Expert Reviews on the Best Products, Software and Services
I’m a ski instructor who spends over 100 days a year on the slopes and in order to determine the best skis, I narrowed the field to the following: a ski with a heavy to moderate sidecut (difference in width between tip/tail and waist), great construction and materials, and an underfoot that is 80mm – 95mm wide.
Price:$529 | Turn Radius: 17.1m @176cm| Width Under Foot: 84mm | Read Full Review: Elan Amphibio
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK:This all-mountain ski is packed with the design and tech to improve every skier’s experience on the mountain.
Elan has my respect for massive thought and planning in their design and development but the brand often goes unrecognized as one of the highest performing skis on the mountain today.
The Amphibio technology relies on a rockered outside edge and a cambered inside edge for ease of turn initiation and edge grip in the turn (respectively). It’s one of those innovations that seems so obvious it’s left many companies wondering “Why didn’t I think of that?”
Look for Elan’s Amphibio Ti skis in different under foot widths. If 84 is too narrow for your all mountain tastes, try out the 88 underfoot.
Want to really unlock your turns and carves while sporting a ski that can handle any part of the mountain? You’ve found it. You can thank me later. This is, without a doubt, the best all mountain ski for technical skiers.
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Blending balance, performance, and price the reliable Rossignol Experience 88 deserves attention.
Rossignol has been a prominent brand in the industry for years and their Experience line is aimed at balance. All mountain balance with price and performance rounding out the overview of this utility ski.
Wider waist width means acceptable carving and agility with balanced off-piste (piste meaning any groomed run) performance when it’s time to explore the powder. Nimble enough to navigate the bumps and yet wide enough to enjoy those days when the powder is dumping.
This is one of the best all mountain skis for the skier looking to cover all conditions and challenges on the mountain in one affordable ski.
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Somewhere between a powder ski and an all mountain ski lies the K2 Pinnacle.
For the all mountain skier looking to ski a little more powder and a little less groomers the K2 Pinnacle makes a strong case. With heavy tip and tail rocker this ski belongs off piste and in the powder.
Wood metal and fiberglass all come together to form the core of this versatile ski. K2 does a great job of maximizing rigidity and dampness in their skis which is critical to prevent excessive chatter on a ski with heavy tip rocker.
I rely on K2 for my personal skis and have always recommended their products to clients. The K2 Pinnacle may be the best all mountain ski for the skier looking to adventure into the uncharted powder more often than tearing it up on the groomed runs.
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: High caliber ski for intermediate skiers with enough float to make it through those off piste forays.
Salomon’s X-Drive ski is based around a largely cambered design with enough rocker in the tip and tail to ease turn initiation. These are definitely the best mid-budget all mountain ski for the technical skier.
The wood core construction is stabilized by laminate reinforcement in the tip and tail for torsional stiffness. Extra reinforcement in the tip and tail help add additional bite to the carved turns these skis are capable of putting out.
Flat tail design means this ski won’t be one for skiing reverse but that’s not where these skis excel. Look for great agility, bite, and performance out of these skis. With a little adaptation these skis won’t let you down off piste.
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Partially twin tip rocker-camber-rocker design means any task, any mountain, any time.
Coming in at a beefy 98mm under foot with a sluggish 21m turn radius, this is not a carving ski. Blizzard’s Bonafide skis, however, win award after award for top all mountain powder and mixed terrain performance.
You need a pair of skis that can rip the chutes and keep up on the groomers if you want to go all mountain. Bonafide skis are Blizzard’s answer with dual Titanal laminate for stiff flex, carbon fiber reinforcement, and ABS sidewall construction.
Ladies, the Blizzard Black Pearl is a great women’s all mountain ski choice with an 88mm waist and 16m radius at 159cm. An excellent intermediate choice for all around capability that you won’t outgrow.
On our list the Blizzard Bonafide is an honorable mention for best all mountain powder ski. This ski is a little more at home in the powder than the majority of our list but make no mistake: it’s a ripper!
Waist Width:Waist Width: Sometimes called width underfoot, this measurement is often seen as “(120/80/110)”, where the first number is tip width in millimeters, the second is waist width, and the third is tail width. All mountain skis usually range from 80mm – 100mm in widith underfoot. The range of waist width that you want for your all-mountain ski will depend on the ski conditions as well as your ability level. Wider skis such as powder skis tend to float better on fresh snow (powder), such as the Salomon QST which is 106 mm in width, although the M5 Mantra all-mountain ski can suffice for the entire season’s worth of conditions
Rocker vs Camber:Depending on what your preferences are, an all mountain ski may feature various amounts of rocker and camber. Good all-mountain skis should have a little bit of rocker in the tip for a smoother ride, and a camber underfoot that provides great grip. Your ability level should also decide the amount of rocker and camber you need on your skis. More rocker means easier turning and float in deep snow. More camber means better grip on piste and hard edging ability.
Carbon Fiber vs Wood: Most of the latest and updated skis use carbon fiber in construction. Carbon fiber is light and strong which is excellent for skis but it lacks the natural feel and durability of a poplar wood core. The Head Kore Ski for example has a carbon fiber construction.
Side Cut: The difference in width between the tip / tail and the waist of the ski is known as side cut. More side cut means better on piste carving and agility. Less side cut means better float in off piste conditions. Look for a ski with a balance based on where you want to ski the most.
Bindings: If your skis come with their own packaged bindings, it will help remove some guess work. Buying skis packaged with bindings means the manufacturer has already ensured the bindings match the skis for optimum performance. If you’re buying separate skis and bindings, make sure your binding brakes are wider than the waist of your skis.
Intended Use: While all mountain skis generally will perform any job on the mountain, the factors above will make the skis better at certain tasks. No one ski can do every job perfectly so it’s important to understand the limitations of your all mountain ski.
Mistakes to Avoid
Going Fat: Fat skis are trending and they’re awesome for certain types of skiing like powder, freestyle, and park. However, skiing a fat ski on groomers can be difficult to control, sloppy, and potentially lead to injury. For all mountain skis it’s sensible to stay under 100mm of waist width when choosing a ski.
Skimping on Price: Not all skis are made the same. Even among our picks the difference in performance may be quite noticeable across the price ranges we’ve discussed. If you’re looking for one ski to rule them all, then don’t be afraid to spend the big bucks for a serious contender.
Which All Mountain Ski is Right For Me
If you’re looking to ski primarily on piste technical runs with the occasional off-piste foray on good snow days then the Elan Amphibio is your ski. For skiers looking to spend more time in the crud and off piste, the K2 Pinnacle is probably the best all mountain ski.
Our suggestions span from off piste performance to on piste shredding and everything in between. Choose an all mountain ski based on your preferences and tendencies to get the most out of your new ski.
If you’re looking for the best skis to strap to your ski boots for practice, the Atomic Vantage 97 Ti Skis could be your new best friend. This is because the skis provide their performance even at low speeds, allowing for the best opportunity to improve your carving skills or agility. If you want to add to your collection of ski equipment, you should also read our guide to Nike’s LunarENDOR QS snowboarding boots.
The Atomic Vantage 97 Ti All-Mountain Skis have no problem tearing through various snow conditions, hard snow and soft snow alike—even when you feel like slowing it down. And if you want to learn about how to dress for the slopes, read our review of what to wear skiing.
Stable at low and high speeds
Great choice for practicing
Easily takes on hard snow
Not recommended for beginners
Thanks to its really solid edge grip, it has no problem taking hold of firm snow, whether you’re aiming to make wide turns or sharp turns when necessary. Its edge hold has improved exponentially from its 2017 model. Its energy backbone is impeccable. Even when you feel like ripping through hard snow at high speeds, the skis will keep you stable. This also translates when up against bumpy rides. There’s plenty of bend that allows for some surprising agility, easily outclassing the K2 Pinnacle 95.
The design of the Atomic Vantage 97 Ti is what gives it such performance. While it isn’t a camber rocker hybrid, it does feel like a rocker camber combo sometimes. However, strictly speaking, it clearly has a rocker profile. Compared to the 2017 model, you can see the titanium tank mesh core, a grid-like design that reveals where the Atomic Vantage 97 Ti gets its performance. Its waist width is a whopping 97mm, just 1mm less than the Rossignol Experience 88.
The majority of value the Atomic Vantage 97 Ti Skis bring to the table is geared towards a specific subset of skiers. If you’re an experienced skier, and you know you need some practice, the Vantage 97s are exactly what you need. They’ll allow you to reflect on technique and correct bad habits. This is especially if you’re the kind of skier who starts off practicing at a slow pace, then speeds up when you’re more comfortable. Performance is consistent at slow and fast speeds, like the Elan Amphibio 84 Ti.
Atomic Vantage 97 Ti Wrap Up
Make no mistake, the Atomic Vantage 97 Ti All-mountain Skis are great for practicing your technique, but not some much for beginners. The Vantage 97s need an experienced skier to take full advantage of its performance at high and low speeds, especially when confronting hard snow.
When buying the best skis, you need to know what size you need.
