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Fast and Light Pounds lighter than the competition, the Vertical FT-12 is built to tour and ski anything. “If you’re not touring on Dynafit, you’re missing the boat,” declared several longtime Dynafit cultists. Dynafit introduced a power plate to increase the footprint of the binding from 52 to 74mm for…

All Mountain The Kenja is a master of all terrain, thanks to an even flex and a modestly tapered sidecut. On snow, that translates to a huge sweet spot—you don’t have to be “on it” all the time—with a low swing weight and silky ride. At 86 millimeters underfoot, it’s…

Big Mountain With plenty of snow to push around during testing at Utah’s Powder Mountain, people didn’t wait long to dig in with Scott’s fattest ski. The general consensus: Most felt its name is somewhat misleading. “Lively … Stay forward and let the rockered tips plow over anything,” said one…

Telemark Downhill power and touring prowess can coexist. “The best balance of the bigger NTN boots,” said one tester. The Prophet’s muscle comes from its alpine-boot-inspired overlap cuff, while the silky bellows provides an even and predictable flex. Best for bigger-volume feet. 8 lbs; TAGS: big mountain, NTN…

All Mountain With a lower cuff, a super-comfortable walk mode, and a grippy sole, the intermediate, all-mountain Delight was a tester favorite. While it’s not quite as stiff as the Inferno (above), it delivers an impressive balance of power transfer and all-day comfort. Plus, quilted down in the lower liner…

Big Mountain In 2008, NTN turned a thousand years of freeheel thinking on its head. No more duckbilled boot toe. Instead, NTN added a safety-release system, step-in convenience, unprecedented downhill power, and free-pivot touring function. Rottefella lives up to its name, which means “rat trap” in Norwegian. But Americans have been…

Telemark This year, SCARPA finally adds a walk mode to the powerful, smooth-skiing T-Race. Add that to its downhill chops—four buckles and the best power strap we’ve seen—and you’ve got, as one tester put it, “a full-tilt, full-shred crusher.” 8.6 lbs; TAGS: all mountain, new walk mode…

Alpine Touring The Starlet lived up to its name and was the center of many testers’ attention. “It’s superlight, but surfy and incredibly fun in pow and snappy on groomers,” said one. It’s also touring-friendly, with an aluminum skin clip and flat tail. 134/100/121, 6.2 lbs. TAGS: all mountain…

All Mountain From a man who skied it all, a ski that does it all. The late C.R. Johnson spent years developing this ski, and testers found it a fitting legacy. It’s got full rocker at the tip for float, reverse sidecut for smearing, scrubbing, and changing direction, and just…

Telemark It wasn’t the stiffest boot, or the lightest, but the Push quietly won testers over with its ability to do it all. “One boot to drive anything in my quiver,” said one tester. The Push features adjustable forward lean, Boa lacing, and a thermomoldable liner that fit most testers…

Alpine Touring The Eagle’s wider mounting platform is sturdier than its predecessors’ and better at transferring power to the ski for increased edge-to-edge responsiveness. Accepts most alpine and all AT boots, and the smartly designed heelpiece makes switching from touring to downhill a cinch. 4.3 lbs. TAGS: smooth, sturdy…

All Mountain Aptly named for the exposed adjustable pivot beneath the toe, the Axl is a free-pivot touring binding like its forebear, the legendary Hammerhead. Testers found that the underfoot pistons, sleek cable routing, and heel throw provided more downhill chops than any similar binding on the hill. And unlike…

Alpine Touring Built with a new steel-rod touring mechanism, the Mobe skis like a (softer) alpine boot with a walk mode and lug soles. Only it’s just eight pounds per pair—about 30 percent lighter than your average alpine boot. Add a booster strap, a rockered mountaineering sole, and tech fittings…

Alpine Touring With its alpine buckle configuration and beefy power strap, the respectably light Shaka is one of the burliest women-specific boots on the market, capable of driving the biggest, fattest skis. Even better, it’s also Dynafit-compatible and, thanks to rockered soles, sure-footed in the backcountry. 7.2 lbs. TAGS:…

Fast and Light A standout as one of the most versatile skis in the test, this city kid is really a country boy. Testers found the slightly rockered, variable-sidecut Manhattan quick and snappy in tight trees but at its best with a good head of steam. “Turn it to 11…

