Having several different types of skis to suit different conditions sure sounds dreamy. But the fact is, ladies, that unless you’re a pro, it takes time and money to work up to that kind of quiver.
That’s where all-mountain skis come in! They’re engineered to adapt to it all. From choppy snow and resort groomers to steep and deep off-piste runs, an all-mountain ski is truly a chameleon of the slopes. One you can trust no matter what part of the mountain you find yourself in.
So if you’re the kind of skier that wants confidence, connection and reliability on all terrain, you’re in the right place. Read on as I round up the best women’s all-mountain skis to elevate your riding.
My Review Process
I’ve been a slider and glider of snow for decades. Although snowboarding was my first winter sport love, skiing has slowly but surely carved its way into my heart over the years. Nowadays, I can be found reaching for my skis almost as often as my board.
Luckily, I learned early in my skiing journey the importance of having an all-mountain ski designed to handle whatever the mountain throws at you. They’re one of the greatest tools for progression and confidence-building. The right model will still leave plenty of room for experimentation and no-frills fun, too.
When compiling a list of the best women’s all-mountain skis on the market, I’ve prioritized versatility above all. There are other important factors, of course, like a balanced camber / rocker and sidecut, but I’ll go into these more in the Buying Guide below.
If you’re the kind of gal dreaming of bigger and deeper and wilder, the Black Crows Atris Birdie will take you there in style. They’re our pick for Best Overall All-Mountain Women’s Skis because they’ll help your riding goals soar with a balance of playfulness and power.
From fresh powder to crud to Spring corn, the Atris Birdie is an approachable big-mountain ski that’s also a joy to ride in everyday resort conditions. I applaud the updated 2023 model, too, with a narrower 105mm waist, softer flex and more subtle rocker/camber profile. It ups their overall versatility and provides more snap and energy return on turns. Without sacrificing the float they’re known for.
If you’re not an advanced skier, it may be tough to harness all that the Birdie’s are capable of. But for experienced riders, they’re unmatched in how well they connect you to —and charge through!— various terrain. The Black Crows Atris Birdies are a stable, high-performing pair of skis you’ll reach for as a daily driver for years to come.
From laps on groomers and powder to everything in between, the Blizzard Black Pearl 88’s are the sidekick you want when advancing as a skier. They reign as our Best Women’s All-Mountain Skis for beginner to intermediate snow-sliding females.
What’s to love? A rocker tip and tail and camber underfoot bring out their nimble side, with plenty of float when it’s dumping. They hit the sweet spot between control and pop, too. A moderate weight and width allow them to zip through corduroy, crud and deep powder alike.
For those brand new to skiing, holding an edge skillfully will take some time to master. But if you’ve nailed down the basics, the Blizzard Black Pearl 88’s are an all-mountain charger that’ll help you move up the skiing ladder with confidence.
Are you an advanced or intermediate skier looking to challenge and elevate your riding with every run? The Nordica Santa Ana 98’s are fit for the task, and will channel your full potential.
From corn to crunch, or from the East Coast to the West Coast, you can rely on them to handle whatever conditions you encounter on the slopes. Sheets of metal integrated into the core and laminate really balance flexibility and stability as well. The result is superior edge engagement and great performance at higher speeds. A short turning radius results in controlled, quick turns; even in tight spaces.
As with most wider-width skis, the Nordica Santa Ana 98’s have some weight to them. So if you haven’t crossed into that intermediate skier zone yet, prepare for a learning curve. For experienced female shredders, though, these are a do-it-all powerhouse.
If a creative, freestyle-oriented style of skiing sounds like your cup of tea, the Armada ARW 106 UL’s will leave you wanting more with every ride.
If you’re an expert skier boosting airs, you’ll appreciate the power transfer when landing. If lapping the terrain park fires you up, the ultralight swing weight provides better to pull off tricks. Backcountry skiing? They float in soft snow and powder exceptionally well, and are nimble enough to use as a touring setup.
Being wider all-mountain skis, they wouldn’t be my first choice as a carving tool in firm snow. But their manueverabliity otherwise make up for it. For female skiers that value imaginative, boundary-pushing riding, there’s nothing off-limits with the Armada ARW 106’s.
If you’re a powder hound that doesn’t want to sacrifice all-mountain versatility, you need skis cut for the job at hand. The Salomon QST Stella 10’s are our champ for dedicated gals looking to leave their mark with first tracks; and then, go charge the whole mountain.
Even though they’re engineered to be surfy and stable in the fluffy stuff, you can also count on them to keep the riding playful and responsive in-bounds. A full poplar core and hybrid rocker-camber-rocker profile inspires confidence even in the most variable snow conditions.
Like many wider skis, the Salomon QST Stella 10’s have their limits if you’re on firm snow conditions all day. Even so, I still found them fun and more than agile when carving resort groomers or weaving tight trees. Especially for strong skiers keen on sticking to the sidecountry and backcountry, they’re a perfect choice. And when those deep powder days roll around, the Stella 10’s will put you in nothing short of a dream state.
Prefer earning your turns over resort crowds? The Atomic Backland 98 W’s take the podium for the best women's backcountry skis for all-mountain riding.
Whether you’re training on icy snow on the East Coast or breaking trail in the wild West, they adapt fluidly for all your touring needs. Feather-light and nimble on uphill skin tracks but extremely capable and sturdy on the downhill, you’ll love how they connect you to backcountry terrain.
The profile is also spot on. A classic camber underfoot gives extra edge engagement, and a balanced rocker in the tip and tail provides float and control on extra snowy or extra vertical descent. A special 3-D, beveled-edge “Horizon Tech” feature in the tips only adds to how well they handle mixed conditions.
Be warned: they’re not the most budget-friendly of prices. But the Atomic Backland 98’s are the only multi-tool you’ll need, so it’s money well spent. They’re dependable, responsive and ready to rip the entire mountain.
Does a beautifully-choreographed dance of speed, agility, and play sound like your style of on-piste skiing? Look no further than the Women’s Elan Ripstick 94’s. They stand apart as unparalleled all-mountain skis for females charging resorts (and beyond) with power and grace.
I love how they hold up just as well in bounds as in the backcountry, offering stability when you need it and a buttery smooth ride when you don’t. Loads of techy features, like their carbon rod construction, combine to make the Ripsticks lightweight and super fast, too. And capable of packing a punch in steep and deep terrain.
Okay, but what about bang for your buck? Well, the Elan Ripsticks are definitely on the steeper end of pricing, but the quality shows with every movement on the mountain. From bumps and fresh snow chutes to trees and groomers, they’re a lively, high-performing option for high-performing skiers.
Want a playful all-mountain ski that will progress your riding without breaking the bank? The women’s K2 Reckoner 92’s hits the sweet spot between value, adaptability and performance.
An excellent choice for beginner skiers, terrain-park junkies and speed-demon carvers alike, their profile delivers a forgiving and smooth ride. For those venturing into more complex terrain, fret not, though; they can still lay it down when the conditions demand it. A twin-tip design allows you to experiment with some freestyle, too.
Are they built for super soft powder snow or for aggressive skiers heading into the backcountry? Not exactly. For the price, though, I can’t hold it against them. I’ll take their zippy, creative style of riding any day. Don’t hesitate to make the K2 Reckoner 92’s your groomer-leaning all-mountain skis.
What’s The Difference Between Men’s & Women’s Skis?
The biggest difference between men’s and women’s all-mountain skis is often just the marketing. For many gender-specific models, color and design are sometimes the only main distinguisher. Sure they’re often a bit lighter and shorter, but so are some men’s models!
I know many women who ride “men’s” skis and men who ride “women’s” models because the specs work for them.
There are, of course, exceptions. Some brands have taken into account the average female physique to create a model that caters to a woman’s center of gravity, amongst other factors.
All Mountain Ski Buying Guide
All-mountain skis are designed to perform across the entire mountain, in a wide range of terrain and snow conditions. When purchasing a new model, you’ll want to take these factors into account to ensure you pick the best possible model for you.
Where you’re at in your skiing journey plays a big role when making a new ski purchase. For beginner skiers, stick to a ski length on the shorter end of the scale. It’ll make maneuvering your skis far easier. For advanced skiers, you can go with a wider waist and a longer model.
Your terrain preference also plays a big role. If you’re learning in the backcountry or at a powder-prone resort, you’ll want all-mountain skis with more surface area. Sticking mostly to groomed runs at resorts? Something a bit narrower and more flexible would be an ideal choice.
Ski width, or waist width, is measured underfoot, in the central part of the bindings where the ski is narrowest. All-mountain skis generally have a moderate waist width, anywhere from 80-100 mm underfoot. If you’re buying a model catered to a specific riding style or certain conditions, you may break out of this range in either direction.
Essentially, the wider the ski, the more support, stability and float you’ll have in powder (and chopped-up powder.) With a narrower underfoot, you can expect more agility, edge control, and tighter turns.
Ski length largely depends on your height, weight, and ski ability level. As a starting point, take your height and convert it to centimeters. All-mountain skis that fall roughly 15-20 cm above and below that number is a fair approximation of what your ski length may be.
From there, you can adjust depending on your riding style. Typically, shorter skis boast more maneuverability. Longer skis provide more stability, especially at faster speeds or in deeper snow.
Camber & Rocker
The camber or rocker of a ski is essentially its side profile. When laying flat, it’s the curve it makes from tip to waist to tail. A traditional camber profile lifts up at the waist of the ski, like a frown. A reverse camber, or rocker, is the opposite; the tip and tail are turned upward like a smile.
Camber provides solid edge engagement, and plenty of springiness when turning. A rocker shape gives that extra support in deeper snow and loads more float. Most all-mountain skis strike a compromise between the two, offering a hybrid profile that gives the best of both worlds.
Sidecut & Turn Radius
When lying flat on its base, the sides of a ski almost always curve inward, creating an hourglass shape. The radius of this side curve is called the ski’s sidecut. Sidecut matters because it’s responsible for a ski’s turn radius (measured in meters) and how easily the skis will turn.
In simplest terms, a high sidecut number means a higher turn radius, and a wider, more gradual turn. That’s great for steep, deep, and hard-charging runs because it’ll provide more control.
A smaller sidecut and turn radius number means the opposite. You’ll be able to make tighter turns, quicker and easier. This is ideal for entry-level skiers, or those who love carving around moguls or slalom tracks.
Turn radius will be usually described as:
- Short (10-15m)
- Medium (15-20m)
- Long (20+m)
Stiffness / Flex
The stiffness of a ski controls its maneuverability and stability. Stiffer connotes more control and support at faster speeds and prime edge control. Something softer, with more flex, is more forgiving and easier to maneuver. Skis with ample flex are bouncy and feel a bit more playful.
Most all-mountain skis will have a medium stiffness/flex. Check out our ski boot flex chart for more information.
All-mountain skis aren’t exactly cheap, but they’re worth the investment. Instead of blowing your savings on three separate sets of skis, a solid all-mountain model will fit the bill for the whole mountain.
On average, expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $1000 for a new pair of women’s all-mountain skis. If you’re just starting out, you’ll also need a pair of ski boots, poles, and bindings. And don’t forget a quality helmet, and reliable snow gear, like a waterproof jacket and ski gloves.
Want a do-it-all ski to rule them all, ladies? Our Best Overall pick for all-mountain women’s skis, the Black Crows Atris Birdie, is the perfect multi-tool for experienced skiers wanting to paint lines across the whole mountain.
If you’re a powder hound searching for a powder-leaning all-mountain ski, our backcountry pick, the Atomic Backland 98 W’s or the Salomon QST Stella 106’s will put you on Cloud 9 when the snow is fresh and deep.
For beginner to intermediate female riders, the Blizzard Black Pearl 88’s will give you the confidence to progress in a variety of conditions.
All-mountain skis are designed to handle a variety of snow conditions and terrain. From resort groomers to powder runs in the backcountry, think of all-mountain skis as a one-stop quiver.
Yes, a beginner can absolutely use all-mountain skis. In fact, they’re probably the best type of skis to learn on and progress with. Their versatility in different types of terrain and conditions makes them ideal for fine-tuning your technique for many seasons.
The term “piste” refers to a designated ski run at a resort. On-piste skiing, then, generally connotes groomed trails. All-mountain, on the other hand, refers to everything the mountain can throw at you. Be it glades and moguls in-bounds, or icy traverses and steep couloirs out of bounds.
Unless you’re able to test a ski out on the whole mountain to gauge its performance, the easiest way to recognize an “all-mountain” model is to take notice of its dimensions and shape. If the measurements, the profile, and the overall build line up with other all-mountain models, it’s probably an all-mountain ski.
Oh yes, you can carve on all-mountain skis! Most models incorporate a moderate sidecut for responsive turns, but just enough edge engagement and flex for smooth carving.
*The information on this site is based on research and first-hand experience but should not be treated as medical advice. Before beginning any new activity, we recommend consulting with a physician, nutritionist or other relevant professional healthcare provider.