Scott Cosmos II vs Cosmos 1

Post by blogger | June 23, 2014      

Peter Anzalone

Cosmos 1 is my go-to AT boot. WildSnow handed over a pair of the new 2014/2015 Cosmos II for comparo. The boots are more similar than different (I’m happy with either), but a few changes make them worth a blog post.

(Editor’s notes: Below, for the sake of our prose we’ll standardize by writing these as “model two, model one,” or “Cosmos 2, Cosmos 1,” with a few Roman numerals thrown in for search results.)

Cosmos II on left, ID with white cuff.

Cosmos II on left, ID with white cuff. Pictured without the liners.

To begin testing, I used the Cosmos II for a few inbounds uphills and ski descents on flawless corduroy and hero powder. In these conditions they performed perfectly and were thoroughly enjoyable — living up to their reputation as a precise and powerful boot. I could perceive no difference vis-à-vis the Cosmos 1.

To ramp it up, I used Cosmos II for a terrific ski tour here in our home mountains near Aspen. We did Garrett Peak and then a bonus lap on the ridge that connects Garrett to Willoughby. With this day of testing added to the mix, I’m confident I used the Cosmos 2 enough for an honest take as compared to Cosmos 1.

Comfort and Fit. Here I rate model two excellent for my plain vanilla foot. They tour nicely, with lots of articulation allowing for a long stride which was helpful when trying to keep pace with my partner, the legendary Perl. No real difference from model one, but no regression either. Model one has a tongue that’s hinged at the toe for opening, and floats forward and back a tiny bit (see photos). That can make the boot tour slightly better, but is not something I noticed.

Snow Climbing: We kicked steps up looker’s right of the big Garrett bowl and I was completely satisfied and comfortable with the sole grip as well as cuff articulation. Again, pretty much the same as model one.

Skiing: Again, a dreamy combination of comfort and control. No discernable improvement.

Model one to right has a hidden tongue anchor.

Model one to right has a hidden tongue anchor with some movement. We suspect the solid tongue anchor of the model two adds a small amount of beef in downhill mode. In real life any difference was difficult to discern.

Buckles: This might be the most significant change. Model two buckle anchor straps are obviously much beefier, and do NOT spring open like model one.

Buckles are probably the biggest change.

Buckles are probably the biggest change. Not thinner buckle anchor straps on model one to left.

Also note the difference in buckle look. Model one to right.

Also note the difference in buckle look. Model one to right. We’re not sure this is any more than cosmetic, but the model two buckles are perhaps slightly easier to get a finger under when opening. For some folks, the most important difference with model two buckles is that the straps are NOT spring loaded. Some skiers like that feature (I don’t mind it), while others find it inconvenient to be tripping over the buckles unless they’re secured.

Tongue Gasket. This feature is where Cosmos 2 is likely better. Feeling lazy and tired after our long slog on the snirt, I let the boot become submerged in about six inches of standing water along the exit trail. No water penetrated the boot, the liner stayed dry. This feature, for us springtime skiers, could come in handy when crossing creeks and walking through spongy low-lying terrain. What is more, a well sealed boot is appreciated when the snow gets truly slushy.

Dual molded tongue has a solid anchor.

Dual molded tongue has a solid anchor at toe, better water seal.

Model one has a hinged tongue anchor.

Model one has a hinged floating tongue anchor. This allows for slight movement of the tongue for and aft as well easier entry and exit, but is not as solid in downhill mode as simply screwing the tongue to the boot scaffo, as is done with model two.

Cosmos 2 liner is similar to model one, but has moisture breathing feature. Vent panels are circled.  Optional lacing is excellent.

Cosmos 2 liner is similar to Cosmos 1, but has moisture breathing feature. Vent panels are circled. Optional lacing is excellent.

Liners. Model two “PWR Lite” liner looks slightly different than model one when it’s out of the boot, but as far as I could tell it fits, feels, and skis exactly the same. Both Scott liners are beautifully made and fully heat formable.

