Skimo Co

Atomic Backland 98 Ski - Women

$749.95 $599.95

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As a version of the esteemed Backland 100 designed specifically for shorter or lighter skiers, the Backland 98 jumps into the fray of powder-hunting, crud-busting skis in the competitive 95-105mm-waisted ski category. What makes this striped salmon of a powder board distinct from all the rest? Foremost in our testers' minds was the rocker/camber balance of the Backland 98, which makes the ski notably predictable and obedient even as conditions change from untracked blower to cut-up chalk to windboard. Atomic has long excelled at making both flat-tailed touring skis such as the Backland UL 85, as well as blue whale-sized powder skis in their Bent Chetler series, and the Backland 98 is the best of both worlds, freeride and touring alike. Atomic, true to its Austrian heritage and alpine-race-ski engineering roots, made sure that the Backland 98 would feel stable on edge and quick to engage when turning on hard snow. Not just a flash of brilliance for a few days of skiing, the full sidewall construction underlies the ski's durability for many deep days in the backcountry to come. If the goal is to bust crud and surf pow with the same boards on your feet, the Atomic Backland 98 Women's ski should get the nod.

  • HRZN Tech tip shaping increases flotation in soft snow, and decreases turn deflection in variable conditions.
  • Detuned for lighter skiers, the carbon backbone provides the right amount of stiffness for a responsive, but supple ride.
  • Atomic's Powder Rocker profile yields easy turning in powder and crud alike.
  • Full sidewall construction makes for a durable ski with solid edge hold.

Update 2021/22: The topsheet has been revamped.

Update 2022/23: Atomic kindly updated the topsheet again.

Update 2023/24: New year means a new topsheet atop the same awesome ski.

Lengths (cm) 156, 164, 172
convert to ounces
1095g [156]
1185g [164]
1265g [172]
Weight (pair) 2190g [156]
2370g [164]
2530g [172]
Dimensions   126.5-97-117 [156]
127.5-98-118 [164]
128.5-99-119 [172]
Turn Radius   12.5m [156]
14.6m [164]
17.0m [172]
Skin Fix   Round tip, curved tail with rubber protector
Specs Verified Yes
Profile   Rockered tip and tail (20%/10%), light camber underfoot (70%)
Shape   HRZN Tech tip, shorter radius, mostly round tail
Construction   HRZN Tech, Carbon Backbone with Ultra Power woodcore
Core   Carbon fiber and Karuba wood
Skimo Co Says
Usage Ski touring in soft snow and mixed conditions
Notes HRZN Tech spoon a rockered tip offers simple, fun turning
Bottom Line Well balanced ski for powder-heavy touring
Compare to other Women's Skis

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Questions & Reviews

Question from Sarah
I’ve been touring with my heavy inbounds skis and frame bindings and have decided to upgrade to a dedicated backcountry setup so I can hike for longer without my hips getting tired.
I was able to demo these skis and I actually really loved them. The conditions were pretty bad - basically sheet ice with some slush over top in spots, but I actually had an OK time on theses skis. I felt really stable and was even making good turns on the ice. (I also demoed the 88s and they felt horrible in comparison.)
I’m based in New England so I’m looking for a touring ski that will be good for the conditions here, and I’m looking for input on whether these are the right ones…
We get a lot of crust and crud in the backcountry here, and these skis seem like they are substantially lighter than every other popular touring ski option (Head Kore, Blizzard Zero G).
How do these skis perform on crusty/crud-y conditions? Are they too light/flexible for that type of skiing? Do you recommend I look for something different for East Coast conditions?
Answer from Emmett I
Hi Sarah,

