2019-2020 Ski Mountaineering + Ski Touring Equipment Advice

The ski season is now approaching, so it’s time for a look at the best new ski touring and backcountry ski kit for 2019-2020.  Please note that the advice we give here is relevant to ski touring conditions typically found in the Europe and it’s mainly aimed at British ski tourers; ie who generally ski on holiday rather than every weekend – so if you are reading this in North America for instance, then the skis and kit that may be best for your own local conditions could be very different.  As always, major thanks to Phil and Tom over at Backcountry UK for help and information on the latest kit developments.

Trends for 2019/20

The big backcountry brands continue to expand their lightweight freeride and ski touring offerings this winter, with Marker for instance producing a new lighter version of the Kingpin binding and Fritschi a new light weight touring binding.

Boots are another major area of development, with several lightweight freeride touring boots being launched – models such as the new Dynafit Hoji Free, Dalbello Lupo Air and Technica Zero G Tour all weigh in at just 3kg or less and offer very high levels of downhill performance.

The other big consolidation in freeride boots is the gripwalk standard for sole units, which is now being adopted by most of the major boot manufacturers for their off piste/freeride boots, and in some cases for all of their alpine boots as well going forwards.

Lighter all mountain resort skis also continue to be a major area of development, with several really good full strength on/off piste skis now available, that weight little over 3Kg – making them an excellent option for one ski to do-it-all setups.

All this weight saving has lead to a few casualties in the lightweight ski department however, with some notable ski models being discontinued, or no longer stocked due to too many breakages – ie it’s a difficult balancing act!

BACKCOUNTRY SKI RECOMMENDATIONS 2019/20

We concentrate here solely on skis that are destined to be pushed uphill for some amount of time, as well as being skied down on.  As always with ski touring and backcountry skis, you have to make a series of compromises between ski weight and performance in different types of snow conditions etc.  The good news however, is that skis are getting both lighter and better to ski on each season, with an ever expanding range of excellent lightweight skis from all the major manufacturers.

*NB Verified Ski Weights – ski weights marked here with an asterisk are real world ski weights, verified on the Alpine Guides Scales of Truth(!), for the length of ski indicated.  Where direct verification has not been possible, we have stated the manufacturers’ claimed weights.

Lightweight Touring Skis

Here, we concentrate on wider (a term very much open to interpretation!) lightweight skis that are suitable for all round touring in Europe – ie 85-95mm underfoot.  On spring snow or icy terrain you are better off skiing at the narrower end of the range, whereas in soft snow you’ll get more float on the wider ones.  As always, your weight, ski ability and ski style come into play – so think about what terrain and snow types you need the ski to perform best on (I said ‘need’, rather than ‘want’!) in order to narrow things down a bit.

Starting in the mid 80-90mm range, with my own lightweight favourite – the Volkl VTA 88 Lite Ski (2.3kg* at 180cm, 127-88-106) is best for good standard skiers and performs brilliantly in a wide range of conditions, making it ideal for long, multi day tours and ski mountaineering trips like the Haute Route Ski Tour.

In a similar vein, the Atomic Backland 85UL (2Kg , 117-85-105, 17m radius) is another great ‘big days of vertical’ option (it’s also available with pre-cut skins), that offers excellent performance as a ‘second ski’ setup for long day tours and dedicated touring weeks.

The now classic Salomon MTN Explore 88 Ski (2.6kg* at 177cm, 125-88-111, 18m radius) continues to be a popular, easy turning, lightweight touring ski that’s suitable for a wide variety of conditions, including some skiing around resort.  This is a good choice if you are still developing your off piste skills and are looking at coming on a chamonix ski touring course, or a first multi day tour such as the Silvretta ski tour.  It’s also available in a womens’ version at shorter lengths too.

Finally, the Dynastar Mythic 87 Pro Ski (2.5Kg, 127-87-103, 15m radius) has modern shorter radius resort ski dimensions, making it very easy to turn and fun to ski, whilst still being very light for longer tours.

In terms of dedicated womens’ touring skis, in addition to the Salomon MTN 88 W womens’ model, the Scott Superguide 88 Ws Ski (2.2kg* at 154cm, 121-87-110, 16m radius) and Atomic Backland WMN 85 Ski (117-85-115, 2.0kg, 16m radius) are both womens’ specific versions of the equivalent men’s models – they are incredibly light on the ascents and offer good performance on the descents, making them excellent dedicated touring skis.

