Pageviews past week

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dynafit ONE PF-TF boot....




I saved what I think is one of the best AT boots for one of my last boot reviews of the up coming winter and new ski season.   This last flurry of boot reviews has been my attempt at a "buyer's guide" for the best of the current AT boots.   I'll do at least one follow up on the Spectra,  my stripped and lwt TLT 6 and a full review of the Dynafit PDG a bit later after more time on all of them.   But this is my last full size AT boot review.  Tracy has her own review coming mid winter on ONE boot as well.  Her story of a newbie to AT boots should be interesting for anyone contemplating switching full time to tech bindings and AT boots for lift and side country skiing.

That story started here:
http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-ski-project-part-1.html

The plot continues to thicken with Tracy and more of our industry contacts come on board to sort out her gear selection.  Pretty funny actually watching all that happen as she gets over whelmed with all the newest gear I see.  Not that she wants any of it mind you.  But no question she is getting to see the best available in every category.  I can't wait for the first really nasty weather day here in the Cascades.  I am expecting a huge smile on her face when she realises just how comfortable her clothing is and how much easier it is to ski on some of the best of the new gear.  This while her class mates suffer through some bad weather and dreadful snow conditions.  I know I have already BTDT.  Fun knowing she won't have to.

First day in the ONE and  first skin track for a skier I accosted at Crystal this week.  "Love them!  No blisters and they are Beautiful!"  I too have high hopes for this boot.   And a big fan of the color combos myself!


Sorry to get side tracked!  Back to the Dynafit's ONE PX review!

Early last winter I started to worry about the durability of my beloved TLT5/  The more I was skiing the more likely it was I would be doing a lift day as easily as I would a BC day.  My TLT5s were taking a beating.  Knowing all along they were never made to ski on a a lift.  By mid winter I decided I had to have a beefier boot that could take the abuse of big days lift skiing.  First chair to last when I got out of the house.  A spring pass at Crystal was a gimme as my health improved.

After the required visits to Marmot in Bellevue I had decided on the Dynafit Mercury.  I wasn't excited about a heavier boot and I hadn't yet been clued in or convinced the Maestrale RS was the boot I really wanted.  By the time I finally got the coin together for a new boot the Mercury and the RS were both sold out locally.  Seems like a common occurrence in the AT world for all the gear....it is very seasonal for supply and demand.  What I learned from that was save your money,,plan early and buy in Sept or October when the first shipments arrive in Colorado.  Boulder Colorado the center of the AT universe in North America.  Scarpa, La Sportiva and Dynafit are all there.

Anyway no Mercurys to be had for me.  But a boot I could get was a Dynafit ONE.  I liked how it fit..and more importantly I really liked the progressive flex.  At the time I was bummed I couldn't get the Mercury.  But I had already decided I didn't need the Mercury's extra tongue or weight. I seldom use the tongue in my TLT5s so why bother.  Going farther a ONE won't allow the extra tongue for support ..and it is the lightest boot of the Series.  I was sold on a couple of levels.  The big one really?   I'd like to brag on that progressive flex which I keep talking about in the ONE and other boots.  Or how light they are.    But it was really the price.  Retail for the Mercury is $800.  Retail for the ONE is $650.  It was enough to  ease my bruised ego on the hill of not being one of the cool guys in a Mercury or Vulcan.

Last winter I owned and skied what I considered three BIG skis.  A DPS Lotus Pure 138 @ 192cm by 138mm under foot,  a Dynafit Huascaran 196cm by 115mm under foot and a DPS Pure RPC  192cm by 115mm.  My "stiff" boot as I started the season was the last version of the Dynafit Zzero Carbon.  It was the last version of the Green Machine.    It was a $1000 boot at retail, stiff  and old technology.  It was the second AT boot I felt  was a major and costly mistake buying,  The BD Prime the other.  Nice skiing boots but not very friendly touring or in a boot pack.   The ONE replaced the Zzero 4 Carbon.  I have seldom been happier mailing out a pair of boots even though I took a heavy loss selling them.

Enter the ONE!   I wasn't expecting much to be honest.  Almost half the price of my Zzero 4s Carbon when it was sale.  I knew they would keep my TLT 5 Ps alive for another Spring season.  Typically, I was fat, dumb and happy.




Then I made my first run of the day on the 138s in knee deep powder with a heavy chalk wind layer on top.  Not quite a crust but on another ski I might have thought it was "crust".  Hot damn those were some fine turns!  I don't have a lot of pictures of me skiing the 138s.  They aren't for picture days.  I take them out on days I want t really ski, not dick around.

But the thing that really impressed me that day besides how easy kind of ever reasonably soft snow had just become was how well the ONE skied.  It was way beyond what a carpet test might have had first indicated.  And the Dynafit ONE suddenly rips!

I've since skied the ONE on 196cm Huascarans, The 192 RPC and a host of other skis.  The soft carpet test data in the store does not relate to how well this boot feels or skis on the snow.  The ONE IMO is a lot more boot than most will give it credit for.

Left to right, Spectre, RS, One, TLT-P, PDG
 
The Dynafit ONE can hold its own with all of these boots. And the ONE will easily turn any ski I have in my quiver, 138mm under foot down to the mid 80s under foot.  It is not a very stiff boot by comparison to the other boots shown here.  But its boot cuff height and the progressive flex makes it easily one of my favorite boots.  It isn't that soft of boot on snow either.  Technically the ONE is a mixture of a 3 buckle TLT6 and a stripped Mercury/Vulcan.  The instep ankle on the ONE has been moved back to the cuff rivet and the lower buckle is only part way out the boot.  Think more foot support but no chance of cold toes by over tightening the buckle.  I think the ONE fits nicely between the Maestrale and the Maestrale RS for flex. 

