2019 Testers’ Choice: Cat Ambrose’s Picks

It’s not all fun and games at Gear Test Week. Our 43 testers—32 skiers and 11 splitboarders—hit the slopes at Utah’s Powder Mountain with the dawn’s early light and don’t go to bed ’til the day’s reviews are complete. From carving smooth powder turns to busting through crud and shredding corduroy, each tester aims to test eight products per day, a task that provided us with more than 1,100 individual reviews to craft the 2019 Gear Guide, available now and packed with tester feedback.

From the 236 products we ran up and down the mountain, each tester nominated their personal favorites. Here are their picks and profiles, so you know who’s doing the dirty work and what they liked best.

Cat Ambrose lets her freak flag fly at the Shooting Star Saloon. [Photo] Matt Kiedaisch

AGE 37, 5 FEET 8 INCHES, 150 LBS.

Markleeville, Calif.

CURRENT SETUP
Ski Logic Piton Skis, G3 Ion Bindings

GEAR PREFERENCE

“I look for a good balance of weight to performance. I like to get into the backcountry, but am certainly no Skimo racer. The ride down still needs to be enjoyable.”

VÖLKL VTA 98

$825 – voekel.com | SIZES (cm): 156, 163, 170, 177, 184 | DIMENSIONS (mm): 133/98/116 | WEIGHT/PAIR: 6 lbs. (177) | TESTED LENGTH: 170

“A powerful, smooth, lightweight weapon to slay even the biggest backcountry lines. The Völkl VTA 98 fits the bill for a single quiver back/slackcountry tool.”

ATOMIC BACKLAND 102 W

$600 – atomic.com | SIZES (cm): 156, 164, 172 | DIMENSIONS (mm): 130/102/121 | WEIGHT/PAIR: 6.4 lbs. (172) | TESTED LENGTH: 172

“Like a zen master, they stayed centered and balanced even when transitioning from pow to crud. These are best for the adventure seeking skier looking to spend long days in the bc.”

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