Skiing is a complicated sport, which often turns into a lifestyle all its own. Just getting to know goggles like the Smith IO 7 can be a learning experience. Getting started skiing can be overwhelming and intimidating, and I should know – as an instructor I spend over 100 days each season teaching new skiers. Once you’ve figured out what size skis you need, you should also read our review on how to wax skis.
Once you fall in love with skiing, the first order of business on your mind is likely buying your own pair of skis. To choose the best skis you’ll have to ask yourself, “What size skis do I need”? I’m going to answer this question for you in a simple and comprehensive way. To boil it down, what really matters is your height, weight, skiing style, and preferred terrain. And if you want to learn about how to dress for the slopes, read our review of what to wear skiing.
Make sure to check out my list of this season’s best all mountain skis before you make your final decision. Now let’s learn what size skis are the best choice for you! And once you’ve got your ski sizing figured out, you’ll want to take a look at the best men’s ski goggles before you hit the slopes.
How Are Skis Measured?
Tip / Underfoot / Tail
Understanding how ski sizes are measured is critical to choosing the right ski, and you won’t make a mistake or be mislead by a salesman if you know how the system works. Here’s what a ski measurement looks like:
These numbers represent the width of your ski in three different places, which are always measured in millimeters.
First (130) – This is the measurement of the width of your ski tip in millimeters.
Second (75) – This is the measurement of the width of your ski directly under foot in millimeters.
Third(120) – This is the measurement of the width of your ski tail in millimeters.
What type of ski would have a measurement similar to our example? This is a carving ski for sure! How do we know? It’s all about side-cut.
Side-cut is really a measure of how much “hourglass” curvature your skis have. More side-cut means a more aggressive and responsive carving ski. Less side-cut usually means better float in powder.
With that painful piece of algebra out of the way, you’ll be happy to know that side-cut can easily be measured by simply propping your ski on its side and measuring the air gap between the ski and floor. Simple, right?
Next there’s ski length, which is measured in centimeters and represents the total length of the ski from tip to tail. This one’s pretty straightforward, folks.
Ski length heavily impacts several factors:
Stability at Speed
Flotation in Powder
Longer skis are more stable at speed and float better in powder, however they sacrifice agility and turn radius when compared to to shorter configurations. Be sure to pair your ski choice with the appropriate ski boot size, if you’re asking yourself, “What size ski boots do I need?” then be sure to use this great resource.
Skis will have a pre-measured turn radius. This is the factory-set turn size (radius in meters) which is created based on the side-cut. Because the side-cut of every ski creates some portion of a circle, the turn radius of the ski can be measured by calculating the size of the circle resulting from the side-cut.
You’ll usually see turn radius expressed as follows:
17m @ 170cm
This means that if you purchase this specific ski in a length of 170cm, it will carve a 17m radius turn when put on edge. If you go longer, expect a bigger turn radius. If you go shorter, expect a smaller turn radius.
To put turn radius into perspective, a highly agile slalom ski may have a turn radius as low as 11m. Larger and longer all mountain and powder skis may have turn radius extending into the 30m range or even above.
Factors Affecting Ski Size
Your ski size will be impacted by several key factors. Each of these factors must be considered interdependently and within the blend of all factors in order to correctly choose a ski for you. Ski size cannot be determined by one factor alone, it’s simply not possible. These are the most important contributing factors when choosing a ski size that’s right for your frame:
Your personal height will greatly impact the length of the ski you ride. Here are a couple rules of thumb to get you started determining what size ski you need:
Beginners – Choose a ski which is no taller than your chin when standing straight with the ski touching the floor.
Intermediates – Choose a ski which is between chin and nose height when standing straight with the ski touching the floor.
Expert – Choose a ski length based on your preferred skiing style and needs. Usually no shorter than chin height and no taller than forehead height.
For another good comparison, use this women’s ski size chart for a starting measurement. For the children, this kids ski size chart should be a good place to start.
Beginners will want a shorter ski as they are more agile, responsive, and easier to learn on. Learning to ski with unnecessarily long skis will simply slow down your learning curve, and likely frustrate you as you learn new skills. Ski bindings may also change based on skier skill so be sure to compare this ski binding size chart if you need a second opinion.
Experts may choose a ski of any length based on their needs. Longer skis float better and are more stable at speed, while shorter skis are more agile and responsive. At the expert level you should be able to make that decision for yourself.
Don’t forget to make sure the rest of your equipment is up to the job this year, review my list of the best ski goggles available today! It’s also really important to size your ski pole choice based on your height.
Because a lighter skier needs less ski surface area to stay afloat in the snow, these skiers may choose a relatively shorter ski. Heavier skiers will need to choose a relatively longer ski.
If you’re a beginner skier and the height from chin to floor measures 160cm for you, but you’re overweight for your height, it will be prudent to choose perhaps a 165cm or 170cm ski to compensate in most scenarios. The opposite holds true for lighter-than-average skiers.
Of course this rule of thumb must be taken with a grain of salt, and you have to be honest when comparing yourself to the “average” body stature for a given height.
Ski size will vary based on what type of skiing you want to do. For the best results and most fun on the mountain, be sure to learn how to wax your own skis. I’m going to break down a list of ski types you will commonly see when shopping for skis, and what they mean based on skiing style.
Carving Skis – Good for skiers who like to stay mostly on groomed runs. This type of ski is usually the best choice for a beginner skier.
Powder Skis – Great ski choice for intermediate or advanced skiers looking to spend time off the groomed runs, skiing the fresh powder. These skis are usually much wider than carving skis.
All Mountain Skis – A balance between carving skis and powder skis, these skis are moderately wide and meant for both groomed runs and off-piste skiing. To make your choices easier, I’ve narrowed down this year’s best all mountain skis.
Twin Tips – Featuring rockered (up-curved) tips and tails, these skis are usually for freestyle or park skiing. Generally wider and resemble powder skis.
Here’s another way to look at what size ski you need. Perhaps you know what type of terrain makes you the happiest when ski on the mountain, and you’re wondering what ski size best compliments your style. I’m going to show you how to choose a ski to meet your terrain preference.
I love skiing groomed runs – You want a carving ski. These skis are skinny and narrow (70mm-80mm underfoot) with defined hour glass shapes.
I love skiing powder – You want a powder ski. These skis are fat (95mm-130mm underfoot) with a more uniform shape from tip to tail.
I love skiing everything – You want an all-mountain ski. These skis are wider (80mm-100mm underfoot) but still feature the hourglass shape called side-cut. Check out my list of this season’s best all mountain skis.
I want to do tricks – You want a park ski. These skis are twin tip skis with wider bases (80mm-100mm) and variable side-cut. Look for skis with aggressive rocker (upward curving tips and tails resembling a banana).
I want to rip zipper lines in the moguls – You want a dedicated mogul ski. These skis are often really narrow (<70mm under foot) and short (usually no more than 170cm).
While we haven’t exhaustively examined all types of skis (we left out racing skis), you’re now ready to choose the best ski size for you. Start by measuring the length of your ski as a rough guess of your height to your chin or nose. Then, considering the other factors we’ve outlined, decide if you need a longer or shorter ski for your preferences.
Don’t forget to choose the type of ski best suited to your needs. Choosing an appropriately sized and shaped ski for the task at hand is critical to safe, efficient, and effective skiing. While you’re at it, make sure your wardrobe is up to the task by learning what to wear skiing this year! See you on the mountain!
If you want to hit the slopes in a variety of snow conditions, the K2 AMP Aftershock is a fantastic choice. These skis come with an all-terrain rocker and Marker MX 14.0 Bindings, and a waist width of 86mm. Intermediate and advanced users will all be able to use these skis. They even made our best skis list because of their versatility.
The K2 A.M.P. Aftershock 86 mountain skis are a versatile set that can be used for all terrains including soft snow, hard snow, and carve trenches. It comes with an elevated tip and tail and has excellent build quality. These K2 A.M.P. skis offer a high-performance suspension system.
Ideal for many conditions
Good build quality
A bit pricey
Maybe too wide for some people
Average turn radius
The AMP Aftershock 86 skis have excellent performance. They feature an all-terrain rocker with a rocker in the tip and camber underfoot. It also comes with MOD and MOD Monic systems dampen vibrations and delivers a smooth ride in bumpy conditions. The turn radius of these K2 Aftershock skis is on the medium side at 17 meters and should be adequate for most users. They come as standard with Marker MX12.0 bindings. Another set of skis with brilliant performance is the Elan Amphibio 84Ti.
The A.M.P. Aftershock skis have a fantastic design and look great. The core is made from an Aspen and Paulownia core covered with two sheets of metal laminate sandwiched between fiberglass. To cap it off are Hybritech sidewalls. All these characteristics make these Aftershock skis strong, yet lightweight. The all-terrain rocker also assists with stability in softer conditions. As far as the looks are concerned, these A.M.P Aftershock skis are stylish with a white, blue, and bright yellow color scheme. If you’re looking for another all-around performer, check out the Rossignol Experience 88.
