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Best All-Mountain Skis 2020 – 2021

Dreaming of that one ski quiver? Here's our pick of the best all-mountain skis out there for 2020 – 2021

The humble all-mountain ski. Kind of like the middle child of the family: doesn’t get to do all the fun stuff like the eldest (the powder ski), yet isn’t living in a controlled and sheltered environment, like the youngest of the family (the beginner ski).

Featuring a moderate waist width, varying use of both tip and tail rocker and an approachable flex rating, all-mountain skis are easily the most versatile skis out there: the kind you reach for when you’re unaware of the conditions that may be coming your way. This versatility makes all-mountain skis the closest ski you can get to that dream one ski quiver.

Photo: An all-mountain ski is happy to take on anything you throw in its way. Credit: Ryan Van Kesteren

Best All-Mountain Skis 2020-2021

Here’s a bit of a dive into the features to look out for when making your next all-mountain ski purchase:

Camber

Giving the ski heaps of bite in firm snow, camber is quite simply an all-mountain skis best friend. This grip has been achieved thanks to a rise in the ski which starts underfoot and stretches to the tips and tails. The rise means that when the ski is weighted (flexed), it will have an even distribution of weight throughout the whole length of the ski rather than exclusively at its midpoint.

The use of camber can vary massively between skis. Expect to find 1 mm – 6 mm of camber on a pair of all-mountain skis, blended in with rocker both in the tips and tails, which we’ll touch on next.

Rocker

Rocker is the term used for the pressing of an upwards curve into the ski profile. By rising the tips and tails up off the snow, it means that the tips don’t have a tendency to ‘tip-dive’ into fresh snow even when the skier is driving the tips. For that reason, rocker is used by ski shapers to promote float (and easy manoeuvrability) in fresh snow.

On top of this, rocker also shortens the contact length of the edges, making the skis easier to turn in fresh, whereas a ski without rocker might just sink / plough through the fresh snow. 

Fully ‘rockered’ skis will have minimal contact points on the snow, as the tips and tails are heavily raised above the surface. This makes for an extremely manoeuvrable ski at the cost of bite on firm snow. If you’re in the market for an all-mountain ski, then we’d suggest looking for skis that use a subtle bit of rocker both in the tips and tails, and reserve the heavily rockered profiles for your powder boards.

Camber/Rocker Mix

It’s common to see Rocker-Camber-Rocker blends in ski design these days. Take a look out for our ski profile shots found within each ski review to see how much camber and rocker the ski in question carries. 

Sidecut

Usually presented in the format of ‘126 / 100 / 108’ this figure shows the width of the tips (first number), waist (second number), and tail (third number). When combined, the sidecut also gives the radius (in metres) of the ski in question.

This radius is the distance the ski would travel to make a turn, if you were to put it on edge and follow the shape that the sidecut creates. For example, the set of numbers in the paragraph above represent a radius of 25 metres for 180cm ski. 

Width

Waist widths are important for backcountry skiing as the more surface area you’re carrying underfoot, the more chance you have of floating through fresh snow. On the flip side, smaller waist widths have more bite on firm snow as power from your boot can be directly driven to the edges of the skis.

The waist width of a ski will give you a very rough understanding of what the ski is most suited towards. In modern skis, widths of 90 – 110mm are great for all-mountain riding (depending on your style) whereas widths of 110mm + become a little more focused towards powder riding.


K2 Mindbender 99 Ti

Best For: All-mountain charging
Sidecut: 138-99-123 (184 cm)
Radius: 18m (184 cm)
Price: £575

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Featuring a full-spanning Titanal layer, a 99 mm waist width and moderate tip and tail rocker, the K2 Mindbender 99 Ti is as happy laying down trenches on the pistes as it is cutting through fresh off those pistes – an all mountain thoroughbred in every sense of the term.

Given this metal build, capable skiers will get on extremely well with the Mindbender 99 Ti, with damp, yet energetic, power being felt throughout the ski. Beginner or intermediate skiers might want to look elsewhere though, as the additional weight and strength of the metal might make this ski a bit of a beast to control in the wrong hands.

