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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Scarpa Phantom 6000 review

IT'S BACK! (finally) The 2.5# dbl boot! The Scarpa Phantom 6000

I know, I know, it only took 30 years but we are finally back to a double boot that excels on technical climbing and that weighs in at a svelte 2# 10oz in my size 12 (46) feet. (Poetic license and a cleaner intro on the 2.5# since my size 12s won't make that number. )

I can drop a full pound off my size 12 feet by using these boots!
That is 6.5 off my back by the theory. But do they fit? And how do they climb?

If you missed my previous bitch fest blog post I had been laughing at how both Sportiva and Scarpa...and any one else in the business for that matter...had not yet equaled let alone duplicated the warmth, climbing ability and weight of the 1980 Kolfach Ultra @ 2# 10oz with an Aveolite inner boot. Kinda sad that even though the boots were now in the $700 range. (Buyer hint: wait, be patient and hunt around. If you do not unusual that you can buy any of them on sale for $500 or less. The 6000 went on sale for $70 off retail before I even got the review written! The Internet price for a pair of Spantiks can be as low as $500 from what I have seen.)

Boot weights (Euro size 45 or 11.5/12 US)

La Sportiva Spantik 3# .o5oz
La Sportiva Baruntse 3# 2.5oz

La Sportiva Batura (winter single boot) 2# 7oz
Kolfach Ultra w/Aveolite liners 2# 10oz (vintage 1980)
Scarpa Phantom 6000 2# 10oz

Scarpa Phantom Guide (winter single boot) 2# 7.5oz

I am told the newest boots have sex appeal galore, technology that may or may not work and fit that could go from perfect (and just as likely from reports I get) to dismal.

At the risk of repeating myself here let me back up once again. Super Gators were very good in cold weather. Plastic boots for the most part negated their use and when required out came the neoprene full over boots as the temps dropped. Never the best answer for technical climbing because of crampon fit/or no fit many just do without and risk the cold injury.

The old Phantom 6000 and the Spantik addressed the issues in different ways but basically boots that did not require another add on gaiter to keep your feet warm enough up high and out in the cold.

After seeing the newest versions of the synthetic double boots I have long thought that to gain the warmth we all generally need the boots have gotten too big physically and the fit hasn't gotten any better compared to the older leather double boots.

My preference would be a dbl boot with slightly less volume than the Spantik or the Baruntse, equally as warm and all the while dropping some weight in the process. A warm dbl boot suitable for hard technical climbing made of modern material should be able to get under 2 and 1/2 pounds in my size 12s. With a over-all outside volume closer to the old Koflach and Asolos would be well received by many needing a warm dbl boot. The most modern technology and materials should be able to make a boot of that volume, warmer and lighter that the earlier plastic boots.

One stainless Sabertooth, no bots with Petzl bails 14.2 oz
One Phantom 6000 2# 10oz

Total weight per combo is 3# 8.2oz.

That number betters my 30 year old gold standard of 3# 9oz. of Kolfach Ultra and Chouinard hinged with straps.

Add the need for a real gaiter and different sox weights for the Kolflach and the actual weight savings is even more, or what would have been 9oz or more per foot in my 45s. And a big advantage in climbing ability and warmth with the new Scarpa 6000.

Among other things the over all volume of the boot should give us a clue on the warmth of the boot but so does the quality of the insulation, how dry the insulation stays on the interior, sole insulation and what is keeping the exterior upper dry and clear of snow.

Dbl click on the picture and take a look at the Guide on the right and the 6000 on the left in the picture. The mid sole and lugs are thinner on the 6000. Heel has less material as well. The mid sole on the 6000 is totally different between the two models of boot.

The synthetic materials allow the current boot builders to keep the outer shells dry. But until now a gaiter of some sort is usually required. Several older leather single and dbl boots have had attached gaiters, San Marco, Fabino and Trappeur comes to mind off hand. Scarpa has taken the 8000m technology of a fully integral gaitor that One Sport invented in the '80s and added it to lighter weight boots while making them warmer yet.

The Scarpa Phantom line obviously has a built in, insulated outer/super gaiter that is sealed with a water proof zipper (the TIZIP) and a button snap closure in an elastic top. It is not Scarpa's first zipper rodeo. This is 2nd and maybe 3rd generation on their gaiter and zipper for the Phantom line. And they have continued to made improvements. This version is stout. Stout enough that La Spotiva copied them and are now using the same brand "TIZIP" water proof zipper for their Batura. Simple and effect. But it is still fabric and a zipper so not terribly durable in comparison to some of the old school style boots, a Nepal Evo or Scarpa Mt. Blanc as examples. Scarpa also wisely includes the special TIZIP zipper lube for its maintenance.

Let me discuss durability a bit. Many of the very best cold weather boots do two things to eliminate weight and make the boots warmer. They use a hard foam insole/midsole to help insulate from the ground up. They also make the lug pattern and sole as thin as possible, again to save weight. Scarpa uses both techniques on the 6000 and I think to good effect on this boot.

