The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2021-2022

2021-2022, all-mountain, best, outdoor, skis, the - 21 minutes to read


For many skiers, a quiver of one makes practical and financial sense. From hard and fast groomers to soft and deep powder, all-mountain skis are always up to the task.

In other words, all-mountain skis are like duct tape; no matter what situation you find yourself in, they’re the perfect tool for the job. Versatility is the name of the game in this category.

Though the definition of “all-mountain” varies by retailer and brand, all of the skis on this list perform well across a broad range of skiing styles and snow conditions. In 2021-2022, the market is packed with many high-quality models, and it can be daunting to sift through the seemingly endless options.

To help streamline your selection process, we’ve included our favorite all-mountain skis in a variety of sub-categories. Our selections include best all-around, best for beginners, and best value.

If you’d like to learn more about all-mountain skis and how they’re defined, check out our buyer’s guide and FAQ section at the end of this article.

Scroll through to see all of our recommended buys or jump to the category you’re looking for:

The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2021/2022

Best All-Around: Salomon Stance 96

Salomon introduced its Stance series for the 2020-2021 season, and it seriously stands out from the competition. The Stance 96 ($700) is a fully versatile all-mountain ski that can happily handle a wide variety of terrain — from tight mogul lines to wide-open groomers.

We selected the Stance 96s for our all-around category because they possess a unique ability to work well for a wide variety of skiers. Intermediate and expert skiers alike will find these skis offer well-rounded performance and a clear path toward progression.

In soft and choppy snow, the Stance 96 feels impressively stable for a relatively light ski. In true all-mountain fashion, this is not a heavy bulldozer of a ski. Instead, the Stance 96 offers a comfortable ride in any type of snow.

When the going gets steep and technical, the Stance 96 shines. Thanks to its powerful tail end and shallow sidecut radius, this ski is fully at home when skiing moguls.

The Stance 96 is not the most playful ski on the market, nor is it the most aggressive carver. However, the Stance 96 can switch between styles and snow conditions with remarkable proficiency. We recommend this ski for skiers of all levels. It’s among the most versatile all-mountain designs of all time.

Specs:

Profile: Camber underfoot, rocker in the tip, mild rocker in the tail
Sidecut radius: Medium
Best for: Advanced and expert skiers, mogul skiing
Sizes (cm): 168, 176, 182, 188
Other available waist widths (mm): 90, 102

Pros:

Versatile
Good for all levels

Cons:

Not ideal for hard carving on super-firm snow

Check Price at REICheck Price at evo

Best for Beginners: Rossignol Experience 76 Skis + Xpress 10 GW Bindings

The progression-oriented Experience 76 skis ($400) from Rossignol are an excellent value for beginner and intermediate skiers. As an added bonus, these skis are sold with well-respected Xpress 10 GW bindings — an excellent overall value.

Many skis designed for beginners are not well-rounded enough to grow with you as your skills improve. Thankfully, the Experience Skis are the exception to this rule. With high-quality construction, low weight, and an easy-to-handle narrow width, these skis possess all of the standard characteristics of a great beginner option.

For such a user-friendly ski, we love that these are also relatively stable and powerful — traits that are much appreciated after transitioning away from the bunny slope.

With a moderate rocker profile near the tips, these skis are less likely to flap and chatter at high speeds than most beginner options. The Experience 76 also has excellent edge hold, which comes in handy on hardpack and frozen groomers.

In softer, deeper snow, the narrow width isn’t ideal. Still, for the price, these skis can handle a broad range of snow conditions — just like an all-mountain ski should.

Specs:

Profile: Rocker in the tail, mild camber underfoot
Sidecut radius: Short
Best for: Beginners looking to progress and develop new skills
Sizes (cm): 160, 168, 176
Other available waist widths: None

Pros:

Great value
Progression-oriented

Cons:

Not ideal for softer snow and deep powder

Check Price at evoCheck Price at Amazon

Best Value: Line Skis Sick Day 88

With the affordable Sick Day 88 skis ($400) on your feet, the whole mountain is immediately transformed into your own personal playground. Versatility is the driving force behind the design of the Sick Day, and skiers of all levels can surely enjoy them.