Alpine Touring The Quadrant’s four buckles, consistent flex, and 40 degrees of touring motion make it BD’s best all-mountain option yet. Testers praised the stout overlap upper cuff and the way the Boa closure system in the boot’s liner cradles your ankle. 7.8 lbs; TAGS: all mountain, Boa…

Telemark This Colorado-made wood-core ski has traditional camber, making it extremely poppy and carvy in tight quarters, yet it’s easily “disengaged” due to its tapered tail. Loves floating in powder and chopped-up crud but lacks punch and bite on firmer snow. 160/110/130, 8.1 lbs. TAGS: powder, playful…

Big Mountain With the surface area of an aircraft carrier, aggressive rocker forward of the boot, and traditional camber underfoot and in the tail, the DarkSide dominates deep powder. “Scary fast and maneuverable in the fluff,” said one Utah tester. The stiff, flat tail provides a solid platform for…

Alpine Touring Game-changer alert! The price tag is no joke, but the TLT, with its full carbon-fiber upper cuff, boasts the best stiffness-to-weight ratio we’ve ever seen. It weighs less than five pounds, and it rips: The two-buckle lockdown system yields solid ski-to-boot power. Shave off a quarter of the…

Telemark Before last year, women and men with feet smaller than size 26 were locked out from the NTN party. This year, there are several women’s-size NTN-compatible boots, including options from Garmont (below), SCARPA, and Crispi. See page 88 for more details about this binding design. 3.9 lbs. TAGS:…

Big Mountain The Freeride has been the go-to AT binding for years. Why? It’s an all-around performance-driven binding that accepts alpine and AT boots. Switching between ski and walk mode, as well as adjusting the heel riser, happens with the flick of a pole. Taking a cue from its little…

BIG MOUNTAIN With plenty of snow to push around during testing at Utah’s Powder Mountain, people didn’t wait long to dig in with Scott’s fattest ski. The general consensus: Most felt its name is somewhat misleading. “Lively … Stay forward and let the rockered tips plow over anything,” said one…

Telemark Designed for the new, smaller NTN binding (above), the Priestess impressed us with its alpine-boot-inspired cuff, buckle placement, and overall ergonomics. Its only downside was that testers felt that the bellows were softer than they are on the men’s version of the boot. 7.1 lbs. TAGS: powerful, NTN-compatible…

All Mountain “Gobs of power and stability and no speed limit,” said one tester. The rockered Alias floats through powder like a much larger ski and cuts through crud like a GS racer, with just enough camber in the aspen-and-poplar core for snappy rebounds. Warning: This ski is not for…

GEAR OF THE YEAR “You can never have a bad day on the Coomback,” said one tester of the most adored ski in this year’s test. Returning with refined tip rocker—which allows the ski to plane, surf, and smear in powder without giving up control on hardpack—the Coomback was lauded…

All Mountain A few years ago, Marker wowed side-country fans with the burliest (and heaviest) AT binding in history, the Duke. And two years ago the company came out with a lighter version, the Baron. The weight-loss trend continues with the Tour F10 and F12, which both come in at…

Big Mountain Our women testers praised the Nemesis as “the go-to ski for anyone who seeks powder at all costs.” But, while the 98-millimeter waist says soft snow, when you hit the hardpack you can hang it way out there with the carvers. New this year, a “slow rise” in…

Fast and Light With its paulownia-wood-and-carbon-reinforced core, the Aspect’s surface-area-to-weight ratio is tough to match, so it’s a natural choice for longer tours. And with a bit of tip rocker, the Aspect planes quickly and smoothly without affecting hard-snow edge hold, which multiple testers called “tenacious.” Add some extras, like…

Big Mountain As the stiffest boot in the women’s Inferno line, the Crush was our favorite advanced-level boot. “It’s a no-holds-barred women’s skiing machine!” one tester exclaimed. Its basic design—low volume with a very natural and efficient stance—fit most of our testers well right out of the box. A faux-fur…

Fast and Light Designed to tackle the steepest Wasatch skin tracks and the deepest Utah powder, the three-year-old Switchback is still the lightest and least expensive free-pivot tele binding around. Testers gave props for its icing-resistant toe piece and its easy-to-operate, spring-loaded mode switch. “It’s not for driving big sidecountry…