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The 10 Best Alpine Touring & Backcountry Skis of 2021-2022

There’s something really special about human-powered skiing. Alpine touring, or backcountry skiing, is one of the fastest-growing segments in skiing, for good reason. Skinning around the mountains is a uniquely enjoyable experience, and it’s hard to beat dropping in on a run of fresh pow that you climbed to under your own power. And, along with the growing interest in backcountry skiing, we’re seeing most brands respond with new and improved backcountry skis. Companies are working hard to design lighter touring skis that won’t tire you out on the climb but still ski well on the descent.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best backcountry skis we’ve found. These are the alpine touring skis that really stand out among the pack as lightweight enough for long days on the skin track, but still reliable no matter the snow conditions you find. We’ll explain the nuanced strengths and weaknesses as we run through each of the best touring skis, and break down what sort of skiers will benefit from each so that you can find your new favorite pair in no time.

Atomic Backland 85 UL

Best 2021-2022 touring & backcountry skis

When it comes to going uphill fast it’s hard to beat a true skimo (ski mountaineering) race ski. But, race skis really suck in any kind of variable snow. That’s why Atomic built the Backland 85 UL. It’s ridiculously light, the lightest ski on this list, but it’s wider and more substantial than a true skimo ski. That means that it handles a variety of conditions better, and is a lot more fun to ski downhill on. Atomic manages to do that by using a Poplar/Caruba core mix that prioritizes low weight and then building some tip rocker into the ski to help it float in deeper snow. The Backland 85 also has Atomic’s HRZN tech in the tip to help it smear in variable snow and keep things playful.

If you’re trying to go both fast, and far in the mountains, but don’t want to sacrifice too much downhill performance, the Backland 85 UL is one of the best lightweight touring skis and ready to rip.

Waist WidthWeight (165cm)Original Price

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Black Crows Camox Freebird

The best 2021-2022 touring & backcountry skis

The Black Crows Camox Freebird is your one-stop solution to quiver envy. It does everything so well that you’ll find yourself mocking your friends who think they need a different ski for every snow condition. Black Crows have managed to make the Camox Freebird so versatile by striking a nice balance when it comes to weight, width, and profile. It hits the middle of the spectrum in every one of those categories. Sure, you could get a lighter ski, but you’ll notice how much more squirrely it is on the descents. And sure, you could get a wider ski, but it won’t be as reliable in firm snow.

So if you’re just looking for a nice balance, a ski that you can take out and have fun on no matter what happened to the snowpack overnight, the Camox is a very versatile choice and possibly one of the best all-around backcountry skis made.

Waist WidthWeight (178cm) Original Price

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Blizzard Zero G 95

The best 2021-2022 touring & backcountry skis

The Blizzard Zero G 95 is probably our best-selling pure touring ski and one you’ll see in numbers any time serious ski tourists get together. This is for good reason as it is one of the best alpine touring skis. The Zero G 95 combines ultralight weight with awesome edge hold and stability and is a worldwide favorite for spring and summer touring.

The original version of the Zero G 95 had a reputation for being a bit of a handful, but Blizzard solved that problem by beveling the top edge of the ski and reducing the surface area of the Carbon Drive laminate to make the ski more tractable. It has a Titanal plate under the mounting area for binding retention and skis way better than any sub-1200 gram ski has a right to. This is a go-to choice for serious touring.

Waist WidthWeight (171cm) Original Price

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DPS Pagoda Tour 100 RP

The Best 2021-2022 backcountry & touring skis

The DPS Pagoda Tour 100 RP combines an impressively low weight with a smooth, user-friendly personality that skiers of all abilities can get along with. DPS’ proprietary Pagoda Tour construction includes Ash, Paulownia, and a purpose-built aerospace-grade foam that delivers incredible physical properties at minimal weight.

Although it isn’t really designed for “Resort Powder” as the RP name suggests, the long tip rocker helps this ski get up and plane in any fresh snow in a flash, making it a natural choice for all-purpose touring in areas that get a lot of snow.