Volkl VTA 88 Lite, Salomon MTN 88, Dynastar Mythic 87 Pro, Salomon MTN 88 W

Moving up to the 90-100mm width range – the following lightweight touring skis offer more float in softer conditions (or for bigger skiers!), but still keep the weight down:

The new, lightened up Black Crows Camox Freebird (2.75kg at 177cm, 133-96-114) launched last winter has proved to be excellent, offering a very versatile lightweight powder touring ski and a good allrounder – these are an great choice for a wide range of skiers.  If in doubt, its best to size up, due to the long tip rocker.

Zag Ubac 95 Ski (2.7kg, 129-95-116, 18.5m radius).  Winner of many awards and very popular in France, the Ubac 95 offers durability with excellent all round performance in a wide range of conditions and they’re now available in the Uk!

Salomon MTN 95 Ski (3.1Kg, 130-95-116, 18m radius) big brother of the MTN 88 and equally well regarded, this ski is more focused at stronger skiers than the 88 and delivers brilliant performance in the right hands.

Black Diamond Helio 95 Ski (2.5kg, 123-95-113, 19m) Featuring a large tip rocker, the Helio 95 is great in soft snow, but can still hold a reliable edge in icier conditions.

Dynastar Mythic 97 Pro Ski (2.8kg, 133-97-113) New version of the classic, award winning Mythic – beefed up last season and tweaked again this year, the Mythic 97’s are very playful and easy to ski in all conditions.

Black Crows Camox Freebird, Zag Ubac 95, BD Helio 95, Salomon MTN 95

Resort and Touring Skis – Allrounders

A minefield this one! Here we aim to flag up a few of the best ‘light all mountain skis’ or ‘robust touring skis’ around that deliver good on and off piste performance, without being too heavy for touring – ie for Brits wanting one ski for everything.  The great news is that there are now numerous excellent skis in this category for both men and women, so plenty of choice – here are our recommendations:

Elan Ripstick 88 Ski (3.2kg, 130-88-105, 17m radius), Elan Ripstick 96 Ski (3.3kg, 134-96-113, 16m radius) and Elan Ripstick 88 W Ski (2.9kg, 130-88-105, 15m radius) We’ve been super impressed with Elan’s Ripsticks, which have different camber and rocker profiles on their inside and outside edge to improve performance. This makes the skis Left-Right specific, but results in brilliant performance both in resort and out and they are great value too – add that to very respectable weights and you have superb all rounders for resort and touring use.

Scott Slight 93 Ski (3.1kg, 136-93-124, 16m radius), Scott Slight 100 Ski (3.4kg, 139-100-129, 18m radius) and Scott Slight 93 Women’s Ski (2.9kg, 136-93-124, 13m radius).  Three more fantastic on and off piste resort skis from Scott, that are also very light, making them a good choice for crossover resort and touring use – the modern day Missions! These are ideal skis for a mix of off piste and ski touring in the Alps and Norway etc – eg trips like our Senja Island ski touring week and our Haute Maurienne off piste skiing holidays.

Black Crows Orb Freebird Ski – (2.93kg* at 178cm, 125-90-112, 15m radius) The new version of this award winning ski is a very different beast from the original – the tip rocker, shorter radius and softer flex making it far easier to ski for a wide range of skiers and therefore a very good allrounder.

Dynastar Legend X 96 Ski – (3.6kg* at 178cm, 132-96-112, 15m radius) building on the success of the Cham 97, this is Dynastars’ latest all round all mountain ski – with a huge rocker tip, flat tail and Paulownia wood core making it perform brilliantly. The women’s version is equally good and is called the Dynastar Legend W 96 Ski.

Head Kore 93 Ski (3.2kg, 133-93-115, 16.4m radius) and Head Kore 99 Ski (3.6kg, 14-99-120, 17m radius) Our final pair of great skiing, full strength resort skis that are also extremely light (unbelievably light for Head skis!)  Two very versatile choices for a mix of resort skiing holidays and an annual touring trip, these are a good option faster skiers who like to charge and heavier skiers looking for a strong and stable platform.

Elan Ripstick 96, Scott Slight 93, Scott Slight 93 W, Head Kore 99

Lightweight, Wide-Bodied Touring Skis

The following are a selection of lightweight, wide bodied touring skis designed for human powered soft snow adventures – eg powder touring, steeps etc.