Neither technique adds durability to the boot. Put a fabric gaiter/outer surface on the boot and you have to start thinking high performance as a cost for long term durability. The nylon material used won't shed a crampon or a sharp rock for that matter. For a boot that will generally be used with crampons and on snow and ice the majority of time they should last "long enough". But they won't last as long as some of the newest synthetic dbls available. Baruntse comes to mind as the the more durable boot of the three discussed here. In my size the cost of durability is an extra full pound on my feet. But is there a difference in warmth between the Scarpa 6000 and the La Sportive flag ship, technical, dbl boots? That observation will have to wait till December I suspect. But it is going to have to be really cold (-20C and below) to feel a difference is my thought on it. If anything I have learned from using Primaloft 1 garments that thickness of the insulation these days doesn't always give you a relative idea of how warm the garment might be in actual use. And the Scarpa 6000 uses Primaloft to insulate the outer boot. Hope for the best....plan for the worst and know your own limitations when it comes to cold feet.

The Scarpa 6000 is a lower profile and more sensitive boot than the Spantik or the Baruntse. The sole and ankle flex are somewhere between the Spotiva models. Defiantly not as stiff of flex as the Spantik...more akin to the Baruntse. It will be a great technical boot on hard terrain and stiff enough for the endless 60 degree alpine ice suffer fests IF you are accustomed to the newest flexable fabric boots. It is better compared to the La Sportiva Batura and the Scarpa Phantom Guide single boots for volume and weight. You can get an idea by that comparison on how they will be on mixed :)

Hard for me to talk about any boot without making comparisons. My current dbl boots are the Spantik, Baruntse and now the 6000. By far the worst fitting inner boot for me is the Spantik. The best is the easily heat formed Baruntse inner boot. The new 6000's inner boot is obviously intended to be a VBL inner boot worn with only a thin sox. The Velcro seals the inner up tightly. Not sure about the extra bumps on the inner boot though and comfort long term. The entry system also makes it a bitch to put on and take off the inner. That entry and the surface finish of the foam inner makes it hard to get in and out of the shell as well. The Spantik's inner is fairly traditional and a lace up. My experience is that the Spantik's eyelets are not durable on the inner or outer boot. The Baruntse has a more modern lace system on the inner. Hard to break or have a failure in that inner boot. The Baruntse is the easiest of the three to use and the most durable. It is the inner I think the Spantik should have been delivered with. It fits better and is lighter in weight. The lace system more closely mimics the Spantik shell system as well but no durability issue. Nice that my Baruntse inner will fit any of the 6000 outer boot. IMO the Baruntse inner is the best of the three for fit and ease of use. It weighs only 1/2 oz more (@6 oz) than the 6000's inner (5.5oz). The Spantiks' inner boot weights 9.0oz.

6000's Velcro sealed, VBL inner boot, and removable foam insole

The 6000's inner boot? Sadly nothing good to talk about here imo. The inner is a bitch...really a bitch... to get into. Part of that is the majority of the inner boot is unlined closed cell foam. Yes, unlined foam. Bare feet and most sox will stick to the foam trying to put them on and take them off. This inner wouldn't last me one 3 week Alaska trip. I would shred it in short order even while trying to be careful. I don't doubt it is very warm......and high tech.....but durable it ain't going to be. And that 44 size insole? Yes my 45s came with a 44 size insole in the inner boot. And the inner boot fits like a 44 as well. My guess? By the fit with this inner boot in place is the 6000 will fit one full size too small. I had actually ordered a 46 the day these arrived just to cover the bases...played with my Baruntse inner boot in the outer boot and decided the 45s would NOT work for me. I ended up with a 46s. The 45 Guides fit OK although a bit narrow in the toe.

There is really only one reason to climb in a dbl. boot. It isn't the warmth generally. Get the right single boot and keep them dry inside and out and you can deal with some terribly cold temps. The problem is doing it day after day and keeping your boots dry in and out and unfrozen. A dbl. boot is the only thing that will allow you to keep your boots dry on the inside because you can dry them in your bag at night as well as keep them from freezing. So the added warmth is great but the real reason is dry boots. Dry boots and dry sox means warm feet. No one actually enjoys climbing in double boots (any of them) ...they are all huge and they are all heavy. But way less stress in the cold mountains...with a good double boot.

Of the three boot shells the Baruntse is the only traditionally laced outer boot. Simple and effective system to get a good fit in that boot. Very durable and reliable. From my limited experience if you have problems with fitting boots the Baruntse is the boot most likely to fit. Still it can take 3 men and a boy to lace them tight enough. The Spantik has a lace system you either love or hate. I can't get my ankle tight enough without some serious effort. Too much effort in really cold conditions where the system should make things easier. Sper thin laces are rough on your hands. Inner and outer eyelets are fragile. I personally went through three pair of Spamtiks before having a "solid" pair now. Because of the lacing issue I end up with heel lift in the Spantik if I am not extremely careful adjusting the laces. Get tired and cold and not adjust the boots perfectly and I'll get heel lift going up and toe bump going down in the Spantik. So I am on the hate side of that discussion. Boots do climb well I have used them on things that are cold and challenging for me.

The 6000 has an interesting lace system. My old Koflach inners were a slip on with only a Velcro strap across the top locking the tongue in place. On the 6000 you lace the outer shell to one eyelet above the angle and it locks with a mechanical lace lock...sweet system btw and very easy to use even cold or tired from what I can see so far. (see the pictures for details on the lock) By far the easiest of the three outer boots to lace tightly. It really is trick and so far if my Guides are an example the lock system is durable/reliable as well. Above the lace system is a single Velcro "power band" strap that closes the rest of the outer shell. It also controls just how stiff the boot will be and how much heel hold down you'll have by how tight you wrap that strap. Easy to go over board on either lace system and really crank the 6000 down, till it is way too tight. For me that says I'll be able to get it tight enough in the mountains when required. And it is really easy to do. A lot less toe bump or heel lift as the end result. I'm stoked on that! Velcro does wear out...but not quickly and it will be easily replaceable on this strap. But there is a lot of Velcro (1" x 4") and I suspect the boots will be toast before you have to replace the 1" x 4" hook and 1" x 4" loop that mates up on the "power strap".

