Great, you say, but what does Kaukopartio have to do with the off-track skiing gear discussion? Well, after struggling with the army issue skis for 30km or so I started to "get" them.
Yes, the boots are floppy, but they are waterproof which came in handy skiing through a section of overflow on a lake. In Iowa I am often skiing on relatively thin creek and river ice. I'm careful of were I go, but when the water is shallow and I'm close to home I don't mind risking getting a little wet. It would be handy to have fully waterproof boots at those times. Other times, not so much. In extreme cold or when working hard having a breathable boot would be much more enjoyable.
In spite of the poor fit and complete unbreathability I got no blisters after 18 hours of skiing in completely new to me boots. How does that happen? I don't know, but I'm impressed. It's something to think about.
The cable bindings are heavy, but the boots are quite walkable. Without a bail or duckbill on the front I would have no problem taking off the skis and walking a ways in them if I had to. Some ski boots I've used are very nearly dangerous to walk in. Too slippery. During KPH I didn't have to walk, but again for marginal skiing this matters.
The skis were heavy, but huge and tough. When skiing over downed logs, through brush, and over gravel roads toughness matters. As far as huge goes the float that the skis had on deep snow was quite good. Much better than skinny racing skis. That's what skis are for after all.
I know that some of you have suggested that the Altai or Marquette skis would be good for this kind of skiing. Maybe you're right. The Altais especially look promising. My main concern is that they seem to be more aimed the BC/downhill crowd. More of a go up and ski down kind of ski. Not a get there kind of ski. Maybe I'm wrong about that.
Soon: a look at the Fischer Country and Europa 99.