Skimo Co

Blizzard Zero G 85 Ski - 2018/19


Seemingly out of left field comes some impressive new lightweight skis. That is, if left field were defined as the Blizzard factory in Austria and you gloss over the fact that Blizzard manufactured many skis stamped with other, well-known, backcountry brand names. Now showing off their clandestine experience, Blizzard added a three-dimensional layer of carbon fiber across the enter length and width. This Carbon Drive makes the ski stiff in all directions while offering a relatively damp ride with smooth flex. They also built in sidewalls to help the edges penetrate crusts and ice, while offering more protection from rocks. A rocker + camber profile is just what the doctor ordered for the variable conditions you find while climbing mountains. The Zero G 85 is just what we ordered for classic mountaineering.

  • Full-length sidewalls are rare for a ski this light, offering dampness, edge hold, and durability.
  • Carbon Drive technology is a unidirectional weave in a three-dimensional pattern that just works.
  • Metal edges also run the full length of the ski so you aren’t compromising an inch on the steeps.
  • Paulownia wood core with the carbon frame offers a reasonably stiff ride with some rebound.

Update 2016/17: Just a new topsheet.

Update 2018/19: Blizzard again updated the graphics while keeping the same construction. They now offer the ski in White or Yellow.

Update 2019/20: The good folks at Blizzard made some significant changes to this ski for the 19/20 season, so we pushed it over to a new listing, which can be found here.

Lengths (cm) 157, 164, 171, 178, 185
convert to ounces
1070g [164]
1120g [171]
1215g [178]
Weight (pair) 2140g [164]
2240g [171]
2430g [178]
Sidecut   116-85-99.5
Turn Radius   18m [164]
19m [171]
20m [178]
Skin Fix   Roundish tips, flat tail notch
Specs Verified Yes
Profile   Mild rocker with camber underfoot
Shape   Medium radius with easy arcing tip & tail
Construction   Sidewall sandwich w/ Carbon Drive
Core   Paulownia
Skimo Co Says
Usage Mountaineering, classic touring
Notes Rare sidewall on lightweight skis
Bottom Line Confident steep skier
Compare to other Low-fat Skis

Related Products

Questions & Reviews

Alex (downright abused product)
The Zero G 85s are simply tremendous. They're hardly noticeable on the up and absolutely rip on the descent: they're light and stiff, responsive and reliable, and you can push them much harder than their weight would suggest.

Heavily used for three seasons, mostly in the Alps but also a lot in the Northeast and a bit in Utah. The only condition in which I would prefer a different ski is breakable crust. I've taken them out for resort laps, day tours, multi-day hut trips, and have even raced on them. Agreed that they could use a tip notch, but it's a minor gripe and you can always DIY.

I am 171cm / 65 kg, and I ski the 171 length with Fischer Travers Carbon boots and Dynafit Superlite 2.0s.

Strongly recommended, just like SkiMo Co.
Reply from TSB
Hey Alex, thanks for the awesome review! If you ever do want to get that tip notch added, we offer notching as an aftermarket service, and you can ship your skis to us to have it done!
Comment on this review:

Question from Tomas
Hi Folks,
Question, Im 185cm/92kg without gear, would those planks in 171cm suit? or better go with 178cm version? Normally i ski 177 and more skis.
I will mount them with ATK Trofeo plus, cause looking for light-weight setup as possible but still be able to ski normally at firm condition's here in central Europe.

Thank you
Answer from Patrick C

Thanks for your interest in our skis! At your height and size I would go with the 178cm ski. It will still turn well for you, but give you a little extra float should you find yourself in knee deep powder! Have fun out there and say hello to the beautiful mountains in your corner of the world!

Patrick // Skimo Co
Answer this question:

Question from Dan L
31 year old male, 180 lbs, 6’0” aggressive skier looking for a ski mountaineering/spring skiing tool with an occasional race here in Colorado. I’m looking to finish the grand traverse this year - would these be a good ski for both? If so, would the 178 or 171 be a better length?
Answer from TSB
Hey Dan, chapeau on your EMGT entry! For a mountaineering ski that crosses over to rando racing, the 171cm length would work well. 178 would give you a bit more float, but generally not needed on hard snow and/or when moving quickly on already-broken skintracks. The shorter the ski, the easier it will be to kick turn, hop turn, and put on/take off your pack.
Answer this question:

Jonathan Gal (used product a few times)
Happy new owner of a pair of Zero G 85’s.

They go well with my new TLT7 Carbonio boots.