Toe bump? Generally toe bump is either a too small of boot or not a tight enough boot. When I first tried the 6000 on I had just gotten off a 5 mile ridge traverse with another couple of miles of walking so I had some pretty swollen feet. I thought the sizing was at least a full size too small. Turns out I wear a 45 from Sportiva and a tight 45 in the new Scarpa Guide and a 46 in the 6000.

As I reviewed this post I was looking at the pictures and noted that the insole of the inner boot that I have flipped over in the picture above is marked "44". Sneaky bastards......... When I first pulled the 6000 out of the box it took me 10 seconds flat to figure out I didn't like the Scarpa inner boot so I didn't look at it very closely or try to get a decent fit in it. I just stuck my "go to" Baruntse inners in the shells..thinking I was set. The 6000's actual inner boot and the shells are both marked 45. But common in the dbl boot arena to not offer true half sizes and cheat on the sizing in general. My thought? Bastards! Trust no one, try the boot (any boot) on in person, verify your exact size with the liners and sox you intend to use.

Frankenstein? Both the Spantik (more so) and the Baruntse make me feel like I am walking on stilts. I gain almost a full inch in height. I am willing to put up with that because I know that the sole insulation is much of what keeps your feet warm in really cold conditions with crampons. It doesn't help my technical climbing though. You'll feel the difference on the 6000 and if you look at the photos you'll see the difference...almost a 1/2" less in sole thickness between the Spantik and the 6000 in some areas on the sole. I measured anywhere from .25" to .45" difference in total sole thickness between the two.

One of the interesting details I found on the 600 is the sole. No only are the lugs smaller and less of them than the single boot, Phantom Guide, but they have a totally different sole pattern. La Sportiva has taken good advantage of this idea as well. Where I really noticed it was in the La Sportiva Trango Series. They use sticky rubber and a technical sole pattern that can really enhance rock climbing.

The 6000 is on the left again. Check out the toe rubber on the 6000 compared to the full lug pattern on the Guide. I would have thought it would be reversed. But I am not complaining! A dbl boot that will out climb a single boot? And only 3 oz heavier? Hard to believe actually. Even ditching the original liner I am happy enough with the obvious advantages and fit of the 6000 shell that I will be using them next winter and spring. The real question is how will they hold up over a full years use? Check back for an answer on that one.


A good fit on the 6000 with the BD Sabertooth 'pons, BD asymetrical connecting bars and Petzl front bails.

Bill Belcourt @ Black Diamond is a smart guy, who climbs hard. He also oversees the climbing hardware dept. @ BD. So while were were both "wowed" by the weight of the 6000 at last winter's OR show he was wondering then about how the super low profile Scarpa soles on the new Phantom line would work with the BD crampon bindings. Rightfully so imo. The Phantom guide seemed to pose little problem with my hybred BD Sabertooths useing Petzl front bails and a the BD asymetrical connecting bar. But the 6000 is a jump on even the Guide's sole in a thinner and smaller profile toe. My BD Sabertooths do still work OK but my Patzl Darts and Dart Twins don't fit well at all...surprizing as I had understood Ueli Steck (Petzl sponsored) had some involvement in the boot design. So plan on having some time/effort/possible new parts for your crampons if you decide to go to the newest Scarpa boots.

Close up photo of a terrible fit, stock Petzl Dartwin 'pons on the front of the 6000.

Sabertooth with the optional aluminum Neve' heel and the asymetrical bars.

And as of tomorrow my goal will be to own only two pair of dbl boots. I''ll let you guess which two.

Scarpa's spiel:

And be sure to note the one year warranty

"Give your foot a warm and sturdy platform to help you crush your next winter ascent when you lace and zip it up inside the Scarpa Phantom 6000 Mountaineering Boot. This fortress of warmth features a built-in zip-up gaitor for sealing out the skin-searing cold and a waterproof liner so your feet stay dry even on slushy snowfields in late May.

•The tough S-tech upper’s rubber rand holds up to the abuse any frozen mountain dishes out
•Toe and heel plastic rands secure your crampons as you begin a climb into the heavens
•Waterproof liner is beefed up with a layer of EVA foam and heat-reflective aluminum to keep the warm air inside
•Insole and midsole cushion your steps while staying sensitive enough to feel each foothold before you take the next
•Vibram Mulaz outsole grips the rocks and snow as you approach the icefall
•Ergofit System stretches in the ankle for a dynamic fit for aggressive ice climbers and mountaineers
•Removable Mountain Lite liner lets you dry the sweaty liners in your sleeping bag on longer expeditions to keep them fresh and unfrozen

Shell: S-Tech (Cordura w/ 10% elastane)
Lining:Waterproof-OD, Lorica, 5mm EVA, heat-reflective aluminum
Removable Liner:Yes Sole:
Insole: Pro-Fiber XT;
Midsole: PU, microporous EVA;
Outsole: Vibram Mulaz
Crampon Compatible:Yes, very low profile toe welt
Lacing:Lace-pull on lower boot, single strap velcro closure on upper boot
Zip-up gaitor
Weight:[Pair, size 42] 4lb 6oz (2000g)
Recommended Use:Ice climbing, alpine climbing, mountaineering
Manufacturer Warranty:1 Year


Nikolai Delibozov said...

