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The 9 Best Powder Skis of 2021-2022 - Men's & Women's

As skiers, we all dream of those days the snow stake gets buried, and a deep coat of fresh powder blankets the resort. It just takes a few deep turns to remember why powder skiing is one of the best sensations on this planet. So it’s no surprise that pow skis are one of the most popular segments of skis on the market right now. Everybody wants to drool over fat skis designed to make the best days better. But not all powder skis are created equal. In fact, if they were, that would make shopping pretty boring. Instead, they all have different strengths and weaknesses based on their design and construction. And those subtle differences are what make shopping for the best powder skis so fun. It’s like a puzzle, trying to match your specific needs and ski area conditions against different skis on the market.

So consider this piece something of a cheat guide, it won’t tell you which ski to buy, but it will give you the information you need to make that decision yourself. We broke down the best powder skis of 2022, with information on who they’ll best be suited to so that you can make the most of your next deep day.


Atomic Backland 107 W - Women's

Best 2021-2022 powder skis
 
 

While some powder skis are only fun on the deepest days, the Atomic Backland 107 W is designed to be a little more versatile. At 107 mm wide, it’s on the narrow end of the spectrum, but 3D shaping in the tips, along with a long, mellow rocker profile helps it plane and slash in deep snow with the best of them. And that slightly narrower width allows it to shed weight, and still perform well in firmer snow. This is a top option if you like skiing powder days after the storm when you’ve got to walk further and work harder to find it. The Backland 107’s very low weight means that long human-powered days aren’t a chore, and it’s a great option as a one-ski touring quiver for folks who get plenty of snow.

The Atomic Backland 107 W proves that you don’t have to be a single-minded super rockered, super fat ski to be fun in pow. If you’re looking for a versatile touring ski, the Backland should be high on your list.

Width (mmCategoryOriginal Price
107All-mountain touring$699.99

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Armada ARW 116 VJJ UL - Women's

Best 2021-2022 womens powder skis
 
 

The VJJ series from Armada has been around for over a decade, and for good reason: these are some of the best women’s powder skis in the business. And the UL version takes things a step further by making them even lighter and more playful, without sacrificing firm snow performance.

They come with an unsinkable 116 mm waist, a healthy dose of AR Freestyle Rocker, and Smear Tech 3D beveled edges for smooth take-offs and easy maneuvering in deep snow.

The real story, though, is what’s on the inside. The VJJs are constructed with an ultra light Caruba wood core that cuts down on weight without impacting performance. The result is an incredibly light, nimble powder ski that’s just as happy hitting the skin track as it is lapping the resort. Mount this ski up with a hybrid touring binding and go find the goods!

Width (mmCategoryOriginal Price
11650/50 Touring/Inbounds$749.95

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K2 Reckoner 122

Best 2021-2022 powder skis
 
 

K2 has a long legacy of making some of the most iconic powder skis in the business, and the Reckoner 122 is the logical evolution of that history. It takes everything skiers liked about classic skis like the Hellbent and Pontoon and brings it up to date for 2022. So it’s still got that damp, predictable ride feel, but it’s a little lighter, a little stiffer, and a little more snappy. It’s still no ultralight touring machine, instead, it’s designed to make the most of deep days accessed by chairlifts, snowcats, and helicopters. It’s one of the widest pow skis on this list, and as such, is unsinkable, it’s easy to pivot and slash at low speeds without worrying about tip dive. And at higher speeds, it holds up well with minimal tip flap compared to its predecessors.

So, if you like to access your powder stashes off of a chairlift, and want a great, deep snow specific weapon to do that with, the K2 Reckoner 122 is your huckleberry.

Width (mmCategoryOriginal Price
122Inbounds Powder$749.95

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Atomic Bent Chetler 120

Best 2021-2022 powder skis
 
 

The Atomic Bent Chetler is another classic pow ski, it’s been around in one form or another for many years. And this latest evolution is by far the best yet. The Bent Chetler went on a diet that transformed it from being one of the heaviest playful pow skis around to being one of the lightest. And Atomic managed to do that without incurring most of the penalties that often come with lighter skis. It’s still a solid inbounds performer and holds up well at high speeds, but that low weight makes it even more playful and easier to spin. And, it makes the Bent Chetler 120 a delight to tour on. It’s shockingly light on your feet as you break trail up, and then urges you to make the most of every pow slash on the way down.

If you like earning your pow turns just as much as you like riding a chairlift to them, the Bent Chetler 120 is the ski for you. It’s reliable, intuitive, and so much fun.

