Update: Modified Atomic Backland Carbon

I wrote in my initial review of the Atomic Backland Carbon that I was going to do some tinkering with the boot. Namely, I was interested to see if a different liner and the addition of a Booster strap would effectively bolster the forward flex and make it feel like the boot didn’t hit me so low on my leg.

With the help of the crew at Powder Hound, a Blister Recommended Shop in Girdwood, AK, I cooked the Backland’s shells, added Intuition Powerwrap LV liners, and threw on a Booster strap.

Paul Forward reviews the Atomic Backland Carbon for Blister Gear Review
Modified Atomic Backland Carbon

Since then, I’ve been skiing the boots in the Girdwood backcountry around Alyeska Resort and also around Turnagain Pass.

Fit

By cooking the shell and taking advantage of Atomic’s “Memory Fit” option, I was able to gain a few valuable millimeters in the lower shell. This allowed me to fit the bulkier (than the stock liners) Intuition Powerwrap LV liners, and took the pressure off a few small hotspots that I had noticed while using the stock liner in New Zealand.

Paul Forward reviews the Atomic Backland Carbon for Blister Gear Review
Modified Atomic Backland Carbon

Now that I’ve got the Intuition liner in place and have skied in them a few days, I plan to try another shell cook, this time with some strategic foam padding on my foot to even further fine tune the fit and gain a little more space in a few key areas.

Downhill

Improved skiing performance is the whole reason I added the Intuition liner and Booster strap, and I’m pretty pleased with where I am now with these boots. They feel much taller and significantly more supportive—especially when I slide the Booster strap as far up onto the liner as I can before tightening it down. This gives the boot almost a “faux-progressive flex” from the elastic strap.

Paul Forward reviews the Atomic Backland Carbon for Blister Gear Review
Modified Atomic Backland Carbon

The tongue and cuff of the shell still hit my leg lower than I’d like, but the sensation is greatly reduced, and the boots are more comfortable and supportive when sinking into the front of the boot.

I should note that even with the Booster strap, the Backland is still a pretty harsh ride in hard bumpy snow, and the stiff, lightweight shell does not have much in the way of damping when things get rough. In soft or smooth snow, however, they continue to feel surprisingly powerful and stable for their weight, and are plenty of boot for most of the less aggressive powder skiing I’ve been doing lately.

I’ve used my Dynafit TLT6’s with skis as big as my DPS Spoons, and I plan to do so soon with the Backland Carbon. I don’t anticipate any issues driving the big pow boards as long as it’s relatively soft or smooth out there.

Uphill

While the Booster straps may have added a small amount of weight to the boot due to the metal cam buckle, the boots still feel very light. The wrap liner does take away some of the forward and backward range of motion, but it’s a small difference, and there is still more than enough ROM for anything I do.

And because of the added comfort of the custom fit, I prefer the Intuition wrap liner set-up to the the stock liner even for uphill travel.

Paul Forward reviews the Atomic Backland Carbon for Blister Gear Review
Our friend Charlie Renfroe in the Atomic Backland Carbon with the same mods as Paul’s.

Tongues

As some of our readers suggested, the tongues have become gradually easier to insert and remove. I’m still not sure why they need to be so secure, but the process is getting easier with time. I still wish there was an option for a taller tongue and might look into modifying something to that effect.

Bottom Line

I’ll do a Deep Dive comparison soon between the Atomic Backland Carbon and the Dynafit TLT6, but, so far, I’m quite impressed with the power and precision of the modified Backland Carbon. So if you decide you’d like a performance bump over the stock boot, I can highly recommend these additions.

4 comments on “Update: Modified Atomic Backland Carbon”

  1. Hi Paul, thanks for sharing your mod project. I was thinking of doing the exact same thing to my Backlands with Intuition liners and Powerstrap.

    When you had the shells heated in the oven, did you have the liners in the shells at the same time, or did you put the liners in right after the shells were taken out of the oven? If the latter, did you put the liner in the shell before putting your foot in, or put your foot in the liner first and then put foot/liner into the shell?

    Another mod that might you might consider, and perhaps you already have, is to use the soft tongue that comes with the Carbon Light model. It can also be ordered separately (where in N America I’m still trying to figure out). This might mitigate the low shin bite you’re getting but it will also compromise forward flex to some extent of course. Or make the bite worse, who knows? If I ever get hold of a pair I’ll let you know.

    Kevin

  2. I’m beginning the process of modifying my Atomic Carbon Backland boots and I had a few questions.

    Why did you go with the Powerwrap liner instead of the Pro Tour liners?

    Has anyone tried the zip fit touring liner with their boots?

    Has anyone tried to add an extension to the top of their boots, and what plastic did you use? Mine feel very short on me.

    Thanks for the review! I’m hoping they work better for me then the TLT6s did.

  3. hi there!
    do you have any information on wheter the all new Atomic backland carbon 19/20 will work with an fritschi tecton binding? i have a z-fit of 10.
    cheers, robert

    • Just talked to Atomic and they said that the new Backland boot is only compatible with traditional pin / tech bindings (pins in both the toe and heel). So the new Backland boot is not compatible with the Tecton (or Kingpin or Shift), but it is compatible with the Vipec and other traditional pin bindings.

Leave a Comment