Can you securely put your pants in the gaiter of the Phantom 6000?

Dane said...

My question is what do you mean by "securely" ? None of these 1/2 knee high gaiters really hold your pants down. They will hold the pant "in", however. If it is really required I'd want to put my pants on the outside of the gaiter and use a strap under the sole.

That will always be the warmest and driest solution.

Which I would do on a shell pant and do not generally do on soft shell pants.

Not had to do go over the boot yet (Batura or Guide) but could see if happening in the right kind of snow or weather conditions. Deep snow hasn't been a problem. Helps to have really long pants. Or short 3/4 length pants where the pant stops just above the gaiter and snugs tight in some manner, velcro or elastic if it isn't wet.

I really disliked the idea of a mid calf gaiter on the Batura originally but found with use that I ended up really liking it. Now I prefer it to a knee high gaiter as it gives me more options and less bulk around my feet/calf if I dress right.

Hate to admit it but the extra pant material between the ankle and my knee gets shredded by crampons if I am not careful.

So the answer? "Sorta...."

Nikolai Delibozov said...

First thanks for the quick response.

I am looking for a boot, suitable for 7000m peaks (not technical face climbing), but I don't want to jump to triple.
So securely means that the pants won't get out of the gaiter in deep snow. The bulk you mentioned is also a problem.
I can see that the gaiter of the Phantom 6000 isn't very high, but I can't actually compare it with something else.
The diameter of the gaiter also looks small.
I too prefer higher gaiter.

Dane said...

It's not a 7000m boot. You'll want something more like the Sportiva Olympus Mons with a knee high gaiter. The 6000 in total with gaiter and all is not any higher than a pair of Spantik or Baruntse.

Of the 4 boots I just mentioned the Scarpa 6000 is the most technical of the three but doubt it would be the warmest. Scarpa "6000" stands for 6000m.

Denali sure...but you aren't spending much time above 17K. Not a boot I'd take to Acon. not durable enough. Hard fast alpine climbing in the Him...sure. 7000m?...nope.

Tom said...

Can you post photos of the Baruntse inner boots? You've raved about them, but I can't find any photos online. How does it compare to other inner boots like the Olympus Mons?

Dane said...

Tom, there are pictures of the French Palua inner boots that Sportiva uses in the Baruntse inside the Spantik review. Hope that helps.

Dane said...

Sorry, I spelled that wrong. It is "Palau".

Their web site:

And they do offer an after market that is very similar to what Sportiva is using. Last I checked (August '10) Sportiva is not offering the Baruntse inner as a spare part.

Dane said...

From Clyde,

"Dane, I'm told by my Scarpa NA contacts that it's very important tosubmit product reviews directly on their web site. They are using this as ammunition when battling with Italy over product development. If you dislike the 6000 liners, be sure to tell them about the problems in detail. They assure me it won't be a wasted effort.


Dane said...

I can't remember who sent this to me (ColinB I think..but sorry if I missed it). Thought it worth adding....

"Boots showed up last week and I haven't had a chance to pass on my
impressions yet. The inner boot does feel rather flimsy, but with a
middle-weight sock and cranking it down it snugs up well. I wear a size 12.5-13 and fit into the Phantom 6k size 47 just fine. I'm amazed at how lightweight and warm the boots are. Compared to my LS Nepal Evos, they're only a hair wider and heavier of a boot with a lot more warmth and perhaps
less sensitivity. Hopefully going to get to test them out drytooling this weekend and I'll pass on my thoughts on that. Had some initial problems getting my new generation BD Sabretooths on, as I found a large amount of slop under the toes on the crampons. Somewhat unnerving, but perhaps bending
the toe bails in will fix this problem. Also going to check that this weekend. You mentioned using Petzl toe bails for your Sabretooths; whats the
story behind that? Did you find that gives them a snugger fit on your boots?"

Yes the Petzl bales work better for me.

Unknown said...

Hi Dane
I am a new follower from italy, great blog!
Particularly interested in boots post. I am a la sportiva user having both batura and spantik. I fit very well in a 47 pair of both. As a matter of fact the spantik is significant bulkier than batura and thus in the alps I usually end up wearing batura for tech climbing. Now I understand that phantom 6k are indeed more similar to single boot compared to la sportiva double boots but it seems that you need to go for a bigger number as they fit very snug, which in my case would mean to buy a 48 as half measures are not provided by scarpa. I am thus afraid that the overall volume advantage is lost, isn't?

Dane said...

Greeting Barbarossa!

"I am thus afraid that the overall volume advantage is lost, isn't?"

I found the 6000 to be much closer in volume to a single boot like the Batura size wise than to a similar size in the Spantik.

Even when going up a full size to get the 6000 to fit properly I believe you will find the 6000 will still have an advantage on technical ground by having a smaller volume and a smaller crampon fit than a Spantik. If nothing else I would suspect it will weigh a good deal less than a Spantik especially in a size 48. If you do end up with a pair of 6000 please let me know your experience with them and I'll repost it here.

Kai said...

What about the Scarpa Alpha/Omega?

2 pounds, 4 ounces with intuition liners. Been used on some pretty cold and difficult climbs over the years. Light, compact, comfortable.

Unknown said...

Great blog, and thanks for taking the time to write up your experiences with these boots, and go into such detail on sizing, inners, crampons etc. Such a great resource as I look for a winter boot!

