New 2012-13 Garmont PowerLite AT Boot Series

Post by blogger | January 8, 2012      

Shop for Garmont ski boots here.
Garmont’s new backcountry skiing boots continue the industry wide trend of downhill performing shoes with less mass and more uphill comfort. It’ll be interesting to play around with these! Following is their press release, lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

Garmont Cosmos AT boot is positioned as a lighter weight but still performing 4 buckle option. We have to say, they really do look nice.

new garmont orbit at boot

Garmont three buckle Orbit AT backcountry skiing boot.

Press Release: “Garmont announces their PowerLite AT Series backcountry skiing boots. Available to skiers everywhere in fall 2012, Garmont’s PowerLite design aims for the sweet spot of winter ski adventures: full day alpine tours where climbing agility, skiing performance and complete comfort are all equally critical.

The PowerLite’s most aggressive designs – the Celeste and Cosmos – achieve their skier friendly goals by blending the industry’s most comfortable liners; Garmont’s guide-quality ski performance; and a breakthrough in weight-shaving technology that sets the stage for what may be the lightest four-buckle ski boots, ever.

“Garmont brought ultralight AT ski touring to a broader audience with boots like the Masterlite, but the soul of the brand has always been centered around the backcountry and ski mountaineering experience,” said David Fee, president of Garmont USA. “To create the PowerLite series, we took some of the DNA from the award-winning Radium, added a few new twists, and created something that’s pure Garmont – a series of powerful, comfortable lightweight boots that are a blast to ski.”

In addition to the four-buckle Cosmos (MSRP $699, 1450 g, 125 AT flex) and Celeste (MSRP $699, 1250g, 120 AT flex, women’s specific liner), the PowerLite line also features two three-buckle mountaineering boots: the Orbit (MSRP $649, 1345 g, 115 AT Flex) and the Nova (MSRP $649, 1140g, 110 AT flex, women’s specific liner).

Comfort is the key in the PowerLite series, as the boots are stable and secure thanks to Garmont’s proprietary anatomic shell design and their EZFit PowerLite Liners. Comfortable out of the box, but 100% thermoformable for those seeking a custom fit, the EZFit PowerLite Liners use a bi-elastic skin with Lycra for durability and an exceptional ergonomic fit.

The PowerLite’s Grilamid® shells utilize Garmont’s exclusive “webframe” design technology, which distributes reinforcing ribs throughout the shell and cuff to give maximum rigidity while maintaining incredible lightness. The streamlined, simple Ergonomic Tongue is both elegant and easy to use. And expanded PU inserts in the shells’ inner sole act as a skiing shock absorber, as well as adding insulation, comfort and feel.

The PowerLite Series’ system for Adjustable Forward Lean provides two easy-to-adjust positions. Once the settings are locked in, a single flip of the lever changes modes from “walk” to “ski.” The patent-pending walk mechanism is sleek and streamlined, and moves with the cuff so that rotation is effortless and friction-free.

The ergonomic, supportive cuff sets a new standard for range of motion in an alpine touring boot with 60 degrees of rotation. The cuff’s dual-diameter rivets increase durability and enable free cuff rotation; while an Asymmetric Spoiler with additional medial support can be adjusted to two height positions.

On the sole of the boots, full-length Vibram® dual density rubber ski mountaineering soles cover the instep area for maximum grip when scrambling over rocks. A black, firmer rubber is used around the sole’s perimeter for durability and superior edging power in step-in bindings. Softer red rubber is used in the sole’s midsection for maximum grip.

Magnesium micro-adjustable buckles provide minimum weight and maximum durability, and use Garmont’s unique ‘Wide Open Design’ to maximize the span between open and closed. EZ Open Buckle Straps are simple and easy to manage, hinging out of the way for wide-open entry and exit; while EZ Lock Buckle Catches securely hold the cuff buckles in place during a climb.”

Shop for Garmont ski boots here.


