We have already discussed what metal-edge skis are and how they are used in groomed as well as ungroomed terrain. Now the question is: how can you find the best metal-edge skis for the steep slopes? Skiing may be an old sport, but with the modern touring skis you can feel true freedom while gliding down steep slopes. The latest backcountry skis you find these days are mostly metal-edged – this gives them the versatility and durability that you need on your icy adventures.
How to Choose?
Metal-edge touring skis are generally wider, shorter, and stronger than the classic Nordic skis. Their metal-edge gives them an edge (literally!) as it helps them to easily navigate through uncharted territories.
Before you purchase your metal-edge ski, it is best to know the following factors that will not only make your cross country ski purchase easy but will also yield a perfect cross country skiing experience for you.
Your Body Type
Your body’s weight plays a vital role in determining the right fit for your cross country skis. Earlier, the size of your cross country ski was determined by factors like getting a ski having the same length as your height or adding certain centimeters to your height to determine the best one for you. Due to modern cross country ski designs, such rules do not apply anymore. Now, you have more accurate ways to quickly determine the perfect cross country ski for you. But do not worry, it is no rocket science.
Buying the perfect size of your metallic edge cross country skis is as easy as spotting your weight-range from a list and then shortlisting the ones that are according to your weight. All cross country skis have a weight range for skiers that the company recommends. The length of your skis depends upon your weight. If you are new to Nordic skiing or have limited knowledge about choosing your cross country skis, go through the recommended bracket of body weights (that is available for all skis) and you are good to go.
Once you know the size of the cross country ski that works well with your body type, you need to evaluate your cross country skiing style. Do you prefer skiing smoothly inside the tracks or would you prefer some high-speed adventure? Do you want to do a mix and match of both in and out-of-track skiing? As obvious as it may sound, before buying your backcountry skis, you need to know where and how you plan to ski.
Your cross country ski’s side-cut plays an important role in its performance. The side-cut is the slight curve of your ski from its tip going back to its tail. Your ski’s side-cut will determine how the straight ski travels (known as a track) and turns. The more side-cuts your cross country ski has, the better will it turn. However, tracking will not be as smooth.
Waxable versus waxless
Another factor while choosing the best backcountry ski is to consider the waxable or waxless base. If you are a novice, you may find waxless cross country skis easier to use as you will not have to worry about regular waxing sessions. The waxless skis offer the skiers an excellent grip in different temperatures, especially when the mercury is around zero degrees Centigrade.
If you are an experienced skier, you may be fascinated by how you can reach your peak performance using waxable cross country skis. This is the reason why waxable skis are often used by cross country skiing professionals and experts. However, waxing your cross country ski does require time and patience – and of course some ski wax!
Best Metal Edge Touring Skis
Here are our top 9 recommendations for metal-edge touring skis that will give you and your cross country skiing an edge:
1. Rossignol BC 80 Positrack Skis – Men’s
The 2020 Rossignol BC 80 Positrack Skis are metal-edged cross country skis that let you explore the unfamiliar snowy territories with a full grip, control, and speed. Its full metallic edge along with the sturdy base will give you a strong grip from the bottom as well as the sides.
The Positrack base keeps an excellent balance of glide and grip so that you enjoy cross country skis in all weather conditions. Featuring a bit of side cut, you can easily turn without losing the thrill of pace. It comes with BC Magnum Bindings that will hold you securely while you ski up and down. With a side cut of 80/60/70 mm, you will get some serious control while descending and navigating.
These 2020 Rossignol BC 80 Positrack Backcountry/ Cross-country Touring Skis have an LDC Wood Core and Active Cap construction that intelligently reacts to your body’s movements and helps you move forward instead of sliding back.
2. Rossignol BC 65 Positrack Skis with BC Auto Ski Bindings – Men’s
Whether you are a professional skier or consider it as a recreational activity during the winters, this cross country ski could end up being your favorite one! Rossignol BC 65 Positrack Cross-Country Skis come with NNN BC Auto Bindings, offering an intelligent spin on the classic skis.
These skis are fully metal-edged and give you the sturdy grip that you expect to get when you pay for a great quality cross country ski. You can conveniently ski side hill as well as downhill. And while you are climbing uphill, the metal edges of the Rossignol BC 65 give you all the grip you need.
Featuring a side cut of 65/53/60 mm, the wooden air-core offers you air pockets that reduce weight without compromising on the durability. Stepping into the ski bindings will give you control over all the snowy steep hills that you need to conquer.
3. Fischer Outback 68 Skis
Why ski on tracks when you can make your trails! The Fischer Outback 68 Crown Cross-country Skis let you explore the backcountry paths that are not explored by many. And if this adventure sounds great, wait until you get your hands – or feet, literally – on these amazing metal-edged cross country skis.
The Fischer Outback 68 Crown Skis have a tip of 68 mm and a waist of 59 mm providing you with an excellent ratio to track and turn. Giving you full control with pace, these cross country skis are constructed with an off-track crown. This not only gives you great control when you are going downhill but also some sturdy grip while you ascend.