Anonymous said...

Awesome blog! SO HELPFUL! I'm leaving for Mera Peak November 2011 with Roland Hunter and The Mountain Company (UK). Sitting here in Los Angeles wondering if Scarpa 6000 will work? The equipment list says gaiters and "plastic boots" - is the Scarpa overkill? Looked at photos of Mera Peak and the snow looks pretty packed down. They do want us to use crampons though, and my feet tend to get really cold - what do you think? Grateful for any advice you may have. Also looked at the Sportiva Spantik but the Scarpa seems better...or?

Anonymous Xtine

Dane said...

Greetings! Glad you are finding the blog helpful. I think the Scarpa 6000 would be an excellent boot for your Mera trip. The 6000will easily take crampons and are certainly warm enough and easier to walk in and lighter than plastics.

Ask your guide service and see what they think. If you have any more questions, just ask.

Dane said...

Forgot, I'd take the 6000 on that trip over the Spantik. As the 6000 is easier to walk in. If you have problems with really cold feet I might also think about the Olympus Mons. Not a lot more money and then you know you'll have the warmest boot possible. Over kill sure...unless you get cold feet and it stops you on summit day.

Rob K said...

Dane, thanks for everything you post, it's super helpful. I owned the Phantom 6000 (old version) and it was a tank. I'm considering the new Batura or the new Phantom 6000. Do you have a side view picture of your Phantom 6000, zipped up? Or even better, next to the new Batura. The double boots are so big, i'm deciding if i should go Batura but can't tell the volume difference.

Dane said...

Rob, volume is close but warmth and support are totally different.
I wouldn't base the choice on volume. The current 6000 isn't a clunky dbl by any measure.

Muza said...

Great blog really good info. Would these be OK for the normal route on Anconcagua? Including the treking?

Dane said...

Typically people wear lwt hikers or runners into Plaze de Mulas in Dec/Jan/Fed. Depending on snow conditoons and the temps. I've used runners even higher on a dry year. The 6000 would be good once you need a warm boot but I wouldn't walk in/use them until the temps demand it on the regular route.

Muza said...

Thanks mate.Sound like good advice.

Anonymous said...

wow i really ove this blog it's really intresting thanks for that

i'm thinking of buying a pair of double boots for technical climbing in the alps(in winter) but also for some climbs in himalaya,tien shan,... (khan tengri) so i don't now wich one you would recommend the spantik or the 6000


Dane said...

It really depends on what fits your foot the best. The SCarpa ovevrs a little less support for long bits of hard alpine ice.

The Spoantik will do anything but I found needs to have the inner boot molded to fit well.

Anonymous said...

you think the spantik is warmer than the 6000

Dane said...

They are both extremely warm boots.

Marc said...

I am in the same boat - trying to decide btw the Spantik and 6000. I usually don't have problems with cold feet. My first serious pair for my first BIG mountain (Aconcagua) was a pair of year 2000 Koflach Degre's and I found them warm and comfy, but heavy. I switched to Salomon Pro Ice for Patagonia climbing, while continuing to use the Koflach's on peaks around 18-20,000 feet in the Himalayas and Mexico volcanoes. Now I'm going back to Nepal to climb Pachermo, and hope to do Cho Oyu next year. A bit concerned about the 6000's liners - you really seemed to dislike them. Do you think its worth gaining 300 grams to have the Spantik liners for general glacier travel/mountaineering...nothing too technical beyond maybe some 45 -60 degree packed snow slopes? Also considering the Nepal EVO GTX, but would like to get back to double boots after using the single Salomon Pro Ice's for a while. Thanks in advance

Dane said...

Hi Marc, The 6000 Inner boot has held up much better than I expected. Seems my durability concerns were unfounded by the use everyone else is getting from the original inner boot. The 6000 is much easier to walk in I think than the Spantik and a bit lighter.

6000 almost reminds me of a heavy single boot from back in the day. No question the Spantik is a dbl boot when it is on your foot.

Marc said...

Thanks so much for the quick response. I'm a weight weenie, so I'm leaning towards the 6000 (and a color orange freak), just wanted to make sure it would be appropriate for what I'm climbing, and not more of a technical specialist. Bad news is that I'm gonna have to drop $700 on these and then in less than 1 year, drop $900 more on a pair of Olympus Mons or similar for Cho Oyu.

Sean said...

A bit of a newbie to all this moutaineering, climbing Equador at Xmas, but want to get into the 6-7000m moutains next year. Got caught last year with Mendl leather boots in Him when it dumped a foot of snow.

So the question, would the Phatom 6000 get me up to the 7000m mountains or are there a better options???

Thanks in advance

Chris said...

Awesome post and comment thread. It's getting a bit stale but I do want to ask/clarify some stuff.

I'm gearing up for Denali but live in the northeast and occasionally do 14ers in the west. I'm paranoid enough about the cold to be considering Olympus Mons etc but they will be overkill for most things.

I am worried about the usability and fit of the inner you mentioned. The quality issues you mentioned were also a showstopper until I read the comments and see you've backed off on that.

So bottom line. Phantom 6000 thumbs up for Denali? Will be carrying overboots of course.


Dane said...

Thumbs up and.... you might well be able to get away from having to use a pair of over boots above 17.

I'd go with Oly Mons before I'd use over boots.

Harmen said...

