Built to carve, float, and bring the fun, all-mountain skis are all about versatility. Unsurprisingly, it’s a vast market that can be broken down into several subcategories, from narrower designs that are best for frontside use to wide planks that surf in powder (and plenty in between). We’ve included the full spectrum in our list below, which details our favorite women’s-specific all-mountains skis for winter 2022-2023. For more background information and help with choosing the best option for you, see our comparison table and buying advice below the picks. To complete your downhill kit, check out our articles on the best women’s ski boots and ski bindings.
 


Our Team's Women's All-Mountain Ski Picks



Best Overall Women’s All-Mountain Ski

1. Nordica Santa Ana 98 ($750)

Nordica Santa Ana 98 women's all-mountain skisCategory: All-mountain
Ability level: Intermediate to expert
Dimensions: 131-98-118mm
Other widths: 84, 88, 93mm
What we like: A true all-rounder that handles well all over the mountain.
What we don’t: We wish it were slightly more playful.

Nordica’s Santa Ana (the women’s counterpart to the popular unisex Enforcer) is an impressively versatile design and legendary in the all-mountain ski category. Key to the collection’s well-rounded performance is Nordica’s terrain-specific metal construction, which means that each ski utilizes a different amount of metal to tailor stiffness to the intended conditions: The narrowest 84-millimeter option is the most metal-heavy for maximum stability on hard snow, while the widest Santa Ana 110 Free is the softest and most playful in powder. The Santa Ana 98 here sits squarely in the middle, offering a real Goldilocks experience for most riders: This ski is reliable on hardpack, agile in the bumps, maneuverable in powder, and blasts through crud with control and confidence.

There’s no denying that the Nordica Santa Ana 98 does everything well, but it’s not the most playful all-mountain ski—for that, we turn to the Black Crows Atris Birdie below. Further, while it performs reasonably well in the bumps, we found that the Santa Ana lacks the rebound required for quickly pivoting through other types of tight spaces. To be fair, it’ll certainly get the job done (especially if you’re a confident rider who doesn’t mind the added effort to throw it around), but those who prioritize a nimble and agile ride will be better off with an option like Icelantic’s Riveter 95 below. That said, we keep coming back to versatility: The Santa Ana has a very natural and predictable feel that will make most riders happy, earning it our top spot for the 2022-2023 season... Read in-depth review
See the Nordica Santa Ana 98

 

Best Women’s Ski for Hard Chargers

2. Völkl Secret 96 ($750)

Volkl Secret 96 women's all-mountain skisCategory: All-mountain
Ability level: Advanced to expert
Dimensions: 135-96-119mm
Other width: 102mm
What we like: Damp, smooth, and extremely reliable at top speed.
What we don’t: Requires a strong pilot to drive, especially in the bumps.

For skiers who love to rip from top to bottom, Völkl’s Secret 96 is the ticket to the fast lane. This powerful ski reliably holds an edge at maximum speed, inspiring strong riders to push themselves on- and off-piste (although it does favor frontside use). Turnability is another highlight: With its 3D radius sidecut that’s longer at the tip and tail and shorter in the center, the Secret 96 transitions smoothly between short, medium, and long turns without sacrificing speed or stability. Combined with the versatile 96-millimeter waist, the Secret is a hard-charging ski that can handle a wide variety of terrain and snow conditions. 

Similar to Nordica’s terrain-specific metal construction mentioned above, Völkl employed their “tailored Titanal frame” technology to customize stiffness—this time based on length rather than width. This means that the longer sizes of the Secret 96 are stiffer and heavier with more Titanal for added power transmission and dampness, while the shorter sizes have less metal to allow better maneuverability for smaller or lighter skiers. In practice, however, we found the Secret 96 still is a burly ski that demands a hard-driving pilot, and less advanced riders may find it challenging to control in tight spaces—regardless of how short or long you go. But if you’re comfortable keeping your foot on the gas, the Secret won’t disappoint.
See the Völkl Secret 96

 

Best Women’s Ski for Intermediates

3. 4FRNT MSP CC ($729)

4FRNT MSP CC all-mountain skisCategory: All-mountain
Ability level: Intermediate to advanced 
Dimensions: 132-99-121mm
Other widths: None
What we like: Intuitive feel is confidence-inspiring regardless of ability level.
What we don’t: We’d love to see more length options.

While we hesitate to call the 4FRNT MSP CC “beginner-friendly”, it’s our top pick for riders progressing their skills—whether you’re transitioning from green runs to blues or getting back into the sport after extended time away. The “CC” in the name is short for Contour Core technology: 4FRNT shifted the thickest and stiffest part of the core farther back to match the way most women generate power through a turn (via their hips, compared to men who typically drive from the torso). This makes it easier to put pressure on the shovel of the ski, allowing riders to initiate turns more easily and with more control. Combined with a lively poplar core and relatively short turn radius (16m for the 165cm length), the MSP CC offers very poppy and intuitive performance that inspires confidence all over the mountain. 

Given the 4FRNT MSP CC’s broad appeal and loyal following, we wish it were offered in more lengths. To be clear, the current sizing options (159, 165, or 171cm) cover a decent range, but adding a couple more lengths in the mid to upper 170s and low 150s would better accommodate tall and short riders, respectively. It’s also worth noting that the CC model here is only offered with a 99-millimeter waist, although the unisex MSP (without the women’s-specific core technology) is sold in widths down to 91 millimeters for those that spend most of their time on trail.
See the 4FRNT MSP CC

 

Best Women’s All-Mountain Ski for Carving

4. Blizzard Black Pearl 88 ($650)

Blizzard Black Pearl 88 women's all-mountain skisCategory: All-mountain front
Ability level: Intermediate to advanced
Dimensions: 128-88-110mm
Other widths: 82, 97mm
What we like: Slices into corduroy like a hot knife through butter.
What we don’t: Narrow waist flounders in deeper snow.

