Model: Zero G 85 Skis
No surprise: The lightest ski in our test was the favorite for long tours and uphill slogs where every extra ounce contributes to muscle fatigue.
This hybrid ski has sidewall (or sandwich) construction underfoot, which makes the Zero surprisingly stable for its relatively narrow (85mm) width, and gives it crazy-good control on edge. Cap construction in the tip and tail, in which the top sheet folds down over the edge of the ski, helps keep weight low, and tips absorb vibration and make high-speed turns as smooth as silk.
Instead of fiberglass or extra wood, a full carbon-fiber layer extends along the length of the ski and sidewalls, making it both light and strong. Paired with the paulownia wood core (known for its low weight), the carbon makes it super rigid, so we could power it through turns on glades in Rocky Mountain National Park. Reality check: For deep powder, this ski doesn’t have the width to maintain good float.