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It’s a recipe for disaster, anyone would think this. The thought of heading to the untamed lands. Where the deeper snow resides and steep terrain is a given. Backcountry skiing is not for the faint of heart nor is it for those that lack focus.

If you want a chance at having a solid downhill performance then you are going to need the lightest ski that you can find. A versatile ski that was made for bombing downhill and ski mountaineering.

That’s where we come in. Presenting you with the best backcountry skis for dominating the roughest terrain that you’ll come across when backcountry skiing. Backcountry skis like the Blizzard zero g 105 and its rocker camber underfoot. Improving your edge grip so that you can grab onto the soft snow with an iron hold.

Consider what you want, what you need. Many skis won’t deliver but the best backcountry skis listed below sure will.

Product

Details

Best Overall

Superguide 95 Ski – 2023

  • Length:162cm
  • Weight:5lb

Best Freeride Ski

Blizzard Zero G 105

  • Length:164cm
  • Weight:5lb

Best Powder Performance

Backland 117 Ski – 2023

  • Length:177cm
  • Weight:4lb

Best Lightweight Skis

DPS Pagoda Tour 106 C2

  • Length:155cm
  • Weight:6lb

Best for Stability

Ferox Freebird Ski – 2023

  • Length:170.1cm
  • Weight:7lb

Best For Budget Ski

Blacklight 80 Ski – 2023

  • Length:151cm
  • Weight:2lb

Most Versatile Ski

G3 ROAMr

  • Length:166cm
  • Weight:6lb

Best Heavy-Duty Skis

Armada Locator 112

  • Length:162cm
  • Weight:6lb

Best Women’s Ski

Icelantic Mystic 107

  • Length:162cm
  • Weight:6lb

Best Of The Rest

Faction Agent 3.0 Skis 2023

  • Length:203cm
  • Weight:10lb

10 Best Backcountry Skis for 2023

Backcountry skis are a must if you want to improve your downhill performance. This is because the terrain you’ll come across will be more intense than anything you’ll find at a ski resort. This is why a backcountry ski must also be a lightweight ski.

You need best gear for that’ll help you speed up not burden you.

These kinds of skis can also be considered touring skis because backcountry skis often come with features that make backcountry touring more accessible. Features such as the climbing skin fixation system of the SuperGuide 95 skis.

Consider what similar features would make your snow day outing a more pleasurable experience. I guarantee that we’ve got a backcountry ski listed below that’ll have what you are looking for.

1. Superguide 95 Ski – 2023

best backcountry skis 2021

At the top of the hill lies the Superguide 95s. What does this touring ski have that the rest don’t? Well, like most of our other top ski gear picks, be it backcountry ski boots or otherwise, the Superguides were able to have a consistent high-quality design-build.

There wasn’t one area where the Superguides went all in on. Rather, these skis wanted to be a master of all trades. One thing that I did enjoy was that intermediate skiers could get a great ride out of them.

Oftentimes, the quality skis are only for long-time ski tourers. It’s nice that a pair of downhill skis exist that don’t lock out most skiers due to the ability level required to use them. Convenience is also important and here again, the Superguide delivers.

These skis come with a climbing skin fixation system that allows you to attach your climbing skins onto your skis once you no longer need them. What about performance? The Superguides have fantastic edge hold thanks to the factory-finished edges.

That’s not all, with its stone ground sintered base, you’ll think that you were gliding across butter and not snow.

To summarize, the Superguides can be used by skiers of all skill levels, have great hiking uphill features, and are performance ready. These skis truly have it all.

backcountry ski reviews

Features

  • Terrain: Big mountain and Alpine touring
  • Ability Level: Intermediate to advanced skiers
  • Turning Radius: Medium
  • Ski Core: Aramid, Carbon, and Wood
  • Warranty: Two years

Pros

  • Comes with a Scott Hook skin fixation system for attaching your climbing skins to your skis.
  • Factory-finished edges for superior edge hold.
  • Has a stone ground sintered base that lets you glide across soft snow.

