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Scarpa Phantom Tech Review

This lightweight and warm boot will get you to the top of alpine climbs
scarpa phantom tech mountaineering boot review
Credit: Scarpa
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Price:  $800 List | $609.91 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Warm, lightweight, climbs well
Cons:  No lace lock, not fully waterproof
Manufacturer:   Scarpa
By Ian McEleney ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 14, 2022
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 10
  • Climbing - 25% 8.0
  • Weight - 20% 8.0
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 6.0
  • Warmth - 15% 6.0
  • Hiking - 10% 6.0
  • Lacing - 10% 5.0

Our Verdict

The Scarpa Phantom Tech is impressively light yet still kept our testers' feet warm. When it comes to climbing, this boot is a well-rounded performer on steep ice, tricky mixed routes, and rock without crampons — so pretty much everything you want a boot for. We missed the lace lock from previous models that gave us some lacing precision. Also worth noting, the zipper is only water resistant, so the waterline on this boot is around 4.5 inches. Nevertheless, the Phantom Tech is a great boot because of its excellent performance on steep terrain.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Warm, lightweight, climbs wellSuper lightweight, climbs well, simple lacesWarm, climbs wellRemovable liner, velcro ankle strap, waterproofLight, versatile, great for rock climbing
Cons No lace lock, not fully waterproofNo lace lock, could be warmerExpensiveExpensive, slightly flexibleNot very warm, minimal calf support
Bottom Line This lightweight and warm boot will get you to the top of alpine climbsThis lightweight boot is our go-to choice for challenging climbs on ice, rock, and snowThis is a great boot for cold weather climbing and it's really fast to put on, take off, and adjustThis lightweight double boot is perfect for cold weather technical climbingThese light, versatile boots are good for all-around performance
Rating Categories Scarpa Phantom Tech Asolo Eiger XT GV Evo La Sportiva G5 Evo Arc'teryx Acrux AR La Sportiva Trango...
Climbing (25%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
6.0
Weight (20%)
8.0
9.0
6.0
4.0
7.0
Weather Resistance (20%)
6.0
7.0
6.0
9.0
4.0
Warmth (15%)
6.0
6.0
7.0
9.0
3.0
Hiking (10%)
6.0
6.0
7.0
5.0
8.0
Lacing (10%)
5.0
5.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
Specs Scarpa Phantom Tech Asolo Eiger XT GV Evo La Sportiva G5 Evo Arc'teryx Acrux AR La Sportiva Trango...
Style Single Single Single Double Single
Weight 1lb 12.6oz (810g) 1lb 10.8oz (760g) 1lb 15oz (875g) 2lb 2oz (965g) 1lb 13.6oz (835g)
Sizes Available 38-48 EU 40-47.5 EU 38-48 EU 7-13 US 38-48 EU
Upper PU Tek + S-Tech Fabric High tenacity nylon with Schoeller Soft Shell Stretch Cordura with reflective aluminum lining 3L Gore-Tex w/ TPU Laminate Nylon 6.6 with Honey-Comb Guard and FlexTec 3
Waterproof Lining HDry waterproof direct lamination membrane Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort Gore-Tex Infinium Gore-Tex Gore-Tex Performance Comfort
Shank Carbon Fiber + EVA + Aerogel Carbon Fiber 3mm Honeycomb Tech insulating carbon PU 9mm Insulated IBI-Thermo
Midsole 2D EVA-MP Dual color microporous midsole 2mm polyurethane CM EVA, carbon fiber 6-7mm TPU/ Dual-density micropore EVA
Sole Rubber Vibram Precision Tech Roll / Mont Vibram Litebase with Mont compound Vibram Matterhorn Vibram AR Vibram "One"

Our Analysis and Test Results

Scarpa has been making Phantom boots for a number of years now, and when it comes to mountaineering and alpine climbing on peaks and routes less than 6000 meters, this is the best iteration yet. It's very light, warm, and climbs well.

Hands-On Review


scarpa phantom tech mountaineering boot review - andy on a delicate lead. when things got technical, we loved this...
Andy on a delicate lead. When things got technical, we loved this boot.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Climbing


We enjoyed climbing steep ice, mixed routes, and bare rock with this boot. The Phantom Tech is a good all-around climbing boot - which is why it gets a high score in this metric. The sole is quite rigid. Though the inner part of the boot is about an inch lower than earlier models, we did not find this compromised steep ice performance unduly. When the boot was laced tight, we found decent support that helped prevent burning calves.

This boot performs best on mixed routes and for drytooling. The rigid sole is just what we want, and the mild rocker is a benefit. The soft and low-cut inner boot gives a great amount of ankle flex for techy moves. One of our testers said, after climbing a two pitch M6, "this boot doesn't restrict any move I try to make".

scarpa phantom tech mountaineering boot review - andy cruising neve, ice, and rock. the phantom shined on this kind...
Andy cruising neve, ice, and rock. The Phantom shined on this kind of ground.
Credit: Ian McEleney

The attribute that helps the Phantom on steep ice and mixed climbing is a bit of a hindrance on bare rock without crampons. For that application, we prefer a less-than-rigid sole with a bit more rocker. The good range of motion in the ankle area was helpful, however. We used this boot with crampons from several manufacturers, all in a fully automatic binding system. It played well with all of them.

