All-purpose touring skis are the starting point for getting into the backcountry and the sweet spot for a one-ski quiver. Err on the skinnier side if you tend to ski harder snow or fatten up if you ski more on powder days. This selection of backcountry skis is designed to perform admirably no matter what conditions you find.
When it comes to technical sports like skiing, the earlier the kiddos learn their Pizzas and French Fries, the better. Atomic's Backland Junior extends the reliability and versatility of their ubiquitous adult touring line to future uphill champions aged approximately 9-11. The Backland Junior is a true all-mountain ski, combining a directional turn shape with so-called "piste rock..
From Jackson to Lhotse, Denali to Mount Vinson, women have put up some of the biggest ski mountaineering lines on the planet. However, even these steely-eyed crushers had to start their backcountry exploits somewhere. The Atomic Backland Girl is an all-mountain ski for intermediate skiers looking to have fun on and off-piste. A Densolite foam core facilitates a light and vibration-..
K2’s entrance into the lightweight touring market certainly caught our attention (they previously made heavier touring skis). The Wayback 88 is a top contender for the title of Quiver-of-One. Factor in price, and it's a sure-fire winner. It’ll float in powder and pop while slashing corn laps, yet still flaunt relentless grip and stability on firm snow when laying ‘em down. Usually ..
The Superguide 95 women’s ski is not overusing the word, "Super." These sticks have the same excellent balance of maneuverability and stability as the men’s version, but in different sizing options. SCOTT decided to make some updates to their Superguide line that dramatically improved stability and dampness. Featuring a full-length Paulownia and Beech wood core with Carbon/Aramid f..
What would happen if you bought just one ski that could do it all? Would you still use your other skis out of guilt? The best way to avoid this problem is to stay away from SCOTT's Speedguide 89. Not too little in the middle, this baby has the backing of a full-length paulownia wood core that also incorporates Carbon/Aramid fibers to increase stability and torsional stiffness while..
Not long ago, finding a touring ski that could confidently lay down a turn at high speeds and maintain some competence on a technical climb was an impossible task. Oh how were are blessed to live in the now. Cut from the same hard-charging cloth (Karuba) as the Explore 95, the MTN Explore 88 is the lightest and skinniest ski among Salomon’s MTN Explore lineup. Don’t let the relativ..
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Well, the design of the Zero G 95 definitely wasn't broken, but Blizzard still somehow found a way to fix it. The previous Zero G 95 was widely praised for being versatile and reliable across a wide range of conditions and skill levels, yet Blizzard wasn't satisfied. They took their fantastic Carbon Overlay technology and tweaked it to ensure a mo..
If your objective with skiing is to go as light as possible without sacrificing even a bit of the ability to rail turns like your alpine gear, then look no further. Salomon’s MTN Explore 95 is the carving, floating, smile-inducing ripper designed to charge in any terrain. A 3D Full Woodcore construction reinforces the ski where it’s needed and drops weight in superfluous areas that..
Maybe you’ve ever hesitated to explore a lightweight touring setup because you have heard words like “flimsy,” “delicate,” and “can’t ski hard enough” used to describe gear. Salomon’s MTN Explore 88W is here to prove every nay-sayer wrong. One of the most advanced skis on the market, the Women’s MTN Explore provides an unbelievable level of ski-ability for the weight. Total Edge Re..
The Elan Ibex 94 Carbon XLT has a unique feel that everyone should try. A smooth and easy longitudinal flex paired with a hook-free tip and solid torsional stability makes skiing fun again. The relaxed demeanor and Mountain Rocker tip come together in joyous matrimony to provide a lively, surfy feel in powder and corn. However, when the snow gets firm and slope angle increases, the..
As the lightest and skinniest ski in the DPS touring lineup, the Cassiar 87 Tour1 is likely to get picked on by his peers. We like to stick up for such poor souls because they will probably have the last laugh. The 87 is a classic touring ski with a medium waist that seems to handle whatever is below without complaint. Tougher than it looks, the 87 carves up corn and eats through c..