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39 Responses to “New 2012-13 Garmont PowerLite AT Boot Series”

  1. XXX_er January 8th, 2012 7:18 pm

    This boot looks to be Garmont’s competition to Scarpa’s very popular Maestrale/GEA , the scarpa is selling at 610$ for a boot that is spec’ed WITH intuition liners which I do trust vs 699$ for an unproven boot with a liner I don’t trust

    Given that a prospective buyer could get a good fit with either boot the scarpa would look to be the clear choice to me … what exactly is the ” easy fit liner? “

  2. Bar Barrique January 8th, 2012 10:06 pm

    These look like interesting boots, but direct quotes from a companies marketing department should be shown as “quotations”.

  3. Lou January 9th, 2012 12:55 am

    Bar, you are correct, my mistake while editing the post. I’ll add the quote marks, Lou

  4. Lou January 9th, 2012 1:25 am

    Xer, their liner is simply a good quality thermo liner that I believe also molds to your foot fairly readily without heating if you have a half decent fit. It is of course lasted and shaped for the “average” phantom foot that Garmont has decided provides the most likely fit for the greatest number of people.

    A lot is going on in the liner realm, as many shoppers will buy a boot based on how it feels _before_ thermo molding. What the companies are locked in a battle with is how the boot fits when a person first puts it on, with no molding or fitting, sometimes even without the help of a shop employee. This has always seemed ridiculous to me as there are so many different shaped feet in the world, more, what are they going to do, have 60 different people from different countries, male and female, try on prototype boots every year in Montebelluna, Italy?

    In my view, they should sell the liners separate from the boot shells. The buyer would first evaluate shell fit with the help of a shop employee, then they’d mold a liner, and only after that would they decide on fit. Lots of work, yeah. But then, retailers can either offer service — or quit selling boots and just let do it.

  5. Kevin January 9th, 2012 8:57 am

    xxx not sure if you are trolling, but I’ll bite. The liner looks like the same one they have used for years. Personally, I find the intuition liners too warm and stinky. The scarpa boot is fine, but one must admit that more choices is better. Typically Garmont and Scarpa have had a little different fit. Not sure how you can declare Scarpa the winner over a boot that has not even come to market. Personally I think it looks great, and I may have to put off my TLT 5 purchase, and wait for the new crop of boots in the fall. The equipment just keeps getting better!

  6. SB January 9th, 2012 9:05 am

    These look pretty sweet, and I’ve had better luck fitting Garmont than Scarpa in the past.

    Isn’t anyone going to take on the TLT5 directly, though? Seems like these are a step up in weight and probably stiffness. And a step down in price. Definitely Maestrale competition.

  7. XXX_er January 9th, 2012 9:42 am

    Not trolling at all, I have Garmont boots with Palau liners and IME the liners were crap, the liners wore thru at the heel in the maestrale or my money is going to scarpa

    As Lou is pointing out people want to actualy try a boot on but the old lace-up Palau liners in the right Garmont endorphin shell were too crazy tight to do that before molding, if i can go into my local shop and try on a scarpa which feels good right away for 90$ less, with intuitions the choice is clear …and how many other folks will see the same thing?

  8. XXX_er January 9th, 2012 10:20 am

    what was was missing before all the red print :

    my palau liners were warrantied by Garmont the boot still didn’t ski all that well but they were fine after replaceing the liner with another brand

    If Garmont is going to charge 90$ more for a boot that needs the liner replaced they better fit much> the maestrale or my money is going to Scarpa

  9. gringo January 9th, 2012 11:20 am

    I love the internet, minutes after an early, prerelease, teaser pic of a potentially great new product from Company A comes up, we get the ‘experts’ chiming in with why this or that sucks because they bought one thing from Company A once that wore out.

    Competition benefits the market, and most of all the consumer. Not everyone has Fred Flintstone feet, not everyone has six toes. XXX, repeat after me ‘more boot options are a good thing’

    unplug dude!

  10. KR January 9th, 2012 11:35 am

    Don’t mind XXXer, he posts all over the internet with rabidity about the lousy quality of the Palau liner. I’ve been fine with Garmont liners for 10 years now and we’re both just data points in a sea of data points. I am interested in a slightly lighter version of the Radium that doesn’t lose much ski performance.

    Would like to see them ditch a forefoot buckle, though!