These skis don’t come cheap, but they have a lot going for them to justify the price. They have great build-quality with the wood core providing a natural feel, and the other layers ensuring that you are comfortable and insulated from any bumps you may encounter on the slopes. The design of the K2 A.M.P also means that you can turn easily. They are also ideal for both intermediate, and advanced users, and suitable for various terrains. These skis offer great value for money, just like the K2 Pinnacle 95.
K2 Amp Aftershock 86 Wrap Up
The K2 Amp Aftershock 86 mountain skis are versatile and can be used by both amateurs and pros in a wide range of terrains. They also have great build quality and should last for a long time. They may be a bit more expensive than some of the rivals, but they deliver when it comes to quality.
If you’re looking for a set of skis that can be used on a variety of slopes, the X Drive is one of the best options available. This set features a wood core, built-in ski bindings, and a thin waist width. It’s ideal for many different ability levels including beginner level intermediate, and advanced skiers. It even made our best skis list.
The Salomon X Drive is a set of mountain skis that’s ideal for anyone on beginner level intermediate advanced, and professional. These camber rocker skis have an all-terrain rocker and are perfect for groomed runs. And to know what size skis to buy, take a look at our review of what size skis do I need?
Small turning radius
A bit expensive
May be difficult for beginners to learn
Can’t ski backward
The Salomon X Drive 8.3 offers great performance that can rival many other premium skis. This set features all-terrain rocker 2.0 with a medium flex. The skis are narrow, and ideal for on-trail, groomed, and hardpack conditions. They are also perfect for smooth transitions and have a tight turning radius and fantastic terrain absorption. The shape aids in stability and the twin rocker makes pivoting and maneuverability. Another set of skis with fantastic performance in a variety of conditions is the Elan Amphibio.
The design of the Salomon X Drive 8.3 is modern and stylish and made for a variety of skiing conditions. The core is made of wood for a more natural feel. It’s covered with a Basalt layer, as well as a single layer of Titanium reinforcement. It also has ABS sidewalls, a Carbon/Polyamide reinforcement, and a tip and tail protector. The XT12 binding and an X-track rail system. You might need help getting them on for the first time, but after that, they are very comfortable. If you want a brilliant rival, check out the Rossignol Experience 88.
This set comes in a variety of sizes that are ideal for different skiing abilities as well as physical attributes. It has sturdy construction with a traditional wood base mixed with modern materials like titanium. This set is perfect for skiers of all levels and it can also be used for a variety of terrains like groomed runs, on-trail, and hardpack conditions. When comparing the price against the features, these skis offer terrific value for money. Check out the K2 Pinnacle 95 for an affordable alternative.
Salomon X Drive 8.3 Wrap Up
This set of skis is made from premium quality materials and is perfect for many different skiing conditions. It’s also ideal for many different skier levels. Salomon is also a reputable brand with a long history of quality products. Beginner skiers who require help need just a few lessons and they’ll have the hang of them in no time.
If you want to hit the slopes and you’re not sure which skis to take, the Atomic Vantage 97 TI is a fantastic choice. This set comes in a wide range of sizes and they’ve reduced the waist width from the previous model. It also offers fantastic stability and responsiveness in most scenarios. The Atomic Vantage can rival anything on our best skis list because of its quality.
The Atomic Vantage is an all-mountain ski that can be used in a variety of snow conditions. It’s made from a power woodcore, and features Titanium tank mesh and an energy backbone. These skis are ideal for intermediate and advanced expert users.
Great build quality
Not for beginners
Wide turn radius
These skis excel in the performance category and offer excellent stability and edge hold. You can trust these skis to keep you moving whether on-piste or off, and they are very responsive. Another area where the Atomic Vantage stands out is in the carving department. It’s easy to get an edge grip, even at higher speeds, and on an assortment of terrain. With these skis, you know you can tackle nearly any slope confidently. Another high-performance rival is the Elan Amphibio 84Ti.
The Atomic Vantage TI is well-designed using a mixture of old and new technology. It has a traditional power woodcore with a Titanium Tank mesh layer for strength and stiffness and the energy backbone for added reinforcement. It also has added Prolite reinforcements in key areas. These skis come sizes ranging from 172 to 188 cm length and a waist width of 97 cm. They also have an all-mountain rocker. If you’re looking for other well-designed skis, check out the Rossignol Experience 88.
The Atomic Vantage 97 TI perfect for intermediate to advanced users because of how fast and aggressive they can be. It’s designed as an all-mountain ski and can easily handle a wide range of terrain. Stability and responsiveness are other strong points that make the Atomic Vantage special. Although they are quite expensive, the price is worth it because of the fantastic build quality and performance. These skis are a top of the range product and offer brilliant value for money, just like the K2 Pinnacle 95.
Atomic Vantage 97 TI Wrap Up
The Atomic Vantage 97 TI is well-made, using a combination of traditional and cutting edge materials. It’s very strong and can handle anything you can throw at it including hard and soft snow. They are quite expensive, but the best is always expensive. Overall, the Atomic Vantage is one of the best in its class and worth a look.
If you’re looking for a set of high-quality skis that can withstand any condition, the Kore series from Head is one of the best options. These skis have won numerous awards for their all-round performance and strength. They were so impressive that they even made it onto our best skis list.
The Head Kore 99 mountain skis are lightweight and feature cutting edge technology to make them strong and durable. In terms of terrain, the Kore skis easily eat up both hard snow and soft snow with ease.
Ideal for any terrain
Binding not included
Maybe a bit big for some
The Head Kore 99 offers incredible performance thanks to its lightweight design. Where it excels the most is stability. Whether you’re coursing through bends or going at high-speed down a slope, these skis feel planted to the ground and give you the confidence to go faster. These Kore skis also have excellent responsiveness and can carver their way down a mountain without breaking a sweat. The Head Kore skis are excellent for intermediate and advanced users who want to go fast. Another set with outstanding performance is the Elan Amphibio 84Ti.
These mountain skis have an exceptional design mixing traditional materials with advanced technology. They have a lightweight Karuba core with Graphene Koroyd Carbon Sandwich Cap construction. Graphene is the thinnest and strongest material known to man and makes the Kore 99 super-strong. These skis come in a wide range of sizes to suit different users and have a turning radius of 17 meters. Compared to many other skis, the Kore 99 has an understated look with subtle branding and dark colors. Check out the Rossignol Experience 88 for a terrific alternative.
These skis are quite expensive and might have increased in price since last year. However, they can justify the price thanks to their fantastic quality and premium quality materials. Graphene is the strongest material in the world and doesn’t come cheap. In addition to the incredible construction, these skis do well on the slopes. Thanks to their light weight they effortlessly glide down the mountain and also offer incredible stability. Overall, they offer excellent value for money, just like the K2 Pinnacle 95
Atomic Vantage 97 TI Wrap Up
The Head Kore 99 is made of premium quality materials, including super-strong graphene. This means they are incredibly tough, but still very light. They are ideal for most types of terrain and offer a high-speed, stable experience. These skis might be a bit expensive, but you get what you pay for.
We’ve all seen what skiers look like in the movies, but what does the everyday skier actually wear? What to wear skiing can be a foreign concept for many, so we’re going to break it down for you. As someone who spends more than 100 days each winter season on the mountain to teach skiing to both high-fashion adults and no-fashion kids, I’ve seen it all. I recommend the Smith IOX goggles if you are curious.
That said, there is a one fundamental thing to know about how to dress for skiing: layering. It may sound obvious, but this system is actually a surprisingly recent development in the technical outdoor world. While long understood by rugged mountain men and adventurers, the layering system is now gaining widespread use by every day recreational skiers.
Let’s learn about how to choose what to wear skiing by understanding the layering system step-by-step. Plus, don’t forget to grab your best mens ski goggles!
During any given day on the mountain, temperatures can swing wildly. Cold temperatures will often chill you to the bone early in the morning and late at night, while mid-day temperatures could bring hot spring sun.
To combat these changes in weather, skiers wear layers of clothing starting with a base layer. Insulation and warm layers are worn in the middle, and a “shell” is worn on the outermost layer. As the weather changes, skiers may switch from all three layers to any combination of layers, based on the current conditions. During spring skiing, it’s common to see skiers only in a thin base layer shirt, but in a storm you’ll see skiers bundled up in all three layers.
Layering provides an adjustable, adaptable system to adjust for temperature, wind, and precipitation changes on the fly.
Choosing a Base Layer
To pick a good base layer you’ll want to choose between two fabric types:
Your base layer’s job is to remove sweat buildup from your body and aid in the evaporation process away from your skin (known as “wicking”), thereby regulating your body temperature. It’s worth noting that cotton (such as your average t-shirt) should be avoided due to heavy moisture retention and long drying times.
Pro Tip: Choose a white colored base layer to help keep you cool on those hot, sunny, spring skiing days.
Some will argue that the anti-microbial properties of Merino wool and its natural fiber structure (on a microscopic level) make it a superior base layer material. Merino wool definitely takes longer to begin to develop a stink than polyester, like in the Smartwool Men’s NTS 250 mid weight top ($99). Ladies will find great performance from the Smartwool NTS 250 mid-weight top ($99).