I liked what Dynafit did to the ONE so much that I took a pair of the TLT6s, added the ONE's buckles after stripping the factory versions, knowing full well the direction I was going because the ONE is such a great performer.

I ski the ONE a lot on lifts.  It is incredibly comfortable and warm.  Enough boot and support to ski any of my quiver.  Typical day skiing for me even off a lift is some time booting.  The ONE is solid there as well.  Sure I miss my TLT every time I unlatch the walk mode the ONE.  But I don't miss them much and I sure worry a lot less about the durability of the one.

Down side?  It could me a stiffer boot.  But I am not unhappy with the boots performance.  If you have a BIG calf the high cuff might bite you.  I have very small ankles for my size and my calf is higher than most so I can buckle this boot up tight.  Being able to do so allows me to take full advantage of what ever stiffness the ONE has to offer.  Worth checking that out on your own fit. 

Up side?  How they might ski has no basis in reality compared to how the carpet test.
This  boot is the sleeper in the ONE/Mercury/Vulcan series.  Long skin tracks, mid-Winter powder, meadow skipping,  riding a lift or steep spring gullies, this boot will do it all.   An incredibly progressive flex that might be a under appreciated attribute for some skiers.   One will hold its own compared to any of the new AT boots.   Only a few will better/equal the ONE's walk mode.  And all but one of those will be Dynafit models or full on race boots.

I like the ONE a lot!  There will people that ski the ONE because the boot is inexpensive by comparison.  There will be others that ski the ONE because they realised early on just how good this boot really is.  I ended up skiing the ONE by dumb luck.  I continue to ski the ONE because I now know just how good it really is.

 

14 comments:

J-man said...

Nice collection of skis/boots.
I see you're a fan of race-oriented dynafit bindings.

What binding would you recommend for a fat touring ski (Rocker2 115 or Voile V8, 115mm waist). This is my quiver of one, used 80% for touring and maybe 20% for lifts(but powder). I have a old TLT Speed lying around, but I'm thinking the Speed Radical would be a nice upgrade(better heel lifter, toe box, wider mountain pattern and I need new ski leashes). Will be skied using a TLT6 C-one.

Planning to get a lwt mountaineeing ski later, tlt superlight seems like a good choise for this ski?

Dane said...

Speed Super light is my favorite by far for what you are wanting.

John said...

What do you do for brakes inbounds? Use leashes?

Dane said...

Yes, leashes on everything now.

The brakes add ramp angle which I am not a fan of.

John said...

Makes sense. I've been kicking the idea of shimming my toe pieces around but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I also just got a set of the B&D leashes and once I figured out a good place to attach them to my boots I've been pretty pleased with them.

Mitch R. said...

Nice quiver and a great post, like always!

Sylvain Vanier said...

Hi Dane,

Thanks for the Hammer heads for Nomics... Great!

I use the Mercury, extra tongue for lift assist and steep lines, otherwise no tongues in bc skiing.

As well, I use a donut around the upper buckle to prevent it from "locking" into the cuff. Great for climbing ice and steep bootpacking.

I ditched the power strap so no fuss from tour to ski mode.

At 25.5, plenty stiff of a boot for me on 178 Wailer 112 with Dynafit Radical (brakes).

Not the lightest but it IS my only set up. Keep it simple for everything.

Sylvain Vanier said...

Hi Dane,

Thanks for the Hammer heads for Nomics... Great!

I use the Mercury, extra tongue for lift assist and steep lines, otherwise no tongues in bc skiing.

As well, I use a donut around the upper buckle to prevent it from "locking" into the cuff. Great for climbing ice and steep bootpacking.

I ditched the power strap so no fuss from tour to ski mode.

At 25.5, plenty stiff of a boot for me on 178 Wailer 112 with Dynafit Radical (brakes).

Not the lightest but it IS my only set up. Keep it simple for everything.

Sylvain Vanier said...

Hi Dane,

Thanks for the Hammer heads for Nomics... Great!

I use the Mercury, extra tongue for lift assist and steep lines, otherwise no tongues in bc skiing.

As well, I use a donut around the upper buckle to prevent it from "locking" into the cuff. Great for climbing ice and steep bootpacking.

I ditched the power strap so no fuss from tour to ski mode.

At 25.5, plenty stiff of a boot for me on 178 Wailer 112 with Dynafit Radical (brakes).

Not the lightest but it IS my only set up. Keep it simple for everything.

Sylvain

David said...

Have you tried climbing any rock or ice with these boots yet?

Dane said...

I have and like the TLT 5/6 better.

Lucas said...

Hey Dane

I'm having some trouble fitting the ONE's. I have a pair of 29 PDG and they fit perfect. I know your a similar size, what size are your ONE's? I'd like it if Dynafit made a couple more boots with a 29 shell size.
Thanks

Dane said...

Hi Lucas, I use a 29 PDG and a 28 One.

Brian said...

I finally finished my Vulcan lightening project. Size 28 Vulcan with liner comes in stock at 1730 grams.

Removing the tongue, power strap and lower buckle gets shell only weight to 1215 grams.

Intuition Pro Tongue Liner adds 300 grams. 1515 grams total for what is still the stiffest set up I've seen in an AT boot. And one-throw simplicity.

I just got a thinner, softer 130 gram overlap liner off Ebay. Sized up to 29 for uphill comfort. That in the 1215 gram shell is 1345 grams total. Will use this setup for bigger uphill/mountaineering days. Still stiff as hell when clamped down.

This will have to do as my one boot setup until I can afford a pair of Scarpa Aliens.