For skiers who look at every groomer like it’s a Thanksgiving turkey, the Blizzard Black Pearl 88 is an excellent carving tool. With a narrow 88-millimeter waist, the Black Pearl moves effortlessly edge to edge, slicing clean arcs with precision and speed. It’s not out of sorts off-piste either: The ski powers smoothly through chop and crud and holds integrity through questionable conditions (great for the East Coast). Updated last season with a TrueBlend wood core that uses woods of varying weights and thicknesses, Blizzard boosted stability without making the Black Pearl too heavy, which only broadens its appeal.

Despite its decent versatility, the Blizzard Black Pearl 88 is not without limitations. While it’s extremely stable and agile off-piste and through the bumps, it’s not the most forgiving ski. Even expert riders will need to lean forward and drive through each turn—a notable downside for those who like to sit back and enjoy the ride on occasion. Additionally, the Black Pearl 88’s slim waist and stiffer construction make it challenging to maneuver in powder (Blizzard does offer a wider 97mm variation, although it's still a pretty unforgiving ski). But if you primarily stick to hardpack and like a stiff and fast carver, the Black Pearl 88 is a real standout.
See the Blizzard Black Pearl 88

 

Best Women’s All-Mountain Ski for Powder

5. Salomon QST Stella 106 ($750)

Salomon QST Stella 106 women's all-mountain skisCategory: All-mountain back
Ability level: Intermediate to advanced
Dimensions: 137-106-124mm
Other widths: None
What we like: Great combination of floatation, stability, and playfulness in powder.
What we don’t: Too wide for areas that see low yearly snowfall.

At the wider end of the all-mountain category, Salomon’s QST Stella 106 is ideal for intermediate to advanced riders with regular access to fresh snow. The poplar wood core keeps things light and surfy while offering good rebound, and the surprisingly stiff flex through the middle and tail keeps the ski stable at high speeds and through chop. Combined with a moderately deep rocker (for an all-mountain design) and tapered shape, the QST Stella is game for almost anything you throw its way, whether that’s carving corduroy, charging through chunder, or hunting powder stashes deep in the glades. 

All in all, the Salomon QST Stella 106 effectively toes the line between a hard-charging all-mountain design and true powder ski. That said, while it can hold its own in a variety of conditions, the ski’s wider width and powder-ready shape undoubtedly prefer deep, soft snow over hardpack. It’s a lot of ski to wield at 106 millimeters underfoot, and all that extra surface area will be put to waste on icy and firm days. As such, we’d only recommend the QST Stella as a one-quiver option for those who live in snow-rich areas like the Mountain West.
See the Salomon QST Stella 106

 

Our Favorite Playful Women’s All-Mountain Ski

6. Black Crows Atris Birdie ($900)

Black Crows Atris Birdie women's all-mountain skisCategory: All-mountain back
Ability level: Intermediate to advanced
Dimensions: 135-105-122mm
Other widths: None
What we like: A ski that carves as well as it floats.
What we don’t: Not a daily driver for on-piste use.

Though technically part of Black Crows’ big mountain collection, the Atris Birdie stands out as a seriously playful option for all-mountain riders out West. It’s worth noting that Black Crows trimmed the dimensions a little for 2023 (width went from 108 to 105mm underfoot with a slightly narrower tip and tail to match), but the fun-loving personality remains. The freeride-oriented build offers a surfy feel in powder with a double rocker profile and classic camber underfoot, while the stiffer flex promotes good top-end stability and carving capabilities. Added up, the Atris Birdie offers a hard-to-beat mix of soft-snow floatation and hard-snow maneuverability, which is no small feat. 

Whether you’re dropping into untouched glades, surfing through the trees, charging through chunder, or carving up groomers, the Black Crows Atris Birdie provides a fantastic balance of playfulness and stability. However, at 105 millimeters underfoot, it's decidedly overkill for on-piste use—those who spend a good chunk of the season on the frontside skiing hardpack or corduroy will be better off with a narrower and more well-rounded option like the Nordica Santa Ana 98 or Völkl Secret 96 above. This limits the Atris Birdie’s appeal as a daily driver in many areas (like the East Coast of the U.S.), but powder-hungry riders out West certainly have a lot to be excited about.
See the Black Crows Atris Birdie

 

Best Women’s All-Mountain Ski for Moguls

7. Icelantic Riveter 95 ($779)

Icelantic Riveter 95 women's all-mountain skisCategory: All-mountain
Ability level: Intermediate to advanced
Dimensions: 130-95-117mm
Other widths: 85, 104mm
What we like: Pivots very well through the trees and bumps.
What we don’t: Lacking in high-speed stability.

If your ideal day includes skiing moguls, making tight turns through trees, and taking the occasional lap through the terrain park, Icelantic’s Riveter 95 should be on your short list. With springy rebound thanks to 5 millimeters of camber underfoot and fast edge-to-edge transitions for making powerful, tight turns, the Riveter performs well all over the mountain but truly shines on the frontside, where it’s quick to pivot on hardpack and through the bumps. It's not the most stable ski at high speeds (and only comes in lengths up to 169cm), but the tradeoff is excellent control and maneuverability in tight spaces. Finally, as we’ve come to expect from Icelantic, the Riveter is a great-looking ski with a beautiful, mountain-inspired topsheet design (each year’s artwork is unique) that’s sure to stand out. 