Width (mmCategoryOriginal Price
12050/50 Touring/Inbounds$749.95

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Line Skis Pandora 110 - Women's

Best 2021-2022 powder skis
 
 

Line’s Pandora 110 has been getting the job done for female skiers for years, and this latest evolution steps that up a notch. The Pandora 110 strikes a nice sweet spot, it’s wide and floaty enough to handle the deepest days, but it’s not unwieldy when it hasn’t snowed in weeks and you’re trying to just make the most of an icy groomer. Line’s “Partly Cloudy” core offers a unique blend of lightweight with a backbone. The Pandora is light enough that a hybrid 50/50 binding wouldn’t be out of place on it but damp and stable enough that it’s a great inbounds daily driver as well. The taper and early rise help it stay loose and fun in deep snow, and the predictable directional flex pattern responds well to a variety of skier styles.

If you’re a female skier who’s looking for a pow ski that does it all, well, the Pandora 110 checks all the boxes and looks good doing it.

Width (mmCategoryOriginal Price
110All-mountain/Powder$699.95

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Salomon QST Blank

Best 2021-2022 powder skis
 
 

The Salomon QST Blank Skis are the newest member of the QST family and the most exciting yet. For this one, Salomon handed the reins to their pro athletes with the task of designing the ultimate freeride ski. We think they nailed it! The QST Blank blends the playful character of the QST 106 with the pure powder performance of the old QST 118, creating a versatile package that excels on a classic resort powder day. That means they perform just as well in choppy, tracked-out conditions as they do in deep, pristine powder.

An approachable 112mm waist makes this a great choice for skiers who prefer a wider all mountain ski, or those who want a more versatile powder ski that’ll give them a good time even several days after a storm.

Width (mmCategoryOriginal Price
112All-mountain/Powder$749.99

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Season Forma

Best 2021-2022 powder skis
 
 

The Season Forma was designed by the legendary skier, Eric Pollard, and is a great choice for powder-hungry freeriders who prefer a directional shape.

A swallowtail design helps the Formas stand out from the pack, and it contributes to their impressive powder performance. Combined with a huge, elongated nose and setback stance, the swallowtail cutout causes the tails to sink into deep snow, allowing the tips to plane effortlessly on the surface. The feel is smooth, confident, and surprisingly agile thanks to a tight turn radius that allows you to carve back to the lift with ease.

Like all Season skis, the Formas come in unisex sizes and are built to last. We’re big fans!

Width (mmCategoryOriginal Price
118Inbounds Powder$749

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Line Skis Vision 108

Best 2021-2022 powder skis
 
 

Line’s Vision 108 wouldn’t call itself a touring ski, but it doesn’t mind if you do. This lightweight freeride missile blends categories everywhere it goes. It’s light enough for long days in the backcountry, but Line specifically designed it to be more than that. That means it delivers a more stable, predictable ride inbounds than most touring-specific skis, and can hold up to the daily abuses of resort skiing. That combination makes the Vision 108 hard to categorize, which is sort of the point. Sure, it’s an absolute hoot in untouched backcountry powder, but it’s also a real delight when you just want to ski fast and jump off of stuff inbounds a week after the last storm.

The Line Vision 108 is whatever you make of it, and that’s really the magic of it. Throw some alpine bindings on it and rip freeride lines, or throw some ultralight bindings on, and go wander around the mountains. The Vision 108 isn’t picky, it’s down for anything.

Width (mmCategoryOriginal Price
10850/50 Touring/Inbounds$749.95

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Armada Whitewalker

Best 2021-2022 powder skis
 
 

The Whitewalker is Sammy Carlson’s signature pro model ski, so it should come as no surprise that it’s playful with a backbone. It’s designed to charge big lines, while also making the most of every opportunity to get some air and maybe throw in a spin or two. It’s stiffer than most of the other playful pow skis on the market, so it doesn’t fold up at high speeds, and it handles varied snow conditions well. But when things get deep and soft, it’s very maneuverable thanks to the Smear Tech 3D shaping in the tips and tails. This is a great option if you’re looking for a 50/50 pow ski that spends time inbounds, and in the backcountry, it holds up in firmer snow but is light enough for long skin tracks.

For mellower skiers who aren’t as interested in throwing tricks and going fast, the Whitewalker is a little overkill compared to other options on this list, but if you like to take your tricks to the backcountry, and aren’t afraid to go big, the Whitewalker has your back.

Width (mmCategoryOriginal Price
116Backcountry Jibbing$799.95

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