We all know what a difference an aspect can make, especially on those days that can change from blower fluff to wind-scoured stuff in a few turns. If you want the one ski to rule them all SCOTT has upgraded and revamped their Superguide line and the finished product is a top-notch shredder for all conditions! An updated core construction for 2020/21 is made up of Paulownia and Beec..
In designing the Free 97, Dynafit set out to create a balanced ski that isn’t too laborious on the up yet has the confidence to excel no matter the snow conditions. To achieve this, they started with a poplar wood core lined with carbon fiber stringers, which helps to provide a damp yet playful ride. They added more tip and tail rocker compared to their Beast series. This simultane..
Like its unisex sibling, the Dynafit Free 97 W is designed to be light enough to schlep anywhere, but sturdy enough to ski anything confidently. Dynafit accomplished this with a poplar wood core, which supplies suspension while remaining poppy and light. It's also apparent that Dynafit took their time perfecting the sidecut, as the Free 97 W is equally at home in steep spots as it ..
Designed to bridge the worlds of freeride and classic touring, the versatile Women’s Session 95 finds the right combination of weight, durability, and performance that is sure to leave a smile on your face whether going up or downhill. Borrowing the much-beloved shape of the Alp Tracks 95, Movement added a 5-Axis Carbon weave to increase performance in variable snow conditions whil..
Movement’s Alp Tracks line has been the go-to for skiers that want a high-performance ski at a silly lightweight. Now available in the “goldilocks” size, the Alp Tracks 89 is Movement’s way of contending for a one-ski-quiver. With enough tip rocker to downgrade challenging conditions into simply “conditions,” the Alp Tracks 89 floats well above what its waist width would indicate. ..
Rare is the time we sacrifice peak-bagging prowess for pure power on the descent, but luckily with the Backland 95, you don’t have to. Borrowing geometry cues from Atomic’s larger powder skis and core construction secrets from its lighter-weight brethren, the Backland 95 is a big mountain ski put on a substantial diet. Or maybe a mountaineering ski that was put on a fattening diet?..
Long noted for manufacturing durable skis with reliable performance, Atomic has stepped up its powder-touring offerings with the Backland 100. With a touch more rocker than its little brother the Backland 95, but plenty of camber for long days on the skin track, the Backland 100 brings a refined take on the rocker-camber-rocker profile. Up front, Atomic's unique HRZN Tech tips make..
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 ma..
Some days, snow conditions are all over the place with no way of knowing what you'll find. The slightest change in aspect, elevation, or weather can cause you to end up nervously staring down an icy couloir with girthy powder skis. Or perhaps a neck-deep powder run with the skinniest of skis. Neither is ideal. Rest assured that won’t happen to you on the Dynastar M-Vertical 88s. Th..
The Volkl Rise Above 88 W is for the woman who wants to go uphill fast, enjoy a euphoric downhill run, and experience unwavering confidence in slick conditions. Boasting the same responsive maneuverability as the Rise Above 88, the Rise Above 88 W has a triple-radius sidecut, allowing you to seamlessly change the arc of your turn from long and fast to short and nimble. The result i..
After Volkl's Rise High 88 made an unexpected splash in the world of high-performance touring skis, Volkl could have sat back and just ridden the success of their Rise line. Instead, they went back to the lab to make an even better ski, and indeed they did with the Rise Above 88 ski. Volkl claims this ski is the "most versatile ski" in its line of touring skis for the 21/22 season,..
Ready to rip? So is the Ripstick Tour 88 - a lighter weight, backcountry friendly take on Elan's popular Ripstick line. With an 88mm waist, this piece of eye candy is ready for some winter or spring laps where conditions may vary from powder to corn to crud. The smaller turning radius brings this ski around quickly, which comes in handy in trees, couloirs, and anywhere else you wan..
The Dynastar touring family is growing: the Storks have dropped off the M-Tour 90, making the family much more complete. As with siblings, the M-Tour 90 and 99 share a similar genetic makeup but have very different personalities. For instance, the rocker profile on the M-Tour 99 wants to seek out soft turns whereas the shorter rocker profile and longer effective edge on the M-Tour ..