Cons

  • Expert skiers will want backcountry skis that are for a higher skill level.

Superguide 95 Ski – 2023

The price of “Superguide 95 Ski – 2023” varies, so check the latest price at

2. Blizzard Zero G 105

best touring skis 2021

With a name like Blizzard Zero G, these alpine touring skis either mean trouble or breathtaking performance. But what if, it was the breathtaking performances that got you into trouble in the first place?

If you find a good excuse to get you out of a tough bind, share it with me, please!

What does any of this have to do with the Blizzard Zero Gs? These skis are the ideal pick for freeriding.

This is thanks to the pullout strength provided to us by the ski laminate and their uphill performance. Freeriding is all about there being no rules or reason for your skiing. Just a ride for a ride’s sake.

And with compounded sidewalls that do wonders for your stability and handling, you’ll be able to freeride on the choppiest snow that you can find. Although, it is this confidence that’ll get you into that aforementioned trouble.

No worries, should an issue arise, simply speed away from it. The Blizzard Zero Gs have a carbon and wood core that was specifically designed not to weigh you down. It pairs nicely with their long turn radius which lets you retain speed as you carve.

Breaking the speed limit just got a whole lot easier.

best backcountry skis 2020

Features

  • Terrain: All-mountain and Alpine touring
  • Ability Level: Advanced to expert skiers
  • Turning Radius: Long
  • Ski Core: Carbon and wood
  • Warranty: One year

Pros

  • These skis have compounded sidewalls that increase ride stability and handling.
  • Has an incredibly lightweight wood core that won’t slow you down.
  • Perfect for freeriding thanks to their uphill performance.

Cons

  • Best used with ski bindings that have a brake width of 15mm wider than the ski waist width.

Blizzard Zero G 105

The price of ” Blizzard Zero G 105 ” varies, so check the latest price at

3. Backland 117 Ski – 2023

touring skis vs backcountry skis

Fresh pow is the absolute best stuff that you will come across. It isn’t often that we get to sink our teeth into this white gold. This is why we should have the best backcountry skis at the ready.

Should the chance present itself, the Backland 117s will let us make the most of it. With a medium turn radius that lets us swerve at a moment’s notice and retain speed while doing it, you’ll be able to experience any style of skiing.

At both ends of these skis, you’ll find a wider surface area. This improves float and it’s what gives us that nice surfy feel when moving through powder. Throughout the entire structure of these skis, carbon inserts have been strategically placed.

These carbon inserts are like the Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton, granting a boost to the structural integrity of the Backland 117s. They also improve agility and edge hold. Carve to your heart’s content because you won’t be catching an edge or spinning out.

Keep in mind that while these skis may be tailor-made for powder runs, they still have a lightweight core. This core lets you quickly pick up speed and as such, perform admirably when alpine touring.

k2 backcountry skis

Features

  • Terrain: Powder, Alpine, and Touring
  • Ability Level: Advanced to expert skiers
  • Turning Radius: Medium
  • Ski Core: Ultra lightweight wood core
  • Warranty: Two years

Pros

  • Glassy top sheet graphics look stunning when in action.
  • Has wider ski tips that improve float when skiing on fresh snow or pow.
  • Improved agility and edge hold thanks to carbon inserts in backcountry skis.

Cons

  • Best suited for powder runs but can get the job done elsewhere.

Backland 117 Ski – 2023

The price of “Backland 117 Ski – 2023 ” varies, so check the latest price at

4. DPS Pagoda Tour 106 C2

backcountry ski sizing

The less you weigh, the faster you’ll go. Skiers and snowboarders are a wild bunch. To us, speed and hang time are a better combo than chocolate and peanut butter. With this in mind, wouldn’t it be great to have skis that are in a weight class all their own?

Enter the Pagoda Tour 106s. With a core made from carbon, foam, and wood, going fast won’t be a problem, and going slow may not even be an option. The foam included in the core was done all in a bid to drop weight.

High-tapered angles were also included to make these skis more responsive. Imagine the kind of power you have in a set of skis with foam inserts. Skis that were specially made for responsive and immediate turns.

