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First Look: K2 Pinnacle 130 and Pinnacle Pro 130

Cy Whitling reviews the K2 Pinnacle Pro for Blister Gear Review.

K2 Pinnacle 130

First Look: K2 Pinnacle 130 and Pinnacle Pro 130

K2 Pinnacle 130

Available Sizes: 25.5 – 30.5

Size Tested: 27.5

Stated BSL (27.5): 316 mm

Stated Flex: 130

Stated Last: 100 mm

Blister’s Measured Weight:

  • shells, no liners: 1942 & 1935 grams
  • stock liners, no footbeds: 422 & 425 grams
  • shells + stock liners: 2364 & 2360 grams

MSRP: $850

Test Locations: Mt Bachelor, OR; Grand Targhee, WY

Days Tested: 10

Cy Whitling reviews the K2 Pinnacle Pro for Blister Gear Review.

K2 Pinnacle Pro 130

 

K2 Pinnacle Pro 130

Available Sizes: 24.5 – 30.5

Size Tested: 27.5

Stated BSL (27.5): 316 mm

Stated Flex: 130

Stated Last: 100 mm

Blister’s Measured Weight:

  • shells, no liners: 1716 & 1715 grams
  • stock liners, no footbeds: 291 & 288 grams
  • shells + stock liners: 2007 & 2003 grams

MSRP: $950

Test Location: Teton Pass, WY

Days Tested: 1

Intro

In the 16/17 Blister Winter Buyer’s Guide, our take on the K2 Pinnacle 130 was primarily a word of caution; we’d seen too many durability and consistency issues with the original Pinnacle. But K2 has revised the Pinnacle to address those issues, and has also released this year the new “Pro” version; the Pinnacle Pro comes from the same mold as the Pinnacle, but uses Pebax instead of a PU plastic, has lighter buckles, and comes with a lighter stock liner.

I’ve been spending time in both the revised Pinnacle 130 and the new Pinnacle Pro, and while I will be getting a lot more time in both boots, I’ve got a few stats and impressions to offer, as well as some questions that I’m looking to answer in my full review.

Weight

While the first iteration of the Pinnacle 130 had tech fittings and a DIN compatible sole, it was just too heavy for most people to consider it as a dedicated touring boot. The new Pinnacle Pro is lighter by more than 350 g per boot, which puts it in a much more competitive weight class — in a size 27.5, it’s less than 100 g per foot heavier than a size 25.5 Tecnica Cochise.

Cy Whitling reviews the K2 Pinnacle Pro for Blister Gear Review.

Cy Whitling in the K2 Pinnacle Pro 130, Teton Pass, WY. (photo by: Tyler Meyers)

A lot of that weight savings comes from the liner. The standard Pinnacle has a very beefy liner with a plastic tongue, while the Pinnacle Pro uses an Intuition Precision Fit / Tour liner that looks very similar to the Intuition liners found in other touring boots. The switch in shell materials from PU to Pebax also likely saves some weight, and the Pro also has much lighter buckles and uses a traditional velcro power strap, instead of the Pinnacle’s awesome, overbuilt hybrid buckle / strap (which I’m a huge fan of).

While I do like light touring gear, I’m no weight weenie; my days of skinning in Full Tilts and very heavy frame-style AT bindings are too close behind me for that. Still, I currently have no interest in touring in the standard Pinnacle, since I can happily ski in much lighter boots (Salomon MTN Explore, Fischer Travers, etc.) So basically, the Pinnacle is above my weight threshold for a touring boot, regardless of its downhill performance. But I certainly realize that there are plenty of people who think differently, and are excited to get a tech-compatible boot that offers the performance of a legit alpine boot.

The Pinnacle Pro, however, is a different story. It’s still not the lightest touring boot out there, but at ~2000 grams in a size 27.5, it is in the same weight class as AT boots like the Tecnica Cochise Pro 130, or the Scarpa Freedom RS. I only have a few laps touring in the Pinnacle Pro so far, but I’ve found the weight to be manageable.

