Touring Since you pick them up with every step, skis best be light if you’re going a long way. Our testers who ventured deep into the backcountry with overnight packs opted for the K2 Waybacks, not necessarily for their standalone weight (they’re light, but not the lightest), but because of their hydrophobic topsheets. Called “SnoPhobic,” the Waybacks’ proprietary topsheets are similar to the bottom of a ski. “When snow builds up on your ski, you end up dragging extra weight,” one tester says. “That doesn’t happen with this ski: Snow and ice slide right off.” The ultrathin, maple-paulownia core also shaves some grams.
Control “Doesn’t ski like a featherlight,” one tester announced during our ski test in Rocky Mountain National Park. Credit the maple core for the stiffness and the web of carbon for the snappiness. At 96mm underfoot, this ski has enough surface area to plow through wind chop, too. Tip: Mount it a few centimeters closer to center than the recommended mount—we thought it was a bit far back for linking tight turns in the trees. 170 (128-96-118), 177 (128-96-118), 184 (128-96-118)