The SCARPA Alien recently won the Editor’s Choice Snow Award from Backpacker Magazine, after the editors took the lightweight, tech-compatible boot on a five-day backcountry ski trip last spring. Though originally designed specifically for randonee racing, the Alien impressed the editors at Backpacker with its prowess as a backcountry-touring boot.
Extremely lightweight, the Alien has a very unique shell design and materials, including integration of the Boa closure system. From SCARPA’s perspective, a boot like the Alien is the result of completely rethinking how ski boots are designed from the ground up, and creating something that takes advantage not only of progressive design ideas, but the latest technology in materials to yield something that is surprisingly powerful for its incredibly light weight.
“One of our main ski-boot testers didn’t believe the single-buckle Alien could cut it on a five-day, yurt-based backcountry tour,” Backpacker wrote in bestowing the award. “Understandable, seeing as they’re more like high-top trail shoes (with tech-binding compatibility) than any AT boot we’ve ever tested. But her fears were unfounded. The innovative design weighs in at just 3 pounds, 2 ounces per pair—half of what standard AT models weigh—without gutting critical support and control.”
The Alien was designed first and foremost for randonee racing, a sport that is widely popular in Europe and in recent years has gained momentum and popularity across the U.S. as well with events like the Cosmic Series Races in Colorado, Vertfest in Washington and the Powder Keg in Utah. But more and more, people are using boots like this for training or in the backcountry when the goal is to cover a lot of ground and still not sacrifice a lot when making turns.
The Alien is also available in an even lighter carbon version, the Alien 1.0.