While the 95-millimeter Riveter is the most versatile option in the collection, this ski also comes in 85- and 104-millimeter widths. As expected, the 85-millimeter Riveter provides better edge-to-edge performance on groomers, making it a great choice for East Coast skiers (especially those who love the bumps). On the other hand, the Riveter 104 is the better choice for more aggressive, hard-charging riders or those who prefer a wider setup for plowing through crud or floating on softer snow. Regardless of which option you choose, the Riveter is an impressively nimble and responsive design for those who love to dance.
See the Icelantic Riveter 95

 

Best of the Rest

8. Elan Ripstick 94 W ($650)

Elan Ripstick 94 women's all-mountain skisCategory: All-mountain
Ability level: Intermediate to expert
Dimensions: 136-94-110mm
Other widths: 88, 102mm
What we like: A ski that does (almost) everything very well.
What we don’t: It gets a little bouncy in the chop.

Whether we’re lapping the frontside, exploring backside freeride terrain, or heading into the backcountry, the Elan Ripstick 94 W is easily one of our top picks when it comes to versatility. One hallmark of the design is the asymmetrical Amphibio profile, which combines rocker at the outside edge for smooth turn initiation with camber at the inside for precision and stability. As a result, the Ripstick offers reliable grip on hardpack while still maintaining enough float and maneuverability in softer snow. Elan also recently stiffened up the edges and wood core by adding carbon reinforcements, effectively increasing power and stability without incurring a major weight penalty. Taken together, the Ripstick is an impressively well-rounded all-mountain design that can even cross over for the occasional backcountry tour.

However, as with most models that aim to do it all, the Elan Ripstick 94 W doesn’t really stand out in any one area. Those who prefer to carve their way down the mountain will be better off with a more precise option like the Blizzard Black Pearl above or Faction Dictator or Stöckli Nela below. Additionally, our testers found that the Ripstick can get bouncy in the chop, and its lightweight build sacrifices some dampness and crud-busting capabilities. These complaints are enough to bump the Ripstick slightly down our list, but there’s a reason it’s garnered such a loyal following: It’s a fantastic all-rounder.
See the Elan Ripstick 94 W

 

9. Kästle FX96 (W) ($849)

Kastle FX96 (W) women's all-mountain skisCategory: All-mountain
Ability level: Intermediate to advanced
Dimensions: 133-96-119mm
Other widths: None
What we like: A premium and playful ski that’s just plain fun.
What we don’t: Expensive and best suited for skiers out West.

Balancing smoothness, dampness, and predictability, the Kästle FX96 (W) hits a sweet spot in the women’s all-mountain ski market. Building on the success of their popular FX line that’s beloved among performance-oriented skiers, Kästle introduced the first women’s-specific model in 2020, and the latest FX96 (W) here is arguably the most fun iteration yet. One unique design feature is the Hollowtech 3.0 construction, which trims away material at the shovel to reduce swing weight and improve dampening (importantly, it’s still wide enough to float in powder). Kästle also utilized three different types of wood (paulownia, beech, and poplar) at the core for a great balance of responsiveness and power, while early rise and flex at the front promote a poppy and dynamic ride off-piste. 

In short, the FX96 (W) checks all the boxes for a high-performing yet approachable all-mountain option. That said, due to its size and shape, the ski is best suited to all-mountain skiers in the Western U.S. Those skiing primarily in the East will likely prefer a slightly narrower-waisted design, such as Kästle’s own DX 85 (W), which shares a similar Hollowtech construction but in a stiffer and more on-piste-friendly package. Finally, as expected from the high-end brand, the FX96 (W) is on the pricey end of the spectrum at $849 for the pair. But many experienced riders will find the extra investment worth it for the playful yet stable personality.
See the Kästle FX96 (W)

 

10. Faction Dictator 2.0X ($679)

Faction Dictator 2.0X women's all-mountain skisCategory: All-mountain
Ability level: Advanced to expert
Dimensions: 127-96-117mm
Other widths: 86, 106mm
What we like: Stable at speed and powerful through crud.
What we don’t: It’ll sink on deeper days.

Lightweight and energetic, the Faction Dictator 2.0X is a top choice among hard-charging riders looking for a fun but composed ride. The ski features dual Titanal layers that give it the strength and dampness to blast through crud and the stability to hold an edge at top speed, while the flat tail (a hallmark of freeride designs) maximizes grip through turns. The Dictator also boasts a longer turn radius underfoot and shorter radii at the tip and tail (Faction calls this their "Elliptical" sidecut), resulting in a ski that’s both easy to pivot and quick to turn. Rounding out the build is a lively poplar wood core, which gives the Dictator the responsiveness to power through chop, hop-turn in a steep couloir, and carve arcing turns on corduroy. All told, it’s a solid and confidence-inspiring option for those who like to feel in control while moving fast. 

That being said, the Faction Dictator 2.0X requires a strong skier at its helm and will be challenging for timid and apprehensive riders to control. Additionally, it’s not a top choice for powder days: While the Dictator has enough strength and power to drive through heavy chop and excels on hardpack, we’ve found it’s a bit cumbersome to maneuver in fresh snow of around 6 to 8 inches or more. As such, the Faction lacks the versatility of many of our top all-rounders above (including designs like the Nordica Santa Ana and 4FRNT MSP CC), but it certainly has appeal for expert-level skiers who like to ride at full tilt.
See the Faction Dictator 2.0X

 

11. Stöckli Nela 88 ($1,099)

Stockli Nela 88 women's all-mountain skisCategory: All-mountain front
Ability level: Intermediate to advanced
Dimensions: 127-88-113mm
Other widths: 80, 96mm
What we like: A smooth, powerful, and expertly crafted frontside companion.
What we don’t: The priciest ski on our list and decidedly groomer-focused.

