At the end of August, we’re heading once again to the southern hemisphere for our annual review trip. We’ve been spending a lot of time over the past two months debating what we ought to take with us, and we think we’ve come up with a pretty compelling list of gear. But we want to ask our Blister members, to help us decide which products make the cut.
To be clear, we are most interested in determining what you think are the highest-priority skis and boots to review now, and what you think can wait until this November / December.
Once Blister members have had a chance to weigh in, we’ll then open up the conversation to the rest of our readers and see what they have to say.
We’ll be able to take 8-10 pairs of skis, 6-8 pairs of boots, and a range of outerwear and accessories.
Here’s a rough list of what skis and boots are on our radar for this trip, let us know in the comments what really caught your eye, and what gear we’re forgetting. Also, in some instances where we may be torn on what length ski to take, we’ve noted that, so cast your vote for what lengths you’d like to see reviewed.
(we’ll take 4-5 inbounds skis with us)
Directional Inbounds Skis
- 181 cm or 188 cm Salomon QST 106 — which length would you like to see us take?
We’ve already been getting days on the QST 99 and 118, time now to look at this potential one-ski quiver in Salomon’s new line.
- 184 cm Volkl 90Eight
Reports on the 90Eight have been very positive, and many of our readers have asked about this ski. Think it’s time for us to get it on snow?
- 186 cm or 193 cm Volkl Confession — which length?
There were more than a few fans of Volkl’s fully rockered Shiro, but for 2016-17, it’s been replaced by the Confession, which features a touch of camber,
- 181 or 189 cm Kastle BMX 105 HP — which length?
Kastle touts this as a very versatile 50/50 inbounds / touring ski.
- 179 or 187 cm cm Armada Invictus 89Ti — which length?
Armada has tried to blend a playful feel into a hard-charging platform with the Invictus 89Ti.
More Freestyle-Oriented Inbounds Skis
- 186 cm ON3P Kartel 108
We were big fans of Kartel 108 this spring, but it has seen a few tweaks since we were on it.
- 184 cm 4FRNT Devastator
We’ve reviewed the 194 cm Devestator, and it is a big, heavy, all-mountain gun. The 184 cm Devastator is supposed to be a very different, much more playful beast.
- 186 cm Faction Candide 3.0
How well does Faction’s all-mountain jib ski blend stability and playfulness?
- 188 cm Armada ARV 106
Armada is coming out with an entirely new ARV line, and the 106 looks like a playful everyday ski.
- 184 cm Kitten Factory Razor 105
We’ve been impressed by the Razor 95 in the park, so how does the wider 105 do around the rest of the mountain?
- 187 cm Moment Meridian
New for 16/17, Moment’s Meridian is meant to channel the Chipotle Banana’s spirit in a skinnier, more versatile package.
- 186 cm J Skis Vacation
J Lev claims that the Vacation is one of the softest, most buttery skis at this width.
- 186 cm Salomon Rocker2 100
The much-loved Rocker2 108 and 122 are gone for next year, but the Rocker2 100 remains. So how does it compare to the latest crop of capable, all-mountain jib skis?
(we’ll take 4-5 touring skis with us)
- 184 cm Salomon BC Lab 114
The BC Lab 114 is a very interesting touring ski that we suspect will shine in mixed and less-than-stellar conditions.
- 176 cm Atomic Backland 95
At a stated weight of 1250 g in a 170 cm length, the Backland 95 is a ski that looks to be in perfect alignment with Atomic’s Backland boot.
- 186 cm Volkl V-Werks BMT 94
We’ve been very impressed by the BMT 109 and 122, so we’re interested to see how the narrower BMT compares.
- 185 cm Black Diamond Helio 105
New for next year, BD says the Helio 105 blends light weight and versatility better than any ski they’ve ever made.
- 184 cm or 190 cm 4FRNT Raven — which length?
The Raven gets some updates for 2016, and we’ve been intrigued by this ski for a while.
- 184 cm K2 Wayback 96
We haven’t spent much time on K2’s touring skis, and this looks like a very capable option for mixed-to-nasty conditions.
- 175 cm Majesty Werewolf
While Majesty Skis may not be on the tip of most people’s tongues, the Werewolf is an impressively light touring ski, and in general, Majesty’s designs look quite intriguing.
- 183 cm Voile V6
The V6 has developed a reputation as being a very predictable touring ski.
- 179 cm ON3P Steeple 98
We’ve spent time on ON3P’s inbounds skis, but have yet to take any laps on their touring-specific Steeple.
- 184 cm or 190 cm Moment Bibby Tour — which length?
How does the touring-version of one of our favorite skis hold up to the original?
(for this trip, we’re focusing on touring boots and ‘50/50’ boots)
- Tecnica Cochise Pro
The Cochise has been a favorite for several seasons now, but next year’s update marks a drastic weight reduction. Does it still have the downhill capability of the previous Cochise?
- Tecnica Zero G
Tecnica has stepped into the lighter-weight touring boot arena with the all-new Zero G, and we are extremely, extremely interested…
- Salomon QST 130 Pro
Is this a Cochise Pro killer? We don’t know, but this boot looks very intriguing.
- Dalbello Lupo Carbon
The Lupo Carbon seems to be the boot for skiers looking for a 3-piece touring boot.
- Dynafit TLT7
It’s shiny, it’s light, and Dynafit says it skis better than any boot in the previous TLT line.
- Scarpa F1
Scarpa’s F1 impressed us with its lightweight stiffness at the tradeshows, but how does it do in the field?
- K2 Pinnacle Pro
K2’s signature crossover touring / inbounds boot shed 300 grams for 2016, and it’s compatible with both tech and alpine bindings without swapping soles.
So that’s what we’re considering, now let us know in the comments section (a) what gear you most want to see reviewed, (b) what size skis you want reviewed, and (c) what gear you can’t believe we’re forgetting.
We’ll then do some tallying, arguing, and sorting, and we’ll keep you posted re: what ultimately ends up in our bags.