Pro Tip: Go with a lightweight or mid-weight base layer. You can always put on a warmer jacket but if your base layer is too warm, you’ll be overheated all day. Avoid heavyweight base layers as they’re usually too hot for skiing.
Choosing an Insulation Layer
After picking out an appropriate base layer for skiing, you’ll want to narrow your sights on insulation. This second layer is all about warmth, but again, remember that skiing is a physical activity and too much insulation means sweating… a LOT.
Your choices here are between:
Synthetic insulation is made from modern fibers, and helps to keep you warm even when your layers get wet. This is a major advantage over down insulation (made from goose or duck feathers) which loses much of its insulation value when wet.
Man-made insulation retains warmth when wet and is usually much cheaper than down insulation. For this reason I recommend synthetic insulation to my clients.
Patagonia makes serious outdoor clothing, and is well loved in the industry for their repairs and support. Many people report sending clothing in to Patagonia years after purchases, usually for very inexpensive repairs or replacement. It’s hard to find service like that anymore, which is why I use and recommend the Women’s Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket ($160) as well as Men’s Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket ($160).
These skiing insulation layers can be used as standalone jackets or a second layer, and are almost entirely windproof. They fold into their own front pocket for packing and carrying, and provide insane levels of warmth for a lightweight layer!
Again I will recommend Patagonia here, as they have earned my trust and respect on the mountain after years of testing. A few drawbacks of down jackets in comparison to synthetic is that they are more expensive and can’t be washed conventionally, so be aware that they will require more careful attention and maintenance. But, they also pack down smaller, provide more warmth, and are lighter than synthetics overall.
Ladies will find the Women’s Patagonia Down Sweater ($230) to be fashionable on the mountain, and an extremely popular choice among skiers. Guys, you’ll fit right in with the Men’s Patagonia Down Sweater ($230), though the name is slightly misleading. This down “sweater” is really a jacket and on nicer days can be worn just as easily on its own while skiing. Be careful not to hook a branch or tree with it, though, as the lightweight nylon could easily tear.
Choosing a Shell Layer
This outermost layer is meant for protection from the elements. Wind, rain, snow, or anything else mother nature might conjure up. Most often this layer is made of durable nylon with a waterproof membrane(either breathable or not). If you’re looking to save money forgoing the breathable membrane is acceptable, and won’t really make a noticeable difference.
For the price, it’s hard to beat the Columbia Snow Gun Pants for Men ($56). While it lacks a vent zipper, I can recommend them based on my personal use. I’ve used Columbia products and skiing pants for years – they remain my primary skiing pants based on value and durability. Ladies, you may find the Columbia Modern Mountain 2.0 pant ($56) to be an excellent blend of value and performance.
Either way, whatever you choose, be sure to select a pair of ski pants with a built in snow gaiter to keep powder out of your top ski boots and pants!
By using the layering system, a skier is able to adapt to every situation on the mountain. From cold mornings to lazy evenings, it’s all a matter or adding or subtracting layers in the comfort equation.
Remember to look for good venting options and avoid excessive insulation on your jackets, and for great ski pants look for waterproof ratings to make sitting or kneeling in the snow more comfortable. Researching and purchasing your own individual layers will give you the flexibility and customization you need to unlock a great day on the slopes, without worrying about getting too hot under the collar when the shredding heats up!
When it comes to the best ski goggles, you should always consider options with a high optical quality, along with interchangeable lens systems for maximum usability. Helmet compatible straps and high quality, layered foam for all-day face comfort were also critical deciding factors. After finding models with these options, we purchased the top 20 models and took to the slopes to test them out.
After skiing and snowboarding as much as we possibly could, we easily settled on the OutdoorMaster OTG Ski Goggles as our #1 pick. These goggles boast a flexible frame that easily fits over glasses, universal helmet compatibility and a wide field of vision. Keep reading to learn more about the OutdoorMaster OTG goggles and the other top ski goggles of 2019.
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Outdoor Master OTG ski goggles are durable and versatile, making them an excellent choice for anyone hitting the slopes to ski and snowboard. With a bendable frame design that fits easily over glasses, almost everyone can use these goggles.
Fits over most prescription glasses
Bendable frame for more comfort
Universal helmet compatibility
Some minor fogging in colder temps
Struggles in low light
Somewhat limited peripheral vision
The OutdoorMaster OTG ski goggles are the perfect choice for skiiers and snowboarders who wear prescription glasses only a daily basis. The deeper frame fits glasses up to 5.3 inches long and 1.65 inches tall. This is big enough for most glasses to fit comfortably underneath the goggles. This extra-large, TPU frame is also super flexible and bendable, making them even more comfortable and safer to use in the case of impacts or collisions.
The OutdoorMaster goggles work with virtually any helmet without too much tightness due to its extra-long strap. You also get some anti-fogging capabilities with a special coating on the lenses but be aware that you may experience some fogging in temperatures below 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Fortunately, you get 100% UV400 protection built directly into the lenses, making them great for all-day use. See also best mens ski goggles. Unfortunately, they can sometimes struggle in low-light conditions so make sure you only use them in bright sunlight.
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking for extra protection from the sun, the ZIONOR Lagopus ski goggles are the right eyewear for the job. They offer stellar UV protection and anti-fogging capabilities on their double lenses, making them great for all-day use.
Best-of-class sun protection
Magnetic lens swapping
Great against wind
Lenses aren’t polarized
Padding gets a little uncomfortable
Only fit over small- to medium-sized glasses
The ZIONOR Lagopus ski and snowboard goggles are optimized for sun protection and overall performance. The double lenses are built with 100% UV400 sun protection and a specialized anti-fogging coating for ultimate eye protection. And while most ski goggles offer the same UV400 protection, they’re not all built equally. Some goggles are better than others with their UV protection, and the ZIONOR goggles offer top-of-the-line protection. We didn’t have any issues with sunburn, even on the sunniest days on the slopes.
Another one of the best features you can get with these ski goggles is the magnetic lens swapping functionality. If you ever want to switch out lenses to get different visible light transmission (VLT) levels, simply pop the current lens off the magnetic portion of the frame and replace it with the desired lens. This is very handy when on the best ski mountains in Colorado. The ZIONOR Lagopus ski goggles are super wind resistant as well, protecting your eyes from the bitter cold air as you’re cruising down the slopes. Unfortunately, while the goggles do work over the glasses, they only fit over small and medium frames. Also check out the LUMALENS line of goggles with photochromic lenses, which is an adaptive lens technology that automatically changes tint based on light conditions.
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Hubo Sports ski goggles are built to be super durable with dual layer lenses that are anti-fogging and anti-scratching. If you’re looking for extra-durable ski goggles with dual lenses, this is the pair for you.
High impact resistance
Built with permanent anti-fog material instead of coating
Good OTG design
Lenses aren’t interchangeable
Sizing runs a little small
Take some breaking in for full comfort
Durability may not be the first thing you think about when purchasing a pair of ski goggles, especially since they just sit over your eyes all day, but it’s an important consideration. And the Hubo Sports ski and snow goggles are the most durable goggles on our list. They feature high-impact resistant frames that can easily take a hit without a problem. They also feature three separate layers of padding, including a waterproof layer, a breathable layer and a sweat-absorbent layer for greater durability. Another great accessory are the best all mountain skis.
The lenses are also unique in the fact that the lenses are built from anti-fogging materials instead of covered with an anti-fogging coating. This makes their anti-fogging capacity much more effective and efficient than other ski goggles. You might run into some sizing issues – the goggles tend to run smaller – and they take some breaking in, but in the long run, the Hubo Sport ski goggles are comfortable, durable and versatile. You won’t go wrong with these goggles. Though if you’re looking to make sure your goggles fit well and have interchangeable lenses, check out the Oakley Flight Deck Snow Goggles, and the large size fit of the Flight Deck goggles helps maximize your field of view while skiing. Overall, Oakley is one of the most popular ski goggle selling brands of 2020, and for good reasons too, due to their impressive product design and lens technology.
WHY WE LIKE IT: The AKASO OTG ski goggles offer high-end features for a super-affordable price, making these goggles our best value pick. With a mag-pro interchangeable lens system, efficient venting system and wide field of view, these goggles give you pro features at a beginner’s price.
Mag-pro interchangeable lens system
Anti-slip helmet strap
Includes comfortable balaclava ski mask
May scratch easier than other models
More expensive than others on our list
Much larger than other goggles
When it comes to value and ski goggles, you need to consider what kind of premium features you get at a much lower price. The AKASO OTG ski goggles offer these features without requiring you to spend too much of your hard-earned money. The best feature you get with the AKASO goggles is the “Mag-Pro” interchangeable lens system. Featuring 8 magnetic connection points and 4 physical anchors, these goggles allow you to easily and securely swap out different lenses to account for different light conditions throughout the day.
