Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dynafit Dyna PDG Boot Review

 My brothers are all into cycling. I guess I'm into skiing because most of my fun money goes to ski stuff. That doesn't make me a good skier--skiing just seems to hold my imagination a little more than other endeavors. Every year I've gotten a new piece of ski equipment. This year I bought the DyNA PDG boots. I debated which race boots to get: Aliens or PDG's. The carbon versions were a bit more than I was willing to pay, so it was either a pebax cuff or this new untested fiberglass cuff on the PDG. I've read some glowing reviews about the aliens and reviews were not to be found anywhere about the PDG--I even searched the web in Italian with no results. I guess I bought the PDG because 1)the cuff is supposed to be stiffer than the plastic Alien 2) they are a bit lighter and 3) I have the TLT 5 Mountains and liked them. So, to help out the ski community I thought I'd post my first impressions of the PDG boot.

I ordered them from Amplatz because no one in N.A. had my size. Shipping took a week and was pretty expensive. It was like 60 euros but the final price all said and done was still a bit less than the they sell for on our continent. Funny that I'm writing about boots I bought from Europe on "Small-business Saturday." We have "Gray Thursday" "Black Friday" "Small-business Saturday" and "Cyber Monday." I'm calling the week before Thanksgiving "International expensive stuff week."

Here's my caveat: I skied them today for the first time, so obviously not an exhaustive review. Only a couple of runs on some groomers at Brighton, so my "review" will evolve as I get more days in the boots and challenge them on more difficult terrain.

Things I really liked about the boots:

  • The walk mode is incredible! I have the TLT 5 Mountain, and the PDG blows it away. Forward flex for skinning is really good. It is pretty resistance free both fore and aft. At least as far as my ankles can move comfortably. The Aliens are probably even better, but the PDG is pretty adequate as well.
  • They are really light. I could tell a noticeable difference in the weight. Listed weight is 790 grams or about a full pound lighter than my TLT 5s. I don't have a gram scale though so I can't say what the actual weight is.
  • They are pretty comfortable right out of the box. My Mountains were so painful at first. I've had to help a couple of bootfitters help me with stretching the shells and modifying the liners. I had to do NOTHING for the PDGs to feel comfy. I have the 27.5 Mountains (297 BSL) and bought the size 28 PDG (299 BSL). So maybe I just bought the wrong size Mountains. Bummer.
  • They are STIFF! I saw someone on the interwebs say they heard the PDG to be "in the same realm of stiffness as the old F1s." No way--these babies are a little stiffer than my Mountains (without tongue). That surprised me. 
  • I like the color.

  • We'll see if they end up durable enough to last a few years. I really hope so. 
  • I hope they solved the issue with the rivet loosening in prior years' carbon boots. 

White Lightning!

Cuff height comparison. The cuffs appear to be the exact same height.

 Looks like the same liner as the original DyNA liner. Pretty light. The boots came with several abrasion patches so they may not be the most durable, but they sure are light. And pretty comfy too.
 The lower buckle has this really cool "tooth" that helps the buckle lock down. My TLT 5 buckles are always opening. This is a nice improvement.
 A full vibram sole. I don't really do tons of booting/climbing or "Teton style" in my ski boots so I can't imagine that wear will ever become an issue.
Well, that's it. Hopefully these babies will help me move from a back of the pack racer to a solid middle of the pack racer!


Anonymous said...

Hi Layne,
Thanks for your review. Can you please give more info if you tried them again. What about sole durability or any other comments you may have.

Cheers, Radek

Layne said...


I've been out about 15 times in them so far skiing 3 pairs of skis: atomic ultimates, trab sint aeros, and Voile Chargers (in soft snow only). They drive the small skis excellent, and the Voiles serviceably for powder laps.

The sole is full coverage and seems to be durable (no wear yet) but I haven't done rocky ridge scrambling or anything yet--just skiing. Rivets are still in good shape too.