And, the Pomoca skins recommended by SkiMo are much better than my older, low budget skins.

The whole kit is working out well, and I expect to use them throughput the season, not just for early and late season. I like to ski “in the powder” not “on the powder.” I am going skiing, not rafting on snow, as some of the wider skis would have me do.

Throughout my entire life, I have always skied powder on narrow, stiff skis. I am used to that, and these Zero G’s fit the bill. They are much more agile and nimble than my first BC skis, Volkl Nanuq 95s.

Moreover, the weight savings is very helpful on the uphill.

Overall, very pleased.

The one weak spot might be in heavily tracked, heavy snow, wind packed, or strong crusts where they can feel a bit “weak.”

In those conditions, the lightweight is a handicap. They can gets tossed around a bit.

But, overall, it’s a trade off I can live with, especially at the low price point of $419 that I paid at SkiMo.
Comment on this review:

Question from Nathan Wilfert
What Dynafit Superlite 2.0 Binding - White brake size should I get for these? It seems the 90mm would fit since the center measurements is 85mm, but I wanted to double check.
Answer from TSB
Hey Nathan, you should be all set with the 90mm!
Answer this question:

Ben (used product a few times)
So far I’m very pleased with these skis. I’m 5’7 135 lbs and went with the 171s. I purchased them as a resort uphilling/ citizen Skimo ski. As my lightest ski in my quiver I love them for this purpose. My first day I took them to a resort for lift laps (more so to gain a little confidence in the bindings I had on them) and they absolutely rip. Very nimble and quick edge to edge but capable of plenty of speed. I’ve skinned on them about 5 times now and love the weight. I have fatter skis for powder so I can’t speak to their performance off-piste, but I imagine they’d handle a little just fine. Out of preference and with a quiver that needs justification to the Mrs., I’ll stick with other skis for anything more than 3” or so of fresh.
Comment on this review:

Question from Michael
41 yr old, 5'10", 180lbs aggressive skier/former instructor. Looking to use these as a fitness ski for uphilling at the resort but also a spring mountaineering ski. I'm also curious if they could double as a Power 4 & Grand Traverse ski for someone looking to finish respectively, but not actually race. Thinking 171cm given my aspirations of using them for citizen skimo racing. Thanks for any input and advise!
Answer from jbo
Hi Michael, this ski is definitely on our recommended list for that usage! It has great edge hold on hard pack and is light enough to make it through the GT. Not a podium contender at the citizen race, but a lot more versatile than a race ski. 171 is a great length for that usage at your size, plenty of stability but still maneuverable on a climb.
Answer this question:

Question from Quinn
Hi, I'm thinking of getting these 85's. I have 2 questions:

1. I'm 5'7", 140lbs. I ski my fatter boards at a 170ish length. I want these for skiing peaks here in the rockies. 171 or 164? Any thoughts?

2. What skin should I pair with these skis?

Thanks, great website!
Answer from Jeff
Hi Quinn.

Oh, the dilemmas we skiers face :)

If you are skiing couloirs or steeper terrain, the 164 would be the ticket. If big arcing turns on wide open corn, the 171 would be ideal.

If you want to carry the least amount of weight up the hill, pair the 164 with the Ski Trab Titan Vario.

Skins, we are bit short in sizes now. I would recommend the Black Diamond Ultralight skins in the 110mm STS kit.
Answer this question:

Benski (used product regularly)
This is our second pair of Zero G 85, so that should say something.
For ex-racers who ski fairly aggressively and can handle a few extra grams, these are awesome, and inspiring to ski. Compared to some other manufacturers high 70 waisted skis, these have just enough float (especially in the waist) to not sink on exploratory missions. Have been out on a few 10+" days in the Rockies, and while I still reach for a fatty with more than that, these handle light powder and crud with ease, but also rip open the groomers and crust.
Only gripe is they don't have a skin notch in the tip, but that can be remedied.
Comment on this review:

Question from Jared Nelson
Hi guys, great thread on the ZG 85s. I'm leaning toward picking a pair up this year, but have two questions.
1. Length - i'm 188cm tall and 82 kgs. I usually ski 183 or 185 skis, but they are typically heavily rockered. With a flatter tail and subtle rise of the ZG85, should i go for the 178 or the 185?

2. How they ski - sounds like they are the right tool for multi lap at the resort or longer days BC, i previously tried out Dynafit Cho Oyus and thought they were terrible, felt like ice skates. The ZG85s don't look similar in design, but are close in weight. Help calm my PTSD.