Another premium feature you get with these lenses includes an excellent anti-fog functionality with a hydrophilic coating and premium venting system. You’ll also get an anti-slip silicone-backed helmet strap to keep the goggles in place during intense runs. The AKASO goggles also give you an insanely wide field of view without any weird frame lines in your vision due. These extra-large goggles may be too big for some, but the wide FOV is certainly worth it in our books. Another pair of goggles that comes with lens options is the Smith 4D MAG Goggles, which comes with two lenses that are easily interchangeable. Smith provides other ski goggle options alongside the 4D MAG that feature innovative lens technology, from their ChromaPop polarized lenses that enhance color and clarity to their Polarchromic lenses that use photochromic technology. Once you choose your goggles, you can check out the best ski boots.
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you can’t spend more than $50 on a new pair of ski goggles, you’ll definitely need to consider the Bolle Mojo ski goggles. These budget ski goggles are simple but effective at keeping the cold and snow out of your eyes while you’re cruising down the slopes.
Comfortable for kids and adults
Great wind protection
Don’t fit over glasses
Fit tight around the bridge of your nose
Peripheral vision not great
You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on ski goggles to get effective and efficient protection during your ski runs. The Bolle Mojo ski goggles are the perfect fit for anyone needing new gear on a budget. Even though you won’t spend an arm and a leg on these goggles, you’ll still get some high-quality features. The goggles feature proprietary anti-scratch Carbo Glas lenses that are super durable. You’ll also get a double lens thermal barrier to keep your eyes nice and toasty on the side of a cold mountain.
Overall, the goggles are excellent for most users. Unfortunately, they don’t fit well over prescription glasses and some users report that they are tight over the bridge of their noses. You’ll also have some limited peripheral vision due to the design of the goggles. Of course, some drawbacks are to be expected with budget ski goggles, but these weren’t dealbreakers for us by any means. In the end, the Bolle Mojo ski goggles are a stellar option for any skier or snowboarder on a budget. Don’t forget about the best skis of course.
How We Choose
In the five years of teaching skiing full time, I’ve figured out how to separates the okay goggles from the legendary ones, and how to avoid some of the most common mistakes in ski goggle buying. How do we choose the best of the best? We’re looking for goggles with advanced spherical lenses, that offer great peripheral views, UV protection, and stylish color options. Our choices must be helmet compatible too, as more and more skiers wise up to the benefits of protecting their heads. We’re also only including lenses with interchangeable lens systems – an important factor for swapping lenses on bright or cloudy days.
Why You Should Buy New Ski Goggles
Goggles have evolved greatly over the last handful of years to meet two main needs. First, skiers are demanding more flashy colors and styles, and second, skiers are almost universally wearing helmets today which older goggles cannot fit over anymore. Helmet use is on the rise, and we really expect to soon see every skier wearing a helmet. This means old goggles with small straps are out. You need a goggle with enough adjustability to be worn with or without a helmet and that’s exactly what we’ve chosen here. Our goggles feature highly adjustable headbands and wider attachment points at the goggle to accommodate that new helmet. While fashion may not be the most critical upgrade factor, flashy new lenses do offer a few real upgrades over older lenses. First, newer goggles and lenses are beginning to incorporate wide lenses with a greater peripheral view. This helps with safety, allowing you to see more of what (and who) is around you at all times. Second, these newer lenses are using reflective coated technology to help shed harmful UV light before it reaches your eyes. Because crisp visibility and wide viewing angles are an important part of skiing at your best level and avoiding potential dangers, we feel there’s a strong case to be made for an upgrade.
Your goggles may be the unsung hero of your skiing gear. Without a good ski goggle you’ll be left skiing in poor, flat lighting which makes skiing difficult and unsafe. Choosing the right goggle and lens combo will revolutionize the way you see the snow you’re skiing…literally.
Key Factors and Features of a Good Ski Goggle
View: Never compromise on view. One part of having great clarity and contrast through a goggle is a high visibility lens for overcast days. I highly recommend an interchangeable lens system for this reason. Spend the extra money on a good pair of wide view goggles too, and your skiing will improve dramatically.
Price: Price is a big deal to many skiers. A new pair of skis and boots are expensive, so it can be tempting to try and save a little money on the goggles, but don’t do it! Investing in good goggles is critical to avoid fogging, clarity issues, and low light contrast issues. It’s scary trying to ski moguls in low light with a foggy lens. Avoid that by investing in a good goggle system.
Helmet Fit: Most goggles these days are designed to be worn with a helmet. Wide hinge points for strap attachment and silicone bands on the strap help keep everything in place. Make sure your goggles and straps are wide enough to fit around your helmet – all of our recommendations are!
Lens Types: Buying a goggle with a wide assortment of available lenses is a huge bonus. On super dark and snowy days a clear (or near clear) lens is great to improve visibility. For bright bluebird skiing, a reflective lens helps protect your eyes from solar radiation and also gives a good increase to your overall “radness” level in style. While you’re researching the best ski goggles of 2020, also consider a lens shape that will work well for you. Many goggles on the market have spherical and cylindrical lenses, and toric lenses are a hybrid of the two. Cylindrical ones are curved on the sides and flat vertically, while the spherical type is overall much more curved to create more surface area. Toric lenses were introduced to the market a few years ago, so there are only a few goggles that feature them.
Included Lenses: If you’re spending good money on a new goggle system, look for one that includes more than one lens with your purchase. More lenses mean more versatility when it comes to skiing in different light conditions. If you do have multiple lenses, you should also consider lens interchangeability. The best goggles allow you to easily change out different lenses without any trouble.
Mistakes to Avoid
Going Too Big: With the big goggle trend at an all-time high, some skiers may buy the coolest goggles only to find out they’re actually too big to fit with their helmet. Yeah, that’s a thing. Check reviews to make sure the goggles you’re ordering aren’t too big to fit your riding setup.
Skimping on Price: Many skiers will say their skis or ski boots are the most important piece of gear. I would urge you to think differently – your goggles are the most important piece of gear. Without a good, crisp image to see while you’re skiing, it’s impossible to avoid dangers and injury. Fog, flat lighting, and overly dark lenses are all common issues. Spend the extra dough on your goggles – you’ll be happy you did.
If you’re looking for the best skis that give you an excellent mountain experience, you’ll want to eye up the Blizzard Bonafide Skis. With their performance, stability, and rocker profile, you’ll have no problem reaching those high speeds in just about any time of snow conditions—hard snow, soft snow, even crud and ski lines.
The Blizzard Bonafide Skis’ performance and stability provide every reason to rip and tear through the slopes of your preferred location at any time of the day, especially when speed is warranted.
Ideal for freeride and powder
Stable and reliable, but still powerful
Flipcore Technology makes turning smoother
Not ideal for beginners
What propels the Blizzard Bonafide Skis into stardom is its full wood core—at least part of the reason, anyways. Its core was then reinforced with titanal, running the length of the ski. That combination core makes plowing through snow like a hot knife through butter.
Even with all that power, making quick turns is never a challenge, and you’ll always feel in control. This is directly associated with its light camber rocker and edge hold. With the rocker camber, you can feel the balance, even when pushing the skis in harsher conditions.
A lot of the Blizzard Bonafide Skis’ power comes from its carbon Flipcore technology. The rocker area has been reinforced, enough so that turning feels good and smooth. Even with how smooth turn transitions are, you never feel like you’re losing any forward momentum, at least, none that you can perceive. Energy transfer is on par and can really challenge the Elan Amphibio 84 Ti. Its waist width is a whopping 98mm, which is 10mm wider than the Rossignol Experience 88.
The Blizzard Bonafide’s value isn’t hard to pinpoint. Short story: its design lends to a specific kind of need, and that need is to perform. This can be seen in its build, Flipcore technology, and willingness to keep up its performance even when dealing with harsh conditions.
With that said, you’ll need the right kind of skier to fully take advantage of the Blizzard Bonafide Skis. Strap these to the feet of a beginner and they’ll have a terrible time taming them. As for pricing, it matches the K2 Pinnacle 95, but the Pinnacle 95 is more for casual skiing—Bonafide Skis are ready for the serious skiers.
Blizzard Bonafide Review Wrap Up
For an experienced skier, the Blizzard Bonafide Skis won’t let you down, especially when you’re preparing for freeride or carving through snow and crud; in fact, the skis beg for that kind of surface. When speeding, its design will keep your movements stable. And when you turn, Flipcore technology makes transitioning a dream come true.H
The K2 Pinnacle 95 Skis provide the best skis for skiing enthusiasts needing a pair for regular use. They won’t have you breaking any speed records or ripping through the toughest snow. Their reliable performance, durability, flexibility, and lightweight frame make them ideal for fun in the snow rather than training or racing. If you need a mask for when you’re skiing, you should also look at these rob a bank ski mask free with these LED’s.
For an all mountain experience, the K2 Pinnacle 95 Skis give you every reason to bring them— especially for skiers stepping out of the beginner stage and into intermediate—by offering a good ride even if you aren’t breaking speed records.
Great in soft snow
A jack-of-all-trades skis
Ideal for skiing enthusiasts
Higher speeds can make the tips wobble
Drop a pair of K2 Pinnacle 95 Skis onto soft snow, and you’ll be heaven. It’s their ideal environment. What the Pinnacle 95’s excel at is being an all-around casual pair of skis. They aren’t underwhelming by any means, but their performance is better suited for enthusiasts than a serious skier. Its performance relies largely on its heavy til and tail rocker, much of its weight on the edges, which keeps other areas lightweight and flexible where it matters. In other words, you’re getting skis that are still strong and stable without sacrificing power.
