Category Killers: Middle-weight boots

These backcountry-focused boots balance weight and power for a smooth climb up and stable ride down. Lightweight yet stable, they might not be a one-quiver boot but they come close.

Testers’ Choice: Movement Trust 108

Tester Miles Kochalka loves to be in the woods skiing untracked lines around Smugglers’ Notch, Vt. And if he is not shredding treed lines, he is happy anywhere else with snow, so long as he has skis on his feet. He looks for well-rounded skis and that is what he found in the Movement Trust 108.

Tech Tip: Scarpa F1 Evo, Evo-lution or devolution?

In early February 2015, SCARPA issued a voluntary recall on their F1 Evo boot, a 2015 Editors’ Choice winner, after less than a year of retail availability. The AT boot’s patented “Tronic System” automatically switched from walk to ski mode when locked into a pin-tech binding, but problems arose when the mechanism unexpectedly switched back to walk mode while skiing.

Category Killers: Female Favorites

The lady testers have spoken and mid-fat skis are their tool of choice this coming winter. While not exclusively women’s specific, these skis offered up stability and mobility that impressed the women who took them for a spin.

Testers’ Choice: Dynafit Hokkaido

Steep and deep—that’s what tester Jason Layh wants to ski. He doesn’t mind a slightly heavier ski if it means better performance all around. To him “form and function need to be complimentary.” Here is his review of the Dynafit Hokkaido.

Category Killers: Quiver of One

Every skier is in search of a unicorn—the ski that can do it all. Our testers have chosen these four skis for their power inbounds and out—balancing weight and performance with all-conditions versatility.

Tech Tip: Five-Point Sidecut, Defined

A ski of traditional profile is widest at the tip, narrow underfoot and wide again at the tail. Five-point sidecut re-envisions that shape, moving the ski’s widest points closer to the binding so the shape tapers—or becomes narrower—at the tip and tail.

Testers’ Choice: Salomon MTN Lab

Tester Carter Snow likes steep, technical, playful terrain with features to jump off. When he’s not in the backcountry, he’s training for big-mountain competitions—and he needs gear that can make that leap too. He picks the Salomon MTN Lab for its skinning, charging, and hucking abilities.

Tech Tip: Shell Shock

Polyurethane (PU) is a stiff thermoplastic used to make most alpine boots and some AT boots. “The downside to PU is that it’s affected by temperature, and therefore manufacturers use more layers of PU, making the boots heavier,” says Giordano Vichiet, Dynafit’s footwear manager.

Category Killer: Powder Touring

These category killers are fat and rockered (110mm and wilder) with a favorable touring weight. Here are four favorite wide-ski shredders, as chosen by our testers.