Walk Mode

We saw a enough issues with the walk mode on the first generation Pinnacle that we were leery of it. But so far, I’ve been impressed by the sturdiness and durability of the walk mode in both the Pinnacle and the Pinnacle Pro. It’s very easy to switch from walk to ski mode even with gloves on, I haven’t had issues with it icing up, and I haven’t experienced any play while it’s locked. I have, however, had a few times where I’ve accidentally started downhill with the boot not locked into ski mode — you’ve really got to make sure that the ski / walk lever is clicked all the way in to lock the cuff — but once you do, the connection is solid, and the boot skis feels like a dedicated alpine boot with a riveted cuff.

However, while the Pinnacle skis very well with the walk mode locked, it does not have a very large ROM with the walk mode unlocked, which brings us to our first question:

Q: Should you consider the Pinnacle Pro as your dedicated touring boot?

Just because a boot has tech fittings doesn’t mean that it’s a great option for all-day tours. And the Pinnacle Pro is fairly heavy, and the walk mode doesn’t have a great ROM. So based on the numbers, I can’t say that I was dying to go tour in this boot.

But yesterday I took the Pinnacle Pro out for a few shorter laps, and had them paired with the K2 Marksman and Marker Kingpin — which is the heaviest setup I’ve toured on in recent memory. I was expecting to be lagging behind the group and cursing my setup just like I did the last time I toured in an inbounds boot for the sake of a review. Instead, I found myself breaking trail. Long and short: I was shocked at how much the Pinnacle Pro didn’t suck to tour in. It doesn’t have the greatest ROM, but with the cuff unbuckled, I didn’t feel too restricted, even on a long-ish, flat approach.

I’ve only toured one day in the Pinnacle Pro so far, but I was impressed with how well it hid its weight and limited ROM. So I’ll be logging more uphill days in this boot in the near future.

Q: How does the Pinnacle Pro compare to the Pinnacle on the descent?

I’ve spent ten days inbounds in the standard Pinnacle, and have been very impressed with its downhill performance. The weight of the boot translates into a comfortable ride that provides very good suspension on the way down. It’s not the stiffest 130-flex boot out there, but its flex is predictable, the ride is plush, and the liner is thick and comfortable. I’m a fan.

Cy Whitling reviews the K2 Pinnacle Pro for Blister Gear Review.

Cy Whitling in the K2 Pinnacle Pro 130, Teton Pass, WY. (photo by: Tyler Meyers)

Given that the Pinnacle Pro comes from the same mold but uses different materials, liner, and buckles, how differently does it ski? I’ve only had a few short backcountry laps in the Pro, so I don’t know the answer to that question yet. But I am planning on spinning resort laps with the Pinnacle on one foot, and the Pinnacle Pro on the other to compare their downhill performance.

Q: Has K2 fixed the durability issues?

I only have a few days in each boot so far, and they’ve been fine. But I’ll be spending much of the season in these boots, and I’ll report back if I run into any issues.

Bottom Line (For Now)

The new K2 Pinnacle 130 and Pinnacle Pro 130 both seem quite promising, and we’re excited to log extended time in both boots, and will be weighing in further on their respective uphill and downhill performance.

 

2 Comments

  1. Bryce March 10, 2017 Reply

    Cy. Thanks for the great initial review. I was wondering if you had any updates on the pinnacle pro. I have narrowed my choices to the Lange XT 130 free ride (thanks for that review too!) and the Pro.

    Thanks.

    B

  2. simon claveau November 2, 2017 Reply

    Hi,
    Likes this initial review…
    Do you have more feedback now to give on the downhill abilities of the Pinnacle Pro version ?
    Considering to buy it and utilize it as my daily on piste and touring boot. Do you think it can work both ways ?
    Thanks a lot!
    Simon

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