Model: BC 70 Positrack
Many Nordic skiers live double lives, tracking through wilderness one day and lapping groomed tracks the next. This ski has you covered for both, making it a great value. It’s light—courtesy of a poplar core with air channels that run through most of the ski—but stiff enough to excel at breaking trail in fresh powder on Montana’s Lolo Pass. The 70 also floated better than skinnier models on a 40°F spring day, when rotten snow left other skiers postholing.
A moderate sidecut hits the sweet spot of control, stability, and speed: On trail, it’s sleek enough for smooth touring (aided by a double-camber design that maximizes glide), but not as swift as a longer, thinner ski. The 70’s shorter length and steel edges also grant above-average maneuverability, a major plus when we skied through trees. The waxless surface is good—not great—for gripping on uphills; on icy or wet snow we were forced to do some herringbone climbing.
“I frequently have to ski my way around my slow dog, especially on the downhills,” says one tester. “These skis’ shape let me turn easily at speed without ever losing control.”