These skis have midrange flex overall, with a slightly soft tip and a slightly stiffer tail. In soft snow and powder, the tip floats and turns with ease, while the stiffness of the tail comes in handy for hard carving on groomers and hardpack.

A do-it-all 88mm waist width provides effortless turn initiation without sacrificing float and stability. At higher speeds, the flexy tip is prone to chattering, so hard-charging speed demons and expert skiers may want to look elsewhere.

Overall, we love that the Sick Day provides quality all-mountain performance for literally several hundred dollars less than many similar skis in this category. From park dabbling to gliding over fresh pow, these budget-friendly skis have you covered.

Specs:

Profile: Camber underfoot, rocker in the tip and tail
Sidecut radius: Medium
Best for: Intermediate and advanced skiers looking for a great do-everything ski on a budget
Sizes (cm): 165, 172, 179
Other available waist widths (mm): 92, 104

Pros:

Cons:

Tends to chatter at high speeds

Check Price at evoCheck Price at Amazon

Best of the Rest

Völkl Kendo 88

The excellent all-mountain performance of the Völkl Kendo 88 skis ($650) has been widely celebrated for many seasons. Now, the better-than-ever 2022 model features an improved smooth-turning sidecut without compromising on hard-carving power.

This ski is a bonafide groomer-centric speed demon. With a relatively narrow sidecut, the Keldo 88 certainly prefers firm surfaces over pillowy pow. Still, if you prefer to head off-piste occasionally, the Kendo won’t hold you back.

The Kendo 88, with its multilayer core, carbon tips, and titanium frame, is stiffer than many of the other options on this list. Beginner and intermediate skiers may find it a little on the unforgiving side.

However, if plentiful stability is your jam, you’ll rejoice at the Kendo’s high-speed handling. Even when the going gets rough and choppy, the Kendo zips through with minimal tip flutter.

For those seeking an all-rounder with a tendency for bombing down hardpack, the Völkl Kendo 88 is a top-shelf ski.

Specs:

Profile: Camber underfoot, rocker in the tip and tail
Sidecut radius: Medium
Best for: All-mountain skiers with a penchant for hard carving
Other waist widths available: None
Sizes (cm): 163, 170, 177, 184

Pros:

Durable
Stable
Great hard-charging ski

Cons:

Check Price at REICheck Price at Backcountry

Nordica Enforcer 94

The Nordica Enforcer 94 ($700) is one of the most well-rounded skis ever created. Revamped in 2021, this ski is mostly unchanged for the 2022 season, but it remains a tried-and-true cult classic. This is deservedly one of the top-selling skis on the market.

The Enforcer also comes in 88mm and 100mm widths, but we especially love the 94mm for its mid-skinny versatility. Essentially, this ski is designed to do everything well. As a result, none of its specs are particularly unusual or extreme. Instead, this is one of the few skis that truly performs well no matter what you throw at it.

A lightweight front end and liberal use of carbon fiber result in lots of pop, which comes in handy on moguls and side hits. On hardpack, the Enforcer grips incredibly well, and there’s no limit to its aggressive carving capabilities. This ski is a good pick for intermediate, advanced, and expert skiers.

The one minor downside of the Enforcer 94 is it lacks flotation on the deepest of days. If there are a few inches of fresh powder, this ski will be well within its comfort zone. However, after a major storm, you may wish you had something a little wider through the middle.

Specs:

Profile: Camber underfoot, rocker in the tip and tail
Sidecut radius: Medium
Best for: Skiers looking for a high-performance and versatile daily driver
Other available waist widths (mm): 88, 100
Sizes (cm): 165, 172, 179, 186, 191

Pros:

Cons:

A bit narrow for skiing deep powder

Check Price at REICheck Price at evo

Elan Ripstick 96

Elan’s Ripstick 96 ($650) is purely focused on fun. Compared to many of the high-end skis on this list, the Ripstick is far more nimble and lightweight. In just about any condition, these skis are quick. responsive, and oh so buttery.

Clearly, a lot of international creativity went into the design of the Ripstick 96. There is a dedicated left and right ski, and both are built with camber along the inside edge and rocker along the outside. The result is a playful pair of skis that still manage to hold an edge through lightning-fast turns

For resort skiers who occasionally enjoy exploring the backcountry, the Ripstick 96 is a fully capable quiver of one. When combined with a set of touring bindings, these skis are right at home in out-of-bounds terrain.