NB Please note that all of the skis listed in the two categories above are also wide enough to enjoy a great days powder skiing whilst out ski touring in Europe (10 years ago, 90mm underfoot was considered a super specialist powder ski) – ie you don’t need superwide 100mm+ skis all of the time in typical European snow conditions, but you may want to have a pair of wider skis, in order to have as much fun as possible on fresh snow days.

With that in mind then, here are a few of the best lightweight wide bodied touring skis on the market this season – in order to convince yourself that you really do need a pair!

Zag Ubac 102 Ski (3.1kg, 136-102-119, 21.5m radius) The brilliant, wider bodied Ubac 102 makes an ideal powder touring tool – being both light on the ascents and great fun on the descents.

Atomic Backland 107 Ski (3.3kg at 182cm, 137-107-124, 18.5m radius)  Very light, dedicated powder touring ski with an excellent rocker-camber-rocker profile, gives the Backland 107 great soft snow performance.

Black Diamond Helio 105 Ski (2.9kg* at 175, 132-105-119, 20m radius) A reassuringly expensive, premium lightweight soft snow ski – all that carbon is worth the money though; great in powder, easy to ski in other snow types and a joy to push uphill.

Black Crows Navis Freebird Ski (3.25Kg* at 179cm, 133-102-118, 19m radius) The green backcountry machines – more width and rocker than the Camox Freebird, these skis have a strong following amongst high mountain steeps aficionados.

Black Crows Corvus Freebird Ski (3.45kg* at 175cn, 139-109-122) – yes they are bright pink, yes they are 109mm wide and yes they are awesome! – a top backcountry soft snow ski.

Black Crows Ferox Freebird Ski (3.6kg, 136-110-126, 21m radius) Black Crows latest new wide freeride/freestyle ski replaces the Anima, with a firmer base underfoot and slightly stiffer tail to improve allround versatility.

Zag Ubac 102, Atomic Backland 107, BD Helio 105, Black Crows Ferox

Lightweight Freeride Skis

Our final category of backcountry skis – below are a couple of lightened up freeride skis that are durable enough for daily resort use, but also fine to push uphill for an hour or two – ie ideal skis for searching out new lines and powder, whilst lift assisted backcountry skiing and day touring.

Elan Ripstick 106 Ski (3.5kg, 140-106-122, 20m radius) The award winning Riptick 106 is a superb freeride ski that’s still very light and an acceptable weight for touring on.

Black Crows Atris Ski – (3.9kg* at 178cm, 137-107-127, 18m radius) They’re not super light, but we love ‘em – the Atris is our favourite wide bodied charging ski for blasting around resorts and further afield.  The womens’ version is called the Black Crows Atris Birdie.

SKI TOURING BINDINGS 2019/20

The development of pin bindings and  backcountry freeride bindings continues at a pace, with the launch of several exciting new models this year.

First up, Marker have developed a new, lighter version of their well known Kingpin binding: the Marker Kingpin M-Werks Binding combines the lightweight toepiece off their Alpinist binding launched last year, with an updated version of the Kingpin heel unit. The result is a 300g weight saving over the original Kingpin, whilst maintaining the same features and performance, plus a few upgrades.

Weighing in at 1240g a pair, the Kingpin M-Werks is now a strong competitor to the Frischi Vipec/Tecton and Dynafit Rotation models, for skiers wanting a fully featured lightweight freeride/touring pin binding with enhanced safety release.

Marker Kingpin M-Werks Binding

Last years new Salomon/Atomic Shift Freeride Binding with it’s innovative hybrid design has now had a season on the snow and it’s proven to be popular, with a good and reliable design. The binding is ‘multi norm compatible’, so it fits a wide range of boots and at 1.7kg, it’s considerably lighter than other freeride bindings that offer the convenience and ski characteristics of an alpine downhill binding on the descent.

A few supposedly compatible boot models in fact aren’t however (usually in just a few sizes), so i’d advise buying these bindings from a bricks and mortar shop that can check compatibility and set them up correctly for you. With the above caveat, if you are in the market for a lightweight freeride binding that you could use for resort skiing in alpine boots one week and a La Grave off piste ski holiday the next, then this could be a great option – they are also light enough for occasional ski touring holidays too.  NB You will also find this binding badged up as the Atomic Shift – it’s the same binding!