Weight


Checking in at 1 pound 12 ounces (810g), the Phantom Tech is shockingly light. Our testers aren't totally sure how this is possible, but it seems like the outsole on this boot is a bit thinner than on other models. It's in the same weight range as lightweight boots.

The other supergaiter boots are in the same neighborhood when it comes to weight; if you're trying to decide between them, go by fit first.

scarpa phantom tech mountaineering boot review - weighing the phantom tech.
Weighing the Phantom Tech.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Remember that our tester pair is a size 43, and often manufacturers' websites list the weight of a pair of 42 or 42.5. The weight is also listed for one boot, 1/2 of a pair.

Weather Resistance


This boot is incredibly water-resistant and provides a fantastic level of protection from snow and ice. The gaiter lacks a drawcord at the top, but it fits snugly enough around the skinny legs of our lead tester to keep snow out when post-holing. The smooth exterior let snow and ice roll off the boot.

The gaiter fabric is a waterproof breathable material. However, the zipper is not waterproof. There is a piece of waterproof fabric sewn in behind the zipper that raises the effective waterline for this boot to about 4.5 inches (about 11 cm). Above this, liquid water will come in if you're standing in a puddle, pool, or stream. Our testers generally avoid standing in water in the winter, so this relatively low water line wasn't a big problem for us.

scarpa phantom tech mountaineering boot review - the phantom tech in the water bucket.
The Phantom Tech in the water bucket.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Warmth


Supergaiter boots are usually warmer than single boots due to an added layer and the small amount of airspace between the inner boot and the outer gaiter. We found that to be the case for these models. The Phantom Tech is insulated with Primaloft, which is a tremendous synthetic insulator. As mentioned above, the outsole of the boot seems a bit thinner than some other boots. This makes more room for a thicker midsole, which is a warmer (and probably lighter) choice.

We think this boot is about as warm as other supergaiter boots, which is to say that it's about as warm as a mountain boot can be without a removable liner. Again, if trying to decide between this model and other supergaiter boots, look at fit before warmth.

scarpa phantom tech mountaineering boot review - this boot kept our feet comfortable when standing still in deep snow.
This boot kept our feet comfortable when standing still in deep snow.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Hiking


Some of the attributes that boost climbing performance on ice, mixed, and drytooling pitches can be liabilities for hiking. Our testers liked a sole that wasn't fully rigid and has some rocker for less clunky hiking.

The Phantom Tech has a bit more give in the ankle area than some of the competition, which helps. Also, the overall low weight of the boot counteracts the ski boot qualities it brings out in our gait. No mountaineering boot is great at hiking.

scarpa phantom tech mountaineering boot review - good ankle range of motion helped this boot hike better.
Good ankle range of motion helped this boot hike better.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Lacing


The lacing on the Phantom Tech was average. We liked the overall simplicity of the system: traditional laces and a zipper. However, we missed a lace lock. Often this takes the form of a hook at the top of the forefoot, just in front of the ankle crease. This allows climbers to have different levels of tension in different parts of the boot depending on need. The boot comes with the laces threaded differently through the hole in the bottom of the ankle, but this doesn't provide the same function. We weren't able to keep the forefoot tight and ankle loose, or vice versa.

Once that tension is locked in, however, it stays secure. There's also a generous pull tab on the back of the inner boot. Even our testers with low-volume feet felt some resistance when slipping this boot on, and the pull tab helped.

scarpa phantom tech mountaineering boot review - for bare booted rock climbing it wasn't our favorite, but it got the...
For bare booted rock climbing it wasn't our favorite, but it got the job done.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Should You Buy the Scarpa Phantom Tech?


The Scarpa Phantom Tech is one of the supergaiter boots on the market today. It's quite light and agile on mixed routes, two qualities we don't always find in these boots. It's also respectably warm. Though it doesn't provide the robust waterproofness of some other boots, we think this won't be a major issue for most climbers. If this boot fits your foot, we think it's a great choice for mountaineering, ice, and alpine climbing.

What Other Mountaineering Boots Should You Consider?


If you really need waterproofness and warmth from your boot, take a look at the Arc'teryx Acrux AR. It's certainly heavier than the Phantom Tech and doesn't climb quite as well, but it's a great boot for keeping your feet warm and dry. Our favorite overall boot is the Asolo Eiger XT GV Evo, another supergaiter boot that's even lighter than the Phantom Tech.

scarpa phantom tech mountaineering boot review - this boot does well at the crag, but is light enough to take along...
This boot does well at the crag, but is light enough to take along on alpine adventures.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Ian McEleney
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