Thank you in advance for you insights.
Answer from Nate
Hi Jared, I think the 185 would be best for you based on your #2. The longer length will make this ski feel more stable and damp. This ski is definitely different in its personality and I doubt you'll find any similarities with the Cho Oyu beyond weight.
Answer from jbo
Hi Jared, I'd vote 178 for your usage. The ski has a very long running length and is very stable (I ski the 171 at 185cm tall). It's very different than the Cho, in good ways.
Answer this question:

Peter (used product a few times)
I highly recommend mounting these skis 1.0 - 1.5 cm forward of center.

I initially mounted them centered. Skied them 10 days....and I hated them. I felt like I could just not get forward enough to actually engage the ski. They were really unpredictable and I was super bummed. I recently re-mounted them 1.2cm forward of center and now they're great. Skied them yesterday over some melted out avy debris in a steep couloir and they behaved beautifully. They also skied the upper mountain smooth corn wonderfully, of course.

I don't like typical "mountaineering" skis because they're usually too short and too soft for me, sacrificing stiffness for lightness. Not so with the Zero G 85. It comes in a 185cm, awesome, and it's a very stiff ski. The Zero G 85 is a different beast than similar width/weight skis from Voile, K2, Volkl, Dynafit, or Black Diamond. Much better for those of us that are 180lbs+ and skiing with a full bc pack. This ski is also better, imho, for people who are uphilling at resorts and skiing fast down groomers. This ski has the oomph to actually rail on early morning groomers, if that's your thing.

I do wish the ski had more of a early-rise tip to get up over punchy snow, but given other options, I'll take the stiffness and 185cm length of these over other skis in this category.
Comment on this review:

Drewsky (used product regularly)
The more I use these skis, the more I love them. Maybe it's because I learned to ski on skinny K2 planks back in the dark ages, but I almost feel more comfortable on these than the ZeroG 108s, which I also adore. Different tools for different tasks, perhaps, but in any case the 85s really seem to punch above their weight class. At speed they feel amazingly stable. They're incredibly nimble and responsive, even at the 171cm length, which is perhaps a bit long for my 5'7" stature at least for this type of ski. In the true test of their mettle, in firmer conditions they perform admirably although they chatter around a bit: they're pretty stiff and seem to transfer a healthy dose of shock to my underpowered legs and knees. That said, in the same conditions, like the 108s their edge-hold is confidence inspiring even if they're less forgiving of frozen bumps. I've skied them in 2-3 feet of not-quite-feathery pow just to torture myself and found that they handled just fine and were surprisingly fun, even if they didn't quite have the requisite float of fatter boards. They often feel quite demanding. I've read other reviews to this effect and can finally weigh in. With these skis and my pedestrian ski technique, I mustn't let my guard down lest I become a mere passenger to the skis; If I'm not driving these with firm intent, I'm holding on for dear life. I feel the same with the 108s, but the effect is magnified significantly with their skinnier siblings. Perhaps it's their overall stiffness or my own shortcomings as a skier. In any case, they're whipping me into shape as I use them and I'm fine with that. I'm currently skiing these with TLT Superlite 2.0s and La Sportiva Spectre boots. Both seem more than adequate for the task. Finally, I bought the women's model based on price. Unless you need them longer than 171cm or hate blue topsheets, there's no reason not to do this as they're otherwise identical to the men's version.
Comment on this review:

Question from liming z
Q: what is the difference between the man's version and woman's 85? for example beside the top sheep color different and I notice the weight a little different (for example man's 171 weight at 1120 g and woman's are 171 cm at 1105 g which has 15 g gap), is the build slightly different?
Answer from I-M
A: Liming, according to Blizzard the men's and women's zeroG 85 are the exact same construction. The only difference is the top sheet color. Regarding the weight difference, when we receive an order of skis here at Skimo Co we weigh them and report the average of the batch. This is to verify specs. What you are seeing is the variance of averages between the men's and women's versions. Individual skis from batches vary in weight, this range is often >15g, so I wouldn't read too much into the 15g weight differences between the men's and women's versions.
Answer this question:

Question from Boris D
I have this ski (G85, last year model) in 178cm length and have not mounted them yet as I started having doubts about the length. I'm 175cm tall, 165lbs. moderate skier. Do you think I'll have trouble on a skin track and with tight turns with this ski? My current ski is Hagan Y-Drive 170 cm and it works fine for me, just getting beat-up. You think 8 cm increase in length with G85 will make a big difference for me?