Black coffee, black humor, black ops, film noir -- the word suggests subtlety, sophistication, refinement. In the case of Dynafit's Blacklight series, the skis reach their most refined in the form of the Blacklight 88, which infuses a layer of Skimo Blue (guaranteed to make you faster) over the blacks and greys of the ski's carbon fiber layup. Much more responsive and easy-to-ski t..
If you thought getting snow pants on your kid was tough, try buying them a full touring kit! Don't worry, we've got you covered like a one-piece snowsuit. Dynafit has taken the next step (or stride) towards making the buying process of ski packages as simple as possible. Skis, premounted bindings, and skins are all in one place and ready to go for your miniature mountaineer. If it'..
Men aren't the only ones who want to go fast, confidently ski variable conditions, and descend technical lines! Sure, Dynafit could've created a women's-specific ski from the ground up for the rowdy lady skiers out there, but the design was already out in the world - known as the Blacklight 88. This Women's Blacklight 88 version features the same materials and technology as the ori..
Volkl has a reputation for making skis that can perform in just about any terrain for any level of skier and the Rise Beyond 96 Ski is no exception. The improved model from the previous season, the shape is a touch narrower underfoot by 2mm and features a tighter turn radius for snappier turn initiation. But don't worry, the innovative 3D radius sidecut remains, which helps the ski..
The Rise Beyond 96 Women's ski is a perfect example of Volkl's gold standard of hard-charging, powder-eating, and corn-slaying skis that are lauded by skiers of all shapes and sizes. The Rise 96 ski is the improved model of last year's Rise 98. Volkl has shaved off two millimeters from the underfoot, yielding a ski that is even easier to turn and more stable on hardpack. The ski is..
Finally, a lighter touring version of Elan's beloved Ripsticks! The Ripstick Tour 94 has a nice wide shovel and generous sidecut to make you think you have machetes on your feet as you slice through everything from powder to punchy top layers. With a 360° ABS sidewall these skis are a powerful set of boards with plenty of rock-solid effective edge to keep control in tough condition..
“We ask, we listen, and we act...” The Women2Women program at Blizzard was introduced to create products for women, by women, using feedback from women. Turns out, men don’t know what’s best for women. With this in mind, Blizzard built the Zero G 95 W, which is geared for the gals who want a light ski that performs well in all conditions. The revised Carbon Drive 3.0 laminate, enab..
When Blizzard introduced the Zero G 95 in the wee years of 2018, many skeptics were impressed with how hard they could push such a light ski. This skiability came in large part due to their Carbon Drive construction, which when wrapped around a paulownia core, delivered hard-charging performance at a reasonable weight. After a few years elapsed, Blizzard introduced their improved C..
While out for a day in the mountains, it’s highly possible to find perfect powder up high, refrozen coral reef in the middle, and slush at the bottom. This variety of conditions necessitates a versatile tool, which describes the Armada Locator 96 to a “T” (and then some). Using their EST Freeride Rocker profile (rocker in the tip and a flat tail), Armada has ensured that the Locato..
Tucked away in the Wasatch, the craftspeople at Voile are hard at work, silently creating skis that thrive in whichever geographic region you call home. Their creation, the Voile Hyper Manti, is no exception. Its rockered profile lends itself to a playful feel in deep snow, while the supportive tail will be right at home in steep couloirs sporting less than ideal conditions. The th..
If we had to use just one word to describe the Hyper Manti W, it would have to be “exceptionally well-rounded.” You may now be wondering why we in fact used three words instead of the self-imposed one-word limit and to be honest, it's because one simply wasn't enough. With the shedding of an impressive amount of weight from the non-hyper Manti W, the Hyper Manti W will grant you ac..
With a product portfolio that includes a “Supreme Roller Skate Split Monoboard,” it’s clear that Faction isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo. So, when Faction created a low 90’s underfoot ski with no camber, we couldn’t feign too much surprise. Built to move with the agility of a cat through off-piste terrain, the La Machine Micro is built to be easily handled, allowing itself..
