When you think “skiing” and “lines”, your first thought isn’t the Saturday morning horrendous lift lines. Your mind jumps to the last amazing line you skied and your heart races at the thought of cruising through trees on soft, soft powder. If you’re ready to take your backcountry game to the next level, check out our lineup of the best high quality handcrafted skis made by and for skiers.
1. Parlor Skis Kingfisher Built for New England Backcountry
Parlor Skis, founded by skiing buddies on a passion for New England pow, designs and constructs custom made-to-order skis in their own facilities in Boston, MA. They masterminded the Kingfisher for the max possible fun while exploring the backcountry. These skis are quick and responsive with more tip and tail rise, a wider profile for smoothing out bumps and better maneuverability between trees, and a rocker tip and tail with traditional camber underfoot for increased edgehold and better pop. The Kingfisher is built with two layers of Vectorply triaxial fiberglass and two layers of carbon fiber skirm, materials that are lighter in weight for hiking or skinning up the mountain. Parlor custom designs their skis, so you’ll have an option for soft, medium, or stiff flex. For backcountry skiing, you’ll want soft or medium. These top notch skis land the #1 spot on our best backcountry skis. ($1,250, $1,062.50 with Reddy Yeti discount)
See below for full specs:
2. Slant Skis The Ambush Find your pow stash
Slant Skis, founded in Truckee, CA in 2007, is 100% skier owned and operated. Their top priorities are quality of their skis and the enjoyment of their customers. In fact, Slant produces a limited number of skis every year to make sure they’re never sacrificing on quality. Their top-o-the-line handcrafted backcountry ski, The Ambush, is a light and strong ski with rockered tip and traditional twin-tip tail. It’s built with super light bamboo sidewalls to protect the skis from serious impact and elements, as well as triaxial fiberglass above and below the core to increase torsional strength, DuraSurf 4001 Sintered base material, and hardened steel edges secured with vibration dampening rubber. These skis have the most intricate graphics on this list; with sublimated graphics designed by their favorite artists, there’s no doubt you’ll make an impression on the mountain. Reddy Yeti got to interview Slant founder Josh Bennett, click here for the podcast episode.
Check out below for The Ambush’s full specs:
3. Majesty Skis Superior Versatility = Backcountry Pow + Freeride Air
Majesty Skis has been handcrafting their skis for over 10 years using European styles and and engineering. Their high performance skis sport some of the most killer graphics on the mountain. The Superior 2019/20 is their top choice for backcountry powder; these skis have the perfect combination of float and easy-to-control agility in powder. With shock-absorbing features, tip and tail rocker, 115mm underfoot camber construction, and well-rounded, wide twin-tips, the Superior skis will make for an easy switch between backcountry pow and free skiing. If versatility is high on your list, the Majesty Superior should be up there for you too. ($750)
4. Moment Skis Wildcat Tour Here to help you earn your turns
Always innovating and iterating to make a more perfect ski, Moment came out with this backcountry upgrade of their existing Wildcat product. They shaved a two whole pounds off the original and added backcountry-focused features to handle deep pow, trees, and chutes. With a rocker at the tip and tail and camber underfoot for optimal float and maneuverability, Paulownia/ashwood core for liveliness and dampening, UHMW sidewall, and 2.2 Euro Edge for the best edge possible, the Wildcat Tour will no doubt take your backcountry skiing to the next level. Oh, and quick Moment fun fact: David Wise won the gold medal in Men’s Halfpipe at the 2018 Winter Olympics on a pair of Moments. ($769)
Check out the full specs for the Wildcat Tour:
5. Sego Ski Co Condor Confident, serious fun in the backcountry
Sego’s design process is athlete-driven and incorporates only the highest quality materials available. Some of their top notch materials include textured nylon topsheet for superior durability, UHMW sidewall construction for torsional stiffness, better grip in harsher conditions, more durability on impact, more stability at higher speeds and more pop and acceleration out of turns. Specifically on the Condor backcountry ski, they wrap metal edges ¾ of the way up the ski for better impact control when skiing through tight trees. The Condor also has directional camber with early rise tip and tail. WIth these and other performance-driven features, the Condor can handily run big lines, tight chutes, cliff landings, deep soft snow, and variable conditions. Reddy Yeti also got to interview Sego Skis co-founders Peter and Tim Wells - click here for full podcast ep. ($979, free shipping with Reddy Yeti membership)
Check out the specs for the Condor below:
6. Coalition Snow La Nieve Skis designed by and for women
The La Nieve backcountry skis were designed with a focus on making getting up the hill just as quick and, dare I say, enjoyable as going back down. Just under 7lbs, these skis are constructed from basswood, ash, and maple core for a lively flex. With ABS sidewalls and sandwich construction for torsional stiffness, solid edge grip, and pop going around turns. Coalition Snow is using their top quality products to gain a voice and change the perception of women in sports, business, society. The team of badass female skiers and boarders design and build the La Nieve and the rest of their top quality skis in the USA with FSC certified woods and Entropy resins. Reddy Yeti sat down and interviewed Coalition Snow founder Jennifer Gurecki (full episode here).
Check out the specs for the La Nieve backcountry ski below:
7. 4FRNT Raven Free-spirited and adventure-ready
4FRNT was founded back in 2002 by a group of skiing buddies who want the best of the best for themselves and their adventure-hungry skiing community. While executing on their mission to reshape the future of skiing through innovative designs and relentless product testing, the folks at 4FRNT developed the Raven backcountry and freeriding ski. These skis are adventure-ready for glades, bowls, and exposed alpine terrain. They’ve got a ton of awesome specs available on their site, but the big one to point out is their reverse camber; this construction allows the skier to drive the ski underfoot rather than pressure the tip like you would with a traditionally cambered ski. This means that the tip automatically rises out of the powder, allowing the ski to pivot easily in deep and inconsistent snow conditions. ($599)
8. Romp Skis Handcrafted to up the backcountry fun factor
Cofounded by brothers, Romp Skis has been building handcrafted, one-of-a-kind skis since 2010. Their backcountry 120 Custom skis are 120mm underfoot for maximum float and 23m side cut enabling comfortable, stable fast skiing with smooth pow turns. But hey, don’t just take it from me; the 120 Custom skis were chosen by several Romp Team athletes for their big mountain comps. ($1,050-1,450, $840-1,160 with Reddy Yeti discount)
Now go tackle that pow you’ve been daydreaming about!
Elissa loves striking that perfect balance between outdoor adventure and organized sports. Her ideal week is full of basketball, soccer, and rock climbing followed by a weekend of hiking and camping. She works on the website migrations team at HubSpot and is based out of Cambridge, MA. Elissa is passionate about startups, particularly in the outdoor industry, and her life goal is to one day win a Reddy Yeti gear giveaway.