In general, lightweight touring gear doesn't handle crud very well. Doesn't have the dampness that alpine gear does. The Backland 98 is pretty damp by touring standards, which would make it a good option for your use case. You might also want to take a look at the Fischer Transalp 98 CTI. A bit heavier, but they'd make for a great variable snow setup. And plenty of fun in soft snow as well.
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Question from Jen R
I'm 5'7" and 122lb and looking at the Volkl Rise Beyond 96, the Atomic Backland 98W, and the Voile Hypercharger W. I'm an advanced/fast skier at the resort but in the backcountry I'm definitely NOT aggressive. This would be primarily my backcountry ski quiver of one (that's the dream, right?) for Sierra powder/cement, crust, and spring corn. I'm comfortable with a 163-165 length. Looking for something easy to turn through trees yet has some stability on firm snow and float in open bowls. Priorities are light weight yet enough oomph to not get knocked around. My boots are Scarpa Gea RS. Which ski would you steer me toward?
Answer from Carlos M
Hi Jen,

You're on the right track! The Rise Beyond 96 is a great ski that is carvy on firm snow and tons of fun on corn, and can still float well in powder due to its large shovel. It has a stiff, round flex profile that works quite well in many conditions. The Backland 98 will be a little more soft-snow oriented, along with the Hypercharger. The Backland loves shorter powder turns, and the Hypercharger is a fun and playful ski with some energy that will want to open it up a little more. I would lean towards the Volkls if optimizing a little bit more for adventure skiing/ski mountaineering and springtime, or one of the other two for more winter conditions.

If you'd like to discuss skis in more detail, feel free to email us at!
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Question from Eric
I’m looking at pairing these Atomic Backland 98s with ATK Crest 8 bindings. A 102 mm brake seems most appropriate, but I see those bindings heavily discounted with the 108 mm brake. Would the 108 mm brake be too wide for this ski in a 164 cm length?
Answer from jbo
Hi Eric, I'd go with 97mm on that ski for the cleanest fit (as to not kick the brake arms when skinning or skiing). As far as pricing, they all cost the same so that must be a fluke. Note you can switch brakes after the bindings are mounted.
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Question from alexa
i am looking for a back country ski similar to my resort salomon qst 99. I tried mind bender 106 and they were too much for me. is this a good option or the icelandic mystic 97? im 5'4 125 pounds
Answer from Niko M
Hi Alexa! I think you'd find the Atomic Backland 98 to your liking based on your preference for the QST 99. Now there are some inherent differences when comparing a resort ski to a touring ski, but with construction aside, they should perform quite similarly as they are both versatile soft snow-biased skis. The Atomics are quite easygoing, intuitive to turn, and overall a good time. Hard to disagree with :)
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Question from Jess
Hello! I’m looking to replace my Voile Superchargers, which feel a bit erratic (likely because they’re too short). Looking at the Dynastar M-Tour 99 and the Backland 98. I demoed the Bent Chetler 100 and really hated the light/stiff combination (got knocked around). For that reason, the Dynastars appeal to me because of the wood core. However, I prefer a rockered tail. Ski the Sheeva 11 and Unleashed 98 in the resort and love both. What would you recommend? Also open to other suggestions! Thank you!
Answer from eric
Hey Jess - You should reach out to us at and we can deep dive
into some options for you.
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Question from Sarah
I'm a strong intermediate skier and am looking at these skis (Atomic Backland 98W) for skiing in Colorado, 50/50 resort and backcountry. How do they compare to the Dynafit Free 97's, the other ski I'm considering? Also, I'm 5'2" and 105 lbs...what size would you recommend for me in the Backland (156 or 164)? Thanks!
Answer from Jeff
Sarah, The Backland 98 is a wonderful BC powder ski. But if you want a 50/50 ski that will handle groomers and other Resort snow (crud :), the Free 97 would be a much better choice.
Based on your height/weight, the 156cm is right.
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Question from Marion
I'm replacing my Gotbacks 146 cm. (104 waist)
I'm 5'1" and ski mostly backcountry or skin up ski area and one downhill run, so I'm looking for a lighter ski for the uphill.
I would say I'm an advanced intermediate, but not super aggressive. Struggling to find something light, wide (95 or more), and short.
My current skis feel a bit short.
Would you recommend these for me?
Answer from Emmett I