Waist WidthWeight (171cm) Original Price

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Dynafit Seven Summits ‚ÄčTouring Package

The best 2021-2022 touring & backcountry

When you’re building a backcountry touring setup, it can get a little aggravating as you try to wrangle a ski, binding, and skin that all work well together and make sense. Dynafit has taken that hassle out of the equation with the Seven Summits package. It comes complete with Dynafit’s lightweight Seven Summits ski, ST Radical binding, and pre-cut skin. Just have your local shop mount the bindings to your boot sole length, and you’re ready to go earn some turns. And Dynafit didn’t skimp with any part of this package either, the Seven Summits ski is a lightweight, and predictable ride that excels in most snowpacks, and the ST Radical is a classic, reliable binding.

So stop shopping around and trying to figure out which bindings are compatible with which skis. Grab the Seven Summits package and head to the hills.

Waist WidthWeight (174cm) Original Price

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Faction Agent 2.0X - Women's

The best 2021 touring & backcountry

The Faction Agent 2.0X is a fantastic all-purpose touring tool for lighter, shorter skiers. This isn’t some watered-down version of a men’s ski. The Agent 2.0X offers the same construction as the regular version, but comes in shorter length offerings, performing superbly on both the uphill and the down.

Faction starts with a lightweight Karuba wood core and surrounds it with a full carbon weave for added energy and response. The balance of weight versus power is right on the money, and an elliptical sidecut makes it easy to snap off some quick turns when you find yourself in a tight spot. If you want one ski for all of your touring - from late fall through early summer - this is a great pick and one of the best women’s backcountry skis.

Waist WidthWeight (163cm) Original Price

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Salomon MTN Explore 95

The best 2021-2022 touring skis

Since it came onto the market a few years ago, the MTN Explore 95 has quickly become a mainstay of the touring ski market. It’s just so consistent. It’s not the lightest ski at this width, but it does deliver one of the smoothest, dampest rides out there, which really pays off when it comes to skiing big lines in variable snow. The 95 mm waist gives it the versatility to go from skiing pow one weekend to volcano corn the next, and the rockered tips keep you afloat no matter what.

So if you’re looking for a smooth, damp ride, in any snow conditions, with a low enough weight that you can still scamper back up for one more lap, the MTN Explore 95 from Salomon has you covered.

Waist WidthWeight (177 cm) Original Price

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Head Kore 93

Best 2022 backcountry skis

The Head Kore 93 was designed to blur the line between inbounds and touring skis. Its low weight lends itself to human-powered climbing, but it skis surprisingly well and doesn't feel too insubstantial with an inbounds binding mounted to it. That makes it a compelling choice for skiers looking for a narrower 50/50 ski. It’s happy to do double-duty ripping groomers and couloirs, and it does it all well. The tip and tail rocker mean it skis better than its width would suggest in fresh snow, and the graphene layup keeps things stiff without making the ride feel harsh.

Head’s Kore 93 blurs categories to create a very versatile, reliable ski that’s as happy on the chairlift as it is on the skin track.

Waist WidthWeight (163cm) Original Price
93mmNot Listed$649

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Movement Alp Tracks 100 LTD

Best 2022 backcountry skis

Movement is a Swiss company that’s been putting down tracks in remote places for years but is relatively unknown in the US. That’s about to change though, as more and more skiers experience the unique combination of exceptionally low weights and great ride quality that Movement provides.

The Alp Tracks 100 LTD is incredibly light for its width – 1245 grams in a 177 – and is built up around a Karuba core with a special carbon fiber layup. It’s a super versatile ski that won’t compromise your stamina on the way up, and won’t let you down when the snow conditions are a little rougher than expected.

Waist WidthWeight (177cm) Original Price

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Black Crows Corvus Freebird

Best 2022 backcountry skis

It’s impossible not to mention the Black Crows Corvus Freebird. Of any ski in this group, the Corvus Freebird skis the most like a regular alpine ski, and that’s the reason it’s a favorite of mountain guides and big mountain skiers who could use anything but end up on the Corvus Freebird - not only for winter touring but also day-to-day freeriding.

Like most of the Freebird lineup, they’re not the lightest option in the category but are arguably among the best on the descent. If you're sorting through the best alpine skis but interested in touring, and you’re fit and like to hit it hard on the way down, this is a great choice.

Waist WidthWeight (183cm) Original Price

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