Dynafit designed the TLT 5 Mountain boot with the widest possible range of users in mind. Three key ideas seem to drive the design of the boot. Fast and light skimo mentality keeps the weight down, adequate stiffness to ensure excellent downhill performance, and materials that keep price reasonable for athletes on a budget.With a Grilamid shell and Pebax cuff, the TLT5 Mountain weighs in at 1225 grams in a size 27.5. This boot is light and skis well. While that is really all that needs to be said, it is not good enough for a review. See below for my thoughts on the boot in no particular order.
Crampon Compatibility & Climbing
The TLT5 seems to be compatible with most crampons currently available – either clip or strap binding systems. I can personally vouch for the Black Diamond Sabertooth Pro, Petzl Vasak Flexlock, Grivel Air Tech Light, and CAMP Race 290 models (comparison/review coming soon).
One huge advantage to this boot is its climbing ability. The boot is skinny and low profile. It feels a lot more like you are wearing climbing boots than ski boots. They are comfortable scrambling on rocks and the rubber sole helps. Front pointing is easy and crampons feel solid. The lower buckles do have a tendency to flip open when postholing, this can be extremely annoying during an endless low-snow approach walk.
Dynafit has made it clear that the TLT5 boots are only designed to be used with tech style bindings. That being said, I have skied many days on my Fritschi frame bindings with these boots without a problem. It does require a bit of extra care when setting the binding up but they do work. This may not be the case for all non-tech bindings though and I definitely would not count on it. Try before you buy.
Flex & Stiffness
Honestly, I am not good enough of a downhill skier to comment on the stiffness of the boot. In a race, with the tongue out, I am survival skiing most of the time anyway. On my fat skis, I can tackle steep stuff, powder and resort piste without any issues. The boots work great. That is about as in depth as I can get.
Tongue vs no tongue.
The included tongue is extremely light and takes almost no time at all to insert and remove from the boots. During a day of touring, there is no reason not to keep them in your pack on the ups and slide them into the boot on the downs. Even dealing with the tongues, transitions are pretty quick. I leave them behind for races but otherwise they are worth the effort to stiffen up the boots for descents. I know some racers have also removed the power strap completely. I have opted to just keep it cinched tight during a race and just flip the walk/ski lever at transitions.
After a year of heavy use wear is starting to show at the pivot points on the liner. Just scuffing so far, but eventually it will break through the outer fabric. The plastic around the toe tech insert has some damage from bindings but nothing that will affect function. Both boots have lost the springs from the lower buckle. They still work fine but flop around when left open rather than folding down nicely (the springs were non-essential so its really just a weight saving).
- PROs: Light, skis well, walks well, one buckle flip from ski to skin mode, climb well, durable.
- CONs: Flimsy buckles worry me, stinky liners.
- OVERALL: The ideal boot for a weight conscious skier on a budget. Not the lightest but one of the most versatile. Not the stiffest but stiff enough. If I had to have one boot for cruising the resort, ski mountaineering in the backcountry, and racing, this is it.
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