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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Dynafit TLT6 for Fall of 2013

TLT6 with the unavailable currently CL liner
My TLT6 P came with the CR liners which I really like btw. 
Everyone is trying  to figure out the actual weight difference of the CL and CR liners.
Turns out some of my comments here were based on a preproduction sample.
For the most part the info is accurate but  not always on the minute details.  An example is the One and TLT6 buckles are very similar but not exactly the same.  The last PF-X liner is close but not exactly the same as the production CR liner.  My impressions habven't changed o nthe TLT6 but I strive to be accurate in the deatils so you cna better make up you own mind what is important to you.
If you want more detail worth a look here as well on an additional review of a production sample :

The original review below, written in June 2013 after a couple of weeks with the TLT6:

OK, I'll admit it, I am a little pissed.

In late winter and early Spring of 2011 Dynafit started delivering on something special few of us had seen before.    That was the TLT 5 ski mountaineering boot.

Finally a ski boot that would climb ice almost  as well as a decent ice climbing boot and in the right circumstances may be better than some.
So why am I pissed and pointing all this out?    Because as everyone knows or should know by now there are plenty of really good ski boots in the world.  And damn few, real ski mountaineering boots.   Light weight boots you can ski and climb in without your foot wear  ever coming to mind.  The emphasis is on the mountaineering not the skiing so much.  

Dynafit buckled (forgive the pun) under the pressure to build another ski boot and as a result, for the most part folded up the TLT5 and put it away.

My suggestion if you want to climb technical ground in your ski boots?  Hunt the TLT5s down now and buy a pair while you still can.   Either model 5, it doesn't matter.

No question the the newest TLT 6 version is a better ski boot than the original TLT5.    But sweet Mary!!!....I wish Dynafit had gone in the opposite direction and built a better technical ski mountaineering boot instead of a a "better" ski boot.  The public's voice was clear.  There are a lot more skiers than ski mountaineers.   Even if they aren't reading about it here on Cold Thistle most asked, "Build us a better ski boot!"  And Dynafit did just that. 

Now, would someone build us a better climbing boot that skis well?

Overall boot weight is claimed the same on a 27.5 TLT even with the heavier warmer/better fitting  TLT 6 inner boot.

Dynafit's published info fro a 27.5:
1050g  tlt 5 P
1050g  tlt 6 P

"Chris said...
Just received my TLT6Ps with the new CR liner and can compare them to my old TLT5Ps. In a 29.0, the TLT6 shell weighs about an ounce more than the 5. The TLT6 CR liner weighs 2.5 ounces more than the flimsy TLT5 P-TF liner. Total weight difference is 3.5 oz (100g)  per boot."  TLT5 P being  lighter. "

Sorry, I don't have comparable sizes yet to weigh.  There are subtle changes in the boots but the weigh stayed the same mostly by dropping the LTW  inner boot of the TLT 5.

For most of us skiing is the priority on a $1000 retail boot.  Which with the carbon Performance version skiing is clearly the priority.  $750 for the Mountain version.  If the previous boots are any example both ski much better than any light weigh boot has a right to.  They simply ski very well.  I found a preference in the TLT5 for no tongue or power strap on the carbon Performance and use the tongue and power strap on the Mountain version unless I am in really light weight skis.  I also found I liked the Mountain version just a tiny bit better for booting and climbing because it is just a tiny bit softer and a more progressive flex when skiing when all buckled up and strapped in.  Both are very good boots.

I found  the TLT6 version every bit the ski boot and then some of the TLT5.

Eliminating the forward foot flex makes the TLT6 a better ski boot no doubt.  But any hiking or climbing in mixed terrain makes me miss that feature immediately.  I suspect having a size 29 shell and jamming my foot into it makes that flex something I notice and like.  Others simply riveted the TLT 5 toe solid their first season if not week.   Those that did will really like the TLT6.  Smaller toe profile on the TLT6 a result of loosing the hinge.

Buckles have changed some but not always as one might assume.   Certainly not lower profile in every case.  Hopefully they will stay buckled now on breakable crust of the nasty boot packs or even moderate skin tracks.  The fist generation TLT5 hasn't.  One of the TLT5's few faults imo.  Teh nect generation  forward buckle with a "stud" did better.   The new buckles are a different profile and shape which should solve the problem.  The spring snow conditions I skied the TLT6 in didn't allow me to test my theory on a "better buckle system" for staying shut.   I suspect Dynafit did.  I did however use pretty much the same two buckles on my Dynafit Ones all of last season and was pleased with them.  Although the One's instep buckle is higher up on the foot and better placed to lock in the heel in I think.  If the performance on the One is any example it is a better buckle system on the TLT6 by comparison to the TLT5.

If you are looking for a "better AT ski boot" with an emphasis on skiing, the Dynafit One is a pretty good answer btw.  I've been very pleased with the One PX TF when used on my 190cm and longer, 100mm+  skis.  No lack of power in reasonable conditions and very comfortable.   I have a comparison I have been working on since mid summer between the Dynafit One and the Scarpa Maestrale RS.  Short version spoiler?  "Both are very good ski boots!" :)

The real find here IMO is the boot Dynafit has yet to build.  A stripped TLT6 with a fiberglass cuff, the One's upper two buckle sytem and a Pebax lower.  I want that boot!


