2022 Tester Profile: Jason Layh

This year, we ran our test a little differently. In lieu of bringing 60 testers, techs and cooks to Powder Mountain, Utah, for a week, we held local mini tests across the country all season long. After a winter of pushing skis, splitboards, boots, bindings and accessories up the skintrack, at their local resorts and further into the mountains than ever before, we asked local testers to nominate the gear that went above and beyond.

Over his 12-plus-year tenure, Jason Layh has served as a ski tech, tester and now as our Tahoe test coordinator. He’s infamous for recording his thoughts on each piece of gear on his phone and listening back to the audio while writing his reviews. Needless to say, Jason is the pinnacle of tester pro status. “At the moment, boots are where all the magic is happening,” Jason said about where the gear industry is going. “Most new skis are solid choices—just find what shapes work best for you. Bindings, too, are pretty straightforward right now. But boots, they are a changing.”

Read about the skis with the right shape for Jason below.

Jason Layh takes it all in. [Photo] Jason Layh

Jason Layh

Tahoe City, California
6’, 182 lbs.
12-plus-year Tester

Personal Setup

K2 Mindbender 116
Dynafit Hoji Pro Tour
Salomon MTN Pure

Jason Layh arcs through some spring corn above Lake Tahoe. [Photo] Ryan Salm

Favorite Skis

4FRNT Raven w/ 4-Lock

$829 (with skins)  ·  4FRNT.com  ·  121/104/112
3400g (184)  ·  Lengths: 170, 177, 184, 190

“For soft-snow touring slayage, this ski is da bomb! So surfy and fun in all soft snow. Nimble underfoot when it needs to be; powerful when you want to crush. A real skier’s ski. Incredibly expressive! Wonderful pop and stability, but not your everyday ski—soft snow only! Great trail weight with a special notch for skin attachment.” —JL

Augment FT 108

$1,125  ·  augmentskisna.com  ·  148/108/130
3200g (180)  ·  Lengths: 172, 180, 188

“Really fun, smooth-skiing ski. Damp and playful for its weight and not easily deflected. Has a nice solid tail and is easy to turn. Lots of spunk. Solid sidewalls, which gives a great underfoot feel—really diverse ski.” —JL

OGSO Diable 100

$700  ·  ogso-mountain-essentials.com
135/104/120  ·  4200g (178)  ·  Lengths: 162, 170, 178, 186, 194

“Really fun little pow pigs. Very progressive feel and forward initiation point on this ski. Good tour weight that won’t get destroyed inbounds. Not for beginners or grumpy old men—needs/wants to be mounted forward, so you need a shop that will recognize this.” —JL

Get your copy of the 2022 Backcountry Gear Guide with in-depth reviews of all 35 Editors’ Choice winners, plus additional reviews of 153 skis, splitboards, boots, bindings, apparel and accessories.

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