Skis that have Rockwell steel edges forged for some hard carving. In fact, the only reason why these steel edges don’t weigh down the Pagoda Tour 106s is because of the foam inserts from before.

Focused design runs throughout the entirety of these skis. There isn’t a single area that doesn’t contribute to the grand design. The lightest weighing skis and also the most dangerous.

To top it all off, these are perfect for all-mountain ski adventures too. Not a single piece of the peak will be left untouched.

back country ski

Features

  • Terrain: All-mountain, Big mountain, and Alpine touring
  • Ability Level: Advanced to expert skiers
  • Turning Radius: Medium
  • Ski Core: Carbon, foam, and wood
  • Warranty: Two years

Pros

  • These skis have Rockwell steel edges that were made for intense carving.
  • Responsive and immediate turns thanks to the high-taper angles.
  • Efficient for even the firmest snow conditions.

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with bindings.

DPS Pagoda Tour 106 C2

The price of “DPS Pagoda Tour 106 C2 varies, so check the latest price at

5. Ferox Freebird Ski – 2023

best backcountry skis 2018

Everyone wants stability in all aspects of their lives. Why would it be any different when skiing? The Ferox Freebirds know a thing or two about a stable ride. They were designed from the ground up for stability.

These skis have long side cuts that run down a good portion of their body. With this length comes improved edge hold and a longer curve radius. Both of these outcomes combine masterfully to dampen your ride even when moving at high speeds.

And high speeds will be a common occurrence because just like our last entry on this list. Foam inserts have been included wherever possible to assure that the overall weight of these skis was kept down. The inserts lay nestled within the carbon and wood core.

To improve your balance, a camber underfoot that doesn’t plaster your entire ski onto the snow was added. This camber profile has an intermediate level of contact with the snow. The result is increased skier balance because now, variably bumpy snow won’t have you bouncing around as much.

The last thing to mention would be the progressive flex that runs throughout the skis. Areas that need to be stiff are, and those that could do with a softer flex have what they need.

ski mountaineering skis

Features

  • Terrain: Powder and Alpine touring
  • Ability Level: Advanced to expert skiers
  • Turning Radius: Medium
  • Ski Core: Carbon, foam, and wood
  • Warranty: Two years

Pros

  • Long side cuts improve your grip, make for a longer curve radius, and increase stability when skiing at high speeds.
  • Progressive flex runs throughout these backcountry skis for a comfortable and forgiving ride.
  • Perfect balance thanks to camber underfoot.

Cons

  • Only one design option to choose from.

Ferox Freebird Ski – 2023

The price of “Ferox Freebird Ski – 2023 ” varies, so check the latest price at

6. Blacklight 80 Ski – 2023

k2 touring skis

While all of the options that I’ve shown you thus far are as good as they come, there is an issue. Their price! Times seem to get tougher every year for a sizable portion of the population and so it’s great to have a quality budget option.

The Blacklight 80s are the absolute best skis that you will get at their price point. They go for half of what some of the other best backcountry skis on our list retail for. Usually, the cheaper the skis, the more suited for beginners they are but the Blacklights buck this trend.

Made for advanced skiers that know their way around the backcountry, no novices need to apply. They come with a two-year warranty should the worst happen. The base has a world cup race finish applied to it.

Capable of lighting fires as you fly downhill, well… not literally but the point is that you’ll go really, really fast. The sidewalls have been designed to enhance power transmission and efficiency.

This means that you won’t have to throw your entire weight into a carve in order to end up with a half-decent turn.

Features

  • Terrain: Alpine touring
  • Ability Level: Advanced skiers
  • Turning Radius: Medium
  • Ski Core: Paulownia wood core
  • Warranty: Two years

Pros

  • Available for half the price of competing backcountry skis.
  • Has ABS sidewalls for maximum power transfer and emission.
  • Comes with a world cup race finish applied to the base. Speedy when going downhill.

Cons

  • Bland aesthetic design but this does not impact performance at all.

