To quote the adage, “variety is the spice of life” 

If you struggle to pin yourself down to any single ski profile, then chances are you are an All-Mountain spectrum. There are no prizes for guessing the definition of an all mountain skier, the whole mountain is the all mountain skier’s playground. 

A good all-mountain setup will allow you to carve from edge to edge on crisp early morning corduroy and plough through everything from powder and crud to slush and bumps all afternoon. Technology in recent years has come on leaps and bounds, meaning that a true do-it-all equipage is now a real possibility. Enjoy the whole mountain in all conditions with an all-mountain setup.

Continuing our perfect setup series in collaboration with Snow+Rock we help you navigate the gear minefield to find your perfect all-mountain setup. 

Skis

Ski Tests 2017/18 Men's All Mountain Skis

 

All-mountain skis are the 4x4s of the ski world, designed to go anywhere and do anything – from piste to powder, even sometimes in the park.  They generally feature a mid-fat waist of around 80-110mm and tend to be at the longer end of the scale for maximum stability over rough terrain. 

If you’re only going to own one set of skis, make them an all-mountain ski. 

One of the standout men’s skis during our ski tests at the end of last season was the Dynastar Legend X88

Dynastar are a company steeped in alpine tradition and the refreshed Legend range is a melting pot of the best technologies from across their recent ranges. As you would expect with the brand’s heritage, the Legend X88 is a force to be reckoned with on the piste eating up carving turns with ease, but these planks aren’t a slouch in the soft stuff either. The 88mm width underfoot and tip and tail rocker mean that these rockets float and slash through softer snow with ease.

Our female testers really enjoyed the much-improved Rossignol Temptation 84 women’s specific ski. Another brand with a rich heritage, Rossignol have created a ski that is powerful, whilst still being playful all over the mountain. Like the Dynastar, the Temptation 88 benefits from a wide, rockered tip and tail, lifting the rider in softer snow whilst a stiff underfoot section provides excellent edge grip in firmer snow.

Ski Tests 2017/18 Women's All Mountain Skis

 

Want to find out about more skis? Discover more skis from all categories with our ski tests.

Boots

Unlike touring boots which unclip at the heel to help you walk, there are no specific features that identify a suitable all-mountain ski boot. With the help of a boot fitter, choose a pair that comfortably accommodates your foot shape and bear in mind that if you’re heading off-piste, stiffer boots are going to be uncomfortable, so it’s advisable to go with a lower flex rating than what you might usually wear.

The Salomon X Pro range is an excellent choice for all mountain skiers. A slightly roomier fit than the Annecy based manufacturer’s race line, the X-Pro series accommodates a range of foot shapes as well as ski styles. Available in a range of flexes in male and female specific models, the X-Pro is the perfect match for any level and style of skier, a true jack of all trades. The custom shell and liner make this boot your own, couple this with a custom insole at your local Snow+Rock store and you have a 360° fit. 

View the entire range of Salomon boots online or in-store at Snow+Rock.

Poles

Carbon poles are preferred to aluminium poles by most all-mountain skiers for their superior flex, giving you maximum push-off-power through deeper snow. Go for a large basket – or, even better, choose poles that allow you to easily change the basket. That way you’re covered for both piste and powder. 

Leki have a fantastic range of poles to suit all styles of all mountain skier. From the more lightweight and aerodynamic poles to the burlier and stronger offerings the manufacturer’s carbon poles are industry leading, and their aluminium offerings aren’t too bad either. Interchangeable baskets coupled with Leki’s parented Trigger Speed grip tick all the feature boxes and place the poles at the top of the wish list.

View the range of Leki poles online at Snow+Rock.

Bindings

To choose a ski binding you first need to know the waist width of your skis. This will determine what size brakes you need. As a minimum, you’re looking for brakes which are the same width as your skis, but they should be no more than 15mm wider or else they could get in the way.

You’ll also need to know your DIN setting, which will vary depending on your skiing ability, weight, height, and boot sole length.

din settings

The DIN setting is the industry-standard measure of release force setting. The higher the DIN setting, the harder it is for the skis to come off. For all-mountain skiing it’s especially important to get your DIN setting right. Too low and your skis could come off through deeper snow; too high and you risk doing yourself an injury if they get caught.
There are various charts and tools online to help you determine your DIN setting, but for the best results, we recommend visiting your local Snow+Rock store and talking to a member of staff. 

Your chosen set of all mountain sticks can also dictate your binding choice. Many all mountain skis will come with system mount bindings, like the Rossignol Temptation 88 mentioned above. System mount bindings are designed to work specifically with the ski they adorn and so are difficult to change. This isn’t a bad thing as the fitted binding is picked for that specific ski and the whole package is often cheaper than the sum of its parts. 

If you have your pick of bindings, then there is a huge range you can choose from. The current flock of alpine bindings all generally perform fantastically, and as with the all mountain skis and bindings some will suit different types of skier better than others. 

We would recommend something like the Salomon Warden MNC Binding. These bindings deliver precise performance all over the hill and have a wide DIN range to accommodate a huge range of skier weights, sole lengths, and styles.