Hello Dane,

On the subject of warm feet:
What would you advise to someone who wished his blood circulation would be up a notch, but it rather isn´t, and wants to do a guided tip-toeing on Ama Dablam´s west ridge in november?
LaSportiva has always fit me well.
After your article about ´super-gaitered fabric boots´, I´m never-minding those and therefore thinking either Nepal EVO GTX with Hotronics inlays, or Spantiks. Baruntse´s outer PU layer, so I read at, seems to scrape off a bit too easily...
What is your professional opinion dare I ask?

Yours, Harmen.

Dane said...

Merry Christmas!

Anytime I head for cold places I think about my boot choices and what is currently available.

I saw the Baruntse comments you mention. Not seen that be a problem for them or the Spantik (same construction). But none of the better double boots these days are going to last forever. The harder you use them (on rocky terrain) and the more you use them the shorter their life span...facts these days. Use them enough and that might be one trip or one season. The most badly worn pair of Spantiks I have ever seen were a pair from a friend who guides Ama Dablam´s west ridge. He is required to make multiple trips up and down the ridge, so you can imagine what to expect from your boots there.

But most climbers using any of these boots will get several seasons out of them easily if not the majority of their climbing careers, with only rare exceptions.

6000 would be good for warmth. Baruntse (mold the liners for goodness sake!) or maybe the Oly Mons if warmth is an issue and they fit your feet. Oly Mons would likely be my choice if I was worried about my feet and the temps. I think they are the lightest of the bunch as well.

Anonymous said...


Great info and a question.

For Aconcagua I plan on using a light pair of singles up to as high as possible, weather permitting.

My question is what boot do you think is better for up higher, the Phantom Guide or the Phantom 6000?

Is it just an issue of being able to dry the inners of the 6000's up high or do think the added warmth of the 6000 greatly is superior to the Guide?

Thanks for the feedback.

Dane said...

Anon, I've used runners and warm socks on the walk in and up to Berlin at 19K several times. But higher I've used doubles. Been awhile but these days I'd likely take a pair of 6000s. No way I'd trust the weather to be warm enough for even the best insulated singles like the Batura or Guide. You might get away with it if you were quick on a good year. But too risky for me.

Guillaume said...

So the Phantom 6000 would be enough for Aconcagua ? I wear US 13 and Spantik and Olympus maximum size is 12...

Dane said...

Yes the Phantom 6000 is enough boot. The La Sportiva's can be had all the way to a size 47. Which is a lot bigger than a US12. US 12 is a 45.5, 47 is more like 13.

Guillaume said...

Thanks for the fast answer !

I was confused because on the 20th of August you said that you wouldn't take these boots on the aconcagua

Unfortunately I tried the Spantik in 47 and it was too small...

And do I need overboot or specific gaiters ? If so which one ? I'm a bit confused about all this...

Thanks !

Dane said...

Suggestions? I would not use the 6000 there myself because I would worry about durability with the gaiter and the world famous spree on the upper mtn. The 6000 is light in weight and easy to walk in.

But it is certainly warm enough.

If you do use it you won't need any additional gaiter.

jack said...

Hello, I have been dabbling with alpine climbing in nz for a couple of sessions. My boots are a pair of ill fitting scarpa omega's. So I want to invest in some good double boots, from reading your blogs which would you recommend for an 11.5 flat foot i.e. no arch. I was thinking the baratise but having tried the closest la sportiva module Nepal evo in the local shop the heel lift was too much. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated


Dane said...

Jack from your comment on the Nepal I'd suspect only the Baruntse is going to come close fit wise. Make sure you don't buy them over size so you do get good heel hold.

Jack said...

Hey again, would the phamtom guide 6000 be a nother option. i heard that the volume in side the boot is smaller that the BARUNTSE

Many Thanks


Dane said...

It's not. But you should try them all on.

jack said...

Thanks for all the help Dane


Anonymous said...


I am going to purchase a boot and I am having some difficulties.I have mainly climbed waterfall ice in the past. So last weekend I tried out a bunch of La Sportiva Models, the Batura, Nepal Evo, etc...but at the end of the day I think that I want to buy a double boot because I have a trip planned to Rainier this summer and Aconcagua in december. I want to only buy one boot. Which boot did you end up going with for your double boot?
My only concern with a double boot is that it is going to make waterfall ice climbing more difficult. I have never climbed in a double boot before. The majority of my climbing is in New England. But I am aspiring to getting on bigger mountains and ultimately climbing stuff like the Cassin.



Anonymous said...

i just wanted to throw a note about the versatility of these boots into this thread. I live in Juneau, where we have just about every type of micro climate you could image. Rainforest one minute, 1500 sq mile icefield the next. It can be warm (30's fahr) and wet one day, and crazy windy and cold (-10f, 100mph winds on the icefield).
these are the first boots ive yet to see that can sustainably keep your feet dry for long lengths of time. I wear degrees, my partner wears 6000's. My feet are inevitably soaked by the time we get anywhere cold(elevation, or icefield), my partners are always 100 percent dry. This means that my laces and gaters always freeze up and suck to put on, but my partners are dry and simple to lace up.
The gator on these things is actually waterproof. we stood in water up to our ankles, and my boots seeped water, while his functioned like rubber boots.

some seriously impressive footwear.

Michael said...

Just want to say thank you for this blog Dane! Highly informative. Have recently purchased the Phantom 6000's and trying to fit my Petzl Lynx to this boot has been.....interesting. Was wondering if you had any tips for aligning the front points, which seems to be my biggest issue.

Kane said...

What's the word on best crampon for this boot?

Dane said...

