SIA: Perspective on the New Salomon AT Line


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Lots of stuff to see at SIA ski and snowboard tradeshow in Denver at the end of January. While some folks, especially in the snowboarding contingent, missed their Vegas gambling and other more nefarious recreation, many of the skiers seemed happy about the move to Denver. The Colorado Convention Center layout was fairly well thought out, and most of the heavy hitters were represented. For the backcountry skiing crowd, Dynafit, Black Diamond, and Scarpa were all in attendance. For this post, I checked out Scarpa — and also AT newcomer Salomon.

quest-12

Salomon Quest 12

Salomon, long a leader in the high-performance alpine skiing market, has launched a new AT series, and was showcasing them throughout SIA. Included is the Quest Pro, the Quest Pro Pebax, Quest 12, Quest 8, and Quest Women, which is built on a women’s last. All the Salomon boots have heat-moldable liners and three buckles plus a power strap.

quest-women

Salomon Women's Quest.

“We’re not compromising any of the downhill ability; that has to remain the DNA,” explained Hilary Hutcheson of Outside Media. “They’re definitely all about the alpine ride, and making sure that you have all of the high performance from an alpine boot that you love from Salomon, just being able to access all of those other parts of the mountain that you want to get to.”

The Pro Pebax, which achieves better performance with a softer Pebax upper, and the Pro, both come preinstalled with the touring pads (soles). The Quest 12, 10, and 8, as well as the Quest Women, come with standard alpine pads; the touring pads that make them compatible with AT bindings are sold separately for $30. All of the Quest boots are available in sizes as low as mondo 24, so hard-charging female skiers might prefer the performance of the 12 or 8 over the Quest Women.

quest-pro-pebax

Salomon Quest Pro Pebax.

The Quest series has a Magnesium Backbone, which flicks the boot into walk mode quickly but stiffens it for high performance.

magnesium-backbone-cutaway

Magnesium Backbone cutaway.

The Quest 12 is the one many are excited about, with its higher cuff and 120 flex. If freeride and big lines are your goal, this one bears a look.

Scarpa Shaka

Scarpa Shaka

The new Scarpa freeride series includes the men’s Mobe and women’s Shaka, for those looking for high-performance and aggressive big mountain skiing. These are basically alpine boots with touring soles, walk/ski locks, and tech fittings. Standout feature is Scarpa’s new “Powerblock” tour mechanism, basically a super solid lean-lock that really does look quite good (little to no play). Weight-shaving hounds will appreciate the new Maestrale and women’s Gea (covered by Lou a while back); the Maestrale weighs three pounds, six ounces (men’s 27) per boot, while the Gea weighs two pounds, 15 ounces (women’s 25).

(Wildsnow guest blogger Candace Horgan has been working as a freelance writer since 1997. She was born and raised in New Rochelle, N.Y., and graduated from College of the Holy Cross with a Bachelor of Arts in History and English. She currently lives in Denver, which is too far east as far as we’re concerned, but we’ll let that one go for now.)

Comments

25 Responses to “SIA: Perspective on the New Salomon AT Line”

  1. Mark Donohoe February 10th, 2010 1:18 pm

    A little lean on the details for Wildsnow standards:
    - What is the weight?
    - What’s the projected price?
    - What type of liners?
    - does everything come with Dynafit inserts? It looked like the one shot of the 12 did not have them in the toes.
    - Are the buckles user removable?
    - Is the last flat (no arch like the scarpa’s)?

    Even so, thanks for reporting…. shows that at least AT is growing….. look at the the companies getting into the act, much better for us gear junkies! :-)

  2. Lou February 10th, 2010 1:26 pm

    Candace?

  3. David Butler February 10th, 2010 1:58 pm

    Interested. Could be my next lift served boot. Those I know with the new Salomon alpine boots really like them.

  4. L.A.U. February 10th, 2010 3:13 pm

    The Salomon Quest which is already available here in Europe on limited quantity is horribly heavy (I forgot the figure sorry :angel: ). But it for sure does not compare to a Titan for example.

  5. Lou February 10th, 2010 4:57 pm

    I’m pretty sure the idea with these boots is that there is NO weight compromise. They’re an alpine boot with walk/lean lock and an AT sole option. That’s what a lot of you guys want, right?

  6. Ben W February 10th, 2010 5:48 pm

    Weight according to Rick Armstrong who skis for Salomon:

    Name – Color – Sizes Avail. – Flex – Last – Strap – Weight
    Quest Pro Pebax – Grey/Black – 24.5-29.5 -110 – 101 – 45 – 1.75kg/3.86lbs
    Quest Pro Brown/Black – 24.5-29.5 -110 – 101 – 45 – 1.9kg/4.19lbs
    Quest 12 Orange/Black – 24 -29.5 -120 – 101 – 55 – 2.1kg/4.62lbs
    Quest 10 Transluc. Grey/Black – 24 -29.5 -110 – 101 – 55 – 1.95kg/4.30lbs
    Quest 8 Transluc. Silver /Black – 24 -29.5 – 90 – 101 – 45 – 1.75kg/3.86lbs
    Quest Women Grey/Black – 24 -27.5 -110 – 101 – 45 – 1.75kg/3.86 lbs

  7. Dwyer February 10th, 2010 6:53 pm

    That ski / tour lever on the sollys looks suspiciously similar to BD’s design…

  8. Candace February 10th, 2010 6:59 pm

    Ben’s weights are correct, for a size 26.5, except for the Women and Quest 8, which are for a 24.5. The liners are Solomon’s My Custom Fit with the Quicklace system. The cuff locks into the lower shell so it’s supposed to go from an alpine walk mode to a true downhill flex. The last is a 101 on all of them. Flexes: 12 – 120, 10 – 110, 8 – 90, Pro/Pro Pebax – 110, Women – 80. I’m not sure, but I think only the Pro and Pro Pebax are compatible with Dynafit, but will check and let you know tomorrow.