Instep buckle is larger and has been reversed, then doubled for more adjustment on the TLT6.

New cuff buckle on the TLT6 (lower picture) does wrap around better (one extra hinge point) and offer a lower profile on the boot.


The TLT6 now has a easily adjustable forward lean adjustment in the cuff.  Thankfully this is a part you can buy and upgrade your own boots with.  Lots of toys to play with on this boot.

TLT5 mid sole or lack of

TLT6 insulated full length insole
I also failed to mention the TLT6 now comes with a soft and a hard tongue at no extra charge.  Yellow and green. Easy to tell apart.   In my first reviews of the TLT5 Mountain and Performance several years ago that option seemed like a no brainier for Dynafit.
So if you are listening :)  How about a Pebax lower and fiber glass cuff  TLT6 with a the two upper buckles of a ONE and no extra nonsense.  A metal on metal cuff rivet while you are there as well.  No tongues, no power strap and a lwt Palau foam liner?  Please?   

The TLT6 has been widened in the forefoot to enhance the fit for the general public.  2mm on the instep side, and 1mm added to the outside of the boot.  I dare anyone to do a blind test and tell me the TLT6 is a wider boot over the TLT5.   Helping address one of the most easily identified complaints from those using the TLT5 lift skiing...boot warmth,  is a warmer, full length insole has been added.  It is  easy enough to see.

Inner boot?  Late last season I bought a pair of TLT Mountains that have virtually the same inner boot that the TLT6 has now.  Gone at least in the US is the excellent (IMO) Palau heat moldable and exceptionally light foam liner except for the race PDG version and the DyNA here in  North America.  Rumors are the RL liner will eventually be avialable.  My guess is Dynafit is simply punishing the American's (rightfully so IMO) for complaining too much and then adding Intuitions.  (Dynafit comment below sums it up "best for this market")    Replacing the liner in the TLTP 6 is a slightly heavier (I am saying  100g +/- max)  and better fitting (for my feet)  heat moldable liner this season in both versions of the TLT6.  Although Dynafit claims you don't even need heat to mold them.  "Just wear them skiing."  I am always leery of that as an option.  But that seems to actually be the truth from the early reviews I trust.   For a $950+ retail boot you would think they could do much, much better.  But may be I just don't really understand the technology here.  Seriously.  It is possible and I could be wrong.  because I really like the CR liner.  But I also heat molded them.
Did he say?
"more down hill orienteed"
I've used the original Mountain's liner, the original Performance liner, a Intuition Pro Tour liner and now seemingly the newest version ( or at least a very close copy) that comes in the TLT6P.  The new liner is heavier by a few grams but is also better in every way but weight for my feet.  Likely most feet.
This from Dynafit on 9/16 :
- The TLT6s are available in North America with only the CR liner. They are the best for this market, warmer, more downhill oriented, adeguately thermo customizable (in the mean time it's not compulsory to thermo form them, - The fit of the liners is now done without footbed. In this way the skier can adapt the personal anatomy on the soft bottom layer of the liner. This layer changes thickness between the full and half size
Bottom line?  TLT6 is an awesome back country AT ski boot.  Better by a fair bit in several ways that the TLT5.  Including the new inner boot I think.  Smaller over all outer volume.  Same weight, wider fit, warmer boot, better buckles.  No metatarsal joint to flex on the boot.  Loosing the sole flex alone makes it a better ski boot.  It is worth repeating again.."better ski boot".
If you really want a climbing boot to ski in buy the TLT5 if you can still find them on discount.
But you aren't loosing much there either with the newest TLT6.  I may not like the trend to a better ski boot over "a better climbing boot" but the TLT6  is without question an exceptional boot and clearly an improved TLT5.

The liner options? Guess they didn't just drop a PDG or the old P liner in the new TLT6 as the CL liner.  Turns out the CL is very similar but slightly different, with laces now, more reinforcement for durability and a bigger flex cuff in the boot shaft. Thickness of the foam is different (1mm maybe 2mm, I am still checking) as well between TLT and EVO. PDG and Evo liners are thinner and offer an even easier ankle flex for a longer stride. But the thin PDG/EVO liner might be an option if you need more room in your TLT?!  Go down a shell sixe on the tLT6 and use the EVO liner?  Might be worth a try.
TLT6 liners?  CL liner on the left.  CR liner on the right.
Photo courtesy of
Great early TLT6 review here as well:
   Interested to see what the foam liner will actually show, if it is ever available in the US...and what else is available in Europe.  
Now, how about a real, "mountaineering/ski" boot?
Anyone going to step up and dominate that market share?

Late '70s Scott ski boot.  With a Vibram sole glued on they were a useful LWT mountaineering double boot that you could actually ski in. 


Mike said...

Too bad they do not make a 31.0 in the TLT5/6.

Unknown said...

