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2024 Gear Guide

Testing skis at Colorado’s Snow Mountain Ranch [Photo] Thomas Doerr

There’s good news on the gear front: After the supply-chain challenges of the pandemic, manufacturers are back to business as usual. That means no more mid-season deliveries and inventory shortages; you should be able to find new equipment as soon as you want it. It also helps that Fischer’s factory in Ukraine, devastated by a fire in fall 2020, has been fully up and running for more than a year. The modernized facility produces its own skis as well as some for other brands, and now more efficiently, to boot. 

More good news: Peltonen, the 78-year-old Finnish company, once again brings its line to the U.S. after a long hiatus. 

In the gear that we cover here (some 50 items in all), trends include a continual evolution toward lighter skis and boots that don’t skimp on performance, manufacturers playing with different sidecuts in skate skis, more options for comfort-oriented boots and the refinement of moveable bindings. Entry-level skiers, or those learning a new skill like skating, will also find plenty to like this season, as technology from high-end race products trickles down into more value-oriented lines.  

On the testing side, the biggest news is that this year, we returned to the tried-and-true format of holding our test in one location over a couple of days: Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, Colorado (read more about this fabulous Nordic center on p. 70). Our pandemic-induced remote testing format yielded useful results, given that it allowed testers to experience more varied conditions. But, frankly, it was not only lonely but logistically soul sucking. 

Testers rate gear according to different criteria and give feedback through comments, too. [Photo] Thomas Doerr

So last March, the testers came to us. And we still got varied conditions, ranging from cold and sunny with a dollop of new, softer snow to overcast and firm. Plus, Snow Mountain Ranch’s huge trail system provided diverse terrain.

Our test team brought an impressive variety of knowledge and skill to the task, and ranged from collegiate racers and strong recreational enthusiasts to shop employees and long-time instructors and coaches (for more about them, see p. 71). For two solid days, they diligently cycled through all the gear we provided: brand-new or substantially revised items, plus a few introduced last year that we couldn’t previously test. Read on for the results. —The Editors

Reviews by category

  • Skate Skis | 2024 Gear Guide
  • Classic Skis | 2024 Gear Guide
  • Touring Skis| 2024 Gear Guide
  • What’s New in Bindings | 2024 Gear Guide
  • Poles | 2024 Gear Guide
  • Classic Boots | 2024 Gear Guide
  • Skate Boots | 2024 Gear Guide


Last spring, 24 testers, mostly from Colorado, with a few Vermonters added in for good measure, spent two days trying out skis, boots, poles and bindings. They formed first, then second impressions; discussed their thoughts with other testers; and shared their critiques with us, all in exchange for getting a coveted sneak peek at this winter’s new gear. “It was a gearhead’s delight to talk experiences over with other skiers who demoed the same items,” commented one tester. Our team included coaches, instructors, collegiate racers (past and present), ski shop employees and avid recreational skiers. Special appreciation goes to Mary Ann Degginger and Parker Anderson at Snow Mountain Ranch for invaluable assistance with logistics; to Diana Lynn Rau of Grand Nordic Ski Club for helping to wrangle a great group of skiers; and to Dixie the dog for smiles and tail wags. And to all our testers, we’re hugely thankful for your expertise and dedication.

Cheryl Allen, 76
Granby, Colorado

Justin Arndt, 20
Fort Collins, Colorado

Colleen Finoff, 56
Tabernash, Colorado

Adam Howard, 49
Cambridge, Vermont

Karen Manske, 67
Fraser, Colorado

Sam Nelson, 27
Louisville, Colorado

Diana Lynn Rau, 75
Tabernash, Colorado

Christina Russell, 58
Winter Park, Colorado

Marie-Ange Anderson, 57
Fraser, Colorado

Charlie Cobb, 25
Westford, Vermont

Greg Finoff, 56
Tabernash, Colorado

Dan Jamison, 63
Tabernash, Colorado

Bruce Manske, 67
Fraser, Colorado

Wylie Picotte, 27
Jeffersonville, Vermont

Sophia Risvold, 24
Granby, Colorado

Jeff Russell, 64
Winter Park, Colorado

Parker Anderson, 29
Granby, Colorado

John Elliott, 71
Lakewood, Colorado

Macey Fredericks, 19
Granby, Colorado

Stephen Lee, 74
Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado

Gary McGraw, 78
Fraser, Colorado

Charlie Rau, 70
Tabernash, Colorado

Bill Ross, 66
Granby, Colorado

John Smith, 67
Winter Park, Colorado