Many of our OnTheSnow ski testers likened the experience of testing skis to dating. If that's the case, then the Editors' Choice skis are their favorite dance partners, which would make the skis on this list the cheap dates. Metaphors aside, there's nothing cheap about this fleet of high-scoring, lower cost skis, a good handful of which, in fact, are on the Editors' Choice list themselves.
Results are tabulated based on a combined price/rating value score for skis that fell below the average price point for their category. Editors' Note: These calculations are based on manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) and may not reflect actual store pricing, which is often discounted.
A hot date who's not high maintenance? Forget going out again, marry that ski immediately!
Best Men's Value Ski: With tied value scores, both the Dynastar Speed Zone 12 Ti and the Elan 84 Ti offer a lot of ski for the cheese. Compared to a Porsche 911 Turbo, the Dynastar Speed Zone landed an Editors' Choice spot and includes a system binding. Elan's 84 Ti has the most competitive price point in the category and impressed testers with its “Great combination of edge hold and clean turn initiation.”
Men's Frontside Average MSRP: $1059
Best Women's Value Ski: At $650, the Rossignol Temptation 84 is the second most inexpensive ski in the category (by $1) and close to the top in terms of overall score. The ski holds its own with the best carvers in a category build for that purpose, being called “A super carver at all speeds.”
Women's Frontside Average MSRP: $875
Best Men's Value Ski: It's rare to see the highest-scoring ski in the category also come in with the lowest price tag, in other words, Salomon hit the jackpot with its QST 92. If that weren't enough, consider this: “So easy to ski, it’s almost not fair.”
Men's AMF Average MSRP: $794
Best Women's Value Ski: Salomon sweeps the value AMF category with the Salomon Lux representing on the women's side as a Jill of all trades. Lowest on the spend scale, testers feasted on this ski that's “Like a Vegas buffet—something for everyone.” Honorable mention here goes to Armada Victa 87 and the always-popular Blizzard Black Pearl.
Women's AMF Average MSRP: $734