Outdoor Retailer 2016 — New Fischer Travers Carbon Sub-1-Kilo Boots, Mammut 4 LB Airbag Pack and more

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | January 8, 2016      

During each of my meetings at Outdoor Retailer, I asked to see the one thing that’s a wow for backcountry ski tourers. Here’s what I found on day one of the show.

The nifty Fischer Travers Carbon ski touring boot.

The nifty Fischer Travers Carbon ski touring boot.

Fischer debuts a new ski touring boot, the Travers Carbon. Grilamid shell, heat moldable liner, simple spring loaded top buckle and 80 degrees of cuff rotation! Stated weight of the Travers is 980g. Available fall 2016, MSRP about $1k.

Boa lace system with brass pulleys dials in a uniform fit.

Boa lace system with brass pulleys dials in uniform fit and holds down heel.

fischer gator

Open tongue construction with waterproof gator keep feet warm and dry.


Carbon in the sole for torsional rigidity.

Mammut Ultralight Removeable Airbag pack.

Mammut Ultralight Removable Airbag 3.0 pack. 4 lbs 3 oz.

Mammut wins the light airbag prize of the day. Stated weight of the Ultralight 3.0 RAS with airbag system and full cannister is 4 lbs 3 oz. The cartridge and airbag take up 2.2 liters of space so the 20 liter pack has 18 liters of usable space. It’s small but with With today’s high tech clothing I find I carry less bulk so this pack is big enough for day trips or sidecountry tours. And with the Mammut’s removeable airbag system, you can switch to their bigger pack if you need to.

Available fall 2016. MSRP $489.95. Cartridge $189. The pack is made with lightweight yet fairly durable Cordura fabric. If it gets trashed, the pack itself is replaceable for about $150.

Julbo Airflux with dark, above treeline, mountaineering lens.

Julbo Airflux with dark, above treeline, mountaineering lens.

We’re big fans of the fine optics of Julbo. Airflux is their new single lens goggle. Designed for mountaineers, it comes with a dark, category 4 tint, same as their expedition sunglasses. A lighter category 3 tint is also available,

Airflux is one of their more affordable goggles. MSRP about $150.

Smartwool socks designed by Conrad Anker.

Smartwool socks designed by Conrad Anker.

At WildSnow, we prefer thin ski socks and I must admit we’ve had bad luck with Smartwool socks in the past. After numerous days of use, the back of the heel would wear down to an uncomfortable, brillo like material. Now Smartwool says that won’t happen again. They developed an entire new manufacturing process to create a durable. wool based material.

The PHD Outdoor Mountaineering sock is gender specific. Seemless toe, mesh ventilation zone by instep, graduated compression on back of heel, and targeted padding. Wool in the heel area is made with a layer of nylon to improve durability, provide compression for increased bloodflow and the layer goes up a bit higher so you won’t get Achilles heel pinch.

Available spring 2016. Look for them at REI. We look forward to trying them out!


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28 Responses to “Outdoor Retailer 2016 — New Fischer Travers Carbon Sub-1-Kilo Boots, Mammut 4 LB Airbag Pack and more”

  1. XXX_er January 8th, 2016 9:57 am

    You mention heat moldable liner but is the shell heat moldable ? I ask because I know Fisher has been doing it with their alpine boots

  2. Andy January 8th, 2016 10:01 am

    Darn Tough seems to be quickly gaining on/passing Smartwool…

  3. C ___ January 8th, 2016 10:04 am

    I have a pair of those new Smartwool Conrad socks…they freaking rock for both climbing and skiing. Can’t wait for them to drop in retail so I can buy some more.

  4. Mike Marolt January 8th, 2016 11:49 am

    The new Fischer line is going to be a great extension of a line that is really proving to be a leading force in the AT world. Their AT boots in my view, not considering the new line as I have not tried them, is the single largest technological advancement in all the AT gear I have used or seen to date. On the Trans Alp line of skis, it’s really a company that is taking the industry seriously and putting a ton of R&D into making products that are really versatile, but yet the best we have tried for ski mountaineering in the more extreme ranges. It’s a great time to be geezing as the advancements are exceeding the debilitating and devastating effects of …….getting old. haha. Seriously, it’s light, and has performance that is fairly mind blowing, boots, skis, skins and bindings. 8kpeak.com is super “stoked” to be selling the entire line. People are loving this gear.

  5. Lisa Dawson January 8th, 2016 12:48 pm

    XXX-er, the Grilamid shell is not one of the Fischer heat moldable models.