This product was selected for our Ski 100. Read our review of the K2 Mindbender 99 Ti here. 


Atomic Bent Chetler 100

Best For: Buttery smooth all-mountain playfulness
Sidecut: 129.5-100-120 (180cm)
Radius: 19.5m (180cm)
Price: £450

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Younger brother of the now legendary Bent Chetler 120, the Bent Chetler 100 brings the buttery-smooth factor of the 120s into an all-mountain friendly waist width. Echoing design hints from the 120s, the Bent Chetler 100 features a beveled base in the tips and tails. This bevelling – like the hull of a ship – is said to increase surface area of the Bent Chetler 100s by up to 10% and reduce hooking up in the tips and tails for soft snow manoeuvrability.

If you’re an advanced skier looking to combine freestyle and freeride, this is pretty damn close to a perfect one ski quiver. The directional rocker and flex transform the Bent Chetler 100 into a far more versatile ski than the 120s.

This product was selected for our Ski 100. Read our review of the Atomic Bent Chetler 100 here. 


Armada Stranger

Best For: All-mountain versatility
Sidecut: 138 / 100 / 120 (180 cm)
Radius: 15.8m (180 cm)
Price: £540

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Not too wide, not too narrow; just a touch of stiffness, yet no wet noodle – Armada have achieved that goldilocks blend of just enough performance with a hint of playfulness for resort ripping in the all new Stranger. No matter where on the mountain you manage to find yourself, the Strangers are going to leave you with a permanent grin on your face.

Their lively (15.8m) sidecut has been paired with what Armada are calling their ‘Springboard Tails’, which offer up extra pop for when you’re launching booters or wheeling down groomers. When this sidecut is added to the medium stiffness, you’re left with a pair of fantastic all-mountain sticks for those that love to play about with their turn radii or speeds no matter where on the mountain you find yourself.

This product was selected for our Ski 100. Read our review of the Armada Stranger here.


Armada Declivity 92 Ti

Best For: Full throttle all-mountain rippage
Sidecut: 138 / 92 / 118 (180 cm)
Radius: 17.5m (180 cm)
Price: £540

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Another ski that fits into the highly competitive all-metal sub 100 mm waisted all-mountain category, the Armada Declivity 92 Ti’s are nothing short of a blast across the entire mountain. The Declivity series is one of Armada’s first attempts at making a shift to the directional side of skiing – certainly a shift away from their freeskiing roots.

The ‘Ti’ in the name is a reference to the Titanal layer, which spans the full length of the ski. This layer has been cut out in the tips and tails. These cutouts have been filled with a dampening material to help reduce weight, and chatter. Although the metal sheet features cutouts, it hasn’t been at the detriment of performance – the Declivity 92 Ti really are the perfect tool for those who love to lay trenches across the piste.

This product was selected for our Ski 100. Read our review of the Armada Declivity 92 Ti here.


Faction Prodigy 2.0

Best For: All-mountain playfulness
Sidecut: 127 / 98 / 119 (183 cm)
Radius: 20m (183 cm)
Price: £470

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If you were plonked onto a random mountain, in the middle of nowhere, without a clue where you were, there’s a pretty good chance you’d reach for the Prodigy 2.0s to get you down – no matter the conditions in store. A stiff flex throughout the length of the ski is blended with a playful shape and twinned tails, resulting in a ski that’s happy to take on just about anything on the mountain.

Oh, and don’t even get us started on those topsheets. Partnering with Paris-based Parade Studios for another year, Faction have once again smashed things out of the park with the new Prodigy series topsheets.

This product was selected for our Ski 100. Read our review of the Faction Prodigy 2.0 here.

Black Crows Atris

Best For: Extremely versatile all-mountain planks
Sidecut: 139-108-125 (184 cm)
Radius: 20m (184 cm)
Price: €690

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Leader of the Black Crows squadron of skis, the Atris’ 108 mm waist width is starting nearing the chunky side of a pair of all-mountain planks. Even considering the oversized (for an all-mountain ski) waist width, we here at Mpora were left blown away by the versatility on offer from the Atris. From carving clean lines on the piste, to ripping wide open powder bowls in the backcountry – there seemingly wasn’t any side of the mountain the Atris couldn’t take on.