Stöckli may lack the name recognition of brands like Nordica and Salomon in the U.S. market, but make no mistake: This Swiss company makes expertly crafted skis. Their Nela 88 is case in point, combining excellent on-piste capabilities in a high-end package. Right away, we’ll note that the narrow 88-millimeter waist and $1,099 price tag will be enough to deter many, but it’s a seriously capable and well-built option for those that stay on trail. The ski provides a smooth and powerful ride at just about any speed, is a deliciously good carver, and offers standout precision and control in the bends. On the flip side, the balanced design is still reasonably light for playing to your creative side in the moguls or when plowing through chop.

However, while its weight and rocker profile in the tip and tail make the Stöckli Nela 88 a serviceable off-piste companion, this ski is unapologetically groomer-focused. Though nimble and playful enough for exploring in the trees or seeking out pockets of fresh powder, skiers who spend a lot of time in the back bowls or sidecountry will almost certainly want something wider and beefier. If this sounds like you, we recommend checking out Salomon’s QST Stella 106 above, and even narrower options like the Elan Ripstick 94 W and Nordica Santa Ana 98 are better options for mixed on- and off-trail use. For regions that don’t see a lot of yearly snowfall, however, the Nela could very well be an ideal pairing.
See the Stöckli Nela 88

 

12. Coalition Snow Rebel ($699)

Coalition Snow Rebel women's all-mountain skisCategory: All-mountain front
Ability level: Intermediate to advanced
Dimensions: 124-85-106mm
Other widths: None
What we like: A great tool for East Coast powder days, groomers, and moguls.
What we don’t: Novice skiers may find it a bit stiff in bumps and tight terrain.

With a mission to “shred the patriarchy,” women-owned Coalition Snow has turned the shrink-it-and-pink-it mentality on its head with designs tailormade for women and by women. The Rebel is their narrowest offering and tuned for icy East Coast groomers, shallow powder days, pivoting through bumps, and slicing short- to medium-width turns. In testing, we found that the Rebel’s 85-millimeter-wide platform moves edge-to-edge quickly and nimbly, offering a very intuitive feel when making tight turns on corduroy or through the trees. Further, the pronounced sidecut allows it to pivot with ease through the bumps and other terrain features, while the birch wood core offers a snappy and responsive feel while minimizing chatter on hardpack and variable snow. All in all, it’s a specialized but capable option for resort riders who prioritize an agile and quick-moving ride.

While it comes as no surprise that the 85-millimeter Rebel can’t hang with dedicated powder skis on particularly deep days, our testers were pleasantly surprised by its performance in shallow powder. That said, we wouldn’t recommend it for novice skiers venturing off-piste for the first time—we found the Rebel to be fairly stiff and harsh on ungroomed terrain. Intermediate and advanced riders may not have an issue controlling the Rebel, but those dipping their toes into the world of off-piste riding will be better off with a softer and more forgiving option like the 4FRNT MSP CC above or Atomic Maven 93 C below. 
See the Coalition Snow Rebel

 

13. Atomic Maven 93 C ($650)

Atomic Maven 93 C women's all-mountain skisCategory: All-mountain
Ability level: Intermediate to advanced
Dimensions: 126-93.5-110mm
Other width: 86mm
What we like: A forgiving and confidence-inspiring ski for intermediate riders.
What we don’t: Hard chargers will be left wanting more.

Many of the top all-mountain skis are geared towards experienced riders, but Atomic’s Maven 93 C is an approachable option for intermediate skiers who are starting to explore more of the mountain. The forgiving personality is immediately clear: The Maven’s “Flow Profile” effectively balances tip rocker, shovel taper, and camber for maximizing edge hold during turns on hardpack, while the poplar wood core gives the ski a lively and responsive feel through bumps. And when you venture off-piste, the Maven is light enough to stay on top of powder and even get some air when hitting natural features on the mountain.

That said, while the Atomic Maven 93 C is an excellent choice for advancing skiers stepping into more challenging terrain, expert riders will likely find it underpowered for their needs. The Maven likes to make short- to medium-width turns (this helps it thrive in moguls) and offers ample stability at moderate speeds, but it actively resists the long, sweeping, high-speed turns that hard chargers love to make. Further, while light enough to hold its own though soft, shallow, and choppy snow, the Maven doesn’t blast through crud like some of its heavier and more serious all-mountain counterparts (such as the Nordica Santa Ana 98 or Faction Dictator 2.0X). But again, the forgiving and intuitive feel are hard to beat for those venturing into new types of terrain.
See the Atomic Maven 93 C

 

14. LINE Pandora 94 ($550)

Line Skis Pandora 94  women's all-mountain skisCategory: All-mountain
Ability level: Intermediate to advanced
Dimensions: 131-94-117mm
Other widths: 84, 104, 110mm
What we like: A nimble and forgiving ski that’s light and powerful enough for backcountry use.
What we don’t: Prefers soft snow more than its width would suggest.

Light and nimble, the LINE Pandora 94 is a versatile all-mountain companion that truly comes to life in shallow, soft snow. Constructed with a lightweight aspen core and carbon laminate that stretches from tip to tail, the Pandora strikes a nice balance between responsiveness and stability. The rocker profile with directional flex at the front enhances float and turn initiation, while the ski’s stiffer tail provides good power, stability, and control when moving fast. Similar to the Völkl Secret above, the Pandora also boasts different turn radii along the sidecut for a very intuitive feel whether you’re carving in tight spaces or making sweeping turns in the back bowls. Taken together, the Pandora 94 is a quality option at a good price—and it happens to also be light enough to bring into the backcountry.