To grant the K2 Pinnacle 95 Skis their performance, its design incorporated Konic Technology. Using an aspen wood core, metal laminate runs through the center and the extremities. What this means for a skier is lighter skis both in terms of weight and swing. That works well with its tapered tip, providing better turn release around the tail. Waist width on the Pinnacle 95’s are much wider than the Rossignol Experience 88 and even more so than the Salomon X-Drive 8.3.
For a pair of all mountain skis, the K2 Pinnacle 95 are a joy to use. They won’t give you the fastest speeds, nor the sharpest turns. What they excel at is being good at everything, but master of none; a jack of all trades. For a skier that finally has experience under their belt will find value in these skis. However, they’re on the expensive side when compared to the Elan Amphibio 84 Ti Skis, an arguably better pair of all mountain skis at a cheaper price.
K2 Pinnacle 95 Wrap Up
K2 Pinnacle 95 Skis work best in softer snow conditions but anything crazy and (no pun intended) they’ll be out of their element. Go too fast and you’ll experience wobble on the tips. Easy going is fine for enthusiasts, but not so for skiing snobs. They can be expensive, but still an ideal set of skis for someone who wants a bit of everything.
Unlike, say, the Elan Amphibio 85 Ti Skis, the Rossignol Experience 88 all-mountain skis are far less focused, sometimes feeling like a powder ski and other times like a mountain ski. But don’t take that as a negative. Instead, the Experience 88’s are more concerned with overall performance rather than focusing on one or two key features. In that sense, they’re some of the best skis in this particular bracket.
The Rossignol Experience 88 all-mountain skis provide balance, performance, and build quality into a pair of skis that have no problem dealing with the various snow conditions experienced on a mountaintop. And to know what size skis to buy, take a look at our review of what size skis do I need?
Performs well in any condition
Ideal for skiing enthusiasts
Not ideal for beginners level skier
The Rossignol Experience 88 Skis find their strength in being able to tackle a wide variety of conditions, which is perfect for skiers who’ve focused on specific conditions, but are ready for new experiences. For starters, the waist width is mucher wider, coming in at 88mm. That’s a lot thinner than, say, the K2 Pinnacle 95, but you’re still getting a bonus to balance even when you feel like carving powder snow, where length would matter most. And yet, you’ll easily be able to transition over to firm snow at any time, especially with its solid edge hold and line control.
Incorporated into the ski’s design was a series of honeycomb pockets with Air Tip-a. This lends to much quicker turns because the overall swing-weight gets a boost. The tip rocker and tail also win points for having added shock absorption when you’re tearing it up in soft snow, but the camber still gives you the hardness necessary for carving your experience into the snow. To keep energy being transferred to the edges, the designers made use of vertical sidewalls.
You don’t want to make the mistake in thinking the Rossignol Experience 88 Skis are the best in the business—they aren’t, though they can outclass the Salomon X-Drive 8.3. However, the Experience 88’s aren’t looking to be the best. What these skis aim to do is provide performance, durability, and balance without costing an arm and a leg. In other words, they’re essentially all-purpose skis; otherwise considered “utility” skis. Sure, the ski would certainly get you plenty of speed, but not the fastest. Their value is comparable to the K2 Pinnacle 95, with the Experience 88 beating them out.
Rossignol Experience 88 Wrap Up
Rossignol isn’t a stranger to designing quality skis and the Experience 88’s are just one more example of that continuing legacy. For an experienced skier, Rossignol Experience 88 all mountain skis are perfect for individuals looking to challenge just about any snow condition on their preferred mountain—and to do so at an affordable price.
If you’re a casual skier and need the best skis for some fun in the snow, look to the Salomon QST 99—specifically the 2019-2020 model. With major improvements made to performance, stability, and build quality, these excel in soft snow conditions and can even enjoy a bit of air when the weather calls for it. You should also take a look at how to rob a bank ski mask free with these LED’s.
The Salomon QST 99 Skis are an excellent example of skis that perform well, are stable, and high quality build at an affordable price, especially for skiing enthusiasts. If you want to practice your snowboarding, learn how to become a better snowboarder with XON Snow-1 bindings.
Best in softer snow conditions
Excellent choice for beginners
Not ideal in crazy conditions
If you’re hoping to get the best performing skis out of the Salomon QST 99 Skis, you’re looking in the wrong place. For the enthusiasts, however, these are perfect for soft snow conditions. With its 99mm waist width—much wider than Elan Amphibio 84 Ti—, you’re getting solid edge grip, though the edge hold needs extra attention when you’re turning. That’s a typical side effect when the platform widens.
Where the Salomon QST 99 suffers is in really harsh conditions. To be fair, it isn’t built for charging through hard chunks of snow. The Rossignol Experience 88 are better in harsher conditions.
The design of the 2020 Salomon QST 99 Skis got a major overhaul compared to its previous models. To start, the entire design is built around its poplar wood core. It then added carbon fiber, basalt, and flax to the mix, providing a very strong bond over other skis in this bracket that prefer metal materials. Its C FX 3 blend still provides an excellent amount of power, but keeping it lightweight and stiff where necessary.
Considering the performance, the Salomon QST 99 is best matched against the K2 Pinnacle 95. Both perform pretty similar to one another, but the QST 99 arguably has a leg up on the K2. Either ski performs well as a jack-of-all-trades kind of ski, but high speeds on the Pinnacle 95 can cause a bit of wobble. That’s where the Salomon QST 99 beats its competition. And when you consider the K2 is $100 more expensive, the QST 99 has excellent value.
Salomon QST 99 Review Wrap Up
There’s no doubting the Salomon QST 99’s performance, especially when compared to a pair of K2 Pinnacle 95s. They’re good, and will work well for beginner skiers looking to enjoy some fun in the snow, even at high speeds or in the air. Just understand these are best suited in soft conditions. These aren’t ideal for something like hard snow, nor do they have to be.
If you’ve got some skiing experience under your belt, and looking to finally replace your rental skis, the Elan Amphibio are some of the best skis available for intermediate to expert level skiers. These skis provide the performance and power needed for speed and turning, but at the same time keeping the skier in control. If you want to switch to snowboarding, become a better snowboarder XON Snow-1 bindings.
The Elan Amphibio 84 Ti Skis use proprietary technology to provide flexibility, performance, and a smooth ride, all the while making the skier feel in control. If you’re also looking for a high quality pair of boots, you should also read our review of Nike’sLunarENDOR QS snowboarding boots.
Riding is smooth
Great for carving
Not suited for beginners
The buzz behind Elan’s Amphibio 4D Technology is definitely warranted and where much of its performance relies on. By having a convex tip shape and tail shape, your skis have a much easier time gripping the snow, consistenting getting edge contact with the tip. That kind of edge grip makes turning on the Elan Amphibio 84 Ti Skis near-effortless—regardless if it’s short turns or long turns, unlike the Rossignol Experience 88. To top it off, this technology manages to smooth your ride by 30%.
The Elan Amphibio 84 Ti Skis have a much lighter profile than other skis in its bracket. It’s thinner, reducing its overall weight by 10%, but still keeping it strong where you need it most. You could be going as fast as you can, but the ski’s power wood core and dual shaped Ti provide plenty of dampness to keep your ride as stable as can be. The design sends the energy into the edges of the ski, providing far better edge hold control and keeping the skis responding to you. Its waist width is 84mm, just a little wider than the Salomon X-Drive 8.3, but much thinner than the K2 Pinnacle 95.
A lot of the value behind the Elan Amphibio 84 Ti comes from its 4D Technology. If you aren’t a seasoned skier, that kind of value is lost on you until you’ve grown accustomed to the sport. In other words, for a beginner: these aren’t the right skis for you.
With that said, given the performance, build quality, and the design, we can easily prop these skis up as having superb value. For $460, you’re getting an excellent pair of all mountain skis.
Elan Amphibio Wrap Up
The Elan Amphibio 84 Ti Skis all are all about control in the most necessary moments. With their lightweight frame, flexible body, and performance, you’ll be ripping through the snow with ease. It owes its performance to Elan’s proprietary 4D Technology. Just remember: these are more for intermediate to expert skiers.
Chances are the first time you hit the slopes, whether or not you had the best ski boots on your feet was the furthest thing from your mind. Now that you’re shredding groomers like Bode and hucking freestyle like Jerry though, naturally, it’s pretty important your boots can take it as hard as you can. You have the best skis, now check out the boots to go with them.
As a full time ski instructor I can tell you that ski boot fitment can critically impact overall performance, remove skill plateaus, and prevent injury due to sloppy equipment. If you want to be a successful, happy, and safe skier you’re going to want to take a look at what’s on your feet and consider ditching the hand-me-down rear entry boots of yesteryear.
Here’s a look at some of the best ski boots in [year].
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Great performance out of the box, highly moldable liner.