Though these skis possess solid edge hold for such a nimble and fun-loving ski, they do tend to chatter when basting through crud at high speed. The Ripstick 96 is many things, but a stable hard-charger is not one of them.

Specs:

Profile: Dedicated left and right skis with a cambered inside edge and rockered outside edge
Sidecut radius: Medium
Best for: Intermediate and advanced skiers looking for a nimble and versatile ski
Other available waist widths (mm): 88, 106, 116
Sizes (cm): 164, 172, 174, 180, 181, 188

Pros:

Playful
Great for the resort and backcountry
Innovative design

Cons:

Tends to chatter at high speeds

Check Price at evoCheck Price at Backcountry

Atomic Maverick 95 TI

The Maverick 95 TI ($700) is an excellent new addition to Atomic’s lineup for the 2021-2022 season. This ski falls squarely into the lightweight-yet-powerful category. It’s nimble and quick to turn, yet reasonably stable at speed.

Though this ski isn’t a pure hard-carving specialist, it’s more than happy to get up on edge and grip on any snow conditions. Between steep trees and wide-open groomers, the Maverick 95 TI is a quality all-mountain ski.

Generally, we recommend this ski to highly experienced riders who will be comfortable with high-speed aggressive carves. Sure this ski has a playful side, but beginners will find it a little too stiff and clunky for comfortable progression.

Specs:

Profile: Rocker in the tip and tail and camber underfoot
Sidecut radius: Medium
Best for: Advanced skiers looking to carve hard in the trees and on the groomers
Other available waist widths (mm): 88, 100
Sizes (cm): 164, 172, 174, 180, 188

Pros:

Playful
Great for the resort and backcountry
Innovative design

Cons:

Tends to chatter at high speeds

Check Price at REICheck Price at evo

The Best All-Mountain Skis of 2021-2022: A Buyer’s Guide

What Does ‘All-Mountain” Mean?

All-mountain skis are designed to handle a broad range of skiing styles and snow conditions. While some skis are made for a specific purpose — racing or ripping through the terrain park, for example — all-mountain skis are much more versatile. With any of the excellent skis on this list, you’ll be free to roam around the resort as you please, from the trees to the groomers and back again.

There is no official set of traits and specs a ski must have to earn the all-mountain title. Many brands and retailers have their own unique all-mountain criteria. Generally, versatile skis that can serve as an effective quiver of one have a few key characteristics in common.

First, most men’s all-mountain skis have a waist width between 75mm and 105 mm. This spectrum represents the middle ground between super-narrow and super-wide skis — which is perfect for all-mountain use.

Second, most skis in this category have a relatively traditional profile. With camber underfoot and some degree of rocker at the tip and the tail, a traditional profile offers a high level of usability from the fresh powder to the hardpack.

Different Types of All-Mountain Skis

All of the skis on this list prioritize versatility and can readily venture onto all parts of the mountain. Still, “all-mountain” is ultimately a spectrum that contains multiple subcategories of skis. Many skiers like to explore the whole mountain and still maintain a preference for a certain style of skiing.

Additionally, depending on where you live, you may be dealing with certain types of snow conditions on a regular basis. In these cases, it’s very helpful to have an all-mountain ski with design elements that best support your specific personal or place-based needs.

Groomer-Leaning All-Mountain Skis

Skis in this category will perform at their best on groomed runs and firm snow conditions. Typically, groomer-leaning all-mountain skis have a relatively narrow waist width between 75mm and 90 mm.

Skis in this category will also prioritize edge hold, stiffness, and high-speed stability. While groomer-leaning all-mountain skis tend to sacrifice some performance and float in the deep powder, they’re great for hard carving and speeding down firm runs with minimal chatter.

This category is especially worth considering for skiers in the Midwest and East Coast regions. On this list, the Völkl Kendo 88 is a top-notch groomer-leaning all-mountain ski.

Powder-Leaning All-Mountain Skis

Powder-leaning all-mountain skis are the opposite of their narrower groomer-leaning counterparts. Generally, skis in this category have a waist width between 95mm and 112 mm. If powder lines are your jam, these are the skis for you.

