The best way to know about the latest top cross country ski brands is to check the performances of the athletes in major tournaments. With the FIS skiing world cup finishing off early due to the pandemic, we can clearly see the top brands of the tournament. Besides the skier’s expertise, it is not just the cross country skis that make the difference – the top of the line poles, boots, bindings, wax, and other ski essentials contribute to the winning.
For your ski adventures in 2020, you need to see which brands topped the slopes the previous year. Ski gear needs to evolve to come with the most efficient and best-performing equipment. The top cross country ski brands were Fischer, Rossignol, Atomic, Salomon, and Madshus. Alpina, Swix, and Solda excelled with their ski equipment contributing to the skiers’ overall performances.
Best Cross-Country Ski Brands in 2020
Let us discuss these top brands – not only their cross country skis but the ski gear that all work together to give the athlete the best performance possible and make the skier what he/ she is.
It is no hidden fact that Fischer is the cross country ski leader when it comes to professional XC skiing. It is a clear favorite among women skiers because it considers female skiers based on their skiing skills and not gender. When designing a ski, Fischer focuses on the skill level, weight, and height of the skier to determine which of their product best suits a certain athlete, and it proudly claims that gender plays no role in it. Fischer also focuses on its equality mantra that it develops its products keeping the skier’s passion in mind – whether you are a man or a woman.
However, to cater to different styles and tastes, Fischer promises to offer a second color option for its future ski models, whenever it deems appropriate. For 2020, Fischer also promises its XC ski enthusiasts that it will increase the width options to cater to a wider variety of skiers.
If you are looking for the best backcountry XC skis for beginners and intermediate skiers, the Fischer Orbiter EF IFP XC skis are leading the cross country ski industry in 2020. Whether you are into classic or freestyle, if you enjoy long trips around the backcountry and are a beginner or an intermediate skier, there is nothing better than the Fischer Orbiter. These skis are super light making your skiing trip very comfortable. These skis offer a smoother glide with great stability making them very forgiving for the new and less experienced ski enthusiasts. The Fischer Orbiter is ideal for Turnamic binding and has a pre-mounted IFP plate.
Fischer products are not just for an intermediate level skier, these products are specially designed for serious professionals and advanced XC skiers – no wonder most of the athletes who top the World Cup charts possess the Fisher gear. The Fischer Speed Max 3D Cross Country Skis have been the best race XC skis for the pros this season – for both skates as well as classic styles (available in different versions ranging from extra stiff to soft).
With all the leading technologies that you need at the World Cup level, these skis are lightning-fast making them the ideal race skis. These technologies include skating 610 in skate skis, twin skis in classic XC skis, hole ski tip, precision pairing system, pre-waxed, and featuring AirCore HM Carbon that is responsible for their ultra-lightweight. The Speed Max 3D XC skis are also available in junior ski versions.
If there is an XC skiing gear brand that is neck to neck with Fischer and can outgrow it in the future world championships, it is Rossignol. It is a crowd favorite especially among male skiers, but also has a large number of female skiers rooting for its performance on the slopes.
Bringing a new dimension of modern skiing to traditional roots, Rossignol introduces its R-Skin line for a ready-to-ski concept. The X-IUM Premium R-Skin boats race-proven edge and Air Trip technologies for maximum acceleration and glide. Designed keeping top-tier World Cup classic race skiers, the Rossignol’s R-Skin skis give you great performance in all types of weather conditions. The X-IUM R-Skin features its successful honeycomb construction for super lightweight and winning performance.
The Delta Comp R-Skin ski is ideal for professional skiers as well as fitness enthusiasts. These mohair classic XC skis offer easy kick and glide. The Ultra R-Skin skis are great for your weekend ski trips – whether you are into recreational cross country skiing, or are into extreme fitness. They are lightweight and have a built-in mohair insert for the perfect kick and glide.
Rossignol skiing products are not just for the expert level XC skiers, but also for beginners who want to go for something that easy to use but high in performance. The X-Tour Escape R-Skin is an on-trail touring ski that has a cross country feel (the traditional length offers a greater glide) along with more stability to support your adventures. These skis have a wood core and give you kick, glide, and performance in all types of snow conditions.
For intermediate as well as advanced skiers, the waxless Rossignol BC80 Positrack Unisex Cross-Country Skis have been undoubtedly the best backcountry cross country skis of 2020. With steel edges providing a great grip and downhill control, the Positrack base offers the ideal grip and glide. These skis are generally sold with Rottefella Magnum Bindings. Among the best junior XC skis of this year, the Rossignol again topped the chart with its EVO Action 55. The Rossignol EVO Action 55 (ACT) is ideal for beginners as well as intermediate junior skiers due to their wider dimensions and a shorter length that provide the young XC skiers with the perfect combination of control and stability. Providing great quality at a low price, this junior ski model boasts a waxless base for a buy-and-ski approach.