What's not to like with the Pandora? Despite is moderate dimensions, we've found the ski is most at home in soft snow (and a little out of sorts on edge in hardpack). LINE does offer the Pandora in a narrower 84-millimeter option with a longer effective edge for groomers and hardpack, although hard chargers who like to ski at full tilt will likely want something a little stiffer. On the flip side, the Pandora 104 offers better all-mountain versatility and flotation for riders out West (at the sacrifice of some top-end stability). Regardless of which model you choose, the Pandora stands out for its fun and well-rounded performance in a lightweight package.
See the LINE Pandora 94

 

15. Armada Reliance 92 Ti ($700)

Armada Reliance 92 Ti women's all-mountain skisCategory: All-mountain
Ability level: Intermediate to advanced
Dimensions: 130-92-116mm
Other widths: 82, 102mm
What we like: Reliable edging on hardpack.
What we don’t: Too narrow to be a standout in powder.

A true Swiss Army Knife, Armada’s Reliance offers women a multi-tool for skiing everything from granular slush in the Northeast to dipping into the backside glades on a Pacific Northwest powder day. The Karuba wood core delivers good power transmission and dampness while keeping things light, and the all-mountain profile with rocker at the tip and camber underfoot offers a nice balance of soft-snow floatation and hardpack carving capabilities. Further, Armada beefed things up with a Titanal laminate and carbon in the base, boosting strength and stiffness for powering through chop and crud. The result: A highly reliable (see what we did there?) ski that performs well all over the mountain.

Armada’s Reliance collection is the women’s-specific counterpart to the popular unisex Declivity line. Like the Declivity 92 Ti, the Reliance 92 Ti is a good all-rounder but really stands out on firm snow. As such, it’s a top choice among skiers out East and riders who stay mostly on-piste out West. If you live in a particularly snowy area and spend a lot of time off trail, however, it may be worth bumping up to the Reliance 102 Ti, which offers a sizable boost in float and playfulness for big powder days.
See the Armada Reliance 92 Ti

 

16. J Skis The Allplay ($599)

J Skis The Allplay all-mountain skisCategory: All-mountain 
Ability level: Intermediate to advanced
Dimensions: 119-98-117mm
Other widths: None
What we like: A supremely fun and playful option at a great value.
What we don’t: Not the ski for high-speed groomer laps.

J Skis does things a little differently, with a small but thoughtful lineup of handmade skis with limited-edition graphics. Launched in 2013 by the founder of LINE skis, the Vermont-based brand offers nine core models at the time of publishing, all of which are sold directly through their website, allowing them to undercut the competition considerably in price. Our favorite in the all-mountain category is The Allplay, which is technically a unisex design but lives up to its name as a versatile and fun option whether you’re flicking it around on groomers or hitting features in the park. Importantly, the construction is top-notch with a high-quality maple core that’s strong and durable, while lightweight aspen at the tip and strategically placed carbon fiber give it added pop and liveliness. The result is a ski that carves, smears, and stomps quite well, making it a great companion in the trees, in the park, and even on moderate powder days.

All told, J Skis’ The Allplay is a premium ski at a great value and delivers a fun and powerful ride pretty much anywhere on the mountain. That said, the playful nature does come with some downsides. For one, it’s not an ideal choice for hard chargers or those that spend more time bombing groomers than hitting jumps (if this is your intended use, check out Völkl’s Secret 96 above). It also doesn’t hold an edge as well as our top picks, although intermediate riders that prefer slarving through turns likely won’t have too much of an issue. In the end, if you like to explore all over the mountain and put a premium on fun, The Allplay is well worth a look.
See the J Skis The Allplay

 

17. HEAD Kore 91 W ($749)

HEAD Kore 91 W women's all-mountain skisCategory: All-mountain front
Ability level: Intermediate to advanced
Dimensions: 127-89-110mm
Other widths: 85, 97, 103mm
What we like: Light and stable for skiers honing their off-piste skills.
What we don’t: Not as forgiving as expected for the weight.

For intermediate to advanced skiers still honing their off-piste skills, the HEAD Kore 91 is a great tool for testing your abilities in new-to-you terrain. This high-performance ski uses Karuba and poplar wood at the core for a light and energetic feel, while graphene in the tip and tail adds strength and stiffness while keeping weight to a minimum (the Kore collection is popular for crossover resort/backcountry use). Meanwhile, subtle rocker at the front and back, camber underfoot, and a short turn radius (13m for the 163cm length) promote a responsive and agile ride for navigating narrow couloirs, bumps, or tight trees. 

Although the HEAD Kore 91 W is among the lightest in its class with a nimble feel to match, our testers found it to be far less forgiving than expected. Specifically, the Kore requires the rider to be perfectly centered over the ski to maximize responsiveness and can feel a little squirrely if you get off-balance. Given the narrower dimensions, it also comes as no surprise that the Kore 91 isn’t our top choice for farming powder in the backside bowls—it’s best for skiers who want a stable companion that thrives in hard snow. If the back bowls beckon, HEAD does make a wider 97-millimeter variation, which offers a nice upgrade in float while still keeping things light and poppy.
See the HEAD Kore 91 W

 

Women’s All-Mountain Ski Comparison Table

Ski Price Category Ability Level Dimensions Radius
Nordica Santa Ana 98 $750 All-mountain Intermediate to expert 131-98-118mm 15.6m
Völkl Secret 96 $750 All-mountain Advanced to expert 135-96-119mm 24/14/20m
4FRNT MSP CC $729 All-mountain Intermediate to advanced 132-99-121mm 16m
Blizzard Black Pearl 88 $650 All-mountain front Intermediate to advanced 128-88-110mm 14m
Salomon QST Stella 106 $750 All-mountain back Intermediate to advanced 137-106-124mm 17m
Black Crows Atris Birdie $900 All-mountain back Intermediate to advanced 135-105-122mm 19m
Icelantic Riveter 95 $779 All-mountain Intermediate to advanced 130-95-117mm 15m
Elan Ripstick 94 W $650 All-mountain Intermediate to expert 136-94-110mm 15m
Kästle FX96 (W) $849 All-mountain Intermediate to advanced 133-96-119mm 14m
Faction Dictator 2.0X $679 All-mountain Advanced to expert 127-96-117mm 15m
Stöckli Nela 88 $1,099 All-mountain front Intermediate to advanced 127-88-113mm 15m
Coalition Snow Rebel $699 All-mountain front Intermediate to advanced 124-85-106mm 17m
Atomic Maven 93 C $650 All-mountain Intermediate to advanced 126-93.5-110mm 16.5m
LINE Pandora 94 $550 All-mountain Intermediate to advanced 131-94-117mm 14.5m
Armada Reliance 92 Ti $700 All-mountain Intermediate to advanced 130-92-116mm 16.5m
J Skis The Allplay $599 All-mountain Intermediate to advanced 119-98-117mm 20.1m
HEAD Kore 91 W $749 All-mountain front Intermediate to advanced 127-89-110mm 13m