I've settled on Petzls.

Anonymous said...

Any more thoughts on size? Your review seems to indicate the 6000 runs small. I wear a size US 11-1/2 running shoe. Would a 46 work or do I need to size up all the way to a 47? Since no local shops carry these I'll need to go the internet route (sites with a good return policy, of course).

Great blog. Thanks for your response.

Dane said...

45 likely...may be a 46.

Anonymous said...

Dane, since yu get all the questions i have one for you not covered. Most everyone here has asked about if these are enough boot for you at 7k, 8k or above with freezing feet l sure i am not the only one out there, but my concern is just the opposite. I always have warm feet compared to my climbing companions. My friend recently bought the Phantom 8000's for upcoming trips to 8k peaks but i am concerned they will be too much. Any thoughts or comments on the other side of the coin?

Dane said...

Too warm? I've used dbls in summer and had too warm of feet. Better than the other I suspect. If that is a concern it is usually low down where runners or lwt hikers will do. Once up high on a 7/8K m hill there isn't a boot that is warm enough as far as I am concerned. I'm a big fan of the Oly Mons with a Baruntse liner.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen much about the Zamberlan Denali 6000, they are a little heavier but they also have a few features that make them look like they are bomber, mostly the size of the rubber rand on the instep. Do you know how they would compare to the Scarpa Phantoms?

Dane said...

Denali 6000 is a very nice boot. At some point I'll have a review up af all four of the Zamberlan alpine boots.

The Denali is better compared to the Spantik or a traditional dbl boot with a attached gaiter than the Phantom 6000 imo.

JLo said...

Hi Dane!

I joined blogger just to ask you a couple questions.

I owned:
Baturas sz 44 (tight)
Spantiks sz 44.5 (tight foot box)

I'm looking at the Scarpa line or modifying the Spantiks:
Q: The baruntse liner looks lighter than the spantik liner, is it warmer? studier?
Q: What size baruntse liner would I want for size 44.5 spantiks? Size 45 Scarpa 6000s?
Q: I've noticed my cyborgs loosen up to the point of almost falling off when descending on spantiks, do cyborgs fit the 6000s?
Q: I'm headed to Kyrgyzstan to attempt 5000-7000m peaks this summer. Do you recommend overboots for Scarpa 6000s that have the baruntse liner?


Dane said...

Hi JLo,
Thanks for signing up!
Baruntse liner? Yes it is lighter, warmer and more durable.

45 liners for both.

I don't use Cyborgs. I did post some pictures of them on Spantiks this winter. Not the best fit. Likely worse on the 6000. But many people use both combos.

6000 with Baruntse liners should be good to 6000m in summer Kyrgystan...baring a huge freeze/storm/dehydration. @ 7K I might opt for a Oly Mons dependiong on the objective...with a Baruntse liner.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dane: I am using SPantik size 43.5 but I am planning to buy Scarpa 6000. What size would u recommend for me? What is the size comparison of SPortiva and Scarpa in terms of high altitude boots? Is it the same or one size smaller or bigger?

ANother thing is that, can I use the 6000 to climb fairly high 7000? Like Mana NW, Mana and Abi Gamin or cannot at all?

Dane said...

You'll likely need a 44 in the Scarpa 6000 as they don't come in half sizes. It is a warm and light boot. It has been used in soem pretty cold places.

Gerald said...

Hi, your blog is excellent.

I am fairly novice but have learnt a lot of practical information from you advice.

Can I ask you brief thoughts on these 2 boots, likely used for Scottish winter (ice) climbing, chamonix glacier play and mt blanc summit;

Mammut nordwand or Millet navai

Thank you

goga said...

Hi Dane, great blog, very useful information. I have couple questions.My English is not perfect, so apologies in advance. I live in Georgia, Caucasus. For several years I have been using Scarpa omegas, they performed well here in winter, a bit hot for summer. Few year ago I climbed Khan-Tengri in them and I was ok, no problems at all. But I did it in Alpine style-one night only.This year I plan to do Pobeda which is more difficult and higher. I decided to go with scarpa omegas size bigger but with Denali intuition liners. Are they much warmer than stock omega intuition liners? From your double boots blog, if I understood correctly the difference between Koflach arctis exp and Degree is bulk. does it mean that Scarpa Invernos with denali liners and size bigger Omegas with denali liners would be almost the same weight and size..would they perform similarly? So why pay more for heavier Spantiks? Sorry for so many questions, unfortunately there are not any mountaineering shops here so I can't really compare them visually. And it is very hard for me to buy boots by mail. It takes 2-3 weeks for delivery one way only, I can't afford mistakes when ordering them. Thanks in advance and please keep updating your blog, to help people like me.
P.S. toasty feet aerogel liners -Do they really work? Have you used them?

Kristoffer said...

Is the 6000 the boot you would recommend for days of technical climbing in cold weather(-10 to -20C)?

Dane said...

6000 is my current double boot of choice. Several reviews and comments on it here on the blog. Try a quick search and see what turns up.

Kristoffer said...

Ive read most of them. There's so many boot reviews its not easy to make a good summary of them. Is the 6000 still your preferred double boot if you had to use the original inner boot and not the baruntse? Thinking about those comments about the original inner dont giving enough support for your calfs. Cant get hold of the baruntse boot here in norway, so getting the liner of that is almost impossible.

Dane said...