Likewise, Fritschi’s Tecton and Vipec pin bindings continue the same as last season. We did encounter some boot compatibility problems with last winters’ 18-19 toe piece however; so again, you need to buy these from a shop that really know about Fritschi bindings to ensure correct setup and compatibility with your boots.

Over time, we’ve found that the lateral release sliding plate on Vipecs (and by implication Tectons, as it’s the same) does need re greasing in order to maintain good performance, so we’d suggest that if you own a pair, then get them checked out and serviced at a Fritschi dealer before the start of the season.  It’s a pretty easy job that you can do yourself at home, but you need the right grease and someone who knows what they are doing in order to show you how to do it. Likewise, we’ve noticed that boot wear can sometimes affect setup and function, so make sure the binding is checked with your own boots.

On the superlight pin binding front, Fritschi have also produced a new very light pin binding this season:

The Fritschi Xenic ski touring binding, weighs just 650g a pair with brakes. In a new departure for Fritschi, this model has lateral release at the heel like most other pin bindings, rather than at the toe like their other binding models. The toepiece features a new, innovative design and we expect further feedback as more pairs hit the snow this winter.

We’ve been testing the Marker Alpinist binding (0.67kg with brakes) which launched last year and have found it to be excellent (read our full marker alpinist ski touring binding review). In summary: they’re light, easy to use, well priced and have a lot more advanced features than similar bindings in this weight class. NB For most skiers, I’d recommend the ‘Marker Alpinist 9’ version (ie not the 12), as it has a more usable heel release value out of the box!

The new ATK RT 10 binding (0.52kg with brakes) is another attractive looking option from the Italian masters of lightweight racing kit. With several new patented features, this is the lightest binding available with fully adjustable vertical and lateral release settings and brakes. If you want to save 100 Euros, the ATK Crest 10 binding (0.56kg with brakes) is a more affordable version of the above – having most of the same features at the RT 10 and weighing just 40g more. We’re hoping to get out on a set of ATKs this winter, to check them out in detail.

ATK RT 10 Binding

Dynafit TLT Superlight 2.0 (0.52Kg incl brakes) is still the lightweight pin binding against which others are compared.  It’s more expensive and not as easy to use as the Alpinist, but if weight saving is your absolute priority, then these are a good choice – I’ve skied on them a lot for all kinds of touring and they’ve proved to be very reliable.

The Dynafit Rotation ST (1.25kg) is Dynafit’s classic, all round touring binding; with an improved rotating toe unit, these are TUV safety certified and also available in lower din versions. NB I can confirm that these bindings still release very smoothly at lower din settings (both my kids ski on them!) – so if you are looking for a pin binding with good low din release safety, then this is probably your best choice.

BOOTS

Freeride Boots – the market for these ‘downhill boots with a rubber sole and a good walk mode’ continues to expand, with numerous excellent models now available from all the major manufacturers. This season, the gripwalk sole unit standard has now become established as the industry norm, which should make boot-binding compatibility much easier going forward.

For the past few seasons the Scarpa Freedom SL been the most popular boot in this sector, but unfortunately it’s now discontinued – however, the new Head Kore 1 is an obvious successor, with a very good fit and performance, combined with low weight.  Another great boot to look at if you’ve got higher volume feet, is the Dalbello Lupo AX 120.  For a mid market offering, the Technica Cochise 130 is well regarded and for lower volume feet, take a look at the Lange XT 130 L.V. Freetour.  Good womens’ freeride boots to look at include the Lange XT 110 L.V. Freetour W, Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 115 W and Dalbello Lupo AX 105 W models.

Performance Touring Boots – we’ll concentrate here on supportive 3-4 buckle boots, which are most appropriate for the majority of British Ski Tourers – at the performance end of the spectrum, the line between freeride boots and touring boots is becoming more blurred, with a number of high end, lightweight freeride-touring boots now entering the market – we’ve put these boots in the category below, for the time being!

Dalbello Lupo Air 130 (2.6kg) – new out this year, the Lupa Air is a very interesting development from freeride brand Dalbello; being a lightweight performance touring boot with strong freeride genetics. It has a medium volume fit and I’ll be trying a pair this winter – so stay tuned!

