It’s now been a while since I was in Garmisch, Germany at the annual Dynafit press event where they show all the new goodies. But that’s no reason I can’t keep blogging about all the cool stuff I saw. Big news is of course their race line and their new super stiff Titan boot (both covered in previous blogs as linked below), but they also have quite a few interesting new items in their accessories, packs, and clothing — as well as a new women’s boot. Highlights:
One item of good news is Dynafit will have three widths of ski crampons available (82;92;102). We’re of course huge fans of B&D’s versatile crampon offerings, but no reason Dynafit can’t be a bit more accommodating of different ski widths. Now they are, so good.
To keep you freeride boys and girls happy, ski brakes will also be available in wider widths.
For you aggro ladies out there, if you’re shopping for ski boots know that Dynafit will offer a women’s freeride shoe that’s built with excellent design parameters taken from the Zzeus. Thus, the new woman’s Gaia boot has the same sole swap system as well as commodious rearward cuff movement, and is molded from polyurethane plastic instead of Pebax. Said to be more specifically designed for a woman’s foot — any gal who wants an aggressive boot should check these out.
Speaking of the fairer sex (is it PC to say that?), Dynafit really is making an effort to provide product that’s designed and engineered for women. Savvy female buyers will always take that kind of thing with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, we truly recommend that women look at any of Dynafit’s female specific offerings with serious anticipation of something that actually works and isn’t just hype.
Other Dynafit boot news: Mainly, know that most of their 3-buckle and lighter weight boots will NOT be imported (other than the Dy.N.A race boot, and the Zzero3, a lower cut three-buckle version of the Green Machine). This reflects current trends in the North American backcountry skiing market — skiers want boots they perceive as beefier; looking down at your foot and seeing four buckles seems to provide that mental picture.
Look for the pendulum to swing the other way eventually, as lighter weight gear is incredibly popular in Europe. But who knows how long the swing will take (even with many of us pushing from behind). Thus, if you want something like the TLT 4 you’d better start shopping or you’ll have to get them from Europe. Hint, look for deeply disounted TLT boots at Sierra Trading Post once ski season is over.
In climbing skins, the company says they’ve “completely reworked their climbing skins” by adding a membrane to prevent water absorption, as well as more waterproofing. We’re certainly planning on testing this new construction since skin icing continues to be a problem for us. Stay tuned. Oh, and the Dynafit tip/tail attachment system really is quite nice if you’ve got the slot in your ski tip to accommodate it. If you care to retrofit, the system parts will be available to the consumer as the “Speedskin Fix.” I’m starting to become a fan of this type of fix (after seeing all those World Cup racers using it), so good to see Dynafit making it available for retrofit to any fur.
Anyone in need of a pack should look Dynafit’s three offerings. RC20 continues as a popular item in the superlight zipper-access arena, though the huge logos may be off-putting. Manaslu 32, though a bit heavy, has more touring specific features than any pack I’ve seen (to be fair, you can’t have extra features without associated mass, so the added weight does have a purpose beyond other brands that seem to add mass just to look good in the store display).
Trademark feature of the Manaslu is a “barrel” compartment you can reach from the side without removing the pack. While designed to hold boot crampons, you could also stuff a smaller rope in here, or your puffy, or your skins. (RC 20 has a similar feature, though smaller.)
The most interesting pack from Dynafit is their new Race Pro. You wear this thing like a shirt, or as they say, “a packable piece of clothing.” While ostensibly purposed to ski mountaineering racing, I could see using the Race Pro for fitness uphilling as well as light/fast spring peak ascents. At 270 grams it’ll still carry a shovel, extra layer, water bottle, and diagonal skis. A 270 gram backpack? I can live with that!
It is worth mentioning Dynafit’s clothing. We highly recommend any or Dynafit’s swanky attire for anyone with an athletic build (their stuff fits TIGHTLY), but we are particularly partial to their layering garments. Many of their pieces will not be imported this coming season but continue to be available from European retailers. What will be brought over the pond: race suit, a variety of cotton logo T-shirts, and some of their hats (we especially like the look of the hand knit Stripe Beanie). If you’re looking for Dynafit clothing, try browsing to bentgate.com.
In summary, let me honestly say that the Dynafit equipment brand continues true to performance ski touring. If you don’t slog, but prefer to move through the mountains swiftly and elegantly, you could outfit yourself almost entirely with Dynafit gear and be perfectly happy.