 

Women’s All-Mountain Ski Buying Advice


What is an All-Mountain Ski?

By definition, all-mountain skis are designed to perform anywhere on the mountain—from the frontside groomers to the backside bowls, through the trees, mogul runs, and even in the terrain park. They should also be able to handle all the varieties of snow that a skier might encounter on a typical day at the mountain, from frozen hardpack to powder and everything in between. This isn’t a hard-and-fast category and has trended wider over the years but generally encompasses skis from 80 to 105 millimeters underfoot that are best for the front side of the mountain and skiing in bounds (at least most of the time). At the narrow end are focused, on-trail groomer skis and at the wide end are designs that can handle back bowls and deeper days.

Women's all-mountain skis (wide shot skiing Crested Butte)
All-mountain skis are versatile designs built to handle variable conditions and terrain

It’s equally important to understand the limitations of this ski type. Put simply, while all-mountain skis do most things well, they’re typically not specialists in any one area. Specifically, they’re not ideal for very deep powder (we have a separate article for dedicated powder skis) or ex-racers wanting a purpose-built carver. In addition, they're often heavy for uphill travel (for alpine touring options, see our article on the best backcountry skis), although this is changing as materials continue to advance. What they do offer is that all-in-one functionality: For anything from crusty hardpack to bluebird soft-snow days, there’s an all-mountain ski that fits the bill. Logically, it’s not as simple as just choosing any old all-mountain model and calling it good. The decision should involve local snow conditions, skiing style, and ability level. We cover these important considerations below.

Women's all-mountain skis (backcountry skis attached to pack)
Backcountry skis are lighter than all-mountain models for extended uphill travel

Women’s-Specific All-Mountain Skis

For many years, a women’s-specific ski essentially was the unisex or men’s version in a shorter length, softer flex, and different colorway. The technology is evolving, however, and a number of ski manufacturers now are taking into account more advanced design elements. For 2022, many women’s-specific models have moved the recommended mounting points slightly forward (this better accommodates how an average woman balances on skis compared to an average man), along with a lighter overall weight. Softer flexes still are common, but many brands are now making skis to accommodate hard-charging women, such as Blizzard's Black Pearl. Summed up, it’s no longer difficult to find skis designed and tested by women—Coalition Snow is a great example of a women-owned and -operated ski manufacturer with designs purpose-built for female riders.

Keep in mind that the primary version of a ski isn’t a “men’s” version but instead unisex in nature. Our list above comprises mostly women’s-specific models (with the exception of the unisex J Skis The Allplay), but your final choice should come down to personal preference and—most importantly—the quality and characteristics of each model. Some women use unisex skis, some favor women’s-specific models, and many serious skiers have a quiver that includes both. We recommend getting whichever ski fits and feels best. If you’re on the fence, our all-mountain ski round-up breaks down unisex models with links to the women’s-specific variations whenever available.

Women's all-montain skis (womens and unisex designs)
It's best to go with whichever ski feels best, regardless of labeling

All-Mountain Front vs. All-Mountain Back

Although the all-mountain category makes a valiant effort to cover a wide range of skiing styles and terrain, there are important differences between models. As such, we’ve found it helpful to refer to the skis with an on-piste focus as “all-mountain front” and soft snow-oriented skis as “all-mountain back.” Skis that perform reasonably well on both groomed runs and in powder are categorized simply as "all-mountain."

Women's all-mountian skis (skiing groomer)
Skis in our "all-mountain front" category are great for groomers and hardpack

In short, an all-mountain front ski is best for tackling groomed runs. It has a narrower width, semi-stiff to stiff construction, and ski profile (covered below) that's tuned for stability and good edge hold on hardpack. A couple of our favorite all-mountain front skis are the Blizzard Pearl 88, Stöckli Nela 88, and Coalition Snow Rebel. All-mountain back skis, on the other hand, tend to be wider, softer (at least in the front of the ski), and built to float in deep snow. These are just shy of a powder ski but more planted if you have to ski on-piste, with examples including the Salomon QST Stella 106 and Black Crows Atris Birdie (105mm underfoot). They aren’t as fun for carving and can be less stable at speed, but they remain a suitable option for skiers that spend about 50% or more of their time off trail. The middle range of the all-mountain category (between 90 and 100mm at the waist) balances traits from both categories, with enough stability for moving fast on groomers and flotation to stay on top in powder.

Women's all-mountain skis (hiking into sidecountry)
For frequent off-piste and sidecountry use, we recommend going with a wider all-mountain back ski

Ski Waist Width Explained

Waist width is a measurement taken from the center of the ski at its narrowest point and is a key element in narrowing your search. Within the all-mountain market, you’ll find options ranging from approximately 75 millimeters up to about 110 (our picks above range from 85 to 106mm underfoot), and everything from your skiing style to local terrain and snowfall will dictate your ideal range. It’s also worth noting that many popular lines of skis are made in varying widths. Nordica’s Santa Ana collection, for example, is available in 84, 88, 93, and 98-millimeter widths (plus wider 104 and 110mm Free variations), which cover nearly the full gamut of all-mountain styles.

