is a bit on the high side which is likely not good for your foot.
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Question from Cody
Hey guys I just picked up a pair of these for a future “light” ski tour set up. My current skis are mounted with kingpin’s . I have read a lot of back and fourth about the compatibility. I do not plan on skiing them with kingpins in the future but until then I wanted to try them out a couple days and all I have are the kingpins. If somebody can clear up the compatibility issue for me that would be great.

Thank you
Answer from Nate
Hi Cody, the Backland Carbon is not Kingpin compatible out of the box. You would have to add a Kingpin heel adapter to make it work.
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Chris (used product regularly)
After 8 seasons in the Dynafit TLT5 and 6s, I was ready for something comparable in performance but that didn't develop so much slop and play in the cuff rivets and walk mode. I didn't like the direction Dynafit took with the TLT7, so this season I gave the Backland Carbon boots a try. So far I am really pleased.

The stock liner left my low volume foot swimming a bit, so I used the Intuition Pro Tours I had been using in my TLT6s. I molded the shell at home in my convection oven...I didn't get too aggressive with it as I was a bit nervous about DYI but successfully alleviated some of the mild pressure points I had prior to molding.

The cuff pivots and walk mode lock are the most solid I've seen in a boot of this genre. Time will tell, but after ~20 days they are still super solid in ski mode and from what I understand the serviceable cuff bushings are quite durable. They tour better than the TLT6 since there is no plastic tongue of any sort to restrict forward motion, but you do need to use the removable tongue for acceptable downhill performance. It's a bit trickier to insert than on the TLT6, but I found grinding the tab down made it more friendly. Some might find all the buckles and removable tongue fiddly compared to some one-lever style boots out there, but for me an extra 30 seconds during transitions is well worth the added performance. In downhill mode with tongue inserted, the boot skis at least as well as the TLT6 - a level of stiffness more than adequate for my 190 pounds and driving bigger skis in variable snow.
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Question from Mark
Do you climb in this boot with the tongues in, or do they have to be removed?
Answer from Trace Leches
Hey Mark, it kind of depends. Most people remove the tongues to tour with but pop them back in on the way down. I have heard of people touring with the tongues in, but it definitely doesn't work out quite as well. If you want to tour with a tongue, the soft tongue has had a lot more success there.
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Question from Tom N
Realistically, how wide of a ski can these boots ski well with? If someone is going to be looking for a solid uphill performer that skis a lot of powder and soft snow are these a solid choice? If these aren’t a good choice for a ski in the 95-100mm range, what other boot options that have a wider forefoot would be worth considering?
Answer from Trace Leches
Hey Tom, thanks for reaching out! I think this is would be a great choice for an all purpose touring boot! The forefoot in the Backland isn't necessarily super wide to begin with, however it can be punched out/molded to be by far one of the widest boots on the market. The Dynafit TLT7 is definitely another option that's pretty wide to begin with and has some similar uphill/downhill characteristics that the Backland embodies.
Answer from Cody B
I know this is an old post, but I've skied these boots with Helio 116's at 186 with no problems in the Sierra backcountry.
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JvR (used product a few times)
Like the boots after a few (long) days. I do want to switch the liner to something taller and a bit beefier though, Intuition Wrap or Protour. Would like a bit more support fore/aft (added boosters already), and got cold feet on windy days (thin socks). Never had this issue on my previous Scarpa Maestrale RS.

No shop around to test for size, so hoping someone here could help. What size Intuition liner should I get?
I have 27-27.5 backlands.
Reply from eric
Hey Jvr, The pro tour liner will beef up the boot and not affect the walk as much as a wrap liner. We measured the liners and the 26 liner will be a match for your 27.0 shell. The Medium Volume will add some thickness to whole boot, thusa taking up more room. The Low Volume will be a more similar volume to your stock liner.
Reply from Piotr T
I have a similar issue here; size 25 - 25.5 backlands, would like to take up some volume. I'm concerned about a size 24 liner, since I've never skied something that small before and my foot measures to 25.3 cm. However that is mostly one freakishly big large toe.

Would this mold correctly if I have a standard 2 finger shell fit with these boots?

My alpine boot size is 24/24.5, but with the 24.5 liner.
Reply from Piotr T
The alpine boot fits extremely well, and maybe has a tiny bit smaller shell fit.
Reply from eric
Piotr, I just measured the 25 Protour liners to one of our 25/25.5 stock liners and the Protour was a little longer again. The 24 Protour is the same length as the stock liner. Generally the rule of thumb is matching the Protour to the stock liner and if they are the same length then the volume will be very similar after molding. You would just use the Medium Volume over Low Volume depending on the amount of room you need to take up. Although with that said the Low Volume liner will snug up the fit over stock liner, where the Medium Volume liner will take up alot more volume than stock.
Reply from Piotr T
Thank you for the thoughtful reply! I really appreciate it.
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Question from Martin
Does anyone happen to know whether they can be resoled? Thanks.
Answer from Nate
Hi Martin,

I have a good friend who owns a climbing shoe re-sole business. I've asked him about resoling ski boots and his reply was that they would be very easy to resole, provided one could find the proper sole material. Last we spoke, he still hadn't sourced the material. If you can find it, I'm sure you could get someone to do it.
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Question from johnny H
Hi, im about to order but have no chance to try them on anywhere nearby.
Scarpa F1 27.0 is perfect fit, Spitfire 26.5 is tight but good..after few hours in them i belive it would be super fit as well.
Also Scott Celeste 26.0 seem ok.
So far i have been on Syborgs 27.0 for two seasons. Lately it started to feel really lose in the forefoot (i guess liner needs replacing).
So its obviously 26.5 or 27, but thats where the size breaks so it might feel quite a lot different.
Might trying atomic alpine boot help sorting this?

Answer from jbo
Hi Johnny, you are most definitely a 26/26.5. You likely won't even need to mold the shell, but there is always that option if it does end up a little snug.
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Model: Backland Carbon

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