September 26, 2013
Just like that, the chill in the air becomes the real deal and gear acquisition season is in full swing. The Dynafit boys did me a favor and steered me toward a pair of the new TLT6P's, the successor to the legendary and ubiquitous TLT5 that pretty much everyone I know uses.
What's new? Dynafit's dumped the Actiflex joint under the ball of the foot, which some skiers complained affected their downhill prowess (but which I personally liked a lot for going uphill or covering long approaches in the boots - didn't seem to bother me skiing). The last is a bit wider and taller in the toe box, with just a tad more room over the instep and around the midfoot. If your have a low volume foot and the TLT5's been your saviour, the TLT6 isn't really as voluminous as the 102mm forefoot spec would have you believe. I still had to punch the boot for both the first and fifth metatarsal heads and a bit in the medial midfoot, just like most ski boots I have owned.
The other specs are pretty much the same - the 27.5 TLT6P weighs in at 1240 grams without tongue. The added weight is due to the burlier, warmer "CR" liner (there is also a light "CL" version, but only the CR or "Custom Ready" is offered in North America) which is 290 grams by itself. You get two tongues, a black one that feels like the old TLT5P one, and a lime green one that's a fair amount softer and 7 grams heavier (63 vs 70). The buckles have been improved, with the lower one sweeping back and somewhat protected by a ridge in the shell and a new cable bale that doesn't catch on the tongue when you buckle up. The upper buckle has a click stop to hold it open when you're skinning like the Mercury/Vulcan/One series boots. There's a a two-position forward lean option that lets you select either a 13 degree or 18 degree lean by flipping the metal lean lock tab over - this is held in place with Torx 20 fasteners like the buckle ladders.
Dynafit says the CR liner has a thick thermal foam under the foot which obviates the need for a footbed. I'm not totally sold on the idea, even with my super flat foot, but there isn't really enough extra instep room for me to put my footbeds in, so I guess I'll go without for now. Beyond that, the TLT6P epitomizes what I love about this brand - light, fast and super efficient. The "6" should ski a little better for most people and give up only a tiny amount of uphill comfort; it figures to be a worthy wearer of the light and fast touring boot crown for years to come.
Previous Incoming Pages:
China: Wandering in the Middle Kingdom
"Incoming" covers developments that have personal interest to me (ie. gear I might consider acquiring, or events I feel may impact the sport of skiing) - it is by no means meant to be a comprehensive enumeration of gear or events in the ski world at large. Feel free to contact me via the randosaigai.com link below with news or images that may be of interest . . .
© 2015 Gregory C. Louie