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Atomic Backland Carbon Boot - 2018/19

Brand: Atomic
Model: Backland Carbon
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Availability: In Stock & Ships Today
Price: $749.00 $576.73
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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.

-> 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
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.
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Question from Max Bond
How do the fit of these compare to the Dynafit Speedfits?
Answer from Jeff M
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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by 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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by 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.
Comment on this review:

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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by 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.
Comment on this review:

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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by 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.
Comment on this review:

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.
Answer this question:

by 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.
Comment on this review:

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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Question from Kelly
Is there any difference in the shape of the shell or liner between this and the women's version? I.e. if I want to have a stiffer boot and don't care about having girly colors, would I get the same fit with this as with the women's backland?
Answer from Nate
Hi Kelly,

The fit should be the same between this and the women's version and definitely should provide the stiffness you are looking for.
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Question from Kurt P
any idea on fit (length wise) of these? I wear 42 cycling shoes, biggest foot is 267mm. Flat, low volume foot.
Answer from jbo
Hi Kurt, you'd likely get a really good length fit with the 26/26.5, but these aren't the best for flat, low volume feet. Visit our boot fitter for more options.
Answer this question:

by Robert C (downright abused product)
About me: 6', 180lbs, 11.5 shoe size, 29.5 in this boot. Wide forefoot, narrow heel. Skied one day in this boot before heat molding. Mostly used with a Fisher Hannibal 94 177mm.

Lots of good info already in reviews here, but I wanted to leave another long term data point. I have been using these boots exclusively the last 12 months, and have skied every one of those months. They have held up very well to all of the rocky, snow covered approach scrambles, as well as cold, long days, and deep pow turns. I appreciate the simplicity of the boot design, which has made, for instance, replacing buckles and such straight forward. I would recommend loctite for critical screws once a season. The tech interface has held up tremendously, as have the soles.

I really like the way these ski, and for my usage, they are downright excellent in terms of balance between weight and performance. Used on steeps, multiday hut to hut trips, and every day touring.

Admittedly, these fit my feet really well, but I have seen these more and more in the backcountry and I believe that is due to the ability to heat mold the liner to a shape that will work with many people's anatomy. If you are looking for a single light boot for backcountry use, this one should be at the top of your list.
Comment on this review:

Question from Patrick
I am curious (baffled) by how the heat molding process works on the shell. Is it one step or do you mold the liners first like a traditional boot fitting to see if the shell even needs adjustment. Seems odd to heat mold the whole shell. Any experiences good or bad with heat molding these shells?
Answer from jbo
Hi Patrick, you can basically stick the whole thing in an Atomic oven, liner and shell. Of course, not everyone needs the shell to be customized, it is a judgement call whether to do just the liner. It seems to work well overall, and can adapt to some wider feet.
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