The versatility on offer is partly thanks to a pretty stuff build, combined with a touch of playful shaping – such as a nearly twinned tail and progressive rocker. The tip and tail rocker has also been paired with 3.5 mm of camber underfoot, helping to give you bite on the firm stuff.

This product was selected for our Ski 100. Read our review of the Black Crows Atris here.


DPS Pagoda Piste 90 RP

Best For: All-mountain responsiveness
Sidecut: 120/90/107 (184 cm)
Radius: 15m (184 cm)
Price: $1,299

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In an all new range from DPS Skis for winter 2020 / 2021, the new Pagoda series of skis bring a few more all-mountain shapes, in a shift away from DPS’ previous focus on soft snow performers. And, as we’ve come to expect with any other DPS ski, these new Pagoda builds come with a bucket load of R&D development behind them.

For the Pagoda Piste 90 RP, DPS has added a second wooden layer that’s been laminated horizontally to sit on top of the vertically laminated core. This additional core helps to massively boost the torsional stiffness of these skis. The double wooden core is then combined with a pre-preg carbon layup that’s sandwiched above and below, resulting in a lightweight and snappy ride that’s a blast across the entire mountain.

This product was selected for our Ski 100. Read our review of the DPS Pagoda 90 RP here.

Volkl Kendo 92

Best For: All-mountain ripping
Sidecut: 130 / 92 / 113 (177 cm)
Radius: 19.8m (177 cm)
Price: £550

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Volkl certainly knows a thing or two about making flat tailed, all-metal, all-mountain chargers. Their legendary Katana 108 is testament to this metal craftsmanship. Another range of skis where Volkl have brought their metal expertise to success is in the narrower Kendo series. The Kendo series blew onto the market with the Kendo 88, but new for this year is the Kendo 92, giving you a slightly more soft snow focused tool that’s still more than capable of hacking it on the hard stuff.

The Kendo 92 feature two 0.3 mm and 0.7 mm sections of Titanal that have been specifically cut and sandwiched together to cover areas of ski that require high amounts of power transmission. These sheets run for pretty much the full length of the ski. As if you’d expect nothing less from a ski with this much power, the Kendo 92 features full sidewalls that stretch for the entire length of the ski.

This product was selected for our Ski 100. Read our review of the Volkl Kendo 92 here.


Volkl Revolt 104

Best For: All-mountain versatility
Sidecut: 132-104-122 (180 cm)
Radius: 22.5m (188 cm)
Price: £450

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The Revolt series of skis was the product of Volkl’s head engineer Lucas Romain and the Volkl athlete team getting their heads together and knocking up a ski. It’s pretty safe to say that Volkl smashed things out of the part with the Revolt 122, and new for this year, Volkl bring a Revolt in a more all-mountain friendly package, in the Revolt 104.

As much as brands love to remind us that their skis are able to slash through powder, carve the corduroy all while being more than capable when throwing it down in the park, we’re always left a little sceptical of these claims. These skis however, are more than happy of doing all of the above, to a pretty impressive standard. After taking them for a spin during the ski test circuit, our testers were constantly left stoked with the amount of versatility on offer from this playful number.

This product was selected for our Ski 100. Read our review of the Volkl Revolt 104 here.

Fischer Ranger 102 FR

Best For: All-mountain charging
Sidecut: 136-102-126
Radius: 18m
Price: £450

New for 2020/21 Fischer are offering the Ranger 102 FR with two different (but non-gender specific) top sheets to offer “skis for skiers” because “passion has no gender”. We’re impressed by Fischer’s approach to the gender question in ski construction, and we’re even more impressed by the performance and versatility of their hot pink ski.

Take the Fischer Ranger 102 FR on a hunt for untracked powder lines, for a trip through the treelines, for an afternoon park shred, or to rip the corduroy. If you’re a fan of hip to snow carves, but don’t want to be limited to the piste, the Fischer Ranger 102 offers you the best of all worlds. 

This product was selected for our Ski 100. Read our review of the Fischer Ranger 102 FR here.

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