  11. Kirk Turner January 9th, 2012 1:21 pm

    This is pretty exciting. As long as its all true, a 3 buckle boot, at just under 6lbs, with a ankle articulation of 60degrees and 115 flex? Sounds good to me. (not stoked on the Orbit graphics) and liner issue aside. Cool to see they are using grilamid just like the tlt5. The articulation is the key point for me and I hope more manufacturers are headed that way, I have TLT 5’s mountains(couldn’t afford Performances on a college budget) (60degrees) and Titan Ultralites(30degress) the 1st day on the titans and I couldn’t believe the difference. Titans beat the crap out of my legs, and my stride was so short they are way more of a side country boot than I thought, but I may have a skewed reference frame and tour too much. It will be interesting to see how well the Garmont tongue works with that kind of movement. I hope dynafit and scarpa have similar boots in the works maybe with only 2 buckles 🙂 At a similar weight or heavier the maestrale are cool but are pretty soft and have only 40 degrees, I don’t think they are all that great or groundbreaking, but thats only my two sense. …

  12. XXX_er January 9th, 2012 5:03 pm

    You will often hear people say they paid $ to upgraded to intuition liners and many boot mfgers spec them, how often do you hear of someone upgrading to Palau liners ?

  13. Jonathan Shefftz January 9th, 2012 7:18 pm

    “how often do you hear of someone upgrading to Palau liners ?”
    — Okay, I’ll be the first: who wants to sell me your unwanted 26.0/26.5 Palau “TF” liners from the Dynafit DyNA or TLT5 Performance (or Euro-only TF version of TLT Mountain)? (Both of mine are still in good shape, but extra for cheap would be helpful!)

  14. aaron January 9th, 2012 7:37 pm

    Frankly, I don’t give a rat’s patootie what everyone else is upgrading to. The Palau liners work well for me. The intuitions I’ve had usually make me less likely to use that boot. Palau works. For me. sorry about your luck Xer.

  15. Lou January 10th, 2012 12:41 am

    Reality, not chest beating and has actually been quite a bit of work (but fun of course): With the help of nearly any boot maker, I’ve had the privilege over the past decade or so to try just about any boot and liner combination I’ve had a mind to, and this has extended to one degree or another to my family. There were indeed some crumby liners year ago, but I can honestly say that virtually all the liners in mainstream AT boot brands are now incredibly nice, and any swapping (I hesitate to use the word ‘upgrading’), does not reflect on the liner but rather on the fact that it’s wise to experiment and that sometimes by swapping you can get more thickness in there that molds better to your feet due to the need for stock liners to sometimes simply have too much volume and not cramp shoppers feet during that ‘first try’ that is the bane of the boot industry. Also, strobble liners (the ones with stitched bottoms) are built on a last. Again, if you don’t have the fortune of matching that phantom last, sure, trying different liners can result in a better fit — especially if you don’t have the resources of a boot fitter to modify a stock liner.

    Regarding Intuition vs Palu, Intuition is ubiquitous in the market, and makes all sorts of liners that are easily obtained. And of course they are excellent. Thus, of course swapping to Intuition is going to be common. If Palu made as many different liners and all were as easily obtained in North America, I’m certain a lot of our readers would end up swapping over to them as well when they just couldn’t get the fit they wanted with an Intuition.

    I’d be the first to allude to a liner being truly bad if I found one that actually was, but again, they’re universally of high quality across the industry. And yes, nothing is perfect. Examples: Some Palu have lining that wears rather quickly, for example, or in the case of some Intuition models I’ve not liked how thin they ended up molding behind the calf and in my opinion they needed a different foam in that area. And so on.

    The main thing is that no one should be shy about expecting boots to fit nearly perfect — but newbies need to realize that getting to that point sometimes involves some aftermarket parts. It’s like buying a nice sports car (or truck?) and still swapping out the seat for something that fits you better, personally, for want of a better analogy…


  16. Lou January 10th, 2012 12:49 am

    KR, I know, isn’t it weird they keep two forefoot buckles and go to one upper buckle, to make a “three buckle boot?”

  17. Dimi January 10th, 2012 6:06 am

    Lou, I would say the exception to the bad boot liner rule in AT boots would be the black diamond Quadrant, they are truly terrible liners. since switching liners the boot works flawlessly now.

    it is a shame, because the boa “laces” is a great concept, and one that works great on their stiffer AT boots.