The Hannibal is Fischer’s 96mm powder-hunting, ice-carving powerhouse. The Hannibal is built on a high-tech Paulownia wood core with carbon stringers that extend from tip-to-tail, thus reducing the overall density of the ski and boosting the overall surface-area-to-weight ratio. The long-turn radius and Sandwich Sidewalls are unique features meant to ensure high-speed stability, su..
Dynastar aimed for the perfect on-snow feel with their favorite line of Touring skis. The M-Tour 99 is built with the Hybrid Core, which is Paulownia wood for rebound and energy mixed with Polyurethane sections for damping and a smooth flex. The result is a great all-around touring ski that can float in powder and showboat on hard snow. Using Adaptiv sidecuts, the 99s are easy to m..
The Dynafit Blacklight 95 hits a sweet spot: light, damp, and stable with incredible versatility with a focus on soft snow. As Dynafit’s recent addition to their speed touring line-up, the Blacklight 95 is a confident and light ski that is right at home on the Kahiltna Glacier or deep in the Wind River Range searching for the remaining late-season powder stashes. Its waist width is..
The Dynafit Low Tech 88 ski brings some old-school cool to the popular Blacklight line - you know what they say, “look good, ski good!” The Low Tech 88 offers the same construction and performance as the Blacklight 88 ski but offers a significant amount of style - which is key for anyone who is looking to set new PRs and push their limits in the mountains. The Low Tech 88 will be y..
Following in the footsteps of an older sibling is never easy, especially when they’re handsome, smart, and good at math. Therefore, Salomon had to take great care when replacing the MTN Explore 95, a ski that set an exceptionally high bar. Eager to get out from under the shadow of its older brother and forge its own identity, the Salomon MTN 96 Carbon accomplishes the same mission ..
Built to make all the other skis in your quiver jealous, the Faction La Machine Mini has a quiver killer mentality in a construction with zero camber. You read that correctly, zero camber. The benefit of forgoing camber is a nimble feel that other skis have a hard time matching. With this newfound ability to effortlessly pivot on-demand, you’ll be ready to straight line that chute ..
When the conversation about a “quiver of one” ski gets brought up in backcountry skiing circles, inevitably the Voile V6 is discussed as a contender. It’s well-balanced underfoot width, just the right amount of rocker for soft conditions, and ample camber for confident edge grip leave little to be desired in just about any snow condition. The only way it could really improve in our..
If you aren’t having a good time skiing the Voile Hyper Vector, stop and consider whether you really like skiing. It doesn’t get any more fun than this. With a shape and dimensions to handle any condition, turn-initiation bordering on telepathic, and a personality allowing for uninhibited speed, this ski can do it all.
Continuing the direction from the Vector to the Ultra Vector..
A ski this awesome should not be limited to only average male dimensions. Voile, not being a company to discriminate when it comes to fun, has scaled down the Hyper Vector to accommodate skiers of smaller stature. Same amazing performance as it’s longer sibling, just shorter. The Women’s Hyper Vector is an awesome all-around backcountry ski. It handles powder, chop, crud, and even ..
The Traction Pattern bases of the Voile Hyper Vector BC allow the adventurous skier to quickly dispatch with long, flat approaches and rolling terrain with much more efficiency than using traditional climbing skins. This is due to the time saved on transitions as well as superior glide over climbing skins. When employed in the right areas, the Hyper Vector BC is the ski that will t..
It might sound a little fishy (pun intended), but scales on a backcountry ski are quite practical. Your typical alpine touring ski setup requires skins, but the Hyper V6 BC eliminates that need for many climbs with Voile's Traction Pattern Base extending for roughly half the length of the ski directly under foot. When moving through rolling or low angle terrain, this ski increases ..
The Ski Trab Ortles 90 ski is for the skier who expects one ski to handle any terrain in any condition, all without sacrificing uphill performance, and keeps you motivated to back lap after lap. The Ortles 90 uses a Liwood air core in conjunction with their acclaimed 14-layer construction for a smoother ride down with a minimal weight cost. Hibox torsion control aids torsional stif..