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Need opinion on the touring gear weight

Hello,

I am wondering, what, in this day and age, is considered an average weight for the AT gear (boot + binding + ski, not counting skins) per foot? I am not considering extremes such as skimo racing or helicopter assisted freeride in big mountains, just a common scenario for mixed mode touring, including one day missions, and hut trips, on skis about 180 cm, give and take, and 96-100 mm under foot.

 

Thanks

 

8 Replies

@REI-ReinkeM  Any chance you'd want to weigh in here?

Thanks!

John

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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@REI-JohnJ  Haha I see what you did there!

@Dmitry  Hey Dmitry! Thanks for coming back with these great questions! We love talking about gear!

This is a challenging question to give an exact answer because so much depends on the features and function you want in your setup.

Let's start with skis- this is where we'll see the biggest spectrum of weight. A stiffer, more robust ski that does better in variable snow conditions is going to weigh more- we're talking about the neighborhood of 1650g-2000g/ski. A lighter, more uphill-efficient ski that relies more on your technique on the downhill will be anywhere between 1300g-1500g/ski. These weights are based on the criteria you mentioned- ~97mm waist, all-purpose skis(neither ultra-light nor super burly). If you're looking for a great middle of the road, the Dynastar Mythic (1500g) and Black Crows Camox Freebird (1650g) are outstanding options.

For bindings, the Dynafit ST Radical is a good benchmark for comparing weight vs. features. For 530g/ski, we get binding brakes and adjustable release for both rotational and forward release. Bare bones- everything you need, nothing you don't. There are heavier bindings with more features, there are lighter bindings with fewer. 

Boots are the one place that I would advise worrying less about weight. Just about all true touring boots (Salomon MTN Lab, Scarpa Maestrale, Dynafit Hoji, many others) are going to be designed with weight savings in mind. If you're in the 1500g/boot neighborhood, you're in a dedicated touring boot. From there, pick the one that's the most comfortable and has the right flex index and pattern for you and how you ski. I'd gladly trade an extra few ounces on my feet for a comfortable boot that I can ski in all day. That said, there should be an REI Co-op near you that offers advanced boot fitting services- so there's never a reason to put up with painful boots!

All in all, we're talking about a range of weights between 3.5kg-4.5kg per foot, depending on what you're looking for from your setup!

Hope this answers your question! Enjoy your turns!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@REI-ReinkeM, thanks.

I think I mentioned before that I currently have 177cm Voile Hypervector + Dynafit Rotation ST 10, + Scarpa Maestrale RS setup, which gives just over 3.5 kg/foot. For my build (6', 185 lb) 177 cm might be a bit too short and with 96 mm under foot a bit to narrow. Since there is a lot of carbon in the ski, they could be chattery on hard snow/ice, which I saw this season. With this setup, ski weight is not my giggest problem while skinning, I think the stiffness of Maestrale RS in the rearward cuff bend is what impedes me most on the approach; these boots are actually easier to climb in than just walk. 

Should I upgrade, or get myself a burlier skis I still don't know since the setup is still close to optimal. I was playing with the idea of getting myself Voile V6, either plain or hyper version, in 183 cm length. Even the plain version would add 380 g/ski, compared to what I have now, which overall is still below 4 kg/ski. Dynastar Mystic and Black Crows you mentioned are also options I was thinking about.

 

Thanks.

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There is an interesting article in BLISTER mag:

https://blisterreview.com/gear-reviews/ski-reviews/saving-weight-on-your-backcountry-ski-setup

Of lighter boot options I am wondering about Dynafit TLT 7 or 8 series. Is any of these stiff enough to drive any of skis mentioned in the thread in choppy/refrozen/spring conditions?

 

Thanks.

 

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Hey @Dmitry ,

That's a great Blister article- I really like that team's approach to comparing weight with intended purpose.

As to your ski question, I think 177cm is a bit short for your build for an all-purpose ski. That size is probably great for keeping things light and skiing tight places, but for an all-arounder, I'd imagine you'll get a lot better float in deep snow from something in the mid-180s.

It's my opinion that 95-100 is the ideal underfoot width for an all-purpose touring ski- any narrower, and you'll sink in deep snow, any wider and it's going to take a lot of effort to keep your edges planted firmly on ice. If you need more flotation, again, I'd go with a longer ski in that 95-100 waist width, rather than a wider ski in a shorter length.

I've been on the Dynastar Mythic for 3 seasons in the Cascades and Sierra, and I have yet to find a touring ski I like more, for both powder flotation and edge hold on icy steeps. I have skied the V6, and I like them a lot as well- they're a shade heavier (~180g/ski?) and slightly more damp because of the fiberglass in the layup. Either of these are a great option.

The Dynafit TLT 7 & 8 are great boots for the uphill- they are very lightweight and offer some really cool features that make touring and transitions very nice. That said, they are both lightweight boots, and will rely more on a centered stance and good technique on the down hill. In short, if you're looking to 'drive' a stiff ski through choppy, variable conditions, I'd look for something more robust.

Hope this is helpful!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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Thanks, @REI-ReinkeM 

I guess I will finally adjust to Maestrales. This weekend I spent 2 full days in them, we were camping outside; except occasional necessity to wander around in knee-deep variable snow, I had no trouble using them. Might need a custom insole, but otherwise they are not terribly heavy, but at the same time they are pretty stiff (the specs insist that they are stiffer in the ski mode than my resort boots, although having come from different manufacturers these numbers need to be taken with the grain of salt), have progressive flex and the design is robust.

I see Dynastar Mythic show up increasingly more frequently in conversations, so I might give them a try if I can rent or demo them first.

Thanks.

 

Hi @REI-ReinkeM 

I have one question regarding Mythics. I checked their construction and found out it is similar to that of Hyper series of Voile, i.e. carbon sandwiched paulownia wood, EXCEPT it has a sidewall whereas all Voile skis feature cap construction. The general wisdom is that the sidewall skis are generally heavier and more damp than cap skis all other things being equal. The Mythics are indeed a bit heavier than similarly sized Hyper V6, which also have carbon-sandwiched paulownia. Are they damp enough on ice and groomers?   

Thanks!

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Hey @Dmitry !

You're right on the money here. The high modulus polyethylene of the sidewalls helps dampen movement in skis. Both the Mythic and the Hyper V6 also include a strip of rubber VDS 'foil' in the construction around the edges which also helps significantly to dampen vibration.

On the sidewall: On fast, hard snow I do notice the tips of my Mythics moving, but the chatter is only in the tips. Where the sidewall starts, the movement stops. The first time I had these skis going really fast, it was unnerving- until I looked down and realized just the tip was moving- the rest of the ski was very firmly engaged. I feel confident skiing absolutely everything on the resort.

Picking my way down icy steeps on the Mythics feels pretty confidence-inspiring as well. They've got great torsional rigidity, and the edges always feel planted.

That said, the Mythics do have a top end for speed (which I expect the Hyper V6 do as well). There are better skis out there for going really fast on groomers, but for a true 'do it all' ski with a heavy focus on touring, I'm extremely happy with them.

In truth, the dimensions of these skis are very similar. The Hyper V6 has a 2m longer sidecut radius and is just a shade lighter (~50g/ski). I think for a touring-focused one ski quiver, you're going to be really pleased with either one.

Hope this is helpful!

 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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