The metal-edged Fischer Outback 68 Skis weigh 1990 grams and side cut of 68/59/64 mm. Constructed with mohair and nylon, your cross country skis will glide on snow like butter on a hot pan – giving you the adventure you are thriving for. They are available in different sizes and are priced around $259.95.
4. Fischer S-Bound 112 Crown Skis
You may find them to be heavier than your average pair of XC skis – around 6 pounds per pair. But this weight will give your skis the power to handle deep and steep snow. Do not let their width fool you – they float excellently during backcountry skiing, and their chic design and color are additional features to show off.
The Fischer S-Bound 112 Crown provides you with 34 mm of side-cut that lets you turn with ease and control. You can add climbing skins for added traction.
These wax-less skis are guaranteed to make your winters exciting. The double camber gives your skis the energy and pop while you make your turns. Explore the snowy terrain with the Fischer S-Bound 112 Crown Cross-Country Skis.
5. Rossignol BC 120 Waxbase Skis – Men’s
If you are into cross country skiing, you probably know that wax-able skis outclass their wax-less counterparts when it comes to performance. The Rossignol 2020 BC 120 is a waxable backcountry ski for advanced level skiers who do not mind the patience and time it takes to wax the skis – after all, you are getting the unmatched performance while you navigate through groomed and ungroomed terrain.
These lightweight skis boast super-wide tips that enable you to float even in the most powered snow. You can buy climbing skins separately to increase traction.
The Rossignol BC 120 offers double camber in combination with the tip rocker making sure that the tips of your skis remain upturned. This allows you better maneuvering, exactly what you want while getting the maximum skiing adventure.
The cross country skis feature a side-cut of 120/90/114 mm. With an LDC wood core along with Active Cap construction, you will enjoy the strength, control, and stability that advanced level skiers crave for.
6. Rossignol Evo OT 65 IFP Positrack XC Skis w/Control Step in Bindings
If we could define these cross-country skis in one word, that word would be versatile. These partially metallic edged skis are a perfect way to adapt between groomed tracks as well as ungroomed terrain.
Since the prepared tracks have a maximum width of 70 mm, the Rossignol Evo OT 65 IFP Positrack Skis feature a tip that is 65mm wide – you can use them on all kinds of prepared tracks. And not only that, they are highly versatile with partial metal edges to glide as smoothly on tracks as on ungroomed hills. Talking about a win-win situation!
These cross country skis boast a single camber feature that lets you carve your way while you make turns on ungroomed snow. The wax-less base provides you with the needed grip while saving you from the maintenance required on waxing skis.
With a side-cut of 65/53/60 mm and Positrack tuning, the Rossignol Evo OT 65 IFP Skis are a must-have. They are available in different sizes and you can get your hands (or feet!) on them with their price ranging between $220.95 and $309.95.
7. Black Diamond GlideLite Ski with Binding 147
The Black Diamond Glidelite 147 Skis were built to explore the backcountry with freedom and confidence. They have the GlideLite skin that is integrated into the base. These backcountry skis can be conveniently strapped onto boots that have a flexible sole to provide you with instant access to winter adventures.
The metal-edged Black Diamond GlideLite Skis help you descend all kinds of slopes with a level of comfort, confidence, and security. Isn’t that what we all need while heading towards snowy hills? The single camber provides an excellent grip and the Uni-coat base makes them durable and easy to maintain. The integrated climbing skin enables you to hike up any hill, as easily as you glide downhill.
These skis weigh around 1200 grams without bindings and have a width of 125/110/122 mm. As their name indicates, they surely glide lite on the snow creating a perfect balance of speed and comfort and are hence ideal for rugged snow trekking.
8. Fischer Spider 62 Crown XC Skis w/Control Step-in Bindings Men’s
If you are looking for a waxless metal edge touring ski with excellent glide, then Fischer Spider 62 Crown XC can be your partner. These skis are as good on groomed cross-country tracks as they are off-the-tracks.
These are undoubtedly the most famous metal-edged skis by Fischer. They are comfortable and easy to use. Not to mention that these skis are light in weight yet stable on dodgy powdered snow. The skis also offer an all-terrain climbing system with some great climbing ability.
With the IFP (Integrated Fixation Plate) technology, adjusting these Fischer Spider 62 Crown XC Skis is also very convenient. You can adjust the binding positions in a matter of seconds and that too without using any tools. How great are these!
9. Alpina Sports Discovery 80 Skis, Red, 175cm
The Alpina Sports Discovery 80 Skis are a perfect combination of elegance, performance, and quality. They are wide enough to provide you with the support you need on powdered snow, while narrow enough to give you easy control. This makes these skis ideal for your backcountry adventures.
The red 175 cm skis are constructed with a light wood core, integrated sidewalls, and metal edges. The skis feature wax-less patterned base and strong grip. They come with two years’ warranty covering any defects you find in the material as well as the manufacture.
Now that you know how cool metal-edge skis are when it comes to providing you with the performance and confidence, what are you waiting for? Pick your cross country ski from our recommendations above and glide away!