  9. piglet February 10th, 2010 7:43 pm

    What is the difference between the Scarpa Shaka and the Scarpa Domina ?

  10. See February 10th, 2010 8:17 pm

    The cutaway photo is a little silly. A cutaway is to show something that one can’t see if something is not cut away. The photo does not reveal what this might be.

  11. Bob Perlmutter February 10th, 2010 9:59 pm

    By chance was in a shop in Aspen yesterday when the Salomon rep came in to go through the Quest line with the manager and hardgoods buyer. Had my foot in several models and should have the opportunity to ski them sometime next week. Will report back. More to the point, all of the Quest boots are Dynafit compatible via the touring pads(soles) and the cost is $50 at retail.

  12. Bob Perlmutter February 10th, 2010 10:03 pm

    Forgot to mention, Atomic has a 3 models of AT boots for next season. Tecnica has added a 4 buckle, 120 flex boot to it’s line and both of the Tecnica boots will be Dynafit compatible.

  13. Lou February 10th, 2010 10:11 pm

    Candace and Perl, thanks for the added info! And Candace, thanks for walking the show floor!

  14. Lou February 10th, 2010 10:17 pm

    Piglet, I’m wondering that as well. Mainly, Shaka has tech fittings and the new walk/lean lock. But there is probably more. Candace?

  15. FrameNZ February 11th, 2010 8:25 am

    Any word from the SIA floor or word on the street if Salomon will follow up with an AT binding? A company of their size and range would normally have a full package of boots/bindings/ski’s – same goes for Atomic.

    Thanks for the report.

  16. Bob Perlmutter February 11th, 2010 5:03 pm

    FrameNZ et all, I asked that very question of the Salomon rep the other day. His response was a little veiled but reading between the lines his answer was yes. He indicated that it could be as early as next year but possibly longer. He also indicated they were in the midst of deciding if they were going in the Duke/Baron direction, the Dynafit direction or more of a middle ground. That begged the question if they were considering more than one product offering. He answered that anything was possible at this point. For perspective, he said the Quest line was 6 years in developement and they had no intention of rushing any half baked product to market in the future. Your guess is as good as mine.

  17. Bar Barrique February 11th, 2010 10:02 pm

    I think that this Salomon boot design is more proof that a 2 buckle light weight design could be the way to go for those of us who appreciate the advantages of light weight gear..

  18. Skian February 11th, 2010 10:19 pm

    I for one think it’s great that Salomonl went at it with some thought. The boots look real good and when I skied the boots I felt good performance. Seemed a bit wider than 101. The walk mode felt a tad stiff. For clarification the inserts are tech fittings that are Dynafit compatible not Dynafit inserts. Read Lou’s blog on Dynafit inserts. By having solid performance boot manufacture like Salomon invest in the 4 point pin system Dynafit developed brings great credit to a Freeride touring system developed over the last decade.

  19. mtraslin February 17th, 2010 7:07 am

    Looks good!

    I will have to tell my friend who is over 200lbs that salomon may have made a touring boot that will fit his needs!

  20. Pete Dahle February 17th, 2010 12:37 pm

    how difficult is it to put a solomon binding on a freakin’ hinge ?
    Dukes are way too heavy and clumsy, dynafits don’t heliski, release properly, or stay on when it gets serious !

  21. Lou February 17th, 2010 12:41 pm

    Pete, it’s easy, but you end up with your foot so far back on the hinged plate that it’s incredibly awkward to walk and quite inefficient. If one needs an alpine binding and just needs to walk short distances, an adapter such as Alpine Trekker is just as good a solution.

  22. Alex February 17th, 2010 2:05 pm

    Not sure if this was posted here yet, but a friend just sent me this article about some home-built AT bindings.
    http://www.skijeffcampbell.com/bc-binding
    Pretty sweet, we can always use more innovation!

  23. David Butler February 17th, 2010 2:22 pm

    The prototype looks like it might just have some potential. Nice.

  24. Lou February 17th, 2010 2:24 pm

    Nice, and somewhat amusing, as the binding is built to “take the hits” and elsewhere on the guy’s site is a photo journal of his broken femur, which last time I looked has about a 50% chance of killing you. Seems like the “hits” might be a bit over rated? :angel:

  25. Paul January 22nd, 2011 6:43 pm

    The boot looks and feels nice a little soft up top could use a static power strap, toss up between the Dalbello Virus and the Quest 12 tough decision.

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