Skiers in regions with lots of snowfall should consider this category. For maximum floatability and a bit of added flex, check out powder-leaning all-mountain skis such as the Line Skis Sick Day 88.

Waist Width

Waist width is the width of a ski at its narrowest point. All-mountain skis typically have a waist width between 75mm and 105 mm. Within the spectrum, narrower skis are generally better for carving on hard surfaces, while wider widths are better for floating through soft snow and powder.

Many ski models are available in multiple waist widths. For example, the Salomon Stance 96 is also available in waist widths of 90mm and 102 mm. For every ski on this list, we’ve listed the waist widths it comes in.

Ski Length

Ski length is a major consideration, and most of the models on this list are available in multiple lengths. In the past, a skier’s height would determine their ideal ski length. In 2021, the process is significantly more complicated.

While skier height remains an important factor, there are many other considerations for identifying the proper ski length. Shorter skis are easier to handle, which makes them a good choice for beginners.

Longer skis have more surface area, which means that they feel more stable at high speeds and float better in powder. A skier’s weight may have an impact on a ski’s flex and power transfer. This sizing chart is an effective tool that will help you consider all of the relevant factors.

Ski Profile: Camber vs. Rocker

A ski’s profile is a major contributor to its overall performance. In 2021, the market is full of skis with all kinds of different profiles, from traditional to experimental and everything in between.

Skis with a more traditional camber profile are shaped like the letter “C” and rise up underneath the foot, making contact with the ground at the tip and the tail. While skiing, your body weight pushes the base of the ski against the snow.

During turns, the camber shape provides some lift and pop, which propels you into your next turn. For pure carving purposes, traditional camber is still the leading ski profile, and many skis on this list feature some variation on the traditional camber shape.

A rocker profile is shaped like a banana — the tip and tail of the ski are lifted higher than the underfoot area. Rocker profiles are newer to the ski design world, but they have plenty of advantages.

When skiing in deep powder, a rocker profile offers extra float and creates a blissful surf-like experience. The downside of rocker profiles is they generally don’t hold an edge as well as traditional camber, so they aren’t ideal for precision carving on firm surfaces.

Many of the leading all-mountain skis have a hybrid profile that combines aspects of camber and rocker. To learn more about ski profiles and the nuanced differences between them, check out this handy video from snow sports retailer evo.

Stiffness and Flex

Ski stiffness is a major factor that seriously affects overall performance. On one end of the spectrum, soft skis are easier to maneuver, more playful, and best suited for beginner to intermediate skiers.

Freestyle skiers who love to hit boxes and rails may also want a relatively soft and flexible ski. One of the downsides of soft skis is they’re prone to be squirrelly and chatter at high speeds.

Stiff skis are preferred by intermediate, advanced, and expert skiers who crave speed and long, aggressive carves. Rigid designs offer more stability, which is essential for staying in control when skiing fast.

The downside of stiff skis is they require power and honed technique to steer properly. For this reason, we don’t recommend ultra-stiff skis to beginners.

Most all-mountain skis fall somewhere in the middle of the soft-to-stiff spectrum. Groomer-leaning skis are usually on the stiffer side to best support speed and stability.

Powder-leaning skis may be more flexy in order to maximize surfability and play. If you’re looking for a true do-everything ski, midrange flex is the way to go.

Sidecut and Turn Radius

The sidecut of a ski refers to the shape of the curve on either side of its length. To some degree, all skis have an hourglass shape, but the radius of these curves has a major effect on steering, stability, and much more.

Skis that are much wider at the tip and tail than at the waist will have a short turning radius. A shorter turning radius is perfect for quick and nimble movements.

When skiing tight trees or moguls, a short turning radius is a helpful feature that will help keep you in control. Anything less than 16 m can be considered a short turning radius.

Skis with a longer turning radius are generally preferred for riding fast and carving hard on wide-open groomers. While a long turning radius makes sudden nimble changes of direction difficult, it’s certainly an asset when laying down endless sweeping carves. Anything more than 20 m can be considered a long turning radius.

Many all-mountain skis have an all-around turning radius somewhere between 16 m and 20 m. While a ski’s sidecut does partially define its personality, it won’t tell you everything about how a ski will actually feel to use. Other factors — including profile and flex — combine with the shape of the sidecut to define the nuanced capabilities of any given ski.

