Atomic Backland Carbon 2019 – 2020 Boot | Review

Atmonic have created an extremely capable touring boot that punches way above its weight

Flex: 110
Last: 98-100 mm
Cuff Range: 78˚
Forward Lean: 13 or 15˚
BSL: 298 (27.5)
Binding Compatibility: Tech (pin) bindings only
Weight (per boot): 1100g (27.5)
Price: £547


Why we chose the Atomic Backland Carbon: Low weight with an astonishing walk mode.

Similar to the Salomon S/Lab X-Alp touring boot, Atomic have managed to create a boot that lacks weight yet still manages to carry a pretty impressive flex rating. We’re not saying that this is going to replace your 130 flex alpine boot, but it’ll steer skis up to 100mm wide in rough conditions. In fact, in these we’d be happy to ski up to 110m wide powder skis (if the conditions were right).

“The unrestricted range of motion is extremely appreciated over long distances, or rocky scrambles”

The impressive flex has been achieved through the use of carbon fibre on the cuff, which is locked down into ski mode through Atomic’s tried-and-tested Free/Lock 2.0 system (same as that used on the Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130). This offers a simple yet extremely effective way of locking your boot down into ski mode. Downhill performance is nicely topped off with a 30 mm booster strap that you’ll be able to crank down tightly thanks to the inbuilt camming unit.

Turning to the touring side of things, this is where the Backland Carbon begins to shine. What Atomic have titled their “Frictionless Pivot” gives up to 78˚ of well… frictionless pivot in the cuff. The unrestricted range of motion is extremely appreciated over long distances, or rocky scrambles where you’ll be pushing the cuff close to its full range of movement.

Pictured: Atomic Backland Carbon

More points in the ski mountaineering department for the use of a heavily rockered, rubber sole, similar to that found on a mountaineering boot. This’ll give you valuable grip whilst kicking steps, or crossing technical sections in an effort to reach the top of your descent.

One peeve of traditional ski mountaineering boots are that they’re typical built for skinny European feet – giving an extremely tight and anatomical fit that’s perhaps unbearable for those with wider feet. Atomic have looked to fix this issue with Memory Fit – the successful boot moulding process taken straight from their alpine boot range, where the whole boot (outer and inner) is placed within an oven, allowing the plastic and foam to conform to the wearer’s foot shape.

Bringing the fit of the boot together is the BOA system, which includes a series of cables that constricts (get it?) around the instep and gives a lightweight yet highly adjustable fit.

“This is a great, full-on, ski touring boot”

This is a great, full-on, ski touring boot. It’ll either become your second boot, to go alongside a stiffer and more durable side-country focused boot such as the Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130 or the Dynafit Hoji Free, or, if you’re an outright skimo gram-counter who spends three-quarters of their time skinning uphill, it might just become your regular go-to.

Given the lightweight construction and materials used to build this boot, you wouldn’t want to bash this in the resort too often. This boot has been designed for the uphill.

It has to be remembered that the Backland Carbon will only fit in tech bindings – the toe and heel lugs and rockered sole won’t provide a safe fit into a traditional downhill binding. This is the same for hybrid touring bindings, such as the Shift.

Saying that, this isn’t a boot that you’d get to be driving bindings that heavy – it’s ideally suited toward sub 300 gram bindings like the Plum Pika or Marker Alpinist.

 Expert’s Verdict

Blair Aitken, BASI L4 (ISTD) Ski Instructor


The Backland Carbon has the new BOA closure, which tightens up around your foot and improves the stiffness somewhat. This system can even be adjusted with my mitts left on. For me, working and ski touring in Scotland quite a lot, where conditions can be sub-optimal (at best) and things are quickly icing up around your skis, boot and bindings, so this gloved hand usability is useful.

“For the descent, I can’t feel much difference compared to the previous Backland, which I felt skied really well. Every boot has got a compromise in one direction, either skiing or uphill performance and this one is slightly leaning towards the uphill”

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