I guess in order to wish for a better skimo boot, we as ski mountaineers need to better define the qualities of boots which are lacking. Lightweight seems to have been achieved with incremental improvements possible.Perhaps a replacable sticky rubber sole. A better rand. Good crampon compatibility. Is a rocker sole universally desired ? A certain ankle flex? Because if climbing and only climbing is top priority then eBay some old Silvrettas 404s and use your leather boots/Spantiks and approach skis. I think the manufacturers need clearer and more cohesive feedback in order to change their current lineup.

Jonathan S. Shefftz said...

“In early Spring of 2011 Dynafit started delivering something special few of us had seen before. That was the TLT 5 ski mountaineering boot.”
- I think you mean 2010? The TLT5 was widely available to the public by Fall of 2010.

“better fitting TLT 6 inner boot”
“The TLT6 has been widened in the forefoot to enhance the fit for the general public”
“Better by a fair bit in several ways that the TLT5. [...] wider fit”
- I don’t understand why you keep characterizing what is simply a sloppier lower-performance fit from the perspective of many skiers as “better” or “enhance[d]”? For some skiers, sure, but for others, no, much worse.

“The TLT6 now has a easily adjustable forward lean adjustment in the cuff. Thankfully this is a part you can buy and upgrade your own boots with. Although I have yet to test that statement.”
- This was available in Fall of 2012. Very easy to retrofit and then swap lean positions.

Also, although I am disappointed that the TLT5 was discontinued, if you want a lighter boot, just check out the Dynafit DyNA EVO (or the PDG - softer, heavier, and cheaper) or Scarpa Alien 1.0 (or the Alien sans numerical appendage - ditto).
The EVO has the same lateral and rearward support as the TLT5, although the forward flex is noticeably softer.
And the Alien 1.0 is an absurdly stiff rock - almost too stiff really.
(And no, it doesn’t suffer from any lack of progressive flex. Rather, it just starts off stiff immediately, since the walk/ski mechanism has pretty much zero slop, and if you dial in the cord very snuggly, then especially when combined with skinny lower legs like mine, the carbon upper cuff has lots of overlap.)

Dane said...

Jonathon, what is up? Sounds like someone pissed in your Cherrios this morning ;)

I was in Chamonix the winter and Sping of 2010/2011. Just telling what I saw available there. TLT were around in stores but not on peoples feet from what I saw on the Tram every day, until the till Spring of 2011. The numbers grew rather rapidly as the word got out.

Took a while IMO for the public to bite off on $1000 AT boots was my though.

I've owned the Evo and am now using the PDG. Aliens are on my list but I'm in no hurry. Those out climbing in them seemed pleased for a ski boot.

"I don’t understand why you keep characterizing what is simply a sloppier lower-performance fit from the perspective of many skiers as “better” or “enhance[d]”? For some skiers, sure, but for others, no, much worse."

YMMV as I like to say. I prefer the original foam Palau liners in the TLT but spend 24 hrs skiing and then climbing 1500m of alpine ice in them and a sloppier fit might well be appreciated.

It is a Alpine/ice CLIMBING blog, Jonathon, not Wild Snow :)

Gear gets viewed here through my myopic vision as to what is better for climbing.

Don't like the sloppy fit of a new TLT6 for skiing...and not that it is all that sloppy...but if that is your thought add a Intition liner. Add some warmth and ski performance at the same time.

Me? I like the new TLT liner and won't bother with a Intuition or a new Palau...well may be the "newest" Palau!

Keep it coming mate!

Dane said...

Sorry..."delivering" as in "delivering the goods" "fufilling the promise".

A climbing boot that also skied...or a ski boot you could climb in? All for $1000. Cheap for everything it could and would do imo.

That was my meaning of "delivering"... but I understand how it could be read as inaccurate upon reflection.

Curtis Burrowes said...

So now that the TLT5's seem to be almost unattainable, at least for myself with 12.5 size feet, are there other AT boots you would recommend over the TLT6's which also work well for ice?

Dane said...

Big feet like ours generally means no great late season deals. Order early and order big! La Sportiva Spectre is good but I'd look at the TLT6 first. Any AT boot will climb ice well enough. Those two just do it better than the rest imo.

Michael said...

Do you have any recommendations on how a climbing/skiing boot should fit? For skiing, weight goes forward and your heel goes back, so conventional wisdom is to fit the boot with toes touching the front while standing. It's the opposite for ice climbing where you don't want your toes banging the front. How to reconcile this?

I tried on a pair of size 30 Tlt 6s. Length was good for skiing, but they were a bit tight on the inner forefoot and instep despite my feet being fairly skinny. I imagine that this gives good control, but I wonder if it would cause pain or reduce circulation. It would be an expensive experiment to find out.

Dane said...

Do a search here for ski boot fit. It should turn up pretty much all I know o ski boot/climbing boot fit. But I size up a shell to climb in. And use different liners. Loose and warm for climbing. Tight and thin for skiing. So I use a smaller shell generally for skiing the majority of time compared to a bigger shell for climbing and long tours. YMMV.