OUR TOP BACKCOUNTRY SKIS FOR 2019

02/10/18

OUR TOP BACKCOUNTRY SKIS FOR 2019

These days, everyone with more than a season under their belts wants to head for the backcountry. With pristine pow, pillow lines and majestic tree runs, the off-piste slopes are becoming the winter playground for an ever increasing group of riders.

Here are our winners and runners-up for 'best in class' backcountry skis.

Women's

Atomic

Backland 102 W

Atomic Backland 102 W

  • Radius: 16m
  • Waist: 102mm
  • Rocker: Tip/Tail
  • Weight: 1510g

The 102 W impressed equally as a freeride ski and a freetour model. It has the width, stability and handling to impress off-piste and the lightness to feel good ascending. It obviously excelled in soft snow but our testers loved how nimble and responsive it felt on firmer conditions too.

The Backland 102 W is as much a freeride ski as it is a tour one. The Light Woodcore means it has the kind of weight you would expect for a ski built to ascend, but plenty of the features ensure that it skis as well as a pure downhill option. The 102mm waist will handle the deepest of powder days, the powder rocker at the tip and tail improve handling in all conditions and the ski is still nimble enough to feel responsive on hard snow.

Tester’s comment

Sarah (Aviemore)"Perfect for the conditions I was in, deep soft snow. It was light and extremely manoeuvrable which made trickier terrain easy to handle. Lively, light and fun!"



Women's

Atomic

Backland 85 W

Atomic Backland 85 W

  • Radius: 16m
  • Waist: 85mm
  • Rocker: Tip
  • Weight: 1150g

Designed to climb easily on tours and handle any terrain encountered on the ski down. A Carbon Backbone through the length of the ski provides exceptional agility and edge grip, adding only minimal grams. The Ultralight wood core keeps the weight low and adds to the feeling of energy and life. HRZN Tech at the tip improves the handling and control in softer and rougher snow. Suited for those who are seeking an all-round, tour-anywhere set up.

Tester’s comment

Florrie (Covent Garden) "A tour ski that surprised me handling a far wider range of terrain then I thought it would. Best thing is the balance of climbing efficiency to downhill performance!"

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Men's

Atomic

Backland 95

Atomic Backland 95

  • Radius: 18m
  • Waist: 95mm
  • Rocker: Tip
  • Weight: 1350g

Quite possibly the ultimate all round freetouring ski. It’s very light for its size, but this doesn’t mean that the ski ever feels weak. Quite the opposite in fact, it is surprisingly lively and impressively stable, great in all conditions and will give any dedicated All Mountain ski a run for its money.

Atomic’s standout freetour model is light for fast and long ascents, as good as a dedicated all mountain ski going downhill, and decent value considering the technology and design. HRZN Tech increases the surface area at the tip, reducing deflection and improving tracking in rough snow. The Carbon Backbone adds stability; the mix of cap and sidewall provides precision and forgiveness. The Ultra-Light Woodcore keeps the weight down and tip inserts make skin use easier.

Tester’s comment

Dani (Aviemore) "The whole construction – sidewall, carbon and light wood core – makes the ski super agile and effortless when skinning up and skiing back down. Perfect for advanced tourers."

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Men's

Atomic

Backland 107

Atomic Backland 107

  • Radius: 18.5m
  • Waist: 107mm
  • Rocker: Tip/Tail
  • Weight: 1590g

The Backland 107 blurs the lines of freeride and backcountry, proving that you can have a lightweight ski that packs a punch. Even though the waist reads 107mm under foot it feels manoeuvrable and playful, especially compared to similar models. It’s stable and locks into a carve nicely on hard snow. Take it into the variable or deep stuff and the smoothness and stability created by the HRZN Tech tip and tail will ensure your smile is wide.

Tester’s comment

Benj (Castleford) "When skinning up I was surprised by their lightness even though they are 107mm. I was impressed with the handling on the way down in deep snow and on firm conditions too."

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Posted by: Andy J Tagged as: Skiing,Backcountry,Discover Backcountry