Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better!
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Zipfits, MX89s & Julbo Photochromic vs Smith

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Zipfit Liners

Oh, I've read how CEM uses these liners pretty much as standard, throwing away the OEM heat mouldable liners... seen the great reviews on the zipfits elsewhere too...

And the hype is true.


Just returned from a trip to Park City, Utah. Met up with a Chicago living friend and family... whose wife has suffered with really painful boots since i've first known her many years ago. She even got a custom pair in Whistler from Surefoot - against my advice ( I've gone the Sorefoot path before...)... and she finally had them sorted by the guy at Jans on Park Avenue just down the road from the Doubletree where we stayed.

Anyway... Jans had Zipfits there on display (ok, i'll admit I did a bit of research in advance and knew they were meant to stock them wink ) , so since visits home to the UK for me are few and far between so a Bicester trip was an unknown future thing... I thought i'd take the plunge.

Boots are 2015 Atomic Hawx 120's (the funky yellow ones), fitted rather well by Tom at Viking in Chicago.
Just always had a nagging feeling heel hold could be better and so had a tendency to overtighten the boots so hence my curiosity about Zipfits... and I've had foamed liners before from Heirling (in atomic shells) and Surefoot (Lange shells obviously... hmmm, what's the %age of Surefoot customers being dumped into Lange shells and pumped full of foam I wonder...?).

Mr Al at Jans checked the shell fit first, then came out with the Zipfit Gara Liner to test fit.
Quick warm up in a hot air blower for the liner then on and in the shell... confirmed the higher volume Zipfit was not an option.

So, since the fit did seem rather tenacious... decided to go ahead (remembering that they are well know to last many years so offering value even if the initial cost is... interesting)

The liners went into a Fischer boot oven for 8 mins to heat up.
On the feet, laced up and strapped in and into the air blower warmed shells they went and boots were clipped up fairly firmly (not as much as a heat mould shell fit or foam liner clamp up but way tighter than needed to ski as any zipfit user knows Razz )
Flexed and walked around the shoppe for aboot 10 to 15 minutes to get the Omfit goop moving.
I also came back after a couple of days just to get the shell refit (it's the Atomic heat mouldable shell) as the inner ankle bone tip on both feet was too tight/sore - this involved a couple of patches on the outside of the liner placed on the boney areas (and a couple of toe caps inside the liner as the big toe was a bit too cramped) and the heated shell was then... well all the usual heat mouldable shell fit thing, so another 10mins or so clamped up with toes up on a board etc.

Results were astonishing.
The heel hold is remarkable, and this is with the boot clips so much more loose than ever before...

I've stuck with using the laces and strap to get liner onto foot outside boot then slide it all into the shell... just liner on you can tell the heel is already held in place, so the boot clips only need to be tight enough to stop the liner moving... which is very little clamping indeed.

First morning skiing with the Zipfits was immediately after the Zipfit fitting, and I'll add that every morning I used my thermic boot dryers (hot air blow dryer type) on the zipfits... And I really didn't have any 'break in' period or pains.

It's noticeable that very first thing in the morning things are really quite tight - but after a short while and the first chair up I clipped up (lightly) and that was it 'til lunchtime. No faffing, no heel lift, no pain... and it seems just as warm as the Atomic liner which was a good thinsulate lined job.
The idea that the goop can move to allow for any foot changes day to day seems very real - I've had a DVT before from a long US flight (and am on daily blood thinning meds) and also had a damaged ankle ligament then infection on t'other foot a few months ago... just an astonishing combination of foot/heel control with as much comfort as can be reasonably expected with your foot clamped into a plastic boot Razz (slippers wouldn't give you the edge control).

7 days skiing withe Zipfits and I can confirm I have found ski boot nirvana... (ok, they had the new Hawx ultras there and a quick pick up test with the regular Hawx showed how much lighter the new plastic shells are... but apart from that)


Kastle MX89

The hype on these is something along the zipfit lines, assuming you prefer all camber and no flappy rocker tips wink

D@mn those people at Jans...
yes, they have an extensive range of Kastle (MXs, LXs, FXs and BMXs) to demo... and Stockli for that matter amongst others.
And since this was close to end of season... Sale!
In fact there was a pair of demo MX89s there @172 which were on offer... at well under half the usual shocking price.

Demo'd and bought, and had 'em waxed and edge tuned etc for 'free' (ho, ho)...

Previous skis after returning to skiing after learning in the rear-entry boot and skinny skis above your head days have been Atomic Metron XIs which were hysterical carving skis, then a bargain pair of Kastle RX12 at Whistler which were 500 Canadian with bindings and tax, as everyone was on the wide ski trend already... less tiresome on the knees but still very carvy... and a subsequent trip to Whistler meant some Dynafit Powertrak 84's were used as the heavy, heavy 'powder' was a bit of a 'mare on 67mm underfoot RX12's.
But the edge hold and flappy tips once back on piste.... Confused

Important thing here is if you've been curious about these then Park City and Jans would be a good option to try them out... especially near end fo season for the reductions.

Bonus is as they were ex-demo they came pre-scratched NehNeh so no worries about treating them like jewels... plastered already with a few stickers just to ensure no accidental mix ups (couldn't find any hello kitty stickers to horrify & deter any potential thieves).


Julbo Cameleon lens vs Smith Red Sensor vs Smith Rose Flash Chromapop

All photochromic lenses, with this particular Julbo lens also having some polarising.