  6. TimZ January 8th, 2016 1:30 pm

    I’m definitely interested in that Travers boot potential. Too bad it doesn’t have a single mode change buckle, but it looks like it would be good for light, fast and performance, but not race level use.

  7. natso January 8th, 2016 4:42 pm

    Nope. I cannot wear another pair of Smartwool socks. They make their gear in China (aka poorly and usually in environmentally destructive ways…perhaps like Black Diamond carbon ski poles???) and as mentioned in the article, the heels degrade far too quickly….raise your hand if you have a dozen or two pairs of Smartwool socks that are great except for the worn out heels and forefoot. Regardless of who they hire to revitalize the brand (How about a refund plan for those of us who have to pay for our clothing and equipment) I don’t believe the changes can be that significant. I don’t care if they line the heels with a 10-ply vibram rubber-kevlar hybrid that feels as smooth as silk, I’ve spent too much on the company to go back and will stick with the other brands available today.

  8. Wookie1974 January 9th, 2016 2:23 am

    I wonder if the kid in Tirol testing the Fischer Travers will speak up here. I’ve seen him in them! And he reads this blog!;-)

  9. Lukas January 9th, 2016 4:58 am

    Yes Wookie, right 🙂

  10. Max January 9th, 2016 4:39 pm

    did you see the Pieps Micro? Is it notably smaller than a tracker 3 or Mammut Pulse?

  11. Lisa Dawson January 10th, 2016 8:06 am

    We saw the Pieps Micro and I added a quick post and photo of it:


    The Micro is a 3 antenna beacon, weight 150 g with 1 alkaline AA battery, dimensions 102x71x18mm.

    It’s a bit smaller than the 1-antenna Pieps Freeride.

    The 3-antenna Mammut Pulse Barryvox is slightly heavier at 7.4 oz but has 3 batteries.

  12. Peter January 10th, 2016 10:31 am

    That’s not carbon fiber pictured on the sole of the Fischer boot. That’s Texalium, which is fiberglass with an aesthetic coating of aluminum powder to make it silver. It’s made by Hexcel, and marketed as “Aesthetic Glass Fabric”. There’s a pretty big difference in cost, strength, and stiffness between fiberglass and carbon fiber.

  13. Pablo January 11th, 2016 3:17 am

    Peter, I think that is not texalium. It doesn’t look silver actually.
    I think, It looks much more like an aramid/carbon composite.

  14. Peter January 11th, 2016 11:54 am

    @Pablo, wow, I think you’re right….I hadn’t enbiggened the image….when I see the larger size it does look more gold/black weave than silver. (Small size image still looks silver to me, weird)
    I will consider myself corrected. thanks.

  15. Jim Milstein January 11th, 2016 7:14 pm

    The Julbo Airflux looks as though the lens is hinged like the Aerospace, but the lens is not photochromic. That’s why it’s cheaper, nespah?

  16. Michael January 15th, 2016 2:02 am

    What about the downhill performance of the Fischer Travers? It looks more like a Scarpa Alien but i would welcome a performance like the Atomic Backland.

  17. Lukas January 22nd, 2016 7:53 am
  18. swissiphic February 11th, 2016 4:38 pm

    Just curious if some folks with knowledge could offer an opinion…the exposed carbon/fiberglass (?) ‘windows’ on the outsole of the Fischer Traverse Carbon boot… is this a potential weak spot in terms of vulnerability to cracking/shattering while mountaineering/walking/aggressive downhill hiking with heavy impact on sharp rocks? looks like an interesting boot otherwise if this is a non issue.

  19. Lou Dawson 2 February 11th, 2016 5:49 pm

    Funny you would ask. I just had a conversation about that! Indeed, we believe that those are unacceptable in a backcountry ski mountaineering touring boot, that is if they are really carbon fiber? They might just be cosmetic and actually be Pebax or some other nylon plastic with a pattern painted on. Lou

  20. See February 11th, 2016 7:15 pm

    I had the same thought when I saw that picture. I have no specific knowledge of the boot, but my guess is that they’re counting on the yellow Kevlar fibers (and perhaps tougher resin?) to keep the laminate from being destroyed by rocks, etc.. IMO, exposing the laminate is a marketing gimmick, and not a particularly sound design. The composite layer probably adds stiffness, but I bet the boot would work ok without it, so maybe not a deal breaker.

  21. See February 11th, 2016 7:34 pm

    And as long as I’m speculating about boots I’ve never actually used… most of the soles on these super light boots look kind of thin to me.

  22. Wookie1974 February 12th, 2016 1:06 am

    Well – that’s where the carbon fibre is supposed to be….but I can’t imagine they actually exposed it…..or did they? If so – Shoegoo to the rescue!