So far I've really loved them. I would buy them again in a heartbeat if I had to do it again today. Hope that helps.

Gordon said...

Hi Layne,
A couple quick questions about fit. I'm currently using the same boot and size you were using, TLT5 Mtn., 27.5. Did the 28.0 PDG have more length and room than the 27.5 TLT5, or about the same? I really should be using the PDG, just not sure if I am the same size as the 27.5 TLT5! The TLT5 fits me just fine, apart from some heel lift...I'm hoping the PDG has less volume. Could you use the same binding position, or did you have to remount?
Thanks, Gordo.

Layne said...

Gordon, the pdg changes shells on the half size so 27.5/28 have a bsl of 299. Tlt 5 size 27/27.5 are 297mm bsl. Since 2mm is about the width of a dime, I didnt remount and my race skis fit either my tlt5 or my pdg now. My pdg definitely has more internal length-maybe 10ish mm more I bet.

Brandon said...

Hey Layne,

I think I'm in the same situation that you are with sizing. I currently have Dyna's, was talked into sizing down for a tighter heel fit (I have small ankles), so I am in a 25.5, and they are tight. Sounds like the 25.5/26 mondo in the EVO will be just enough extra for a better fit. Sound righ to you? Also, after two seasons I am concerned with the amount of play in my cuff rivet, I wonder if this is an issue with all carbon cuffs, alien included. I will be curious to see how your's hold up, am thinking of pulling the trigger on these or the red EVO's soon to drop weight. One last question, so you don't see any issue in using the same binding mount point with the 2mm BSL change?

Layne said...


The 28.0 PDG is 2mm longer than the 27.5 TLT5. So the heel pins fit into the boot a little further. This might cause them to not release as easily, but I'm not too concerned about it.

As for the cuff rivets, I sure hope they don't wear out the fiberglass cuff. Some speculate that the fiberglass may wear better than the carbon, but only time will tell. So far so good though and I've had maybe 20-30 days out on them.

Brandon said...

Hi Layne,

Yah, I talked to PLUM about the 2mm, although it doesn't sound like much they said it would effect binding performance. Luckily they make a 2mm offset base, I might just do that. As far as the cuff, do your PDG's have a spacer between the cuff and the lower boot at the pivot? I know that Dynafit was starting to do this on the 12/13 models, it's similar to what Scarpa has on the alien. I guess the pivot motion is metal on metal instead of the cuff pivoting and rubbing on the fixed metal rivet, like in the TLT.

Layne said...

If it were 2mm less you would pre release all the time. I generally tend to ski in control(slower than some) so I am not really concerned about the binding releasing in a crash.

As for the rivet, it is hard to tell if there is a spacer. Looks the same as ones w no spacer. It could have it though.

Dane said...

Hi Lane,
Great review. Can you tell me how your soles are holding up on your PDGs? Any comparisons yu cna make between the TLT%s perhaps?

Layne said...

Soles are holding up fine. I would say similar to the TLT5. I don't do tons of rock scrambling in them, so they actually look really good so far after 1 year of use. The sole doesn't have that different colored harder rubber like the TLT5, but I don't think it matters.

I imagine other parts of the boot will fail (cuff rivets) before the soles disintegrate.

Scott Semple said...
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Scott Semple said...
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Scott Semple said...

Have you skied the TLT6 Performance to compare them to the PDG?

I just bought a pair of PDGs, and I find them a lot softer than the TLT6 Performance—mostly due to the lower part of the shell flexing outward when loaded.

Is that to be expected? Is the PDG that much softer than the TLT6 Performance?

Layne said...

I have not. Only tlt5 mountain. Paired with a narrow ski I love the pdg. It is a race boot only. With anything bigger than about a 80mm waist they will be overpowered.

Scott Semple said...

Okay, thanks. I ordered some PDG skis as well, so I look forward to trying out the combination. Thanks for the info.