PWR LITE liner has a breathable inner skin and ventilation system that is intended to move moisture through the liner walls and out to these mesh panels.

PWR LITE liner has a breathable inner skin and ventilation system that is intended to move moisture through the liner walls and out to these exterior mesh panels. It appears that Scott does this by making a series of small holes in the otherwise nonporus liner foam and letting the constant motion of your feet provide the air pump. Does it work? Time will tell.

But, and this is a BUT, Cosmos 2 liner is ostensibly made with new technology from Scott that allows your foot to breath moisture instead of being trapped in what is essentially a plastic bag, like most boot liners. The vent system is made by combining a waterproof/breathable inner layer with porous foam and areas on the outside surface of the liner that help movement of your feet “pump” moisture laden air out of the liner. I’d need to use the boots much more extensively for a take on this, but it’s an exciting idea. Swampfoot is one of the worst enemies of ski touring comfort.

(Editor’s note: This breathing feature was covered during the Scott press event we attended last winter. It sounds wonderful. We’re not sure our Cosmos 2 samples have the full retail version of the liner so we’ll withhold judgment until we’ve extensively tested what you’ll be able to get in stores. Main thing to note is if this works, it could be revolutionary for people who have problems with immersion foot types of syndromes from extensive ski boot wear.)

Weight. Our Cosmos 1 shell (no liner) sample is 1188 grams, model two is 1200. This is no more than what could be manufacturing variations, but the beefy buckle straps probably add a few grams. (Our samples are BSL 306, scaffo 27.5). With liner, weight is still nearly identical between models at 1500 grams, 52.9 ounces total for size 27.5. Very nice for a 4-buckle AT boot with DIN sole and some beef.

Cosmos II (top) has a full boot board inside the shell under your foot.

Cosmos II (top) has a full boot board inside the shell under your foot. Model one just has the heel pocket filler shown at bottom of photo. Full boot board is an important component of any boot expected to offer full performance.

Construction. Overall nearly a clone. As mentioned, different buckles and tongue. BIG DIFFERENCE is model two has a boot board inside the shell that allows for a bit more fit customization and perhaps adds some warmth. I’m thinking they might make this model with a bit less thickness in the shell plastic under the foot, to allow room for the boot board, as I could feel rocks deforming the boot under my feet while hiking. I’m not used to that feeling, Lou tells me it’s normal for modern boots that are relatively lightweight.

Overall. Cosmos model two appears slightly better made than model one (note, I’ve had no problems whatsoever with model one). As I said before, this is a very nice ski boot and if it fits your foot, I think it will perform extremely well both up and, most importantly, down. Important thing to know is either model will work.

Cosmos versions we recommend can be identified by black coated toe tech fittings.

Cosmos versions we recommend can be identified by black coated toe tech fittings.

Please see our extensive coverage of Scott Cosmos.

Shop for Scott Cosmos ski touring boots.

(WildSnow guest blogger Pete Anzalone lives in Snowmass Village, Colorado with his wife Angeles and son Paul. When not skiing uphill, downhill or sideways, Pete can be found running PubWorks, a software firm specializing in work order and asset management products for city and county government.)


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30 Responses to “Scott Cosmos II vs Cosmos 1”

  1. john doyle June 24th, 2014 7:24 am

    Nice review Pete. Has Scott made any changes to the Tour/Ski mechanism?

  2. Lou Dawson June 24th, 2014 8:19 am

    John, as far as I know they fixed problems with breakage of first iteration quite some time ago. If you buy any Cosmos with the black coated toe fittings, it’ll have the beefed lean lock tour/ski mechanism. The main thing here is that people will probably find used or deeply discounted Cosmos for sale here and there, so folks shopping and looking at those boots need to be looking for the black toe fittings. There are other ways to tell the older boots from the newer (see link to blog post below), but that’s the easiest way.

    Take a look at this blog post:

    A few photos down into the post, there is one of the boot showing how the shell cuff mold was changed to accommodate a beefed lean lock. Again, the easiest way to ID this generation of boot is the blackened toe fittings, but Cosmos II is the most certain to have bugs worked out, such as the buckle straps being fragile for some folks.


  3. Pete Anzalone June 26th, 2014 4:47 pm

    Lou, thanks for augmenting my review with a number of technical contributions that really made this camparo comprehensive.

  4. Lou Dawson June 26th, 2014 6:22 pm

    No problem Pete, that’s what “magazine” style writing is all about, it’s a team effort. Appreciate your efforts to get out in the field with your favorite boots and file the report! Lou

  5. john doyle June 27th, 2014 7:14 am

    Thanks Lou and congratulations to you, Lisa and Louie on getting Louie through college. Cheers.

  6. Carles M. Girau July 5th, 2014 4:50 pm

    I’ve ordered a Cosmo II for the next season and My foot size (Mondo point) is 275 mm. My question is: According to your exprience, is the 27.5 the right size, or it should be better ask for a 28? (Half size more). I have time to modify my order yet.

  7. Daniel July 6th, 2014 11:41 am

    Depends on foot shape, preference and whether you want to buy twice 😉
    275mm feet should work fine in a 27.5 shell with a bit of fitting, if any. 28 is really 28.5 and will be sloppy after a while or instantly. my foot/size relation is 273mm and 27.5, plenty of space left, and even though thats a dynafit boot this should be the guideline. Be aware liners are often if not always shorter than the shell. While they can be stretched, formed, cut, whatever, They often give teh false impression of a too short boot.

  8. Carles M. Girau July 6th, 2014 4:28 pm

    Thanks Daniel.

    I will keep in mind all your suggestions.

  9. Trevor Craig July 15th, 2014 6:19 am

    Interesting review – my wife (Caroline) used the three buckle Scott touring boot with the swing loaded buckles this winter and suffered a number of failures of the anchor straps while on a ski tour which could have been serious except for a supply of beefy cable ties – the failure occurred just where there was a notch for the spring, a simple stress concentration. Scott replaced all the bits with a new version of the old anchor strap with no spring, or notch. I suspect this is the main reason for a re-design of buckles and anchor wraps. Despite the problems (and with cable ties replacing the anchor straps) Caroline really liked the boots both up and down hill.

  10. Lou Dawson July 15th, 2014 7:04 am

    Trevor, thanks, indeed the spring loaded version of the buckles are apparently weak, new version solves the problem. I’d suggest anyone with the original version would work with a dealer to swap out to the new ver. As for the boots overall, they really are quite nice, am glad Caroline agrees! Lou

  11. JB September 17th, 2014 10:05 pm

    Does it look like the Cosmos II buckle is a bolt on replacement for the Cosmos I?
    I have replaced two buckles with the older style. I was hoping to hear about an upgrade from the manufacturer that would allow you to swap out or purchase at cost a set of updated buckles….

  12. matt krane December 18th, 2014 9:28 pm

    anybody who skied the Cosmos 1 (Garmont) or the II have any problems with shin bang? could it be a combination of less forward lean in lock or the grilamid plastic. any suggestions? tx

  13. Kevin Wieczorek October 23rd, 2015 3:09 pm

    . In my experience (own the original Garmont Cosmos, and I worked at a shop that sold the same boot) it was the bar along the spine of the boot that was the issue, and this I haven’t seen changed in the new version. I have broken mine 3 times and finally had a machinist make a stainless steel version instead of aluminum. Every other boot uses steel for this component and it seems that the Cosmos is under engineered. Every pair the shop sold, came back to be warrantied/returned due to the bar bending or breaking. I do like the boot, but I can’t understand why Scott would make this part from aluminium. The steel ones I had made are only 20g heavier, and they are the same design.