Parts of a Ski

In 2021, high-quality skis are complex tools that pack lots of technology into a streamlined package. The materials and construction that make up your skis will define your experience using them.

Though there are many different ingredients involved in crafting a ski, the most important ones to be aware of are the core, laminates, sidewalls, and base.

Core and Laminates

The core of a ski is the innermost material that defines the basic structure, flex, and shape. Most all-mountain skis feature a wood core made from poplar, aspen, beech, or a combination. Foam cores are commonly found in cheaper beginner-level skis.

Around the core, layers of metal, carbon fiber, and other materials are added to boost or reduce characteristics such as pop, rigidity, and dampness.

Sidewalls

The sidewall is the material along the edge of a ski. Generally, it’s a plastic that protects the sides of the sandwiched core layers. Or, the fiberglass and top sheet layer could be extended to conceal the edge. The sidewall could also be a hybrid construction.

Base

A ski’s base is the surface that comes in direct contact with the snow. There are two kinds of bases: extruded and sintered.

Generally, extruded bases are found on beginner skis due to their low maintenance requirements. Skis with extruded bases are increasingly rare, but if you’re looking to prioritize affordability and low maintenance, they’re a reasonable option.

Sintered bases are the norm for almost all high-quality skis on the market. Though these bases require frequent waxing and general maintenance, they’re the best option for consistent all-mountain performance.

Women’s Skis vs. Men’s Skis

While some manufacturers make unisex skis, most models are specifically designed for either men or women. In the current market, men’s skis tend to have a slightly higher overall weight, increased rigidity, and a slightly setback mounting point to account for the way men tend to balance on skis.

Meanwhile, women’s skis commonly feature a mildly setback stance and are lighter and flexier. Though a women’s ski with enough rigidity for pure hard charging is harder to find, there are some excellent options available. For the 2021-2022 season,  many women’s skis possess all of the hard-charging power of any ski on the market.

It’s important to remember all skiers can absolutely enjoy both men’s and women’s models. Ultimately, it comes down to preference. The differences between men’s and women’s models are often subtle, and we recommend prioritizing performance and comfort over a men’s or women’s label.

Boot and Binding Compatibility

Skis are only one part of your shredding setup, and your boots and binding are equally important components of the system. It’s crucial that all aspects of your setup work well together to provide the best performance possible.

A high-end pair of skis won’t be able to live up to its potential with low-quality boots or bindings. Generally, you want to match the strengths of your skis with boots and bindings with similar traits. For example, softer, more playful skis will work best with soft and playful boots and bindings.

Aside from this, most boots and bindings can be mounted successfully to most skis, regardless of brand. Still, we recommend checking with the manufacturer’s specs to be absolutely sure.

FAQ

What Are the Best All-Mountain Skis?

The best all-mountain skis are the ones that suit your skill level, skiing style, and budget. On this list, we’ve included many top-quality options across a broad range of design characteristics.

Our choice for the best overall men’s all-mountain ski is the Salomon Stance 96.

Are All-Mountain Skis Good for Beginners?

Some all-mountain skis are excellent for beginner skiers. As a beginner, your priorities are progression and comfort. With these needs in mind, we recommend you choose a ski that is reasonably flexible and narrow. Flexible skis are easier to maneuver, and they won’t fight you for control.

Skis in the narrower range (about 70-95 mm in waist width) will be easier to shift from edge to edge. They tend to do better on the groomers where you’ll likely spend most of your time as a new skier.

On this list, we’ve selected the Rossignol Experience 76 Skis + Xpress 10 GW Bindings as the best men’s beginner ski.

Can I Use My Old Boots and Bindings With My New Skis?

Most likely, you’ll be able to use your old boots and bindings with your new skis. Most skis will accept any bindings, though there are some exceptions. Depending on the quality of your old boots and bindings, it may be worth considering an upgrade in order to get the most out of your new skis.

Are All-Mountain Skis Good for the Terrain Park?

Most all-mountain skis will perform reasonably well in the terrain park. If you’re a pure park skier, we recommend freestyle skis over all-mountain options.

However, if you enjoy wandering all over the mountain within an occasional visit to the park, all-mountain skis should do just fine. Generally, skis with better-than-average flex and pop are better than stiff and aggressive skis for park riding.

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