Dalbello Lupo Air 130

Dynafit Hoji Free (2.9kg) – Dynafit’s new follow up model to their much vaunted Hoji Pro Tour boot launched last season. This new version features a proper toe lug, making it compatible with a wider range of bindings (and crampons!), as well as being a touch stiffer and having a slightly narrower 101mm last. The Hoji Lock System is super easy to use – genuinely, just 1 lever movement for up/down transitions; like a race boot for convenience and a freeride boot for performance. 

Amongst well established models, the most popular low-to-mid volume boot in this sector is the Scarpa Maestrale 2, which has been tweaked to a slightly softer flex and a plusher lining this season. It’s stiffer sibling the Maestrale RS 2.0 remains unchanged, but Scarpa have launched an even stiffer model this season, the Maestrale XT, which promises Freeride performance on a touring boot sole unit.

Scarpa Maestrale XT

For a slightly wider fit, the Scott Cosmos III is the same shape as previous versions, with a few small tweaks to improve reliability.  The Scott Super Guide Carbon is a stiffer version of the Cosmos, designed for wider skis and more aggressive skiers and contains a healthy amount of carbon black magic, making it lighter but more expensive.

The Technica Zero G Tour Scout is a lightweight version of Tecnica’s popular Cochise freeride boot the Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD120 gets a new, even stiffer version this year; the Atomic Haw Ultra XTD130.  

In womens’ touring boots the Scarpa Gea 2.0  and Gea RS 2.0 (womens’ versions of the Maestrale) are great low/mid volume boots, the new Dalbello Lupo Air 110 is incredibly light with a mid volume fit, the Scott Celeste III (womens’ version of the Cosmos) offers more volume and the Dynafit Beast W is a good higher volume women’s ski mountaineering boot if you’ve got wider feet.

Lightweight Ski Mountaineering Boots – race derived lightweight touring boots have been developed for keen tourers wanting to save as much weight as possible.  In general you only get 2 buckles instead of 4,  but if you are a good skier then they can perform extremely well and save you considerable effort on the climbs.  Other useful features gained from their race heritage are extremely good walk modes and very quick lockdown systems for changing over from walk to ski mode and vica versa.

NB All of these boots are only compatible with pin bindings, so you cannot use them on older bar/rail design touring bindings, or the new Salomon Shift binding.

The most popular boot in his sector (and my own favourite too) is the Scarpa F1 EVO. At 2.4kg these ski very well and fit a good number of peoples’ feet – this boot is a great choice for longer multiday tours such as the Bernese Oberland ski tour.

The Atomic Backland Carbon has received a complete overhaul this year – with a new boa buckle design, narrower last and improved liner. Weighing just 2.2kg and with shell design that allows for stretching in some key areas, this new version is now a good option for a wider range of skiers.

Atomic Backland Carbon

If you want to save even more weight however, the Scarpa Alien RS only weighs 1.78kg!  This is a supportive race boot, beefed up for fast and light ski mountaineering.  It has a lower volume fit and limited shell modifications are possible.  The boot allows race speed transitions and is very easy to put on and adjust. I’d recommend these for fast day touring, but for most people they don’t offer enough support for skiing with a heavier rucsac on, whilst doing longer multiday tours.

Finally, the Scott Orbit is molded on the same last as their popular Cosmos boots, making this a useful higher volume option if you are looking for some good, lightweight touring boots.

AVALANCHE AIRBAG SYSTEMS

Avalanche airbag rucsacs are now very popular amongst off piste and freeride skiers, but fewer ski tourers use them to date, not least because they are heavier than a standard pack.  It’s particularly difficult to find a model that is big enough for multiday touring, but still relatively light in weight.

There are now several different systems on the market; most use gas canisters to inflate the airbags, but 3 systems now use electric powered fans.  Below we suggest 2 new lightweight electric powered models suitable for day touring and 3 of the best options for longer, or multiday ski tours. For freeride and day touring use, a number of smaller and lighter airbag rucsacs are also available.

Day Touring Airbag Packs

The following two packs are big enough for off piste and day touring activities and both use electronic inflation systems, which are easier to travel on aircraft with than gas powered systems. The Scott Patrol E1 30 made waves last winter with it’s Alpride Supercapacitor powered airbag pack, weighing just 2.7Kg – ie much lighter than other electric powered airbag packs. Black Diamond have now launched a second pack using this same technology. The Black Diamond Jetforce Tour 26 is lighter still, at just 2.6Kg. Last winter I skied with various people who owned these 2 packs – the BD one looked a little more durable for guiding use, but they are both very similar and either would be a good choice.

