Friday, April 13, 2012

SCARPA Alien Vs Alien 1.0...which one to buy?

Which Alien is best for me?  Below are the weights of three of SCARPA's best, lightweight skimo boots.  Clearly there is price to pay for saving grams...depending upon what you can afford, both Alien models will suit you for your fast & light endeavors on snow...below is Team Crested Butte's Brian Smith to give you more on the two Alien boots ....Alien 1.0 (with carbon cuff, and carbon reinforced lower shell) and Alien (plastic cuff).

Smithy's Alien 1.0 1lb 8oz (~680g)

2012 was a big year for SCARPA.  They introduced the Alien and the Alien 1.0 to the consumer market.  The Italians spent some serious time in the think tank and produced a boot that makes the F1 almost prehistoric.  SCARPA eliminated the bellows and replaced the lower buckle with a BOA lacing system.  One of the first thing you notice is the size difference.  The Alien fits around the foot rather snug, whereas the older F1 I feel I am inside a shell with a lot more volume..  The same size F1 is 10mm bigger than an Alien to be exact.  The BOA lacing on the lower shell closes on the liner more evenly without any pinching or hot spots.  The Alien is a whole new beast with a hot new neon yellow to boot!
Alien Liner on left and Alien 1.0 liner on right, both are the same height

On the Alien, the upper cuff has a classic adjustable hook and pin closure to adjust the locking tension.  There is also a power strap and a very light but stout tounged Intuition liner that can be heat molded.  When skied the boot is very stable when locked in and there is very minimal lower shell flex.  The elimination of the bellows keeps even pressure on the ski with no soft forefoot flex when weighting the edges.  The boot skis as if it weighs twice what it is.  There is a gator that comes with the boot so as a daily driver I recommend using this as there is a lot of open shell in the Alien design.  This does allow for greater range of motion for skining up or kick and glide on flats however. 
Inside of Alien 1.0 Note the carbon reinforced lower around the ankle...makes a stiffer product going DH

The Alien 1.0 is the full-blown randonee race boot with a carbon fiber cuff.  Instead of the stout, tounged intuition liner of the Alien there is a very minimal wrap liner that can be heat molded as well.  No powerstrap and no adjustable locking cuff.  Instead you have a narrow nylon cord similar to the F1 carbon boot of 2011.  This is held on with small metal hooks riveted to the carbon cuff.  The boot drops nearly half a pound off the Alien weight with these modifications.  With less liner and minimal cuff, the range of motion for the upper boot is increased by ~10-15 degrees.  Turnover/foot speed is much quicker and the feel is more natural.  When locked-in there is zero flex.  The lower shell has a built in carbon around the ankle area to minimize the deflection of the upper cuff.   The boots skis like an alpine race boot with extreme stability and stiffness allowing you to attack the off-piste with confidence.  If you can afford this boot it will take your ski mountaineer racing to a new level.  The carbon is not just about the up, its also about performance/stiffness on the downs!
Inside of Alien for carbon around ankles....
Alien 1.0 on left and Alien on right.  Both have same cuff height

At weigh-in this is how the F1 Carbon of 2010 and the Alien and Alien 1.0 stack up:

F1 Carbon-2.2 lbs per boot
Alien-1.9 lbs per boot
Alien 1.0-1.5 lbs per boot
Alien 1.0 on left Vs. Alien on right.  Identical even after some running in the Grand Traverse.

Smithy's Alien 1lb 14oz (~850g)

For comparison...Smithy's F1 Carbons 2.2lbs (~963g) Sorry not the best photo.
Hit us up with comments on all the boots for comparisons.  We skied the hell out of all of them and can provide deeper insight into the "Alien world".  The best part about the Alien boots this Winter is that they have required no maintenance, and durability has been great.


  1. Belated thanks for the detailed comparison.
    Curious about the sizing though.
    I take a 26.0/26.5 in the Dynafit TLT5 Performance, and it fits perfectly.
    Would I be able to fit in a 26 Alien 1.0?
    And any idea what the bsl would be?

  2. How is the durability of the included gaiter?