These are a great balance of light, damp and stable! You could also check out the Elan Riptstick Tour 94 W ski. The unique rocker in the tip makes it very quick edge to edge.
Answer from jbo
Hi Marion, I might also suggest the Women's Hyper Charger which goes a little smaller (154) and is easy to ski and very light.
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Question from Jane
I am torn between these and the Hannibal 96 if you could offer any advice. I'd love to pick a pair of 50/50 skis for resort and touring. When in the resort I prefer to stay off groomers but love off piste, bumps, trees. I dont love speeding. I'm 5'2" 103lbs type 2 skier. Currently ski atomic mavericks 95ti in 165. Previously blizzard sheevas 10 in 164. Both fun to ski but as a smaller lighter skier my knees are torched at the end of the day/ multi day ski trips from throwing that weight around. Would you recommend these in the 156/164 or the Hannibal's in the 160s? I ski mostly in Utah but will venture out. Thanks for your thoughts!
Answer from Emmett I

Both of these skis will be easier to muscle around than your resort skis, simply because they're lighter. The Backlands are damp and playful, while the Hannibal is powerful. The Hannibal is stiffer, and is probably more fun to carve on groomers. Off groomers they might feel a bit clunkier in trees and moguls than the Backland.

So overall, I'd recommend the Backland, but you could go either way!
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Question from Katie
Hello, are those skis good for a beginner. I'm a snowboarder but I started skiing recently. I'm 132lbs, 5'7".we have mixed conditions here. Thank you
Answer from Emmett I

This would be a great ski for you! The dampness will help soak up variable conditions, while the ski is wide enough to float pretty well in powder but not so wide that it becomes a burden in other conditions.
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Question from Ben
Are these still the same exact ski as the men's Backland 100 apart from graphics for 2023?
Answer from jbo
Hi Ben, yes the construction is the same.
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Question from Anna
hello! I am trying to decide on my first pair of touring skis, I’ve been skiing since childhood, but am just getting into the backcountry scene. I will mostly be using them in Montana and am 5’8 135lbs. Would you recommend these or the 107 w backland? Also as far as length the 172 or 164cm? I am thinking of pairing them with salmon mnt pure bindings or the shift 10s. Any advice would be appreciated thank you!!
Answer from Jeff
Hi Anna,

The Backland 98 (same as the men's 100) are light and prefer powder skiing. The 107 will be your freeride model, skiing fast and in variable snow is their thing. Most people would probably put someone your size on the 164cm, but for powder skiing, the 172cm would be nice.

Bindings, unless you plan to ski this ski 90% of the time in a resort, get the Salomon MTN (or Atomic Backlands). The Shift is more a resort binding than a touring binding, and I gather you have plenty of resort gear already.

To dive in deeper, you can email us at
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Question from Gina
I am considering these skis but I can't decide the size, I am 163cm and would be skiing in all sorts of conditions (ice, powder, packed snow). Any thoughts ?
Answer from Ian C
Hi Gina, ski length is very much a personal preference, but for general touring, I think the 156cm sounds great!
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Question from sarah
Quick Questions

What would be a good size ski for 5'9" 135lb women intermediate skier in this ski? I live in California, primarily backcountry skiing out of mammoth lakes ca so conditions are a mixed bag.

I am also deciding between the atomic 95s or these 98s. What can I expect the differences to be?

What would be good skins for these skis? Would the raised tips create a gab between the skin and the ski and let in snow as im skinning on powder days?
Answer from Ian C
Hi Sarah, some great questions here! At your height/weight in the backcountry, the 164cm makes a lot of sense. While either of the skis you mention are pretty damp and would be dependable daily drivers, the Backland 98 is more of a soft snow ski than the 95, being more rockered and less cambered.