Women's all-mountain skis (Nordica Santa Ana sizing closeup)
Nordica's Santa Ana 98 hits a sweet spot for all-mountain use

For width recommendations, skis on the lower end of the spectrum like Coalition Snow’s Rebel (85mm underfoot) are best suited for hardpack and firm snow conditions. They’re typically easy to control and grip well in the turns but are prone to getting bogged down in powder. Stepping into the 88- to 100-millimeter range is the core of the all-mountain market: These skis hit a nice balance of flotation for moderate snowfall (depending on the design, up to around 6 in. of powder) with reliable on-piste performance. Once you clear 100 millimeters at the waist, you get a borderline powder ski, which makes compromises in on-trail grip for excellent surfability and playfulness in the deep stuff. Below are some general recommendations based on terrain and region, and for a deeper look at topic, see our article on Choosing the Right Ski Waist Width.

All-Mountain Groomer Skis: 75mm to 90mm
All-Mountain East Coaster: 80mm to 95mm
Heart of the All-Mountain Range: 88mm to 100mm
All-Mountain Rocky Mountains/West Coaster: 90mm to 105mm
All-Mountain Powder Skis: 100-110mm


Ski Profile: Camber and Rocker

The profile of a ski can be broken into three main categories: camber, rocker, and mixed rocker/camber. There are others, including skis with a flat bottom shape, but the three listed below are the most popular—and for good reason. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses for skier and snow type, which we cover more below. For visual learners, snow sports retailer Evo has put together a helpful video explaining the various profile types.

Camber
Camber is the traditional groomer ski design and provides maximum contact and edge hold while carving down groomed slopes. Visually, it’s the part of the ski that is raised off the snow if the unweighted ski is laid flat on the ground (alternatively, if you hold two skis together vertically with their bases against each other, camber is where they arc away from each other). When a cambered ski becomes weighted during the middle of a turn, the ski’s edge grips the snow surface. As the skier exits the turn, camber helps the skier pop and propels them into the next turn.

Women's all-mountain skis (camber closeup)
Camber helps with maximizing edge hold while carving down groomers

Full camber used to dominate the all-mountain category, but now it’s become a bit of a rarity. This is largely due to the increased popularity of rocker and mixed camber/rocker designs, which are less susceptible to nose-diving in soft or choppy snow. However, traditional camber remains a great choice for those who like to ski aggressively on groomed runs (and don’t mind some performance compromises in deeper snow). 

Rocker
Rocker, also known as reverse camber, is when the tips of the skis are raised on either end, creating a sort of banana shape to the ski profile. This design originated for its benefits in deep powder but has come on strong in all-mountain setups of late. Our take is that a full rocker setup, rising at both the tip and the tail, is still best for those that like to spend more of their time off trail. The downside of a pure rocker ski is the flat surface underfoot has a tendency to be more skittish when carving on hardpack. Although it turns easily, it just doesn’t hold an edge like traditional camber. From this issue was born a third category: mixed rocker/camber.

Women's all-mountain skis (tip and tail rocker)
Rocker at the tip and tail is great for promoting float in deep snow

Mixed Camber/Rocker
Many modern all-mountain riders want a ski that can do it all, and mixed camber/rocker designs provide performance benefits from both types of profiles: the edge control of a traditional camber ski and the crud busting and easy cruising in deep powder that you get with rocker. There are variations in how manufacturers pull off this mix: Some go with a tip-only rocker while others go for tip and tail (the latter is great for those who spend some time riding switch, although most traditional all-mountain designs have minimal tail rocker). If you’re a skier that tries to cover all of the mountain, a mixed camber/rocker setup is a great pairing.


Turn Radius (Sidecut)

A ski’s turn radius (also referred to as “sidecut”) is measured in meters and determined by the shape and dimensions of its tip, waist, and tail. In short, the narrower a ski’s waist is relative to its tip and tail, the deeper its sidecut and smaller its turn radius. For example, skis that are built for carving small, tight turns will have an hourglass shape that’s wider at the tip and tail and much narrower at the waist. On the slopes, this translates to a quick and nimble feel—a plus in tight spaces or moguls—and a ski that wants to turn sharply on edge. For reference, HEAD's Kore 91 W has the shortest turn radius on our list at 13 meters and measures 127 millimeters at the tip, 89 millimeters underfoot, and 110 millimeters at the tail in the 163-centimeter length.

Women's all-mountain skis (turning on groomer)
Good carvers typically are narrower at the waist and wider at the tip and tail

On the other hand, a ski with a more uniform width across its tip, waist, and tail (like J Skis' The Allplay) will have a shallower sidecut and a longer turn radius. As the radius increases, the designs will feel more stable bombing a run at high speed or through wider, sweeping turns. All-mountain skis typically have a short to medium turn radius of around 13 to 19 meters, which is a clear reflection of their do-it-all intentions. 

All that said, it's important to note that sidecut doesn’t always perfectly reflect a ski’s personality. Other factors like rocker/camber and stiffness play a role, but the turn radius number is a valuable piece of the puzzle. Below we list how the various radii typically perform.

Carving: Less than 16 meters
All-around: 16-20 meters
Wide and sweeping turns: 20+ meters


Ability Level and Flex

A ski’s flex indicates how soft or rigid the ski is through its length and is a clear differentiator between beginner- and advanced-level models. Rigid designs typically have more metal in the construction for better stability at speed and offer the highest performance potential, although a beginner or less confident pilot will lack control and may find them difficult to turn. On the flip side, softer and more flexible skis are more playful and easier to turn, making them more approachable for beginner and intermediate riders (although advanced skiers will likely be left wanting more). Many of our favorite models land somewhere in the middle, balancing power for driving the skis with enough flex to be forgiving and maneuverable when moving at a slower clip.

