First Look: Scarpa Rebel Ultra

The bigger brother to Scarpa’s three-season Rebel Carbon, the Rebel Ultra is a fully-featured boot for all-year alpine use: Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort lining, automatic-crampon compatibility and an integrated, mid-calf gaiter differentiate it from it’s smaller sibling.

REV_Rebel_Ultra_001The Ultra has the same low-profile as the Rebel Carbon, but adds insulation, a front crampon bail and integrated gaiter. The upper cuff closure system is different as well.

The first thing everyone who picks up this boot remarks on is its weight, or rather, lack thereof: my size 43.5 / 10.5US weighs in at 804 grams per boot. Compare that to 1049 for a Phantom Guide (same size – 43.5/10.5US), 697 for the Rebel Carbon (size 43/10US) and 1062 for the Mont Blanc (size 42/10USW/9USM – my wife’s boots). Suffice it to say, the Ultras are exceedingly light!

The next best thing about the Ultras, and one that you won’t find out until you try them on, is their fit. Built on the same last as the other Rebel boots, they fit like a heavy-duty trail runner. Your foot feels very close to the ground, and the whole boot fits like a sock. Their lightness only adds to this feeling.

REV_Rebel_Ultra_002The boot is styled like the human foot: wide on the bottom, narrower through the ankle and wider coming up to the calf. Fit is exceptional.

Constructed with Scarpa’s Sock-Fit technology, the tongue, instep and collar are all made from one piece of stretchy S-Tech Schoeller fabric. The instep has additional polyurethane ‘ribs’ injected over the top to alleviate, and distribute, pressure from the laces. Though the sock-like-fit is excellent, its inherently close fit does create a narrower-than-usual ‘tunnel’ through which to fit your foot. As an example, depending on which socks I’m wearing, I sometimes struggle to put on my Rebel Carbons due to the narrow fit through the collar of the boots. I suspect the Ultras will be a bit easier to put on due to the huge dual pull-tabs on the gaiter.

REV_Rebel_Ultra_003The two huge pull-tabs make putting the boots on a breeze.

The upper cuff has a unique strap system which allows almost uninhibited lateral flex, while retaining good fore-aft stiffness. These feel like a fruit boot more than any other boot I’ve ever tried.

REV_Rebel_Ultra_005The unique upper cuff isn’t actually attached to the gaiter, but ends up anchoring the foot through the back, just above the heel, and across the tongue on the front. I think this is part of what contributes to the boots’ incredible lateral flex.

REV_Rebel_Ultra_006The front part of the upper cuff also has a small velcro tab to line it up on the gaiter.

The lacing system is the same as on the Carbons, allowing a precise fit and easy fine-tuning of tension throughout the foot.

Though they are not as stiff as traditional mountain boots, based on my experience with the Rebel Carbons, I have no reason to doubt that they will climb very, very well indeed. And that includes both rock, and ice.

Fall alpine season is still a few weeks away, but stay tuned for an update on their actual climbing prowess as soon as weather allows!

REV_Rebel_Ultra_004This year’s (2013) Ultra’s have Vibram’s TT Lite sole. Next year’s (2014) models switch to the Vibram Mulaz S sole (which is composed of stickier rubber, and is similar to that found on the Rebel Carbon).

REV_Rebel_Ultra_008Sole flex on flat ground is quite remarkable for an alpine boot. These are going to be awesome on the approach!

REV_Rebel_Ultra_009The boots exhibit a similar amount of flex when toe-edging… this I am not so sure about, especially with crampons.

4 thoughts on “First Look: Scarpa Rebel Ultra

  1. Eric says:

    Way to soft. Which will pump your calf out.
    La sportiva has crushed this boot category for years
    with the Trango models. Stiff soles that are razor sharp
    Precision tools for your feet. The have been making Trangos since the late 1990s.
    Of course the fit was always a problem for many
    climbers. To loose in the heel, with shallow and narrow
    toe box.

  2. FKarcha says:

    Based on your initial impression, would you say these are too warm for summer mountaineering? I’ve been using Silver Bullet Trangos as a summer and mild weather ice climbing boot, but will need something better fitting.

    I could always wait for the Rebel Pro….

    • Raf says:

      I am honestly unsure… I guess depends how high you go?

      I’ve only had a chance to use them low-down, but in temperatures up to 20C, and though they were warm I didn’t think my feet were sweating excessively.

      I’ve got a pair of Rebel Pro coming in for review in a couple of weeks, I’m going to do a warmth comparison between the boots, but I suspect given the construction and details provided to me, they’ll be about the same in insulation.

  3. Stefan says:

    I have recently started mountaineering and am in the market for some boots.
    I am an ambitious 30yo and will do some 4000m peaks in the Alps next year (glacier technique, mixed climbing), but want to go as far/high as possible in the future.

    From what I read the boots nowadays are ever more light but all the options make me dizzy. As a newcomer my goal is to get something to serve me well in as many situations as possible, so here comes the question(s):

    Is the Ultra also good for; lets say a day hiking or would you prefer the new Rebel Pro.

    best regards

    Stefam

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