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Brands

Gear Reviews

Backpacker Ski Test 2016

19 testers, 28 brands, 74 skis, 600 laps: It took a lot of work to find our favorite ski gear of the season. Take a look inside Backpacker's 2016 test to learn how we did it

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ski test

Testers run the gamut of skiers, from moms and dads to avid backcountry skiers, guides, competitive big mountain skiers, sponsored athletes, and the young– and young at heart. Photo by: Jordan Curet

ski test

Testers work their way through the 70+ skis tested in phase one of ski test at Colorado’s Copper Mountain. Photo by: Jordan Curet/Aspen Daily News

ski test

A rep lends a helping hand to adjust tester bindings. Testers take one to two laps on each ski, pushing them to their limits to find the skis that perform best. Highest scoring skis are taken into the backcountry for further testing. Photo by: Jordan Curet/Aspen Daily News

ski test

Brands big and small send next season’s skis to be tested. Photo by: Jordan Curet/Aspen Daily News

ski test

The skis that perform the best at Copper Mountain are promoted to phase two of the test, backcountry touring. Photo by: Jordan Curet/Aspen Daily News

ski test

28 brands participated in this year’s ski test. Photo by: Jordan Curet/Aspen Daily News

ski test

Skis are pushed to their limits on snow that ranges from good, to bad, to ugly. Photo by: Jordan Curet/Aspen Daily News

ski test

Taking test laps at Copper Mountain. Photo by: Jordan Curet/Aspen Daily News

ski test

Taking advantage of Copper Mountain’s hike-to terrain for testing. Photo by: Tripp Fay/Copper Mountain

ski test

Testing ski dampness at high speeds. Photo by: Tripp Fay/Copper Mountain

ski test

All smiles for phase two of ski test, backcountry testing. Photo by: Crystal Sagan

ski test

A tester in Rocky Mountain National Park. Photo by: Crystal Sagan

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