    The carbon in the sole is “supposed” to be a major feature of the boots. I’m paraphrasing out of a nice write up by Lukaz R. in German who helped develop the boots, but the idea is that the carbon in the soles is preferable to carbon in the shaft. Good skiers drive the skis with their feet, and not their shins – but the soles of many other carbon boots are actually pretty flexible.

    Again – I’ve not skied them – nor do I really have an opinion on the above statement.
    They look nice though, and if Lukaz helped make em – they’ve certainly been thoroughly tested. That guy skis more in a week than all of us in a year!


  23. Lou Dawson 2 February 12th, 2016 7:53 am

    Wookie, yeah, but doesn’t Lukaz mostly do skimo racing and training? If so, he’s not up there scrambling on scree fields of Colorado and hiking though the forest in Chile, places where boot soles come into play. As for the issue of sole stiffness, sure, anything helps, but the biggest single thing is having a stiff “spine” behind your ankle/shin to give the boot that responsive and stiff feel everyone is after. A carbon fiber cuff easily delivers that provided the lower shoe around your ankle forms a reasonably stiff foundation. Lou

  24. swissiphic February 12th, 2016 8:43 am

    @Wookie: lol! Indeed shoe goo to the rescue!!!! but…that might push the boot from 980 grams to above the 1000 gram psychological threshold…unacceptable. 😉 Maybe the ‘windows’ are there to shave that extra 20 grams? (grin)

    As for carbon in the lower shoe vs. cuff; I can see the benefit of have a stiff lower shoe to support against torsional twisting forces specifically introduced by tech bindings where the toe is the most solid anchoring point of the boot to ski…but…as lou states, having firm support around the ankle/shin to drive the ski is also important for certain snow conditions…as i’ve experienced as recently last night skiing west coast knee deep mashed potatos; when the boots bend, flex, contort and collapse, there ain’t much power transfer left to keep the skis from going where they want to go..instead of where you want them to go. (grin).

    Speaking of mashed potatos, came upon a bit of a revelation last night during the hell on skis headlamp tour in the rain…after a day of heliskiing in absolutely heinous alpine crusts, strastugi, ice, breakable rain crust, hard slab, rain runnels, etc… for my personal stance and physiology anyways……

    A bit more upright boot lean is preferable in 2d snow or 3d pow where the snow conditions are such that one can drive a ski and steer effectively and be influenced with subtle nuancy pressure for dynamic balance. And one has a ‘feeling’ that the ski tails can release with skier input for all turn radiuses…

    A more forward inclination with support so the boot doesn’t collapse is preferable for punchy snow in short turns or jump turns in crust or hard steeps where you’re kinda ‘stopping’ with every turn and you wanna be slightly forward of center and balanced perfectly on the ball of foot, with deep ankle flex.

    Too upright of a forward lean in these scenarios without progressive flex doesn’t allow for enough ankle flex and throws you in the back seat. A lower cuff/upper shoe that collapses throws your face into ski top sheet and bruises heel bones.

    Also in heavy wet knee deep mank, the forward lean allows you to literally ‘press down’ on the top/middle of boot tongue/cuff for Z shaped turns. Super tiring on the quads and kills the feet with all the torquing, but, seems to be an effective special conditions technique where it’s literally impossible to make a ‘correct’ ski turn. Never could figure out what the second very forward lean on my maestrales was for…now I know. The must have some heavy snow in Italy. (grin, again)

  25. See February 12th, 2016 9:11 am

    The “open tongue construction” probably requires a stiffer sole to make a positive connection between cuff and ski (“stiff foundation”).

    If you really want to protect the laminate, epoxy some kevlar patches over the exposed parts. You will need some serious scissors and it won’t look great.

  26. ted February 12th, 2016 9:17 am

    Lukas- Can you please tell us something about the fit of this boot? Narrow, medium, wide? High, medium, low instep. Short like a TLT5 o or longer like some other boots? Thanks!

  27. Tharmor August 12th, 2016 7:18 pm

    Any update on the durability of the new smartwool socks? Also, it would appear that they have a specific ski version of the sock but also a mountaineering version of the sock. I was hoping you had experience with both. But any update would be greatly appreciated. Cheers!

  28. Lou Dawson 2 August 13th, 2016 1:43 pm

    Tharmor, we got bummed with how quickly the Smartwool socks wore out, years ago, and pretty much just stick with Darn Tough, but I have heard the Smartwool might be more durable, I guess it’s time for some torture testing by some of our bloggers. Joe? Louie?


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