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Nov 29 2012

Review: Garmont’s Excursion

 

Garmont Excursion

Excursion is an excellent lightweight tele boot for going the distance while rippin’ turns.


The Excursion is Garmont’s superlight touring boot. In days of old it came with a thermomoldable Gfit liner and weighed almost a pound less than a comparable pair of T4’s. Sadly, it now comes with a preformed, alpine style liner with little moldability. However, as one of the very few lightweight boots with some turning muscle it is a worthwhile investment. You can always substitute a moldable liner if you insist.

After skiing in four buckle monsters for a while, putting these on is like slipping into bedroom slippers, but with far more control than your average fuzzy moccasin. Able to squeak by surprising terrain, ski and speed challenges, the Excursion is most adept in consistent snow on lighter boards in mellow topography. There are individual exceptions to this rule of course, made easier if you pair it with a free pivoting cable binding like Voile’s Switchback, or a more powerful three pin like step-in toe of Burnt Mountain Design’s Spike.

The women’s Excursion comes with an even lower cuff.

The low cut combined with a mid-range bellows flex and only two buckles encourages an upright body position for downhill skiing, while its airy heft can make you feel as if the only thing holding you back while climbing is your ski or skin drag. If you want to cover a lot ground and but still love the thrill of gravity, particularly with the new generation of Amerikanized (read: fat) waxless metal-edged skis, check out Garmont’s Excursion.

One other less recognized feature is that the Excursion is the basis for the kids line of plastic telemark boots. Scaled down to small feet and renamed G-Rex for kid’s appeal, Garmont is the only boot company to develop a kids version of plastic tele boots. As many women with small feet know, this means that finally there is a boot for you too.

G-Rex are for kids.

Garmont
Excursion
MSRP: $ 350
Weight/pr: 3.1 lbs. (1.4 kg)
Sizes available: 23.5 — 29.5

G-Rex
MSRP: $ 300
Weight/pr. (mondo 26.5): 3.1 lbs. (1.4 kg)
Sizes available: 19.5 — 26.5

© 2012
 

  • BorrowedSuits

    I taught myself to tele with these and voile  hardwires paired with tourmaster boards (insanely light).  Next step was gen 2 NTNs (from pillar to post, eh?).

    Every time I put the excursions back on, I spend the first hour falling on my face.

  • rhcastorh3@gmail.com

    These are my all time favorite boots all the time and everywhere from hilly tours to steeps on 78′s to 130′s (tip width of ski) tho I ski short lengths, weight 140lbs and tend to admire the charging types playing in steep couloirs where my nerves wither… I do have a heftier pair of Garmont Synergy’s that are hard to get the hang of even tho they have good flex/weight, just so much higher and laterally edgey. I suppose they would be superior for the hardpack and variable snow/ice.

  • Raggi_Thor

    Dostie, do you know how many grams I would save by replace those liners with some thermomoldables? And what liner from Intuition for example would be the lightest one?

  • Dostie

    Hard to say how much weight you would save by going with an Intuition liner. It also depends on what liner you get, as well as your size foot. Check out Intuition’s selection guide (https://intuitionliners.com/choosing-the-right-liner/). I’m confident that the savings in weight combined with the increased comfort (after molding) would justify the cost.

  • ShortSkier

    Hi Dostie,

    Are these boots any good for resort skiing? Or can you suggest a boot that would work for me?

    I’m a mediocre alpine skier making the switch over to telemark skiing (yes, years after the height of its popularity), so I’m a total newb. I first tried telemark skiing about ten years ago and the resort I was at had leather boots for me to rent (it was the only pair they had that was small enough for my feet) – after the heft and rigidity of the alpine boot, the leather boot was like heaven. I’ve been looking to buy gear, but am stuck at the boot. Literally stuck – as in, can’t get my foot and leg down the boot kind of stuck. I’ve tried five pairs, including an NTN boot, ranging from mondo size 22, 23, 23.5, and 24, and the only pair I could get on were these Excursions in a 23 and the Scarpa T2 in a 24 (which still pinched at the shin and calf, but were so long in the foot I couldn’t hit the bellows).

    Other info about me:
    I’m 5’2, 120 lbs, foot length would be a woman’s size 5.5, but I have wide feet so I usually wear women’s 6, and woman’s 7 for running shoes. I feel like most standard plastic telemark boots hit my leg much higher than other women (they hit around the meaty part of my calf) given the shortness of my legs. I also have muscular calves, so even in the mondo 24 Scarpa T2, I could barely get the power strap looped around and the boot also pinched my shin or calf (leaving bruises after). Would a lower cuff be better?

    I’m not really into aggressive skiing (hence the “mediocre alpine skiier”) – moguls hurt my knees and speed and super steep slopes scare me. So my interest in telemark skiing is more for the grace and the intense legs workout. ;)

    I did buy the Dynafit Baltoro 158 skis already, so I’m looking for boots that would be appropriate for mostly resort downhill skiing, just telemark style.

    I get that weight should be less a factor when downhill skiing as opposed to back country, but honestly, given my size, I don’t want heavy gear. Between ski, boot, and binding the prospect of lugging an extra 7-8.5 pounds per foot is just exhausting.

    Some people also suggested the 22 Designs Vice binding for resort skiing. Would those bindings work with this boot?

    Thanks in advance for your advice!

  • Dostie

    Last things first. The Vice would be great for resort only tele, but if you even think you’ll earn some turns, get the Axl, or the Voile Switchback. For the boot and style of skiing you imply, the Switchback is probably a better fit and lighter too. Regarding the boot – sounds like you need a bootfitter to help expand the calf. It can be done, and the best boot for you will probably be the T2-Eco provided you get it modifed for your calves. The Excursion could work too. It depends on the fit. Without actually seeing your foot I’m just giving my best guess here. Best of luck. Look up bootfitters.com to find a pro near you.