Blacklight 80 Ski – 2023

The price of ” Blacklight 80 Ski – 2023″ varies, so check the latest price at

7. G3 ROAMr

beginner backcountry skis

The Roamr stays true to its name in every sense. Here are the skis for those skiers with two halves. Satisfy your wild side with a trip out to the backcountry and then head back to the resort once you’re ready for some more structured skiing.

The Roamr is capable of giving you a great performance in either terrain type. Ski cores affect the remaining parts of the ski. It’s why the 3D-shaped poplar wood core within the Roamr is something to talk about.

This kind of core has the structure needed to give you a damp ride. A damp ride is what makes backcountry and resort ski adventures possible. Without this design feature, you wouldn’t be able to do both so well. At least, not with one pair of skis.

Rounding off this skiing duality is the sandwich construction of these skis. This type of construction has resulted in increased durability for the Roamr, which means an overall longer lifespan

Suffice it to say, that you won’t be throwing your money away on a pair of skis that’ll shatter upon the first impact. A similar camber profile to a previous entry has also been included. With it come smooth turns and turn initiation.

what size backcountry skis do i need

Features

  • Terrain: Ski resorts and backcountry skiing
  • Ability Level: Advanced to expert
  • Turning Radius: Medium
  • Ski Core: 3D-shaped poplar wood
  • Warranty: One year

Pros

  • Steel edges that give way to a full-thickness base.
  • Sandwich construction for increased durability and lifespan.
  • Minimal camber underfoot for smooth turns and turn initiation.

Cons

  • Not enough ski mountaineering features. Such as fixation systems, etc.

Armada Locator 112

The price of “Armada Locator 112 ” varies, so check the latest price at

8. Armada Locator 112

best at skis

There’s always got to be one option on these lists that was made for rough riding. The Locator 112s have got that big mountain build that serves it well even when skiing on powder or engaging in some alpine touring.

With strategically placed carbon stringers that make this ski pop in all of the right places, you’ll get all the floating action you could want. The core of the Locator 112s was made with carbon and wood, underpinned by metal inserts.

There isn’t one material that can lay to claim a majority of this board. Rather, bits and pieces have been spread out where needed to create a collage of design excellence. Now, let’s take a look at the rear end of the Locator 112s.

The tail here has no rocker by design. Without a rocker, the Locator 112s have greater stability when carving because you won’t have to worry about the tail lifting up and causing you to fly face-first into the snow.

While I consider this lack of tail rocker to be a strength, there are some skiers that won’t like this style of the ski at all. I guess this serves as both a recommendation and a warning depending on what you are looking for in a pair of skis.

at ski review

Features

  • Terrain: Big Mountain, Powder, and Alpine Touring
  • Ability Level: Advanced to expert skiers
  • Turning Radius: Long
  • Ski Core: Carbon, Metal, and Wood
  • Warranty: Two years

Pros

  • Surprisingly a lightweight ski despite the metal in the core.
  • Strategically placed Carbon stringers that add pop and float.
  • No tail rocker for greater stability when carving.

Cons

  • Do not get these if you want backcountry skis with a tail rocker.

Armada Locator 112

The price of “Armada Locator 112 ” varies, so check the latest price at

9. Icelantic Mystic 107

backcountry ski & sport

For some time now, women’s ski gear hasn’t received nearly as much love and attention as their male equivalents. So whenever a women’s specific option makes its way onto one of these lists, it’s a cause for attention.

The Mystic 107s deserve every bit of attention that they’ll get. Not only are they one of those great pieces of ski gear that can be used by skiers of all skill levels, but they also have a decent warranty backing them.

In order to improve your speed and retention when speeding, a fiberglass laminate was applied to the entire body of the Mystic 107s. Two birds with one stone!

The core of this ski is among the lightest on the list. This genius engineering isn’t wasted, as the rest of the ski’s body was made to compliment the featherweight core.

Throw in some beautiful colors and graphic design, and you’ve also got one of the most stylish skis on the list.