  14. Rick October 23rd, 2015 3:57 pm

    I broke the same bar in my Cosmos 2nd ski day out. By the time they were replaced Scott had taken over. My shop here in Anchorage, AMH, allowed me to trade the new Scott version for a pair of LaSportive Spectre’s. I was not at all happy with the stock Spectre liner and just recently upgraded to an Intuition Plug wrap liner, mucho bettah !! Stiffened the boot up nicely as well, lightened them up a tick too.

    As a caveat I think my all time fave backcountry boot to this day were my 2nd gen Garmont Radiums. And I just recently found a brand new leftover pair online in my size which I immediately snapped up. I should be good now from here on out !

  15. Eric October 23rd, 2015 6:34 pm

    Is the aluminum bar breaking only on the original Cosmos and\or the Cosmos II as well?

  16. Eric October 23rd, 2015 6:38 pm

    is this bar only breaking on the original Cosmos, or on the Cosmos II as well?

  17. Dainius December 21st, 2015 2:05 pm

    I’m afraid it’s not only aluminium bar.
    I ski original Cosmos third season in French Alps. Most of the time inbounds. Already changed 4 pairs of ski-walk mechanism with red aluminium plate and all 4 spring buckles. Definitely can say:

    1.Garmont Cosmos ski-walk mechanism was very weak.

    2.Scott Cosmos ski-walk mechanism was (is) very weak too. Scott made it more beefy but in wrong place. So both models lasted for me 15 days of skiing/touring. Both mechanisms brakes in the same place and then damage red aluminium plate too. Still have 2 spare pairs of these.

    3.Last year I got ski-walk mechanism for Cosmos 2. Need to say it’s totally new thing. Looks much better. I’ve fitted it in the end of last season. Hope it will last longer. Will see…

    After I asked for 4th pair of ski-walk mechanism my dealer in Chamonix was surprised I don’t throw away these boots. The thing is they fit very well my high arch feet. And I can’t find any suitable replacement.
    Can you recommend a lightweight model that fits high arch?

  18. emily sullivan February 11th, 2016 10:21 pm

    Are the liners on the Cosmos II warm? I’m considering the Celeste II, one reason I don’t want to go dynafit is because of the terrible things I hear about the liners. I tend to have cold feet, and I don’t really fancy the idea of spending $$$ on boots and buying additional liners.

  19. Eric February 12th, 2016 6:00 am

    I went with the cosmos II this year. No problems with the ski/walk mechanism. Scott rep. explained to lean forward when switching between walk to ski and ski to walk, no breakages.
    These boots are very warm compared to others I have owned. Nice and roomy in the toes which helps considerably.

  20. Lou Dawson 2 February 12th, 2016 8:17 am

    I have to believe they got the bugs worked out of the Cosmos by now! Good to hear that’s probably so. We’ve always liked the old Garmont last, very warm due to larger toe box, somewhat like Scarpa that way. Lou

  21. emily sullivan February 12th, 2016 10:07 am

    Eric- thanks for the info! I was at my ski shop this morning the Celeste II on and I felt that the bellows on the tongue didn’t give quite enough flex in walk mode- it felt stiff at the ankle in Walk mode when tried side by side with the Scarpa Gea. Problem is, the Scott fits me better. Have you been happy with the walk mode? Sorry for all the Q’s! 🙂

  22. Lou Dawson 2 February 12th, 2016 12:45 pm

    Emily, a boot fitter can cut a small slot in the top of the tongue to relax it a bit in walk mode, will feel pretty much the same in ski mode unless you charge super hard. Also, beware of carpet testing. It’s good, but you can get used to how a boot walks. Lou

  23. Jeff February 16th, 2016 2:32 pm

    I just busted the ski/walk mechanism in my 14/15 Cosmos II after about 10 days of skiing in and out of bounds. The pin sheared off and the hole in the aluminum bar rounded out. I sent them back for warranty repair, but if they come back with the same hardware, then I’m going to do what Kevin mentioned above and pay a machinist to make parts out of stainless. The mechanism works well mechanically, but the choice of materials and the size of the pin are a joke.

