All-Mountain Back skis are the mountain bikes of the slopes. Mountain bikers know that finding the right accessories, clothing, shoes and gear for variable weather and temps is important—but not as important as the bike itself. Do you want a fat tire bike or a 29er? Carbon fiber or titanium frame? Your choice should be determined by your body type, ability level and bank account. Same goes for their on-snow counterpart, ski gear.
When you’re skiing the whole mountain, some conditions require you to bulldoze through the crud, sometimes lay bomber railroad tracks on the groomers or (fingers crossed!) float like a bird in powder, all in the same day.
The first element these skis must posses in order to conquer the mountain is a wide enough waist to handle changes in snow conditions—accordingly, waist width size ranges between 95-mm and 106-mm. The second element pertains to construction, and many companies have developed technology to lighten the ski without loosing performance. Some skis are made with strategically milled out tips or cores; others have a crafted combination of hard and soft wood, carbon or other materials, such as flax or basalt. Nearly all the models have a sandwich sidewall construction with some amount of rocker and vibration-absorbing properties designed to increase flotation and reduce swing weight.
If you’re looking to up your all-mountain game and figure out what setup is best for you, then view our results for the latest men's All-Mountain Back skis from the 2016/2017 ski season from our guide below. Click the image or ski name to check out specs and reviews from each of the skis we tested.
2016/2017 Ski Buyers' Guide brought to you/made possible by our Ski Test sponsors: