Best Budget All-Mountain Skis of 2024

If you only want to own one pair of skis that can do it all, the all-mountain category is an attractive choice. These skis can handle most resort days no matter what the circumstances. You can almost always have fun. Most beginners and casual riders look for all-mountain skis because they only want one pair of skis. A budget option makes the deal even better. So if you are looking for a budget option, we have compiled a list for you to consider.

Whether you are going to be ripping groomers or floating through powder, these all-mountain skis will be ready for anything.

1. Rossignol Sender 90 Pro

Rossignol Sender 90 Pro
Tip-Waist-Tail: 118-90-108mm
Length: 160cm
Turning Radius: Medium, 19 m
Ability Level: Beginner

Sender 90 Pro is a pair of playful and cheap all-mountain skis. These skis are easy to maneuver, with just enough stiffness to allow for increased speed. The skis have decent rocker in the tip and not much in the tail, making it a good carver. It will turn well on a groomer, and the rocker will allow it to float well in powder. This ski, like other Rossignol Sender skis, has air tip technology for low swing weight. It also means that the tips may shatter slightly when traveling over refrozen uneven terrain, but it is a ski that performs well on edge. This ski doesn’t like super aggressive forward input, but if you have a more centered stance and turn by tipping to the side from the ankle, it will make some nice carved turns for you.

This ski has a strong sense of direction. It has a more traditional tail, which means it prefers to carve over the pivot. This means that throwing it around in the trees requires a little more muscle. It’s definitely easy to turn quickly, but it’s not the easiest ski for skiing trees if that’s what you’re looking for or if you’re not a strong skier. This ski does not feel as stable as some of the more powerful chargers. That is a trade-off for accessibility, but it is maneuverable at slower speeds and would be a fun ski to ski at a range of speeds from slow to moderate to reasonably fast.

What I like: A great value pair for beginner skiers.

What I don’t: Doesn’t feel as stable as some super hard chargers but is maneuverable at lower speeds

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2. Salomon QST Lux 92 – Women’s

Rossignol Sender 90 Pro
Tip-Waist-Tail: 129-92-112mm
Length: 161cm
Turning Radius: Medium, 6m
Ability Level: Intermediate

The QST is a notable line of skis by Salomon after years of success. 92 is the narrowest model in the QST line but it provides good versatility and great all-mountain performance. These skis right off the bat feel very smooth and they are very stable and easy to maneuver. These features make these skis a good option for all types of terrain. Salomon has upgraded the QST models but it basically includes the shape and profile of the skis. The construction is similar to the previous models. Talking about the construction, you get a full wood core, which makes for a light lively feel.

You also get Salomon’s C/FX blend, which is a fiber layer combining carbon and flax material and it is woven together. This combination provides strength and stability to the skis without sacrificing weight. There’s a cork amplifier, which is found in the tips and tails absorbing vibration while skiing. It also creates a strong feel from tips to tails and a great flex through the ski. The skis have binding reinforcements. There’s a Titanal insert underfoot that provides strong edge-to-edge transfer and edge grip. One notable thing about the newer models is the full double sidewalls and they provide a super strong reliable edge grip.

What I like: Versatile, strong, and reliable performance

What I don’t: Not ideal to ride groomers exclusively.

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3. Rossignol Experience 78 Ca

Rossignol Experience 78 Ca
Tip-Waist-Tail: 125-78-111mm
Length: 138cm
Turning Radius: Short, 9m
Ability Level: Beginner-Intermediate

Most skis at low prices are entry-level skis aimed at beginners but some skis are just better than others at providing value and satisfaction. The Rossignol Experience 78 Ca is one of those skis that are aimed towards beginners and are an attractive option for the value they provide. For a low price, the quality of Experience 78 Ca is impressive. Since these skis are aimed at beginners, it should be obvious that these all-mountain skis are better suited for on-piste skiing. These skis have a soft flex and a lightweight design.

Turning in these skis is like a knife cutting through butter. It’s that effortless. These skis turn at the slightest input making them extremely user-friendly and fun. Being so user-friendly makes progression easy for everyone. Fast learners would appreciate these skis. However, high-speed performance is not so good. But then again, beginners don’t do many high-speed runs. The Experience 78 Ca is a package deal. These skis come with a reliable set of Look Xpress 10 ski bindings. With a set of bindings already included, you are freed from the hassle of choosing bindings separately. Such beginner-friendly measures make the Experience Ca 78 popular among new skiers.

What I like: A good option for entry-level skiers and includes GripWalk bindings

What I don’t: Not suitable for fast learners.

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4. Atomic Bent 100

Atomic Bent 100
Tip-Waist-Tail: 127.5-100-118mm
Length: 164cm
Turning Radius: Medium, 16.4m
Ability Level: Intermediate-Advanced

The Atomic Bent 100 Skis have emerged as a triumphant choice for enthusiasts seeking a blend of freeride excitement, occasional park antics, and the versatility of twin-tipped touring. Initially met with skepticism upon their debut, these skis have silenced doubters with resounding approval from those who have experienced their performance. The innovative HRZN Tech Tip and Tail are at the heart of the Bent 100’s success. It incorporates an ABS sidewall construction with a revolutionary horizontal rocker across the ski. This design not only enhances float in powder with a 10% increase in surface area at the tip and tail but also minimizes tip deflection and ensures superior tracking through choppy conditions. The result is a ski that excels in powder and delivers an unparalleled level of creative fun.

Underpinning the Bent 100’s prowess is its Light Woodcore. It’s crafted from poplar wood to optimize weight without compromising shock absorption or stability. The Dura Cap Sidewall combines power transmission with a durable cap. It ensures a robust construction that can withstand the rigors of varied terrain. The Atomic Base, featuring high-density sintered material, contributes to the ski’s speed across diverse snow conditions and readily accepts wax applications. The inclusion of Resist Edges further enhances durability, making the Bent 100 Skis a reliable choice for those who enjoy pushing their limits, whether on the slopes or in the park. If you seek a ski that effortlessly marries performance, innovation, and durability, the Atomic Bent 100 is a must-consider option for your next adventure.

What I like: Well-suited for freeride adventures, occasional park skiing, and twin-tipped touring.

What I don’t: While versatile, the ski may not cater to skiers seeking a more specific, niche performance in either powder, park, or touring.

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5. Völkl M6 Mantra

Völkl M6 Mantra
Tip-Waist-Tail: 135-96-119mm
Length: 163cm
Turning Radius: 30-18-24m
Ability Level: Advanced-Expert

The Völkl M6 Mantra is a successor to the beloved M5 Mantra. With slight tweaks, the performance has been improved. But no drastic changes have been made and the overall design has been kept the same. The M6 Mantra is a powerful and precise all-mountain option. The M6 has a Titanal frame construction with carbon tips to provide stability at high speeds. The frame has been tweaked and tailored for each length. Shorter skis have a soft flex with less metal and longer skis are stronger with more metal. Different lengths perform differently giving you options to match your riding style.

The M6 has a rocker-camber-rocker profile making them suitable for both on-piste and off-piste use. With the M6, you can have a true all-mountain ski experience. The M6 also features Völkl’s 3D Radius Technology which gives you three turn radii in a single ski. The tip and tail edge grip at high speeds well giving you a wider turn radius while a shorter turn radius is built into the mid-section of the skis to allow shorter turns. You can have all the fun you want. But it is important to note that these skis are not for beginners. You have to have a certain level of experience to unlock the full potential of these skis.

What I like: Sturdy and fast with versatile dimensions, magnetic ride quality, and stable

What I don’t: Requires a strong pilot, not suitable for beginners

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6. Nordica Enforcer 94

Nordica Enforcer 94
Tip-Waist-Tail: 125-94-112mm
Length: 165cm
Turning Radius: Medium, 15.5m
Ability Level: Advanced-Expert

Nordica has updated the Enforcer 94 recently and they have nailed it with every tweak that they made. The performance is so much better than the previous Enforcer 93. This is one of the best all-around models in the market. The Enforcer 94 has a carbon chassis with two sheets of metal. The amount of carbon fiber has also been increased. The front end has been made more lightweight and it also features less plastic and more wood now. The waist width has also been increased from 93mm in the previous Enforcer 93 to 94mm in Enforcer 94.

These tweaks significantly improve the performance of the skis from the previous version. The result is a ski that is versatile and has great all-mountain capabilities. The Enforcer 94 are fun skis that are good with turns. The increase of just one millimeter at the waist greatly improves the off-piste performance of the Enforcer 94. However, these skis are challenging to handle in fresh, soft snow and deep powder. Not to say that it performs badly in those conditions. But they would perform better under an experienced rider. By the way, the Enforcer 94 are fun skis on the whole for experienced riders.

What I like: Versatile and well-rounded option, stiff, and carving machine

What I don’t: A little narrow and lacks power performance.

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7. Blizzard Rustler 10

Blizzard Rustler 10
Tip-Waist-Tail: 131-102-121mm
Length: 164cm
Turning Radius: Medium, 14.5m
Ability Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Blizzard Rustler 10 is a part of the lineup by Blizzard that replaces previous Peacemaker and Gunsmoke models. Those were popular product lines by Blizzard in their own right. So, the Rustler 10 had some big shoes to fill, and fill them it did. Unlike most entries on this list that are beginner-focused, the Rustler 10 is aimed toward more experienced riders. A sort of intermediate to advance level skis at a budget price point is hard to find. The ones that perform as well as the Rustler is a treat.

The Rustler lineup has three different widths; the narrowest is the Rustler 9 with a 94mm waist width. The widest Rustler 11 has a 112mm waist width. Rustler 10 has a waist width of 102mm. The wide width of these skis makes them suitable for powder and off-piste riding. Rustler 10 features Blizzard’s Carbon Flipcore D.R.T. Technology which provides a consistent and progressive flex. The front end is soft and the skis have Titanal underfoot. The skis are easy and quick to turn and you can have fun with them. However, there is vibration and chatter at high speeds because the Titanal tapers towards the tip and the tail which impacts high-speed stability. But if you are looking to have fun off-piste, then the Rustler 10 is a great option to consider.

What I like: Excellent all-around choice that feels stable underfoot.

What I don’t: Feels a little soft and chattery at high speeds.

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8. Head Kore 93

Head Kore 93
Tip-Waist-Tail: 133-93-115mm
Length: 177cm
Turning Radius: Medium, 16.4m
Ability Level: Intermediate-Advanced

The Head Kore 93 Skis deliver a remarkable blend of lightweight agility and powerful performance. This makes them an excellent choice for all-mountain enthusiasts seeking versatility in varied terrains. Built with a Karuba-Poplar lightweight wood core and reinforced with Graphene, the skis boast an impressive strength-to-weight ratio. It ensures a responsive and dynamic experience on the slopes. The inclusion of a Tip/Tail Rocker with camber underfoot provides a playful yet stable feel, which makes the Kore 93 adept at maneuvering through bumps and trees with ease.

The innovative design features of the Kore 93 extend to its construction, with Topless Tech replacing the top sheet with a Polyester Fleece to reduce weight without compromising durability. The Multilayer-Carbon Sandwich Cap Construction, featuring Graphene and two different carbon layers, contributes to the ski’s status as one of the world’s lightest freeride options. The incorporation of Progressive Chamfer and Rubber Foil Dampening Layer over edges enhances durability while maintaining a lively and responsive ride. With its Structured UHM C Base borrowed from Head’s elite race skis, the Kore 93 ensures consistent performance across various snow conditions.

What I like: Tip/Tail Rocker with camber underfoot provides a playful yet stable experience.

What I don’t: While excelling in off-piste and variable conditions, the Kore 93 may not be the top choice for skiers who predominantly stick to groomed slopes.

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9. Atomic Maverick 95 Ti

Atomic Maverick 95 Ti
Tip-Waist-Tail: 130-95-114mm
Length: 188cm
Turning Radius: Medium, 20.8m
Ability Level: Intermediate-Advanced

The Atomic Maverick 95 Ti is a successor to the Vantage Ti. The Vantage Ti were light but stiff skis and they were unforgiving. They were challenging to ride and they were uncomfortable as well. Only advance riders could handle them, but even then, they wouldn’t prefer the Vantage Ti. Atomic replaced the Vantage Ti with the Maverick 95 Ti as a response to the feedback. The 2021 Maverick has been redesigned to turn these skis into refined performers. It has two layers of Titanal which help in bends making these skis feel light and quick.

But the Titanal layers also produce a powerful boost. So, these skis are fast and hard to control, something that still feels like the Maverick has inherited from the Vantage. Titanal not only makes the Maverick fast in a straight line but also provides power during turning. You don’t feel the need to put in more energy while making back-to-back hard turns. The Maverick 95 Ti is the only pair of skis on this list that are truly all-mountain capable. Although it is more suitable for off-piste, you can have fun on almost any terrain. But the Maverick is not for beginners. It is for advanced riders who can handle speed.

What I like: A quick pair of skis with true all-mountain abilities.

What I don’t: Lacks performance in poor snow conditions.

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10. Line Skis Sick Day 88

Line Skis Sick Day 88
Tip-Waist-Tail: 127-88-113mm
Length: 165cm
Turning Radius: Medium, 17.4m
Ability Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Quality all-mountain skis are expensive but Sick Day 88 beats that notion. The entire Sick Day lineup was updated a few years back. But Sick Day 88 stands out. These skis are a solid all-around option. They are suitable for beginners who want to skip the cheap entry-level designs. These skis are designed for on-piste fun. They have a soft flex which allows you to turn these skis quickly. Their lightweight design further adds to the maneuverability of these skis.

These skis are suitable for beginners who are fast at making progress or for casual riders who just want to have fun. But what are you giving up on a budget? To start with, these skis lack high-speed stability. They aren’t bad, but they aren’t exactly confidence-inspiring as well. At high speeds, the tip starts to flap a bit and there is some chatter that you can feel. These skis are not comfortable on hard snow as well, but overall, a quality pair of skis that work great on resorts. For those looking to make quick turns and have fun on a budget, these skis are great value.

What I like: A great value solid all-around skis for beginner and intermediate skiers.

What I don’t: Lack high-speed stability and not suitable for hard snow

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Best Budget All-Mountain Skis: Comparison Table

Rossignol Sender 90 Pro118-90-108mm160cmMedium, 19 mBeginner
Salomon QST Lux 92129-92-112mm161cmMedium, 6mIntermediate
Rossignol Experience 78 Ca125-78-111mm138cmShort, 9mBeginner-Intermediate
Atomic Bent 100127.5-100-118mm164cmMedium, 16.4mIntermediate-Advanced
Völkl M6 Mantra135-96-119mm163cm30-18-24mAdvanced-Expert
Nordica Enforcer 94125-94-112mm165cmMedium, 15.5mAdvanced-Expert
Blizzard Rustler 10131-102-121mm164cmMedium, 14.5mIntermediate-Advanced
Head Kore 93133-93-115mm177cmMedium, 16.4mIntermediate-Advanced
Atomic Maverick 95 Ti130-95-114mm188cmMedium, 20.8mIntermediate-Advanced
Line Skis Sick Day 88127-88-113mm165cmMedium, 17.4mIntermediate-Advanced

Critical All-Mountain Ski Considerations

Critical All-Mountain Ski Considerations

All-mountain is a non-specific term that covers a wide range of ski conditions. From groomer-oriented to powder-friendly, there is a lot that all-mountain skis should work on. When choosing all-mountain skis you should know the snow conditions that you are most likely to face.

Then there are certain things about the skis that you should be aware of. Like the waist width, rocker/camber profile, materials used in the skis, and the effects they have on the performance of the skis. Keeping track of such things can be confusing, especially, for beginners. But this small guide can help you.

Preferred Terrain

Despite being advertised as an all-mountain, skis can’t do everything. All-mountain skis are not designed to strictly work on a specific kind of terrain. They have a more generic design that works on all terrains which is why they are called all-mountain. However, the overall feature set of skis makes them more suitable for a certain kind of terrain than the others.

Before you choose your skis, you should be aware of the terrain you would most likely face. The terrain is based on your personal preference or availability based on region. You can prefer to stick to groomed surfaces or you can prefer to go off-piste. Your region also plays an important role in the kind of terrain you would most likely have throughout the season as discussed later.

Skis with a narrow waist width are more suitable for groomed or packed snow. They are nimble and allow quick turns but they have a planted feel. They are often called front-side skis or all-mountain front. Wider skis are better suited for powder. Their wider waist allows them to float. They are often called all-mountain back or all-mountain wide. Learn more about ski widths here.