    I would also consider simply replacing my Cosmos with another make and model, but as already mentioned here, there are no boots out there with a comparable instep height. I have tall orthotics and the Cosmos are the only AT boots I’ve found that can accommodate them without punching. The fit and performance is unique. I hope Scott gets their engineering department together and fixes these issues… another 100g in weight and $50 in price could take these boots from disposable to awesome.

  24. Erich March 22nd, 2016 7:41 pm

    Does anyone out there find that 11.5 degrees on the forward lean to be insufficient?
    I’ve recently bought some of the new cosmos 2 boots and find it to be a struggle to stay in the front of the boots..
    My scarpa telemark boots are 15 degrees and seem right..I know everyone’s different, but I’ve never had this problem with any boot and there’s no way to adjust..:(

  25. Lou Dawson 2 March 22nd, 2016 8:12 pm

    Put a spacer behind your liner cuff, you can have any forward lean you want. Lou

  26. Jonas April 11th, 2016 11:40 pm

    But a spacer won´t move the front of the cuff, ie it does not change forward lean for the entire lower leg.
    All it does is moving pressure in the cuff to the top of your shin, right?
    I have the same problem (Cosmos I 15/16) so please prove me wrong, as it would be the easiest solution. I dont really know what my options are either, perhaps machine a new, slightly longer lean lock bar (made of steel?)

  27. Lou Dawson 2 April 12th, 2016 6:18 am

    Jonas, the “struggle to stay at the front of the boots” can be caused by everything from your technique to simply your body reacting to something you’re not used to, along with binding ramp angle, boot interior ramp, size of your shin bone in relation to boot, and on and on.

    The angle of your shin bone (tibia) in relation to ski (otherwise known as “lean”) can indeed be easily changed by installing more material on the front or rear of the liner, either dense foam or plastic. Going to the trouble of modifying the lean lock is a pretty extreme mod. We used to do it on occasion but have found that with modern skis and boots, playing around with binding ramp and other boot mods is enough (unless the lean lock has an easy fine adjustment, then we’ll play around with it as well, example being Dynafit TLT series boots.)

    I would suggest that much of what you’re experiencing is simply because you’re used to your tele boot’s ergonomics. I’d suggest first matching ergonomics by using boot liner and boot-board mods, along with binding ramp. Then ski for at least two days between mods and see if your neuromuscular system adjusts.

    See the links below.

  28. Jonas April 13th, 2016 11:33 pm

    Thanks for an extensive reply.
    My skiing bakground is probably shaped by my 20 years of skijumping, which may set my preferences of. I find myself wanting a high delta (ie hel higher then toe) and a good amount of forward lean.
    I used to ride the CAST Si&i system were I could really compare my cochise 120 boots to my dalbello kryptons in the alpine mode. The difference is huge It`s so much easier to find my skiing stance in the kryptons with the medium lean wedge mounted, compared to the low, straighter cuff of the cochise. The roomy fit around my foot in the cochise might cause some of this, but now both boots are out.

    now I`ve gone lightweigt with Dynafit vertical FT´s and the Cosmos. So my heel should be higher already. But I find myself wanting for more forward lean in the Cosmos`es, looking for that dalbello feel.

    Season is over for now, but I´ll make a good read up on your links for next year. as you say, a wedge is easier then a new lean lock bar and it might be good for my small calves. Although we do machine metal (including titan) at my workplace, so you never know.

    Thanks again

  29. Kevin Wieczorek April 18th, 2016 5:30 pm

    Just one more comment regarding the ski walk bar. The pair I removed, which had one season of use on them, had deep gouges from where the steel pin slides against the bar during mode change. I don’t see how this can be avoided. Sure, you flex forward as you switch into ski mode, but the pin still has to slide against the bar to lock into place. The stainless steel versions I made are the biggest improvement I’ve made to this boot. They have been trouble free.

  30. quintin glen February 5th, 2017 10:58 pm

    Just bought the cosmos2 and the walk ski mechanism is jamming after only walking about in the boots. Suspect will fail as jam causing a lot of stress.

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