  18. Mark January 10th, 2012 6:26 am

    I have Quadrants, like the overall fit of the shell for my medium wide foot, but also despise the liner. Not warm, heavy, and the boa knob gets in the way. Had I known just how weak the liners are, I may have looked harder for another widish boot in that class. But since I have’em, I’ll just spend the extra ducats on a liner upgrade.

    On that note, is it that hard to get the Palaus? On the website they appear to be quite a bit less expensive than Intuitions. If I trusted that they were pretty good, I’d sure experiment to save a buck or two. I assume the weights are comparable to Intuition…

  19. msulkers January 10th, 2012 12:49 pm

    Also have Quadrants from last year. Liners required box-cutters after being thermo-formed. BD rep explained issue as wrong size mandrels for actual foam used in liners (the toe region shrank mightily after forming).

    Replacement liners promised, but still waiting since November…

    The boots are my favourites for touring…

  20. Lou January 10th, 2012 2:05 pm

    I guess the box cutters worked? I’ll have to try that.

  21. msulkers January 10th, 2012 4:37 pm

    Yes, the box cutters worked, but they’re a bit delicate in huts without stitching. It was toenails or fancy…and I chose toenails…and that made all the difference…

  22. slaction9 January 12th, 2012 1:06 am

    I’m no canuck 2mil foot-a-yr (why not use meters?) but plenty of vert annually: Garmont liners have performed flawlessly for the past 9 years in 3 different boots. I wrap duct tape around the high-wear spots and they’ll almost outlast the shell…I dig em. Have tried intuition, was told they were warm for AK range and the blanca. Result: quite thick, expanded a lot at altitude, and dry slowly. I’m glad I brought my old megaride liners, popped in and no dramas (shyte-canned the intuitions). I wanted to like them, but IME they are best termed “chinese-made”..not crap outright, but quite close indeed, like much of the stuff BD makes offshore and peddles domestically these days. We should all be thankful Chouinard didn’t outsource his piton-forging to the chicoms…yosemite might never have been! Then again, damn it, maybe garmont/palau liners are made in china too, I never checked. If so, disregard all previous/change to “this proud consumer of foreign-made and chairman-endorsed gear much prefers garmont/palau to bd/intuition due to better fit/finish resulting in higher performance.” That Orbit boot looks pretty good…hope its not made in a sweatshop.

  23. Paul Parker January 13th, 2012 5:58 am

    Hi all,
    I have spent a lot of time on the new PowerLite boots and can answer questions regarding the Cosmos and its family. Lou will see them at the OR show next week and we’ll get you an in-depth review. They are very cool boots, the lightest 4-buckle boot on the market. Please post if you would like some further insight.
    Paul Parker

  24. Chris Beh January 13th, 2012 7:55 am

    I noticed the 3 buckle layout, too. The cynical explanation would be that if they put 2 buckles on the cuff and just one on the lower not so many people would be buying the more expensive 4 buckle models.

    Perhaps Mr. Parker can provide the designer’s rational. I know with my long, skinny, lower leg I really prefer two buckles on the cuff. I often like the softer flex and lighter weight of 3 buckle models but will always go with the boot that has 2 on the upper.

    BTW, I think it’s really great the Brand guys are here explaining their products. Thank you. The sometimes raw opining aside, there is a lot of cool user/designer dialog going on at Wild Snow.

  25. Lou January 13th, 2012 8:19 am

    As for my take on the buckles, with my feet I can tell you I’m 99% certain I’d move a buckle so it pulled over my instep, rather than crushing down on the top of my lower foot. But who knows, Paul thinks this stuff through and perhaps the fit of the boot takes care of that.

    In the case of the three buckle, the power strap is actually a 4th buckle….

  26. Paul Parker January 13th, 2012 8:44 am

    Hi Chris,
    Our three buckle boots are lighter weight, obviously a priority. They are also designed for skiers who prefer a slightly lower, less rigid cuff. This cuff is easier walking and touring as well as offering more agility on more technical tours when you are climbing with crampons or on rock. And we have found that many women prefer a slightly lower 3-buckle model because itt gives a little more room for some women’s lower calf muscle.
    The reason we put 2 buckles on the lower shell is to better control shell height/volume. That is what pulls you out of the back seat–not the cuff. It’s the top of your foot and it’s contact with the lower shell that pulls you forward. I know that Lou and others don’t support the idea of that second buckle on the lower shell–with the Cosmos and it’s brethren it’s very easy to remove with an Allen key.
    Thanks for your interest,

  27. Paul Parker January 13th, 2012 8:47 am

    I forgot to mention that the 3-buckle Orbit in a 27.5 is 1345g per boot. And it is a very solid-skiing boot,

  28. vincent thomas January 16th, 2012 8:50 am


    Thanks for your comments on these nice boots!