Whatever your favorite skins are would be fine with these! As long as they are applied uniformly to your ski bases, I see no reason why snow would intrude near the tip. The ski tails are somewhat chunky so durable tail clips would be a nice skin feature.
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Question from Lisa
I've demoed the Backland 100s in 164cm for skiability, and they ski amazing in mixed conditions. Super nimble, love the turn radius, even with the light weight they ski very much like my alpine Atomic skis... super intuitive for me. In comparing those with the Backland W 98s, all the specs are the same except for the 2cm waist difference. I'm super thrown off by the copywriting "designed specifically for lighter skiers." I'm not light, 5'8" and 175 lbs. I like the 98 topsheets more than the 100s, but I'm extremely excited about how the 100s skied. Would you recommend it's an interchangable choice on topsheet/price, or is there going to be a big difference in skiability for the 98s? (I don't see 98s locally to demo). Thx much!
Answer from jbo
Hi Lisa, good question. There is actually no difference in shape or construction as compared to the 100, so take your pick based on topsheet! It's only named 98 because the reference length for women is shorter and skinnier than the reference length for men.
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Question from Jack
How does the 98W compare to the 100 in terms of stiffness/ flex? I'm looking at these skis for my girlfriend (5'8", intermediate skier, getting into touring) but I'm nervous these may be a little too stiff. Thanks!
Answer from Jeremy L
Hi Jack. The 98 and the 100 are the same construction just slightly different shapes. I think this would be a great ski for an intermediate skier getting into touring. I hope that helps.
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Question from Jen
Hi! I'm interested in these skis for the PNW of the US- wet snow, ice, crust, trees, etc. I'm planning to use them 80% backcountry and 20% resort. I'm 5'3", 150lbs and currently skiing a 160 Voile Vector. I can't decide between the 156 and the 163. Thoughts?
Answer from Will McD
Hi Jen, either of those lengths would work for you, but based on the kind of skiing you're looking at, I would go with the 156 over the 163. The slightly shorter ski will be more nimble and easier to pilot through the trees, especially on slicker conditions.
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Question from Nicole Sturzenberger
Hi there!
I ski in the Lake Tahoe area where the snow is heavy. These seem like they would be a good ski for me. I ski a lot in a variety of terrain and conditions. I like to be able to make controlled turns. I'm wondering what length would be good for me. I'm 5'6 130 lbs. This to be my only touring ski. Thanks!
Answer from Julieana
Hey Nicole,
I think you could go with either the 164cm length or the 172cm length and both would be appropriate based on your height. Your decision on which one to go with should come down to what length of ski you are used to skiing--if you are used to longer skis, go long, if you are used to shorter skis, go short. It should also come down to what you prioritize in your skiing experiences. The shorter length will be easier to turn and maneuver, especially in tight or variable conditions. The longer length will be slightly less quick to turn, but will float a little better in deeper conditions and will be a little more stable at higher speeds. Either way, it's a great, versatile ski, and no matter which length you choose I think you'll have a blast!
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Kathryn (used product regularly)
My husband bought me these last summer and I couldn’t wait for it snow so I could get them on my feet. They are 10 ounces lighter per foot than my Atomic Centuries, which will make my multi-lap ski tour goals a reality. I skinned up the ski area and bombed around on groomers to break them in and was honestly surprised at how well they handled firmer groomers. They gave me an immense amount of confidence for literally any type of terrain or snow condition and that held true when I transitioned into the backcountry and slew some powder :) My favorite skis yet!
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Question from Christine
Any idea why the stop sheets online are different than those currently in stores? The ones here at near black tips and horizontal marking and the ones in stores are purple with diagonal watermark pattern!
Haha just curious which ones I'd get if I order online.

Answer from Tristan M
Hi Christine,

The Atomic Backland 98 that we have listed on our website matches the appearance of the ski that we have in the shop as well. I would recommend you reach out to the shop where you took that photo and inquire with them!
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Question from Jim
How are these different than the men's version other than the 35g per ski?
Answer from Tristan M
Hi Jim,

Thanks for reaching out! Besides the minute discrepancy in weight that we found, there is no difference between the Men's and Women's skis in terms of construction.
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Model: Backland 98 Women's

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