The Dalbello Panterra ID 120 is a feature-laden boot that falls into what we are terming an adventure/freeride boot. Similar to our Top Pick winner, the Tecnica Cochise 120, the Panterra ID has abundant features to easily adjust the fit of the boot and to help the boot crossover from in-bounds to out-of-bounds skiing. It has a medium volume, performance-oriented fit and will be best suited for advanced and expert level skiers.
Dalbello Panterra ID 120 Review
Cons: Bulky, walk-mode, power-strap
Our Analysis and Test Results
This boot features a three-piece shell design with a unique buckle orientation. We found the Dalbello Panterra ID 120 to be a bulky and overly featured boot. Some of the features were an asset to the boot, some we did not notice much, and others were of poor quality. Nonetheless, the boot skied well and fit our medium volume feet right out of the box.
Comfort and Fit
The most forward buckle on this boot adjusts the width of the toe box. The shell material has been thinned so that it flexes slightly and the floating tongue slides over the top, creating a wrapping feeling near the front of the boot. We found this to be effective and comfortable. This buckle can be cranked tight for a performance fit, or the tension can be relaxed a bit if space is wanted for swelling feet.
Another unique buckle configuration on the Panterra ID is one that goes diagonally across the ankle. We think this buckle is awesome! It holds the heel back and secures the ankles in their cozy pockets. This contributes greatly to the boot's performance. Be cautioned that you can tighten this one too much and cut off circulation to your foot.
The Panterra ID 120 is a bit more aggressive in its stance than other boots in this review, making it easy to stay forward in the boot. The flex rating is right on when compared with other boots we tested. However, the boot feels very bulky and a bit sluggish in the transmission of energy from legs through the liner and tongue to skis. The bulky feel of the boot also compromises sensitivity to the ski and snow.
Besides the bright color, the features of the Dalbello Panterra ID 120 are what drew our attention to this boot first. It has everything, including a walk-mode, an intuition liner, flex adjustment, a variable volume fit (forefoot buckle), and adjustable ramp angle. We were curious as to what these features would offer. It turns out that some were great, others weren't noticeable, and some were of low quality.
The walk mode of this boot and the rubberized mid-sole are what may attract a user wanting to cross over between in-bounds and out-of-bounds skiing. We were immediately concerned that the walk mode is constructed of plastic and works only as a block between the cuff of the boot and the shell. This results in the boot failing to re-engage into ski mode on occasion. Also, the plastic is questionable when considering long-term durability. Lastly, there is limited mobility in the cuff when in walk mode, causing us to wonder why even add it to a boot that is far from lightweight. For travel anywhere in the backcountry, lightweight gear with high mobility is preferred, and this boot doesn't accomplish either. The Tecnica Cochise 120 uses a metal piece to catch inside the boot for its walk mode, has a more flexible range of motion, and is lighter to allow for easier hiking and skinning. We prefer the Tecnica model if you plan to use it out of bounds at all.
The Pantera features a flex adjustment. We found little effect on the stiffness of the boot when we adjusted this. Another adjustment featured on the Panterra is a ramp angle adjustment found on the sole. This lifts the heel inside the shell to promote a more forward stance and also takes up some volume in the ankle. We enjoyed playing with this adjustment to find our sweet spot in the boot. This is simultaneously a fit adjustment and changes the responsiveness in the boot while skiing.
The close fit of the Panterra makes it a little bit colder than some of the other roomier fitting boots in the review. Again, be mindful of the ankle buckle that is prone to cutting off circulation if tightened too much.
Although we had no issues with the durability of this boot during our tests, we question the lifespan of a walk-mode that depends solely on a single plastic piece for it to function. Only time will tell. The rubberized mid-sole of the boot will take abuse if you're walking on rocks or stairs on your quest for secret stashes at the resort.
This boot is best suited to in-bounds skiing for advanced and expert skiers.
If you like having a lot of fit options, this boot could be a good deal. It allows for a lot of customization, which can enhance the value.
The Panterra ID 120 is a strong skiing boot with a close performance fit. Its features that allow for fit customization are a strong suit for this boot, though some of the features are overkill and crowd the boot. It feels bulky and would be a questionable model to take in the backcountry, even though it seems to be designed with that purpose in mind. Consider the Tecnica Cochise 120 if you are seeking a boot to ski both sides of the boundary. Keep this boot inbounds, and it will perform on the down and keep you comfortable with easy adjustments that can be made on the fly and on the boot fitter's bench.
— Mike Phillips