Features

  • Terrain: Powder and Alpine Touring
  • Ability Level: Intermediate and advanced skiers
  • Turning Radius: Medium
  • Ski Core: Wood
  • Warranty: Three years

Pros

  • The best backcountry skis for women.
  • Featherweight core design that meshes well with the rest of the ski base.
  • Fiberglass laminates improve speed and retention when skiing through soft snow.

Cons

  • Flat tail type won’t please all backcountry skiers.

Icelantic Mystic 107

The price of ” Icelantic Mystic 107″ varies, so check the latest price at

10. Faction Agent 3.0 Skis 2023

ski touring skis

Rounding off the best backcountry skis is the Agent 3.0 skis. Designed for the big three terrain types: all-mountain, big mountain, and alpine touring. It is every bit as versatile as the Roamr and capable of heavy-duty charging like the Locator.

I wouldn’t say that the Agent 3.0 skis do these things better than the other skis on this list but it definitely competes with them. It even has some features that others lack. For example, a scratch-resistant top sheet has been applied to the surface of the Agents.

This top sheet ensures that the color and graphics of the Agent 3.0s don’t dull or get damaged as quickly as its competitors. A top sheet like this will come in handy once you start engaging in some grueling runs.

With a long turn radius perfect for speed retention and a flat tail design for control, bombing downhill will become your new favorite pastime. The Agent 3.0 is an all-around great pickup for any skier.

If you are interested to buy Our Faction Dictator 2.0 Review check out our detail review.

mountaineering skis

Features

  • Terrain: All-Mountain, Big Mountain, and Alpine Touring
  • Ability Level: Advanced to expert skiers
  • Turning Radius: Long
  • Ski Core: Carbon and Wood
  • Warranty: Two years

Pros

  • Has a scratch-resistant top sheet that ensures that the ski color graphics won’t dull over time.
  • Medium stiff flex level that makes for a stable yet responsive ride.
  • Flat tail design made for speed and control.

Cons

  • Not many sizing options to choose from currently.

Faction Agent 3.0 Skis 2023

The price of “Faction Agent 3.0 Skis 2023 ” varies, so check the latest price at

Picking Out the Best Backcountry Skis For You

If backcountry-specific skis seem a bit overboard, then you haven’t been paying attention. An ultralight backcountry ski has got the profile and makeup to make the most out of variable snow.

Deep powder, soft or chunky snow, most backcountry skis can deliver on these snow conditions but only the best backcountry skis can give you consistent performances. Want to know how to pick out the right skis for you? Take a look below, we explained it all.

Your Ski’s Length & Width

The length of ski affects how well you can control it. It’s easier to turn on a dime with a shorter ski. You’ll also have greater agility. But this comes at a cost, when skiing at higher speeds, you’ll have a harder time controlling your skis.

Smaller skis are easier to control at slower speeds. Larger skis are easier to control at higher speeds. Larger skis also offer a damper ride on rougher terrain.

As for the width of your skis, the wider they are the more stable they are but the longer it’ll take you to pick up some speed.

Rocker and Camber Of Your Backcountry Ski

The rocker and camber affect the pop of your skis. Different kinds of rockers and cambers will make your skis either more responsive, give you better handling, or improve your carving capabilities.

But once again, the camber profile of a ski affects its spring and air time. More camber equals an easier time getting into the air. Before making a final decision be sure to research the camber and rocker profile of your skis.

They play a massive part in every aspect of your ride.

What’s Your Backcountry Ski Made Of?

The materials used to make your backcountry skis matter because they directly affect the durability and weight of your skis. Lighter-weighing skis go faster than heavier skills and they are easier to control.

However, they aren’t as sturdy or stable as heavier skis. You also can’t carve as hard with them. Heavier skis incorporate some kind of metal in their structure while low-weighing skis have foam inserts running through their base.

The Pagoda Tour 106s are a great pair of low-weighing skis. For a more durable and heavier option, the Locator 112s would be a great pickup.

FAQ’s

How Much Do Backcountry Skis Cost?