My other option is to try to sell G85 at 178 cm length and get a 171cm version from you.
Answer from Nate
Hi Boris, I don't think you'll have a problem with the 178, but you definitely would find the 171 more maneuverable for sure.
Answer this question:

Question from Ingrid
I'm looking to buy these or the 95 mm. I just can't decide which one. This will be my primary set of skis.

I'm a girl, 178 cm tall, 65 kg. I rented the 85 171 cm last spring when ski-touring and loved them. I'm just thinking maybe the 95 is a bit more all-round and afraid the 85 will submarine when there's more powder?

My second question is about the length. I did like the 171 cm although it sounds so short? Which length would be best suited for me? And do I lose anything by going with the 171 or 178?

I've previously skied a lot on a freeride set from Rossignol 98 mm, 178 cm but no touring on those.

Answer from Nate
Hi Ingrid, I have good news! You really can't go wrong with any choice or combination of choices you are considering.

The Blizzard Zero G line are all great skis! My personal rule is that if a person can only have 1 ski, that ski should be 95mm under foot. It's such a versatile size and typically for a very marginal weight gain vs. an 85mm ski.

As for 171 vs 178... The 171 will be much more nimble on the skin track, and while skiing in tight terrain. In lots of deep snow the 178 will give you a touch extra float. This choice is going to be a personal decision based on which you value more, the ease of use on the uphill or the added float and stability on the truly deep days.
Answer this question:

Question from Nick
I've demoed the 85 in a 178 and the 95 in a 185. I'm in the market for the 85- looking for a light ski for big days, traverses, spring, and uphilling at the ski area - and can't decide whether to go 178 or 185. The 178 felt short and like it wanted to submarine in powder. Felt great but short on hardpack. The 185 95 felt perfect. I'd go 185 85 but wonder if I should go lighter with the shorter ski. 185 would be less work in 3D snow though. 80g per ski difference it appears. I'm 6'0, 160lbs with a racing background. Currently on a 180 voile vector that I'm happy on as a daily driver but wish it was lighter. I ski in the Colorado rockies. Thanks
Answer from jbo
Hi Nick, I'm the same size as you and I have the 171! Yes the 185 would be help a bit in soft snow, though it without a huge rocker and being fairly stiff that isn't it's sweet spot. For big days, traverses, spring, and resort uphilling that you mention, you won't want the extra length. 178 it is!
Answer this question:

Question from dub_xion
Thoughts on pairing these with some Scarpa F1's (the latest version)? Just wanted to check as it seems these skis are on the stiff side and wanted to make sure the F1's would be enough boot. Thanks!
Answer from jbo
Hi dub_xion, the Zero G's are well within the F1s capabilities. In fact, the Alien RS can handle these as well!
Answer from Andrew
I use that combo all the time with a Speed Turn binding. It's fantastic. I've even towed a (heavily) loaded sled at work a bit and its been fine.
Answer this question:

Question from Jim
Hi-What is the difference between the 2015/16 Blizzard Zero G 85 and the 2016/17 Blizzard Zero G 85? Thanks.
Answer from jbo
Hi Jim, just the topsheet color.
Answer this question:

jake (downright abused product)
Really great ski for what I used it for- lots of groomer tours before lifts spin. And even a couple laps on the chairs when I didn't have enough time to switch to alpine gear.

I used the 185cm. The ski is very stiff, but the tip and tail rocker allow for a little easier turn engagement and disengagement in a ski with that much length. I was able to get this carving up to around 45-55mph before I started to get a little concerned about the chatter and jumpiness. These are not a damp ski at all. You feel the energy course through them. But they hold a wicked strong edge. These skis suck with aplomb in any snow deeper than 4". Keep them away from pow. Def light enough to make uphill a breeze. A very fun, unique ski which serves the terrain I am around very well.

Sadly for me I passed my pair on. I am kind of inbetween sizes on these. With my TLT6s I just couldn't get the tip engagement on the 185s to every feel much better than vague. And the 178s with the tip/tail rocker were just a little too short and thus a little skiddish and the speeds I was wanting.
Comment on this review:

Question from Peter
How would you compare these skis to the Voile Objective? They seem like direct competitors.
Answer from Trace Leches
They are direct competitors when considering weight and dimensions, but each ski has its own sweet spot. While both are fairly versatile, the Zero G 85 seems more hard snow oriented and a better carving ski, whereas the Voile will end up being a bit easier to ski in variable and soft conditions. Just depends on your application.
Answer this question:

Earn store credit by writing reviews. Learn more.

Model: ZeroG 85

Follow us on social media

View full screen version