Then some skis are somewhere in-between with a balanced design. Such skis can handle both, off-piste and on-piste terrains, reasonably. As stated earlier, ski conditions are also based on your region. For example, the US, East Coast, and Midwest have fewer powder days. If you are in these areas, you should stick with front-side skis.

The West of the US has a lot more snow, especially in the states of Colorado, Utah, Alaska, and California. If you are in one of these western regions, then you should stick with powder-focused or all-mountain back skis.

Ski Rocker and Camber Profile

Skis are not flat. You can tell that by the very first time you look at the skis. But you can also put the skis on a flat surface and test them if you don’t believe your eyes. But that is not a manufacturing fault. Skis are supposed to be like that.

You will come across two terminologies when buying skis; camber and rocker profile. It is important to know what they are and what their function is.

Skis with a camber have an upward arc. In such skis, only the edges touch the ground while the center stays above the ground. The flex generated by pressing these skis using body weight produces power. These skis have metal edges for grip when turning. Skis with a camber profile are traditional skis for groomed surfaces.

Skis with a rocker profile are the opposite of skis with a camber profile. Rockered skis are flat in the middle and raised at the ends. These skis float and maneuver on soft snow. But you won’t have fun with them on hard-packed snow.

In all-mountain skis, the rocker and camber are combined to make them versatile. The camber allows these skis to turn and maintain control on hard-packed snow. The rocker, on the other hand, improves floating on soft snow. Variations in camber and rocker profile make skis more suitable for either on-piste or off-piste riding.

The Right Ski Length

Ski length plays an important role in the performance of the skis. The same skis with different lengths perform completely differently. It’s like they have completely different personalities so, having the right ski length matters.

The starting point in determining the right ski length is the rider’s height. General charts are available at retailers and manufacturers that bring the height of skis to the rider’s nose. The length is then further adjusted based on the rider’s skill level.

For beginners, shorter skis are more suitable. Short skis are nimble and allow fast turning. But they are not built for speed. They become unstable at high speeds. Since beginners don’t go fast in the beginning, short skis become easier for them to manage.

Experts prefer longer skis. Longer skis produce more speed and float better on powder. At high speeds, they become harder to turn making them challenging to handle. But their high speed makes them fun. Off-trail skis have rockered front-end. The raised front end makes these skis shorter than they are, so, you would need to size them up.

Turn Radius

The rocker and camber profile refers to the side profile of the skis. The side cut or the turn radius refers to the shape of the skis. The turn radius is measured in meters. Modern skis are wider at the front and tail end and narrower in the middle which gives them a certain shape. The more pronounced this shape is the better the skis turn.

Skis that are significantly narrower in the middle have a lower turn radius. But they are not stable at speed and don’t float well. On-piste skis are narrower in the middle. Off-piste skis are wider in the middle which allows them to float on powder. But their turn radius is also larger. Based on turn radius, skis have the following categories:

  • Carving skis: less than 16m
  • All-round: 16-20m
  • Turn in powder: 20+m

Ski Flex

How much flex your skis have is based on your skill level. Skis that have a soft flex are easy to turn and easy to control. They are suitable for beginners. Skis with moderate stiffness are stable at high speeds and have energy during fast turns. They are suitable for almost every skill level.

The stiffest skis, however, maximize power and top-end performance at higher speeds. They are fast and it’s hard to turn them making them challenging to ride. They are suitable for professionals and athletes. Manufacturers explicitly add the flex rating of their skis in the description.

Ski Cores and Laminations

Skis are complex equipment. Manufacturers use a lot of high-end materials and proprietary technologies to improve the performance of skis. Better materials improve performance but they also drive ski prices up.

High-end skis have Titanal in their construction which provides a boost and makes the skis fast. Carbon fiber is also used in the construction of skis. It is strong and lightweight and provides stability to the skis. Expensive skis also have a high-quality wood core.

Skis with foam or composite cores are not recommended. Skis with such cores don’t last long and deteriorate quickly. Metal components in the construction skis provide power, high-speed stability, and grip during turns.

Skis with Integrated Bindings

Skis with integrated bindings are different from skis that are offered as a package with bindings. They have an integrated plate that connects the bindings to the skis. They cut the time of separately choosing bindings and are usually a match in terms of performance. But for high-end performance, it is better to pair skis with bindings by yourself. It also gives you lots of options to choose from.