Backcountry skis can cost you a pretty penny but this is only because they have the quality to back it up.

Fortunately for those on a budget, we do have a fantastic set of skis that are half the price of all our other options, while still delivering the same amount of quality. Check out the Blacklight 80s for affordable top-quality skis.

Can Any skis be Backcountry skis?

No, while you can use any set of skis anywhere, your performance will suffer. In fact, the overall feel of your ride will see a significant drop in quality. Not to mention that you could risk serious injury.

For example, using a non-powder-specific ski for riding through dense powder. That’s only going to end with you catching an edge and then slamming face-first into the cold hard snow.

What Are the Best Backcountry Skis for Beginners?

The best backcountry skis for beginners would be the Superguide 95s and the Mystic 107s. But beginners will find that anything with a low flex score will be easier to handle.

My Final Thoughts

You can expect variable snow conditions and tight trees, most backcountry skiers know this. In fact, they crave those untamed wilds where there is no piste to speak off. Where, even if at one point there had been a piste, it disappeared long ago.

This is what backcountry skis were made for. The Armada Locator 112s for stability, even when in the middle of the gnarliest carves. The G3 Roamr for its minimal camber profile makes turn initiation a breeze.

You may think it’s too much for just some tight terrain, but you’d be mistaken. In the backcountry, there are no rules and no safety signs. You find danger and you’ll need high-speed skis to outrun it all.

But even if a majority of your skiing world is made up of resorts and firm snow, there is still an option for you. The G3 Roamr that I mentioned before is the king of versatility.

There’s a lot on offer listed above and it’s all quality.

If backcountry-specific skis seem a bit overboard, then you haven’t been paying attention. An ultralight backcountry ski has got the profile and makeup to make the most out of variable snow.

Deep powder, soft or chunky snow, most backcountry skis can deliver on these snow conditions but only the best backcountry skis can give you consistent performances. Want to know how to pick out the right skis for you? Take a look below, we explained it all.

Your Ski’s Length & Width

The length of ski affects how well you can control it. It’s easier to turn on a dime with a shorter ski. You’ll also have greater agility. But this comes at a cost, when skiing at higher speeds, you’ll have a harder time controlling your skis.

Smaller skis are easier to control at slower speeds. Larger skis are easier to control at higher speeds. Larger skis also offer a damper ride on rougher terrain.

As for the width of your skis, the wider they are the more stable they are but the longer it’ll take you to pick up some speed.

The Rocker and Camber Of Your Backcountry Ski

The rocker and camber affect the pop of your skis. Different kinds of rockers and cambers will make your skis either more responsive, give you better handling, or improve your carving capabilities.

But once again, the camber profile of a ski affects its spring and air time. More camber equals an easier time getting into the air. Before making a final decision be sure to research the camber and rocker profile of your skis.

They play a massive part in every aspect of your ride.

What’s Your Backcountry Ski Made Of?

The materials used to make your backcountry skis matter because they directly affect the durability and weight of your skis. Lighter-weighing skis go faster than heavier skills and they are easier to control.

However, they aren’t as sturdy or stable as heavier skis. You also can’t carve as hard with them. Heavier skis incorporate some kind of metal in their structure while low-weighing skis have foam inserts running through their base.

The Pagoda Tour 106s are a great pair of low-weighing skis. For a more durable and heavier option, the Locator 112s would be a great pickup.

Categories: Skiing

Adrian Salazar

My name is Adrian Salazar and I have been wrapped up in the world of water and other extreme sports since the first time I went kayaking. When I’m not working hard trying to deliver the best writing that I can, I am usually out on a lake or hiking up a mountain. My world is completely dominated by writing and the mix of adrenaline and peace of mind that can be achieved while engaging in new sports. I will use my knowledge, experience, and mistakes, to inform you about the best ways that you can become a part of the world of extreme sports. You can count on me to give you my informed and unbiased opinion about any sporting equipment you may need. I know from personal experience that extreme sports are something that you need to head into completely and accurately informed. Let my experience guide you.

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