[Best for Multiday Tours] If you’re like some of our staffers, you appreciate the uphill as much as the downhill. For that brand of skiing, choose the Aspect, a classically shaped touring ski (90mm waist; minimal sidecut) but with a wide, rockered* tip designed to float in minimal powder and to deflect snow cookies. We pushed it through both kinds of snow—plus others—on a five-day tour in Montana’s Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, and here’s what our testers said: “This has oomph! I skied it on wet, sloppy snow, powder covered in inch-thick suncrust, and creamy corn lines, and found it responsive, stable, and turny.” Another said she loved the weight-to- performance ratio (“6 pounds to friggin’ awesome!”), which allowed her to climb 3,000 feet over 5 miles and still have ample leg power for a fast descent down low- angle glades with widely spaced trees. One 170-pound male tester said he found it “stout enough even for a lunker like me to etch turns down an icy face”—high praise from someone who spends 60 days a year on fat skis. And rocker in the front only (as opposed to both ends) means more base contact, which gives both small skiers and big ones maximum stability. $699; 6 lbs. 6 oz. (176); 166 (125-90-112), 176 (127-90-113), 186 (129-90-114); blackdiamondequipment.com
*Rocker The tip and tail of a rockered ski curve up off the snow, making it more buoyant in powder and easier to pivot on hardpack.