Smith Photochromic Red Sensor - VLT 20-50%
Smith Photochromic Chromapop Rose Flash - VLT 20/30-50%
Julbo Cameleon Photochromic & Polarising - VLT 5-20%

My usual goggle is the Smith I/O 7 with the Red Sensor - been using it in blue sky days through to floodlit skiing. Very pleased with it...

but was curious about the Julbo so got a pair amazon'd to my friend to bring over to Utah for me.
I got the Julbo Starwind with the Cameleon lens - the Starwind has the same pop-out lens design as the Aerospace frame for anti-fog for ski tourers etc or really, really steamy headed people.
Starwind is described as for med-small faces ( was concerned the larger Aerospace might be too mahoosive), but if the I/O 7 fits you then you'll find the Starwind a bit smaller. The lens though is very good indeed - don't think it would be suitable for night skiing so much due to the lower VLT, but is worked well even in the first couple of overcast days as well as the bright sunny ones.

Passed the Julbo on to mates' son who loves them and went back to my trusty Smiths and red sensor... and since replacements are hard to find I had the bright idea of ordering a new lnes for my I/O 7s, which is the newer photochromic 'chromapop' rose flash...

Had a couple of days with this lens and I'll be keeping the red sensor as backup - both very, very excellent with the newer chromapop version being a little more relaxing on the eyes.

The Julbo fits fine with a Smith Vantage helmet, and all the lenses do NOT give an obviously skewed tint to things... so the snow still looks white etc Smile
latest report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
The first couple of time I skied in my Zipfit liners I put the liners on top of a radiator to warm up, and put a plastic bottle of hot water inside each liner. I heated the liners like that for about an hour before putting the boots on. I found that the liners were comfortable from day one.
snow conditions     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Swapped to Zipfits this year, as my liners were starting to pack out, having narrow ankles and slim feet doesn't help. Comfort from day one, great foot hold too. Bit tight getting them on in XMax boots, but once they are in Smile

Found it better to warm the shell first to make it supple, one day they werent warmed first properly - trying to get em on in -15c with a 50mph wind wasn't fun !!

I'm really pleased with the fit and hold of them.
latest report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Another vote for Zipfits.

Have about 230 ski days on mine and still going strong. Okay, the exterior is a bit scuffed from the continual insertion/extraction into/out of the shells, but who cares!
snow report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
How many zipfit users lace up the liner etc outside the shell, and only then put the lot into the shell?

I've heard some remove laces and strap, and leave the liner inside the shell as 'normal'. This seems to me to then rely on clamping the hard shell around the liner to secure the foot, whereas using the laces secures everything( the foot, ankle, heel, shin) in a relatively soft liner ( well, very soft compared to the shell) .... fortunately my Atomics have a quite smooth inner surface on the back of the shell so the 'traditional' lace-up seems worth the small amount of one-off once a day faff.
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
coops1967 wrote:
How many zipfit users lace up the liner etc outside the shell, and only then put the lot into the shell?


I do.
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Oceanic wrote:
coops1967 wrote:
How many zipfit users lace up the liner etc outside the shell, and only then put the lot into the shell?


I do.


Yep, me too.
But Colin did show me also how to but them on when in the shell ( still with laces intact ) which wasn't that easy either.

I do just slip my foot out though leaving the liner in the shell - anyone remove the liner still on the foot ?
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Oceanic wrote:
coops1967 wrote:
How many zipfit users lace up the liner etc outside the shell, and only then put the lot into the shell?


I do.


Me too.

For taking them off, I reverse the process. If you do it correctly, it is simple and easy, even with cold boots.

Following this process has the added benefit of shells and liners drying very well overnight.
ski holidays     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Oceanic wrote:
coops1967 wrote:
How many zipfit users lace up the liner etc outside the shell, and only then put the lot into the shell?


I do.


I did until I had heated insoles fitted, now I don't because of the risk of damaging the cable with repeated insertions/ removals. It is a bit of a challenge getting feet in them inside the shell!
ski holidays     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Tubaski wrote:
Oceanic wrote:
coops1967 wrote:
How many zipfit users lace up the liner etc outside the shell, and only then put the lot into the shell?


I do.


I did until I had heated insoles fitted, now I don't because of the risk of damaging the cable with repeated insertions/ removals. It is a bit of a challenge getting feet in them inside the shell!


Why don’t you cover the cable with a long strip of strong duct tape?
snow conditions     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@ulmerhutte, tried that but it still wrinkled / snagged and left gunk. Maybe I don't have good enough quality tape but I've learned to cope! Toofy Grin
ski holidays     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
ulmerhutte wrote:
Tubaski wrote:
Oceanic wrote:
coops1967 wrote:
How many zipfit users lace up the liner etc outside the shell, and only then put the lot into the shell?


I do.


I did until I had heated insoles fitted, now I don't because of the risk of damaging the cable with repeated insertions/ removals. It is a bit of a challenge getting feet in them inside the shell!


Why don’t you cover the cable with a long strip of strong duct tape?


Yup, that's what I do, wrinkles and all. I just replace the tape after every trip and get a different set of wrinkles Very Happy

Agreed, the first run or 2 of the day can be a little uncomfortable but after that it's like having your feet set in very comfortable concrete.

Even though I've been diligently drying them every night, after 6 weeks of use mine are starting to wiff a little. I can wash the footbeds easily but is there any recommendation on how to wash Zipfits without damaging the filler?
snow conditions     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy