Atomic Vantage 85 W (2017)
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Rating: / 5
Waist Width: 85
Lengths: 149, 157, 165
With its moderately narrow waist and soft flex, the Atomic Vantage 85 W, which returns unchanged for 2017, is the lightest and most forgiving model in the Vantage line. The absence of both metal and carbon reinforcement found in the top two models keeps the price down and makes it friendly and appropriate for lesser-skilled skiers and a lower-speed attack.
The three-model Vantage series of women’s all-mountain skis returns unchanged for 2017. Where Atomic’s Backland models offer wide waists (102 and 109 mm) for deep snow and the new Vantage X models offer narrow waists (80, 77, and 74 mm) for on-trail performance, the Vantage skis split the difference in the name of all-terrain/all-conditions versatility. They’re built to meet the day-to-day needs of a resort skier with appropriate mixes of soft-snow and hardpack performance. All are sold flat (no binding). There are three key technologies: The top two models (90 CTi and 95 C) contain a layer of Atomic’s Carbon Tank Mesh, a wall-to-wall grid of carbon fibers that adds strength while reducing weight; extra-thick Firewall sidewalls add mass over the edge, dampening vibrations and transmitting more skier energy for powerful edge grip and smooth tracking; a slight-twin tail releases easily for an easy-pivoting feel and quick speed checks. All Vantage skis feature Atomic’s All-Mountain Rocker, which combines loose, floaty rocker in the tip and tail with edgier camber underfoot (about 75 percent of the ski’s length). All are built around full wood cores. The top women’s model-90 CTi W-is reinforced with metal; not full sheets, but Atomic’s Backbone technology, a sheet of metal that extends wall-to-wall underfoot, where its needed for edge grip and power, but tapers toward tip and tail, to keep things light and manageable.
Atomic, founded in 1955, is based in Altenmarkt im Pongau, Austria (near Salzburg), where the majority of its skis are made. Along with sister brands Salomon and ArcTeryx, it is a division of Amer Sports of Finland, which acquired it in 1994. Its U.S. headquarters are in Ogden, Utah. -J.C.