Women's all-mountain skis (skiing with Volkl Secret)
Völkl's Secret has a fairly stiff and rigid design for great top-end stability

As we touched on briefly above, a ski’s stiffness is the result of its material mix, and key indicators include how much metal (if any) the manufacturer is using. Commonly, a stiff ski will have two layers of Titanal (a strong alloy) that runs the full length and width of the ski. While it adds weight, the metal increases stability, and expert-level models like the Faction Dictator 2.0X utilize this type of construction. On the other end of the spectrum is a softer ski like the J Skis The Allplay, which goes without metal completely. The focus is less on speed and more on a playful nature, which makes it a better match for off-piste exploring, milder speeds, and intermediate riders. And finally, skis that find the sweet spot of performance and flex are some of the most popular on the market, including designs like the Nordica Santa Ana 98 and Elan Ripstick 94 W.


Ski Weight 

Most women’s all-mountain skis check in at around 6 to 8 pounds per pair. This is perfectly reasonable for most resort riders, although those focused on getting air in the park or bootpacking into the sidecountry will likely want a lighter and more specialized design. For the rest of us, a ski’s shape, profile, and construction will be the more important factors to consider in choosing the right setup. For reference, the Stöckli Nela 88 (6 lbs. 2 oz. per pair) is the lightest option on our list above, while the heaviest is the Nordica Santa Ana 98 (8 lbs. 1.8 oz.).

Women's all-mountain skis (riding chairlift)
Ski weight isn't a major factor for most resort riders

Ski Construction: Materials, Cores, and Laminates 

Modern all-mountain skis are packed with high-end materials and proprietary technologies (often with fun-sounding but confusing names), which makes it nearly impossible to accurately analyze their constructions without putting them to the test. The good news is that the modern market is flush with quality options, and each year we see incremental improvements. Poplar and aspen are two lightweight and high-energy woods commonly used in the core to reduce weight while maximizing pop and responsiveness. Paulownia is another lightweight option that’s often slightly more durable, while denser woods like maple will boost power, stability and durability but add some heft. Outside the wood core, ski manufacturers also often use some metal or composite materials—including graphene, carbon, Titanal, or proprietary blends—to increase a ski’s strength and stiffness.

Women's all-mountain skis (Nordica Santa Ana 98 closeup)
Nordica's Santa Ana 98 uses a Titanal laminate and carbon reinforcements to boost power and stability

If you’re looking for a top-end ski, these types of materials are well worth having on your radar. But don’t limit yourself by setting too many parameters. It’s hard to pinpoint performance simply based on a ski’s construction, and there are a wide variety of ways to make a capable design. When researching your next ski purchase, pay attention to how the manufacturer describes overall performance, but remember to take big claims with a grain of salt. If possible, it’s always helpful to demo skis with varying materials and constructions (and even in varying lengths) to see how they feel under your feet.


Choosing the Right Ski Length 

Most ski manufacturers provide size guides on their product pages that take into account your height, weight, and ability level to help determine which length is right for you. This allows you to maximize the ski’s potential with proper amounts of flex and power transfer. Another consideration is skiing style: Shorter skis are easier to handle for beginners and turning faster, while longer skis float better and are more stable at high speed. Finally, it can be helpful to factor in your preferred type(s) of terrain. If you primarily stick to trees and moguls, you may opt for a shorter ski that will be easier to pivot. If you like big, open bowls and faces, a longer ski will help with making big, sweeping turns. In other words, sizing guides can be a good starting point, but choosing the right length for you will depend on several factors, including your personal preferences. We’ve found this sizing chart on Evo to be helpful as baseline information.

Women's all-mountain skis (ski length)
Along with height and weight, be sure to factor in your riding style and preferred terrain when deciding on length

Boots and Bindings 

When choosing skis, it’s important to realize how interconnected each component of your setup is. Your boots, bindings, and skis all need to be working in concert to maximize the performance potential of your gear, as well as your overall enjoyment on the slopes. For instance, if you have a stiff, performance-oriented boot, you’re going to waste its abilities with a soft and cumbersome entry-level ski and binding. Alternatively, if you have a beginner, flexible boot with an advanced ski and binding set, you won’t be able to transfer enough power to really carve your way down the slopes. To help ensure you end up with a proper match, our ski binding and women's ski boot articles break down the categories in a similar fashion as women’s all-mountain skis: tailoring picks to ski conditions and ability level.

Women's all-mountain skis (adjusting boots)
Skis are just one part of the equation, and your boots and bindings are equally important for maximizing performance

Ordering Skis Online

It goes without saying that purchasing a pair of skis is a significant investment and one that requires a good deal of research. Ideally, you’ll have a chance to get your hands on the skis (and hopefully even demo them) before taking the plunge, but that isn’t a reality for everyone. The good news is that ordering online is a pretty seamless process these days, with most major retailers offering free and surprisingly fast shipping.

Once you get your skis, you’ll need to get your bindings mounted. Just about any ski shop will do the work for you, with the average cost ranging from about $40 to $70. Many of REI’s 177 stores also have a ski shop with good discounts on mounting services. Prices vary by store, but the current rate at the flagship store in Seattle is $60 for an alpine mounting. Importantly, members get 20% off shop services, and you’ll also receive a discount if you purchase the skis, boots, or bindings from REI. Evo and Backcountry also offer mounting services at their stores, although they’re few and far between compared to REI (you can see a list of Backcountry’s retail locations here and Evo’s stores here).
Back to Our Top Women's All-Mountain Ski Picks  Back to Our Women's Ski Comparison Table

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