I am also a big fan of the Spantik. I've climbed in them with the factory liner a lot. It is a solid choice. 6000 is a better technical boot, the Spantik more supportive if you are doing a lot of just ice. Either is a good choice I think. The differences between them are that extreme.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dane,

I apologize if this has been covered already, but what sock would you use with the 6000s?

Presently I am climbing in an old pair of Nepal Extremes. I climb in these with Thorlo mountaineering socks with a liner sock..

My climbs in the next few years will be higher - 6000+. When sizing a pair, would I look to use a thinner sock with a sock liner?

Also, if I'm looking to replace the inner boot with a Baruntse liner, would that change the boot size required compared to the original liner?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Dane said...

I use a lwt wool sock with the Baruntse liner. Lots of info here on that. Just order the same size liner as your 6000. Should be the same as your Nepals.

Jenson said...

Hi Dane - Amazingly helpful blog! I'm getting ready for Rainier (July 2014) and Denali (May/June 2015) and I'm struggling to find boots that fit well. I don't have difficult feet to fit (10.5 US running shoe), but have tried both the Baruntse (44.5), which where way too big and the Phantom 6000's (44), which were a bit tight. My feet tend to swell and get a bit cold and I'm concerned size 44 Phantom 6000's with stock liners and med hiking socks will not work. Would you recommend trying to replace the stock liner with the Palau liner or size up to a 45 in the 6000's and use a thicker sock? Any advice is greatly appreciated.


Dane said...

you don't want to use Denali boots on Rainier or the other way around. You really want two different boots.

Size the Baruntse right and then mold the liner. I wouldn't take a too big 6000. I sized my 6000 down and then molded a Baruntse liner for them. More time in boots will tell you if you feet really swell...most don't other than from use-not using them. Good luck!

Ryan said...

Hi Dane,

thanks for all the great info!

Just wondering...Planning a Cordillera Blanca trip next year, Huascaran Sur. Thinking Scarpa 6000s are my best bet. Would you agree with that, based on warmth and the aim to not pack overs?

Second, and more importantly, did you size up from the guides to the 6000s? I wear 46 in the guide and would like to buy a pair online without trying them on (None are available in the stores to try on here in Stockholm).

Thanks in advance!

Dane said...

Good boots. It is what I am currently using for a cold weather dbl. And I like them a lot. I did not size up. 46 should be good I suspect.

Anthony said...


I wear a 45 in rebel ultras, but with not an ideal fit. I have very wide feet. The 45 in rebels is a bit long but it was the only way I could manage the width of my feet. I found a steal on some 6000s size 44 and I intend on getting a baruntse liner and using black superfeet(low volume). I know the phantom guides (and I'm hoping the 6000s) had a wider last unlike the rebels. Curious to if you think I could manage a 44 in the 6000s. In scarpa approach shoes I wear a 43.5 and LA sportiva Nepal in 44-44.5. Obviously if a shop was close I would go but I can't find anyone nearby. Thanks for your time!

Dane said...

May be. Certainly sounds like you could. I'd try molding them without the super feet for more room, if your feet can take it.

Anthony said...

Who do you recommend for molding in pierce or king county? Or anywhere around the sound for that matter. Thanks again!

Dane said...

I would get hold of Zach at Sturdevants in Bellevue. Ask to have him do them for you personally.

Unknown said...

Is it possible in you opinion, to resole them when the sole will be worn out?

Dane said...

I believe so. But better to ask Scarpa directly.

Anonymous said...

Do you know if these boots fit into any ski touring setup? ...I'm thinking similar to a Spantik in Fritschi bindings.

My friend has just bought some Spantiks and they will ski/tour to an acceptable level on approach and descent. I'm currently making a decision between the 6000's and the Spantiks simply because of this option... I'm starting to resent the way I have to carry my B3's in my bag every time.

Dane said...

Yes..they will work with a few touring bindings..

Peter L said...

Excellent blog and page, lots of useful information here! I ordered a couple of Spantiks and was soo happy when the inner boot did fit perfectly with a lot of space around toes etc. However when entering the outer boot, everything got snug. I have EU42 in street shoes, 42,5 in running shoes and did order a pair of 43,5 spantiks.

I've read about the moldering, but in this case it feels like it is the shell which isn't wide enough in the toe box. I will however order a size 44 just to try and see if it makes any difference at all.

Could the Phantom6000's be an alternative? How are their toe box compared to the spantiks? Am thinking of ordering a pair of 44'ths of them too just ty try out.

Dane said...

6000 did have more toe room for me but I also changed inner boots.

Leo said...


I bought a pair of 2016 Scarpa Phantom 6000's after spending time on your blog, which by the way is very informative.

I am having a bit of buyer's remorse after having tried them out today during a 6h climb. The area in the boot where you loop your velcro felt like a having a bolt pressing on both my feet after a while. Have you experienced this or heard anybody else complain about this?

Otherwise, I really liked how warm it is and how it handles with crampons.

Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with this issue? Perhaps using two pairs of socks?


Dane said...

Leo, not had or heard of the problem. Might try loosing or tightening the strap..or adding socks. Or may be just some mole skin on your shin till you get use to the pressure. I spend a lot of time in ski boots so my shins are pretty use to some serious abuse. I also go through a lot of mole skin and mole foam if I have a problem like what I think you are describing.

Leo said...

Thanks Dane. Initially I thought it was something like what you mention, but then the pain appeared on both lower shins, so it's the boot. You are right that these boots feel more like ski boots, and must be treated as such.

I'll definitely try another layer of socks and the moleskin.

Thanks for your input!