Scarpa Freedom RS 130 ReviewJanuary 13, 2016
- Intuition Tongue Liner shaves weight and is comfortable and warm
- Walk mode is best in class
- Versatility—the boot has function and purpose in most skiing objectives
- Dialing in the forward lean takes a tool and figuring out
- Not sold on the “130” flex
The Freedom RS 130 is the bigger brother of the award-winning Freedom SL. The resort charging/backcountry hybrid is arguably the best one-and-done boot on the market. It’s good enough at everything to justify buying this one boot and then swap them between your alpine bindings and tech for touring. Note: you actually can buy them with tech fittings, or DIN specific soles.
What was good about the Freedom SL is a little bit better in the RS 130—all the way around. The Freedom RS boasts the same overlap upper cuff design but with a stiffer polyamide blend that makes them stouter for inbounds skiing. The Intuition tongue liner has a reinforced piece of plastic that transfers power better too. Testers toured in the SL next to the RS and couldn’t distinguish between the two on the way up, but on the way down, the RS drove the ski with a little less effort. Both Freedom iterations use the Powerblock Tour, which is a metal-on-metal interface in ski mode, and provides significant power transfer through the spine.
Because the walk mode is so good, and its relatively light weight, the Freedom RS doesn’t seem out of place skiing far from the trailhead. With the same cuff range as some of the more dedicated backcountry boots, the RS’s greatest strength was ergonomics, which is like saving weight when you’re breaking trail.
Freeride doesn’t necessarily mean Alpine. And when we skied these next to the Dalbello Lupo Ti, there was a difference in stiffness when driving Volkl Mantras around the resort. The Dalbello insulated the foot against the rough conditions a little better than the RS, though it also had the additional mass on its side. The saving grace of the Freedom performance is the high cuff, which provides additional contact with the lower leg, and provided the necessary driving power.