Not just in skis, Rossignol offers leading ski wear through their high-performance premium collection for cross country. Rossignol has developed the 37.5™ technology ski wear that keeps your body at the ideal temperature and saves as much energy as possible by keeping you comfortable.
The Rossignol 37.5™ base layer wicks away moisture, dries much faster (using the porous particles encapsulated in the material), and keeps your body at its ideal temperature, no matter how much activity the skier involves in.
Not only that, the Rossignol Innovative Compression is a new line of performance wear that features the Lycra® sport fabric along with Rossignol’s new patented compression technology. As a result, you get high-end ski wear that has resistance, comfort, and pre-formed skier posture for elbows and knees – with dynamic compression applied to your calves and forearms for maximum comfort and performance.
Salomon keeps on giving you new and improved ski gear jam-packed with high-end technologies that are specially designed to give you a better skiing experience, no matter what your skiing level is. Not only the cross country skis, but Salomon is also investing its time and expertise to come up with unmatched ski gear and accessories this season.
The S/ Lab Carbon Skate line is designed to give you the best performance with the lightest possible weight in universal snow conditions. The S/ Lab Carbon Skate Blue excels in cold and dry snow conditions. With a side cut of 44/ 43/ 44, these skate skis offer you acceleration due to their advanced energy transfer feature that enhances the transfer of energy from the middle of your ski to the tail as well as the tip. The Nomex core and thin tail and tip construction make these skis light in weight. Also, the tip to tail construction features thin ply carbon for improved torsional rigidity and the camber adds stability to your glide.
The S/ Lab Carbon Classic Blue Soft is exclusively designed to highlight your kick and acceleration. While it works great overall, it is specially engineered to show its magic on hard wax snowy conditions. Its construction features a camber and carbon laminate that give you greater propulsion.
The S/ Lab Carbon Classic Blue Med is ideal for hard wax snow. These classic skis are waxable and with a side cut of 4/ 44 /44, they give you unmatched performance.
The S/ Lab Carbon Skate Red skis are ideal for icy and wet snow. With their G5 white-edged base, there is no stopping or turning back when you are out on the slopes.
Also, the RS Skate Cross Country Skis integrates the goodness of the S/ LAB model and D-Carbon core which is super light in weight. This combination offers you a world cup performance matched with maneuverable skis. Even at a length of 192 cm, the skis weigh only about 645 grams. You can find these skis predrilled for an SNS/ Prolink binding, and these bindings often come as part of the whole package, depending upon where you are purchasing them from.
Salomon is emerging as a force to look for in cross country skiing. Salomon’s Stance Ski Collection is this season’s highlight that features all-mountain skis for both men and women, in the 88 mm to 102 mm waist range. With metal in their core, these versatile skis are set to offer more stability when you pace up, and a better hard-snow performance.
For male skiers you prefer a classic ski but want something more out of it, Salomon’s Stance 90, Stance 96, and Stance 102 feature a race-inspired side cut, poplar wood core, complete sandwich sidewall, and an impressive double Titanal construction for an intensified edge grip. For women skiers, the Stance 88 W and Stance 94 W have the exact features in addition to a lighter core of karuba/ poplar blend.
Not only this, Salmon’s S/ PRO HV and SHIFT Pro Ski Boots will be adding to the award-winning S/ Pro Boot Collection. The S/ Pro HV features a 130 high-performance flex for men and a relatively softer 90 flex for women.
The S/ Lab Carbon Skate Prolink boots feature Carbon-Loaded ™ cuffs and bootie liners for the second-skin fit that promises great performance. The carbon shell is technically designed keeping the energy transmission and precision factors in mind. The S/ Lab Carbon Skate Prolink boots are designed in collaboration with the top World Cup skiers and the manufacturer has focused on keeping the weight of the boots down and the performance of the skier up.
The S/ Lab Carbon Click Kit offers you extremely stiff yet super-light World Cup poles with an unglued Powerstrap system. The two-click system enables you to cut the pole at the exact size you need it for your skiing. And with the lightest racing pole with you, you do not have to worry about carrying unwanted weight on the slopes. The 100% Carbon shaft now features an even further improved power transfer and minimal vibration upon pole planting.
With the introduction of the Redline 3.0, Madshus have not only revamped their technology to a better design but also delivered better overall performance– not only as compared to its Redline 2.0 series but to the other competitors’ products out there.
Designed keeping a modern ski racer in mind, the Redline 3.0 promises to take you from the start line to the finish line by the blink of an eye! With three years of work, technology, and precisions, the Redline 3.0 offers Skate F2 for harder and faster ski conditions and Skate F3 for softer and slower snow conditions. Both these models have Tuned Dynamic Response technology that amplifies energy return and gives great glide with great speed.