NB Several gas powered day touring packs are now available that weigh between 2.0-2.5Kg – so if you are happy flying with these, or don’t need to fly in order to ski, then there are several more options available.

Black Diamond Jetforce Tour 26

Multiday Touring Airbag Packs

For multi day tours, you’ll need more space than offered by the packs above. In theory, a 35l Alpride tech electric airbag pack would be ideal for multiday touring, but such a pack doesn’t exist yet!

Instead, Black Diamond have launched an updated modular version of their Jetforce battery powered packs this year. Called Jetforce Pro, the new system uses a base pack unit, with different sized zip on backpacks available. For multiday tours, we recommend the Jetforce Pro 35 Litre version, which weighs 3.0Kg.

Black Diamond Jetforce Pro 35 Avalanche Airbag Pack

The other two options are lighter, but both use gas powered systems.

Ortovox Ascent 38/40 Avabag – 2.3Kg Arguably the lightest airbag rucsac on the market that’s big enough for multi day touring. Comes with a practice mode, so you can train without deploying the canister each time. Well designed pack, with an interchangeable airbag system, so it can be installed in different packs. Non refillable cartridge, so cannot be taken on flights in North America.

Mammut Pro Protection 35L – 2.3kg Another very light removable airbag system – can be fitted into any compatible pack, of which there are many. A refillable cartridge (300g heavier than the non refillable one) is also available, which can be filled up in resort (any dive shop or paintball centre can also refill it) – ie makes flying with an empty canister possible in North America.

Arva Reactor 40L – 2.5Kg (with carbon bottle). Equipped with the Arva Reactor Airbag system, which has a much higher inflation pressure than other systems (ie it’ll definitely inflate properly whilst tumbling through an avalanche!). Well designed pack, with an optional top lid and a good weight for such a large pack.

OTHER SKI PACKS

The Arcteryx Alpha SK 32 ski pack launched last year is an excellent lightweight, durable premium ski pack that’s big enough for day touring.

The Ortovox Haute Route 32 is another popular, well designed ski touring pack, as is the Deuter Guide 30+ SL  – this model is light, carries really well and goes up to 38 litres – what more do you need.

AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVERS

Arva have an interesting new lightweight transceiver out this season – the Arva EVO 5 Avalanche Transceiver is smaller and lighter than other units on the market, but still boasts a full range of modern features to deal with group checks, multiple burials and managing electronic interference etc.

Arva EVO 5 Avalanche Transceiver

We are keen to get one of these new units on the snow, to see how it compares to our current favourite easy-to-use transceiver for Brits who ski a few times a year on holiday, the Mammut Baryvox. Likewise, we consider the Mammut Baryvox S to be the best top end unit around for more experienced users and professionals.  We use both of these models ourselves on our trips and training courses.

SKINS

Black Diamond skins and Colltex skins are both good, reliable choices and currently we think that Contour Hybrid Mix Skins have some of the best glue (all Black Crows Pellis skins and Atomic skins are made by Contour – we’ve been very impressed with them). For European conditions, go for mixed fibre skins – pure mohair skins only glide a little better at non racing speeds, but they wear out 3-4 times faster…  Skins are either sold pre-cut to a particular model of ski, or more commonly they come with a cut-to-fit device.

HELMETS

Courtesy of Petzl, we now have a new safety standard for ski touring helmets. Two of their lightweight mountaineering helmets have this new certification, making them suitable (marketable?) for ski touring – the Petzl Meteor (240g) and Petzl Sirocco (170g) both have improved side impact protection, thus making them suitable for ski touring as well as climbing and mountaineering.

Petzl Meteor Helmet – suitable for Ski Touring

Please note however, that these helmets do not pass the safety test for resort skiing helmets – so if you want a lightweight helmet you can use for resort skiing too, then look at one of the following:

First up, the Salomom MTN Lab Helmet is designed specifically for backcountry skiing and passes both the climbing helmet and resort ski helmet safety tests – it’s pretty light at 360g and has two different liners – a winter one with ear flaps incorporated and a summer one without.  We’ve used this helmet a lot for skiing and like it, but like all specialist helmets it doesn’t come cheap – but you get what you pay for!

Likewise, the Salomon QST Charge Helmet is designed for backcountry skiing, is light at 380g and has adjustable air vents for when it gets warm.