It’s no secret at Garmont or here at Tetons and Wasatch that the original incarnation of the lightweight Garmont Masterlite ski boot suffered from some flaws. However, version 2.0 of the boots was on display at the Outdoor Retailer show. It appears that Garmont has addressed most of the former, common areas of complaint by making substantial changes to the updated version of the boots.
Garmont has substantially reworked the original Masterlite ski boot.
Of largest importance to me, the weak ski/walk tab has definitely been replaced with the beefier version Garmont came up with in response to multiple boot breakages in field testing. No more Continue reading ‘Garmont Masterlite gets Revamped’
Lightweight, backcountry specific ski boots are all the rage for those who power themselves up the hills. Backcountry specific? Yeah. Think excellent ankle articulation, tech binding inserts, a minimal number of buckles which open and close quickly, and rubber soles suitable for clambering around on rock and ice.
In the non-carbon, might-last-longer-than-a-season-without-breaking variety, there are several models available for consideration – the Scarpa Alien, the Dynafit TLT 5 Mountain, and the Garmont Masterlite come readily to mind. Haven’t used the Aliens yet, but I‘ve got enough time in on the other two to make a meaningful comparison of the pros and cons of each.
The Dynafit TLT 5 Mountain in tour mode.
The Garmont Masterlite and its unique spiderweb 'I-beam' design.
Can’t decide which boot is for you? Continue reading ‘Dynafit TLT 5 Mountain versus Garmont Masterlite’
Only a handful of ski days passed between my posting a full review of the Garmont Masterlite ski boots before this next issue reared its head:
Whoops. Broken equipment is not what you want to look down and see when you’re skiing the Hellgate Couloir! One of the reasons I gravitated towards the Masterlite in the first place was that I thought the (metal) buckles would take a bit more abuse than competitive offerings which didn’t use metal wire for the closure latch. Guess not. That makes it three strikes for this one boot. Guess this can be a late addition to the full Masterlite boot review. One more for the ‘dislike‘ category…
Wow. Here’s the first piece of reviewed gear that I can remember having a simultaneous like/dislike relationship with. Let’s begin with the good, so you can see why it’s been so frustrating to deal with the bad. And there’s plenty to like about the Masterlite Alpine Touring boots, Garmont’s first foray into the ‘ultralight is right’ space:
Light: Garmont claims this boot was two years in the making. During those two years, engineers managed to create a ski boot that is about 3 pounds lighter than the average, ‘lightweight’ AT boot. They come in right around 1170 grams each on my scale, for a size 27.5. Much lighter than the typical ski boot offering – impressive!
Stiff: The Masterlite boot skis well. It’s plenty stiff for steep skiing; I’ve put it through the paces on a lot of steep slopes in a huge variety of conditions, from bulletproof ice to thigh deep powder.
The Garmont Masterlite: so far, so good. Interesting color scheme, spiderweb design for strength.
Different: With its spiderweb design Continue reading ‘Reviewing the Garmont Masterlite AT Boot’
Well, that was uninspiring. After repairing my broken Garmont Masterlite boot Saturday night with replacement parts supplied by Garmont, the exact same piece broke on Sunday. Yeah, that’s right, a new part failure during the very first day of use. This isn’t a case of A OK the extreme air dropping skier breaking lightweight, fragile gear by using it in extremely intense applications for which it was not intended. Rather, I’ve just been out backcountry skiing, making some occasionally steep turns on – as usual – varied conditions, with zero air time. And tonight I’m looking at the broken Achille’s heel on my Garmont Masterlite ski boots, again.
Break for me once, shame on you. Break for me twice, shame on me. As designed, the Garmont Masterlite boots appear to suffer from a design flaw. (The ski / walk activating mechanism has been moved out of the way to illustrate the metal post breakage.)
Calling it like I see it, the Garmont Masterlite is a generally well-designed lightweight ski boot which, at present, suffers from a blatant design flaw. Yeah, a design flaw. It doesn’t take Continue reading ‘Does Safety Matter at Garmont?’
In rounding out my move towards an entirely lightweight oriented backcountry skiing / ski mountaineering setup (skis, boots, and bindings), I got the Garmont Masterlite boots. Aware of several problems that have cropped up on various lightweight ski boot offerings by Dynafit, I was intrigued by several aspects of the Masterlites. They looked as if they might sidestep certain problems due to their inherently different design. I had even detailed those intriguing aspects after receiving the boots, and was intending to post about them prior to offering up a full review. Perhaps that will still happen, but in the meantime, bad news reared its head before I could even get that post out.
The Garmont Masterlite's Achille's Heel?
On my fifth day using the Garmont Masterlite ski boots, they broke. Gear breaks; it’s not something one wants to happen, but we accept that it does, in time. Nothing lasts forever. What one does not expect Continue reading ‘Garmont Masterlite Failure’