Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Frontside Skis

The Best Women’s Frontside Skis of 2022: Armada Reliance 88 C

Meet one of the most playful, user-friendly frontside skis in all the land.

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

All Access
45% Cyber Week Sale
only $4.54/month*

  • A $500 value with everything in the Print + Digital Plan plus 25+ benefits including:
  • Member-only content on all 17 publications in the Outside network like Outside, Climbing, Backpacker, Trail Runner and more
  • Video: Learn to Bump with Plake and Backcountry Basics with Mike Hattrup
  • Access to the SKI Gear Concierge service
  • Access to the Warren Miller film library and first access to annual film tour
  • Gaia GPS Premium with hundreds of maps and global trail recommendations, a $39.99 value
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
Join Outside+
Ski Mag

Print + Digital
Special Price
$2/month*

  • Annual subscription to SKI magazine
  • Access to all member-exclusive content and gear reviews on SKImag.com
  • Ad-free access to SKImag.com
Join SKI

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Brand: Armada

Model: Reliance 88 C

Overall Ranking: #10

Overall Score: 3.55 / 5



Specs

Tip / Waist / Tail (mm)

130-88-111

Lengths (cm)

152, 160, 168, 176

Radius (m)

16.7 (168cm length)

Waist Width (mm)

88

Gender

Women's

Level

Intermediate, Advanced

Rocker Technology

Yes

Core Material

Caruba, Carbon Stringers

Stability at Speed

3.67 / 5

Quickness / Maneuverability

3.54 / 5

Playfulness

3.88 / 5

Forgiveness

3.67 / 5

Hard Snow Performance

3.54 / 5

Crud Performance

3.46 / 5

Balance of Skills

3.75 / 5

Flotation

2.79 / 5

2022 ARMADA RELIANCE 88 C

The new Armada Reliance line really impressed our testers on the slopes of Solitude and earned rave reviews for blending high performance with fun and playfulness. The new Armada Reliance 88 C, one of the two models in the line that doesn’t feature Titanal, isn’t as chargy as her sisters, but she sure is friendly.

Featuring a caruba core reinforced with woven carbon stringers, the Armada Reliance 88 C was designated to be a lightweight, playful frontside tool. While testers did award it higher scores in the Playfulness department, they found that what the lightweight construction really does is make this ski super user-friendly and approachable.

“Most ladies will find this ski to be an enjoyable way to play on groomers and little side shots, even if they’re only half paying attention,” notes tester Erika Northrop.

The one downside of the lightweight construction is that the Armada Reliance 88 C doesn’t perform as dependably on edge or at speed as the frontside skis with beefier core materials. “It was a little hard to roll them up on edge and get them to engage at the start of the turn. And then I couldn’t get them to bend to snap off a tight arc,” comments tester Forreste Peterson.

A handful of the other testers also commented on the lack of responsiveness or rebound at the end of each turn, which can probably be attributed to the carbon in the ski’s core—carbon just isn’t as snappy as Titanal and other metals.

On that topic: What ski designers mean by “metal” and why it matters

But what the Armada Reliance 88 C lacks in quickness and responsiveness it makes up for in versatility. Testers commented that this ski will follow your every lead, on or off the groomed, and please intermediates to experts alike—especially those looking for a ski they can set and forget.

“It’s like a nice glass of merlot,” sums up tester Tracy Gibbons. “It’s smooth, predictable, and relaxing. It has just enough energy to make you smile and is just a very well-rounded ski.”

  • Strengths: Versatility (9th in category), Playfulness (8th)
  • Weaknesses: Quickness (11th), Stability at Speed (11th)

Learn More

These are the best women’s frontside skis of the year
Learn more about Armada and its best products
Frontside vs. narrow all-mountain skis—what’s the difference?