    Just one question about the fitting of these shoes, is it the same volume than a radium, particularly in the toe box?

    If you compare a radium and a cosmos, do you feel the same skiability on the ground? What about the cuff stifness for example?

    Thanks for your answer.


  29. Paul Parker January 16th, 2012 12:46 pm

    Hi Vincent,
    You might remember that for fall 2010 we modified the Radium molds for more forefoot width and height. The Cosmos shell’s forefoot width is comparable to these newer Radiums (2010 or later), Cosmos being 1/2 mm wider for a 27.5. Cosmos also has just a little more height in the toe box than the Radium.
    As a side note, next year’s Radium also gets an EZFit liner developed for that shell, which makes their fit feel more comparable out of the box. We first developed the EZFit for the Delirium family of Freeride boots and the liner has been so well-liked that we’ve developed a dedicated model for both next year’s Power Lite boots (Cosmos et al), and the Radium and Luster.
    Skiability-wise the Radium and Cosmos are comparable—that was our goal. They do have a different feel because they are a very different construction, the Radium being an overlap and the Cosmos a tongue design. This gives the Cosmos a bit softer forward flex, although it is very stiff laterally, with a very stiff cuff. Cosmos feels very light and agile. Comparing the two, the Radium has a bit beefier feel because of its overlap construction and additional weight.

  30. Mark W January 16th, 2012 9:14 pm

    I’ve had pretty good luck with my Palau liners, one in Garmont, one in Dynafit. While it might be simpler to say one brand is dominant or better, when dealing with feet, such generalizations almost never hold up. Use what works best for you.

  31. vincent thomas January 17th, 2012 2:17 am

    Thanks Paul,

    I cannot wait to see and try these boots, I think they look very nice on the paper!

    Is the sole is replacable or not?

  32. Paul Parker January 17th, 2012 5:51 am

    Inside the shell, underneath the sole, is what we cal “Shock Damper Inserts” that add insulation and dampening. The sole is not exchangeable like the freeride boots.

  33. Lou January 17th, 2012 6:40 am

    Exchangeable soles add weight, complexity and cost. They’re not appropriate for the elegant sleek boots in this class.

  34. Juan January 17th, 2012 9:29 am

    Paul ,

    Read the comparison between the Cosmos and the Radium and the construction of both … is possible to compare the skiability and the flex of the Cosmos to the Megaride since both have tongue design?

    …and what about the downhill skiability of the Orbit?

    Both looks great !!!


  35. Paul Parker January 17th, 2012 9:42 am

    I would compare the skiabiltiy of the Cosmos to a Radium rather than a MegaRide becasue the Cosmos is a significantly stiffer boot. Grilamid is very stiff, allowing us to build in that kind of performance and keep the weight really low. The Orbit skis more similarly to one of the later-generation MegaRides.

  36. Juan January 17th, 2012 10:02 am


    Thanks for superfast answer … I have 2007 Megarides , and still love their soft downhill performance , next season I´m going lighter to Cosmos or Orbit …if you think the Orbit skis more similary to Megarides… who knows…

    Greetings from Spain


  37. Paul Parker January 17th, 2012 10:19 am

    Either boot would be an easy adjusment. Orbit would be similar; if you go Cosmos it would be a step up in performance and still a big step down in weight.

  38. BlueGiant May 16th, 2012 2:31 pm

    Just wondering if anyone has actually tried the Cosmos yet? Lou — get a sample in the mail from the boot fairies yet??? Anyone else? Seems like there are enough sentiments out there on the new offerings from Scarpa and Dynafit. Not much mention of the new Garmonts.

  39. Lou May 16th, 2012 2:57 pm

    Stay tuned.

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