As a full time ski instructor, I spend well over 100 days a season on the slopes, and I have been relying on the Salomon X Pro 100’s for my daily skiing for years. They’re comfortable, adjustable, and fit my foot like a glove out of the box. Let’s take a look at their big brother – the X Pro 120.
This boot is built around a stiff, rigid frame that’s just a little bit less aggressive than a racing boot. Perfect for the advanced to expert level skier looking to shred the groomers and rip zipper lines in the moguls. If you’re a more casual skier looking to spend days on the slopes with the family, you might consider the X Pro 100. Want to up your game and break through those performance barriers? This is the boot you need to really lock in those turns. These may be the best ski boots for advanced skiers available today.
For a performance boot you’ll find that the X Pro has a reputably roomy toe box. This will leave your little piggies nice and toasty warm all the way home compared to some super aggressive boots. Overall the X Pro lineup has an excellent and reliable seal on the boot overlap so wet feet during spring skiing shouldn’t be an issue – water won’t sneak in on you. Plus Salomon backs up their boots with a two year warranty so you can shred without worry. Another quality stiff boot that provides a great balance of comfort and performance in the Lange RX 120.
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Economy priced boot from a great brand for new skiers.
This men’s boot features an insanely low flex rating of 70 and a massive, roomy foot bed. Beginner skiers take note: the Evo 70 is a comfortable and roomy choice for getting started.
Simple buckles and strapping with diverse adjustment are great for the beginner as skiers learn how to work with their equipment. I’m glad Rossi kept it simple with the execution here – it can be difficult managing everything new skiers deal with. Simple boots just makes the whole process more streamlined those first few days on the slopes.
Taller or heavier skiers may be well advised to seek a higher flex boot (the higher the number the stiffer the boot) as this boot may actually flex too much and lack support for bigger skiers. Overall the simple construction, roomy boot, and low price point are aimed straight at the best ski boots for beginners. A casual new skier will find that the boot fits comfortably and easily.
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Reasonable price for an intermediate ski boot in the alpine touring and randonee category.
Getting into the backcountry can be an expensive hobby! Buying new alpine touring boots doesn’t have to break the bank though, as we clearly see with Atomic’s moderately priced Waymaker boots.
Weight is critical to backcountry touring, and heavy boots can take their toll on even the most conditioned athlete, let alone us mere mortals. Featuring a walk and ski mode with 35 degrees range of motion, this boot is an easy walking and hiking boot when it’s time to get to and from the trail head.
Carbon fiber rods stiffen the frame of this boot and enhance power transfer while keeping the overall product light and responsive in ski mode. With a reasonable price point, lightweight frame, and stiff shell these are, arguably, the best ski boots for touring! Atomic has other quality products on the market right now suited for both narrow and wide feet, like the Atomic Hawx Ultra which is their line of lightweight ski boots with impressive downhill performance.
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Comfortable foot bed with high performance flex.
Looking for a comfortable boot that won’t leave your toes frozen and squished? Are you an intermediate to expert level skier? Don’t get stuck with a narrow last race boot when you can have the Rossignal Alias Sensor 120 with the best of both worlds. Stiff flex performance with a roomy foot box means the Rossi Alias Sensors may be the best ski boots for intermediate skiers.
The Alias is a full-featured ski boot with four buckles for a secure fit, stiff shell, and great modern look. Rossignol kept the last of this boot generous at 104mm, but guarantees that the heel cup and toe box will keep the foot locked in. This boot might make the perfect companion to the high performance skier looking for a budget minded boot that can race with the best of them and stay comfortable all day at the resort.
Price:$489 | Flex: 130 | Style: Alpine High Performance
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Top of class performance in a boot that is comfortable to ski all day.
Looking for the best ski boots for expert level skiers?
Salomon’s X Pro 130 isn’t for the faint of heart. This is a boot for serious skiers offering serious stiffness in the shell to max out performance. Boots don’t get much more rigid than 130 flex, and you’ll feel it in the way your skis respond. Featuring a quick adjust power strap around the top and four highly adjustable buckles, this boot can be tuned in to match your skiing performance. If you’re going to rip high speed carves down the front side, this is the boot to take with you.
Awesome benefit? Easily available and easy to replace toe and heel plate to keep your boots tuned in so that the soles don’t wear out your shell. The only real downside is that the boot will not be comfortable for long days relaxing on the slope – the 130 flex won’t be forgiving one bit. With the high performance comes a high price tag, but we know it’s worth it.
Durability: It’s amazing how quickly ski boots can take a beating. Make sure the boot you pick is made of quality materials by a reputable manufacturer. All of the ski boot makers we’ve listed have been in the industry for years and stand behind their products. Take care to keep your toe and heel plates in good repair.
Flex: As skier’s skill, weight, and height goes up – so does flex. Generally speaking the more skilled a skier is and/or the larger the skier is, the higher flex rating you’ll want to have. Flex ratings below 100 are good beginner boots, but won’t hold up as the skier advances. Any flex ratings above 120 are for expert level skiers, generally.
Liner: Fitment of the boot is critical to a good skiing experience and adequate control of your skis. Some boots come from the factory with heat moldable liners or shells, and these boots are usually more expensive, but you can also expect a great jump in performance, fit, and comfort. Entry level boots usually lack the fine adjustment options available on higher end boots. One option for finding the right pair ski boots that are the perfect fit for you is to seek to professional help of a boot fitter.
Shell: One thing skiers will want to watch out for is shell construction. Make sure the rivets or attachments used at the boot pivot point (if it has one) are reliable and high quality. Also see what other skiers are saying about the waterproof reliability of the boot. Believe it or not poorly designed boots can sometimes leak melting snow water in around the seals where the boot shell overlaps.
Intended Use: Are you just going out for a day with the kids, or are you heli-skiing in Alaska? A beginner skier needs a different boot than a skier looking to compete in racing events or mogul skiing. Make sure you have reasonable expectations of what type of skiing you’ll be doing in your shiny new boots.
Mistakes to Avoid
Buying an AT Boot: Some skiers are under the impression that the walk mode offered on Alpine Touring (AT) boots is for walking around the resort. While it can be used this way, we recommend you avoid buying an AT boot for resort use as the walk mode is never quite as reliable as a true alpine boot for frontside carving. You just won’t get the same performance.
Skimping on Price: With ski boots you’ll really find that you get what you pay for. Advanced skiers looking to save a buck may find that the cheaper boot actually can hold them back from progressing in skill level. Don’t save money on one of the most important pieces of equipment – buy what you need for your level. However, don’t think that buying expensive gear will make you a better skier. It won’t.
Which Ski Boot is Right For Me
Ultimately it comes down to your size, skill level, and preferred skiing style. If you’re going to do some backcountry touring and some front side piste shredding you may want to go with a reputable AT boot. For most skiers a good alpine boot is just the right solution, and we recommend beginners start with something modest before moving into one of our mid range or high end options until their skill level demands better equipment.
In order to make the cut for our list of best men’s ski goggles this season, we’re looking for goggles packed with new tech. UV coated spherical lenses with a great peripheral view, helmet compatible design and straps, as well as sleek aesthetics. Form and function come together with our cream-of-the-crop list!
As a result of our testing, the best men’s ski goggle on the market for 2020 are the WildHorn Roca Snowboard & Ski Goggles. Produced by the same company that supplies the U.S. Olympic ski team, these goggles are durable, versatile and super functional with dual lenses and lens interchangeability. Keep reading to learn more about our top pick and the other goggles we included on our list below. Once you’ve got the best skis, you’ll want to read our guide on how to wax skis.
Top 5 Best Men’s Ski Goggles Compared
#1 WildHorn Roca Snowboard & Ski Goggles – Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: WildHorn Outfitters is the official supplier to the U.S. Olympic ski team, and their Wildhorn Roca snowboard and ski goggles mirror the same high quality you would come to expect from such a prolific supplier. These dual-lens goggles feature an intuitive lens changing system that is great for anyone who wants to customize their ski experience.
Best dual lens design
Intuitive interchange lenses system
Excellent ventilation system
Sometimes hard to get a good seal
Some limited peripheral vision
Strap doesn’t grip helmet very well
The WildHorn Roca ski goggles feature a unique dual lens design that provide you a number of benefits. These benefits include anti-fogging and anti-scratching coating, less change for fogging and added durability. The lenses also deliver a wide view of the environment around you. Their field of view is wider than most other goggles, but there were some instances were our peripheral vision was a bit limited.
The Roca goggles also feature an intuitive and super handy swapping lenses system that allows you to change out additional lenses in under 60 seconds. Unlike other interchangeable lens ski goggles, the Roca goggles feature both magnets and a clip locking system so you can be sure your lens isn’t going slip off during particularly intense runs. Finally, we were really pleased with the overall durability and comfort of these goggles, though we wish the strap would grip to the helmet a little better. If you want something extra reliable, safe and durable, you can’t go wrong with the WildHorn Roca ski goggles.