The Redline 3.0 Skate F2 has longer pressure zones along with a longer groove that increases the stability and improves the speed. The Redline 3.0 Skate F3 is designed for shorter pressure zones and a back-only groove. This works remarkably in softer snow where it gets slower. By eliminating the groove in the front one, you can now easily turn the skis.
All the Redline 3.0 models feature intelligent product development and extensive testing to come up with the top of the line skis. One of the biggest differences is that this line has more carbon than the previous ones making both the skate as well as classic skis more dynamic and much livelier.
For both the classic as well as the skate line of skis, the flex profile has been redesigned. The skate skis are available in two versions – one for hard conditions boasting a stiffer flex, and the other one for softer and slower conditions with a softer flex.
The Redline 3.0 Classic line comes in 2 versions – Redline 3.0 Cold (for cold conditions) and Redline 3.0 Warm (for warm conditions). The Redline 3.0 Cold has a groove on the tail end of the ski and has a relatively lower camber, less angle, and medium-long pressure points. The Redline 3.0 Warm features a taller camber with more angle. The pressure points are also relatively shorter. The groove also seems more traditional.
Swix is a well-known name in the cross country industry and has been assisting skiers with great quality ski poles, wax kits, ski straps, ski wall racks, ski swear, and a lot more. Since 1946, Swix has been developing and designing cross country skiing equipment.
Catering to the skiing needs of men, women, and junior skiers, Swix produces quality ski clothing including jackets, vests, base layers, mid-layer, headwear, gloves, pants, tights, and socks. As it is famously said in XC skiing, there is no bad weather, just bad clothing.
Swix also offers hard wax, waxless ski wax, klister, grip spray, and base for your skis. You can also get glide wax and skin products, along with wax iron, wax machines, and wax-tables.
You can find great quality ski poles for all sizes – including sizes for the junior skiers. Their World Cup quality of Swix Triac 3.0 cross country racing ski pole features IPM carbon composite technology and is ideal for groomed trails.
If you are looking for a one-stop-shop for reliable cross country accessories and ski wear, Swix is the name you should be looking for.
With their mission to give all skiers their best skiing experience, Atomic offers you a variety of great quality skis and ski gears. Atomic has recently launched its Atomic Backland 78 ski model which is one of the lightest skis in its Backland collection. The new Backland 78 has an ultra-light wood core and a Dura Cap Sidewall with a directional shape and a glossy top sheet.
The Atomic Backland 78 UL is a new addition in the Backland collection and comes with an updated structure and a better geometry. Promising improved performance on the slopes, it is an all-round ski and is designed based on Atomic’s World Cup race winning Backland UL 65. The UL range of skis is the Atomic’s lightest skis.
Among the Backland Touring Skis collection, the Atomic Backland 85 features a special climbing shape and comes equipped with HRZN Tech which enables increased flotation in powder snow. The Atomic Backland 80 SL is great for endurance touring and ski mountaineering due to its lightweight and intelligent design. With the Atomic Backland 86 SL, you can do downhill touring, and is great for uphill climbing.
In ski boots, the Backland Pro offers a frictionless pivot and free/ lock 4.0 ski-to-walk system that lets you go uphill as freely as possible and locks in the cuff for a super smooth downhill glide. These great quality boots are washable and breathable and are specially designed for keeping the backcountry in mind.
Alpina has been the footwear of world-class skiers and race winners like Stina Nilsson, Hans Christer Holund, and Linn Svahn – to name a few. For the most responsive as well as the lightest XC ski boots, Alpina has introduced its Elite 3.0 range of footwear. These boots function on the intelligent technology of circulating air that enables your foot to stay dry keeping your power kick at max. These environment-friendly boots have replaced PVC with eco-friendly materials.
The E3.0 SKATE features 45 degrees lacing system along with an anatomic footbed. Its 4dry technology keeps the inside breathable and moisture-free.
The E3.0 CLASS features 4dry technology, 45 degrees lacing system, and is slimmer and lighter in design. The E3.0 CL-AS fits your feet like a glove – it is comfortable, light, stable, and equipped with the 4dry technology.
The Elite 3.0 Nordic Ski Boots (skate, classic, and duathlon) have also won the Red Dot Product Design Award for their innovative design.
A good ski wax can well be the difference between a good day on the slopes and a bad one. With great ski waxes from Solda, you do not need to worry about the quality at all.
Solda has been proudly producing its race-winning ski waxes for over 80 years. They are not only the industry leaders when it comes to ski waxes, but Solda keeps on experimenting and innovating to give your skis the best performance any wax can offer.
Solda offers some of the world’s best race wax, racing additives, training wax, kick wax, waxing tools and brushes, ski bags, and other ski accessories.
Each ski season brings a lot of new models featuring new technologies of different ski gear from the leading manufacturers. Now that you know what topped the charts in the previous year and what you should expect in the coming season, what are you waiting for? Purchase the skis, ski wear, and ski gear that work best for you, and head out to have some exciting days of winter adventures. Off you go!