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking for a pair of men’s ski goggles to fit over your glasses, then the ZIONOR X10 OTG snow googles are the best suited for the task. With a deep frame and extra-thick foam padding around the frame, these goggles can fit comfortably over most glasses without a problem.
Best OTG design
Double layer lens coating
Improved impact resistance
Lenses can sometimes scratch easily
No grip on strap
No instructions included
The ZIONOR X10 ski goggles are optimized for use over glasses with their unique and ergonomic OTG design. They’re also built with sunny days in mind in the form of a UV400 protective coating, as well as an anti-fog treatment. This advanced lens coating keeps your field of vision super clear, no matter what time of day or temperature it is. The ZIONOR goggles deliver sweet protection from the elements and from collisions and crashes.
The impact-resistant nature of the frame was another feature that impressed us. The ZIONOR goggles use what the company calls “Enhanced Durability Tech” to improve impact resistance so you don’t have to worry about the goggles harming you when you fall. You also get some great wind resistance with this lens and frame design, which is always a plus. The only thing we would improve if we could is adding some kind of grip to the back of the ZIONOR X10’s strap so it stays put on your helmet.
WHY WE LIKE IT: The OutdoorMaster Ski Goggles PRO offer the most value on our list, with premium features at a much more affordable price. They feature an excellent interchangeable lens system, OTG design and excellent ventilation for the best user experience.
Best interchangeable lens system
Frameless design for wide FOV
Includes protective case
Taller than other goggles
Sometimes get water in them during rain
Some wind gets through
If you’re looking for value, high performance and durability, you definitely need to consider the OutdoorMaster PRO snowboard and ski goggles. They provide premium features at a super affordable price. One of the best features you get on the OutdoorMaster PRO is its quick-change magnetic lens system. With eight different magnetic points around the frame, the PRO goggles give you an easy way to pop a lens off and pop the new one back on as light conditions change during the day.
You also get a unique frameless design that allows you to see in a wider field of view than other glasses. The only downside to this design is that the goggles are very tall, which means they’ll compete with your helmet for some forehead space. You even get a protective case with your purchase, which protects your goggles while you’re not using them. If you need premium performance at a budget price, don’t pass up the OutdoorMaster PRO ski goggles.
WHY WE LIKE IT: The OutdoorMaster OTG ski goggles are some of the most durable men’s ski goggles that we tested because of their bendable frame and strong helmet strap. They also offer excellent over-the-glasses fit so you can go skiing with your prescription glasses on.
Best durable design
Excellent over-the-glasses fit
Fits universally on all ski helmets
Can fog up in colder temperatures
Limited field of view
Not the best for dim light
If you wear prescription glasses on a regular basis and don’t have access to contact lenses, you know just how difficult it can be to find the right pair of ski goggles. With a deep frame size, the OutdoorMaster OTG goggles can easily fit most pairs of prescription glasses. You can also bend the durable TPU frame in any direction you want, which allows you to get them as comfortable as possible. This durability also serves you well in the case of collisions or falls, especially since wearing glasses can be dangerous if you fall on your face and your goggles don’t offer any support.
These OutdoorMaster ski and snowboard goggles also offer a universal fit with its extra-long helmet strap. This is especially useful with the sheer number of helmet sizes and shapes available on the market today. These goggles also deliver some decent anti-fogging functionality, but we did experience some fogging during low temperatures, especially when we were hot after skiing for a longer period of time. However, the built-in UV400 protection and overall durability more than make up for this slight downside.
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Odoland S2 ski goggles feature a superb anti-fog system in the form of dual lenses, ventilation holes and anti-fog coating. If you find yourself constantly fogging up while skiing, these goggles are perfect for you.
Comprehensive anti-fog system
Comfortable 3-layer padding
Not great for large helmets
Strap can be hard to adjust
One of the worst things you can have happen to you is tons of fogging in the middle of an intense run. Fortunately, the Odoland S2 ski goggles were made specifically to combat fogging up. These goggles feature a three-pronged approach to anti-fog. First, the dual lens design prevents condensation from building up too much. Next, the inner lens is covered with anti-fog coating. Finally, the frame features uniquely designed ventilation and fogging prevention to encourage better airflow.
The Odoland S2 goggles also offer more than just anti-fog capabilities. While they may not fit over large adult helmets, they’re still super durable and versatile for any kind of application. You also get over the glasses functionality and added comfort with three layers of padding surrounding the frame. The next time you fog up while skiing, don’t forget to get a pair of these Odoland S2 goggles.
How We Choose
Over the last five years I’ve spent more than 500 days on skis and I know what can make or break a great pair of men’s ski goggle. So what really separates great ski goggles from the rest? Personally, I only accept goggles with technical spherical lenses which offer exceptional peripheral views, coated UV protection, and manly color options. My choices must be helmet compatible too, as more and more skiers wise up to the benefits of protecting their heads when they ride. All of the goggles I have chosen are offered by the best ski goggle brands in the industry, each with proven track records of uncompromising gear. We’ve avoided budget and up-and-coming brands to bring you only the best men’s ski goggles available today. Don’t forget to check out my other top ski goggles list for this season too!
Why You Should Buy New Ski Goggles
Like a good pair of ski pants, ski gloves, or ski boot, a good pair of ski goggles can either make or break your ski runs for the day. The goggles of today have evolved rapidly from just a few short years ago, and are the result of improving lens technology and evolving skier taste. Buying new ski goggles will offer you a lot more than just looking cool on the slopes (though that’s important, too). Helmet use is on the rise, from men and women to children, all skiers are wearing helmets today. This means older goggles not made to fit helmets may no longer function properly with new safety gear. You need a goggle with enough strap adjustment to be worn with or without a helmet which is exactly what we’ve chosen here. My men’s goggle picks feature highly adjustable headbands and wider attachment points at the edges of the goggle to accommodate your need for a helmet. New reflective and mirrored lenses are available in every color under the sun, but did you know they actually help protect your eyes too? Newer goggles and lenses are beginning to incorporate wide lenses with a greater peripheral view. This helps with safety, allowing you to see more of what (and who) is around you at all times. On top of that, newer lenses are using UV coated technology to help shed harmful UV visible light before it reaches your eyes. Because crisp visibility and wide viewing angles are an important part of skiing at your best level and avoiding potential dangers, I feel there’s a strong case to be made for an upgrade there as well.
Without a good goggle you’ll be left skiing in poor, flat lighting which makes skiing difficult and unsafe. Don’t overlook the most critical piece of skiing equipment – choose a replacement goggle today! Choosing the right goggle and lens combo will revolutionize the way you see the snow you’re skiing…literally.
Key Factors and Features of a Good Ski Goggle
View: Being able to see well during snow sports will result in two great outcomes: First, you’ll be able to see obstacles, trees, moguls, rollers, and terrain better. This means less injuries and wipe outs because you’ll be prepared for anything the mountain throws your way. Second, you’ll gain improved peripheral vision. New goggles have large viewing angles, and the added peripheral will help you avoid other skiers on the hill.
Price: Great skiing doesn’t compromise on essential gear. Ski goggles are, arguably, the most important piece of skiing gear you’ll purchase. For that reason, make sure to leave room in your budget for a top-of-the-line goggle for improved safety, visibility, and enjoyment on the hill. If you’re looking for the best ski goggles under $100, try the Oakley Flight Deck in Sheridan Copper.
Helmet Fit: Moving into 2019 we’re seeing more skiers than ever realizing that wearing a helmet is actually a good idea when hurtling down a mountain at high speeds…imagine that! For this reason you’ll want to ensure that any goggle you purchase can fit that nice new brain bucket you’ve got. All the goggles on our list will fit any sized helmet.
Lens Types: Lenses are important and stylish. Different lens types offer darker or lighter light transmission for cloudy or blue bird days. Changing lenses is critical for avoiding flat lighting which can leave you skiing “in the dark”, and may lead to injury. Make sure you get a pair of goggles from a great manufacturer offering a wide variety of lenses in the colors you’ll love!
Included Lenses: Most interchange lens systems now come with two lenses when you purchase the goggle. If not, no worries! Almost every manufacturer offers a handful of different aftermarket replacement lenses to choose from.
Mistakes to Avoid
Buying the Blackest Lenses: Blackout lenses definitely look rad, there’s no doubt. Frankly there’s nothing wrong with a blackout lens, but remember they allow very low light transmission. You’ll definitely want a lighter lens (yellow or high contrast) for overcast and dark days on the mountain. You’ll be amazed how much of a difference the correct lens will make!
Skimping on Price: Don’t fall into the trap of spending all your money on your skis. Unless you’re a pro shredder your skis aren’t going to make or break your day on the mountain. Buy a reasonable pair of skis and save a little budget for your helmet and goggle setup. Staying comfortable means more time and more fun on the mountain!
Which Ski Goggle is Right For Me
Don’t forget that any of these goggles are just as viable for other snowsports, so if you’re looking for the best snowboard goggles, look no further! No matter what your pursuit, I’ll break it down for you so you know which ski goggle is just right for you.
Other options that didn’t make it onto our list include Smith I/O Mag options, Anon’s M4, Oakley Prizm, Giros Axis and Spy Ace goggles.