Expert Review: Atomic Backland 107 Skis · 2022Published on 12/10/2022 · 6 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2021.
At the Trailhead on Cameron Pass in CO. All photos courtesy of Michael M.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2021.
The Atomic Backland 107 is my ultimate backcountry ski. It's lightweight, stable, and crushes the uphill and rips the downhill in any condition. This ski has a more intermediate/advanced style to it, it requires a bit of energy to turn over but can also smear a turn very well.
About the gear
- Model: 2022 Atomic Backland 107
- Size: 189cm
- Height: 5’9”
- Weight: 165lbs
- Experience: 30 years of skiing, 15 years of backcountry skiing
- When I bought these: December 2021
- Days tested: 40
- Mount position: +1.5
- Boots: 2022 Atomic Hawx XTD 130
- Boot Size: 26.5
- Bindings: 2022 Atomic Backland
- Where I’ve used it: Colorado, Wyoming, and British Columbia.
- Terrain: Deep powder, hard pack, ice, wind buff, groomers, moguls, chutes, and trees.
How they perform
What I was looking for
I have always sought a lightweight backcountry ski that I can also ski at the resort when needed. I wanted this ski to take me anywhere I wanted to go with confidence that the ski would hold up and perform. Additionally, I wanted a long effective edge and mostly flat tail with a rocker tip and wood construction.
Why I chose this gear
I had skied a long 80-mile traverse in the previous version of this ski in a shorter length and wanted to test the new version in a longer length. By moving up to the longer ski and mounting it forward 1.5cm, I wanted similar maneuverability in all conditions but better floatation and stability at higher speeds. I considered buying the Atomic Backland 117 instead of the 107; however, I feel this model is more versatile. It is more all-mountain focused and does better in those late spring or hardpack conditions.
What I love about them
- Speed: I love this ski's ability to handle speed in any condition, especially in longer-length versions. It is extremely stable at all speeds, even on groomers. When skiing big open faces in the backcountry, this ski excels and holds up well at speed. It has a bit of tip chatter at high speeds in hard snow conditions.
- Edge hold: I am very surprised at how well this ski holds an edge. It can handle those hard pack days as well as any all-mountain ski, which is amazing due to its weight. When tuned properly, they hold a great edge, although it's a longer turning radius ski, so the quick turning does suffer a bit.
- Powder: These perform amazingly in powder. I have skied them in anything from 2” to 2’ of powder and loved them every time. The tip of the ski has horizon tech that allows it to carve through powder amazingly, and it's wide enough to bounce through most deep days.
- Trees: I like this ski in the 182 a little better for tree skiing. It is very nimble, especially in new snow, and can turn quickly when needed. I think its weight is underrated concerning tree skiing. Since it is so light, it makes it easy to maneuver in tight spots and turn in most tree skiing situations.
- Backcountry: This is truly where I've found this ski to shine above all others. It's super lightweight for the uphill and holds up extremely well for the down. I have put almost 100 miles on this ski, and it has yet to disappoint. It is extremely reliable, even in ice and wind buff. When I get good days in the backcountry, it is a blast to ski on and makes me want to go back up for seconds.
- Durability: I have tried to beat up this ski but failed to do so. It is very durable; even with over 50 days on it, I have seen very little wear. The only real blemishes I have found with this are in the topsheet near the tip.
- Weight: Another area where I found these to shine. These are extremely lightweight. Mixed with a nice light AT binding makes any uphill a breeze. It also helps with quick turning in the trees.
- Stability: These have great pop and still have dampness underfoot for a light ski. They have hardly any chatter except a little bit in the tip. They are very stable at almost any speed.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Groomers: While these still rip groomers when I need them to, they are not a ski specifically designed for that. They hold a good edge but would not be my first choice as a groomer-specific ski.
- Moguls: Since these skis are a little on the softer side and wider, they aren’t great mogul skis. The width doesn’t allow for great edge control in the moguls; sometimes, they will become quirky.
- Park: While I have spun a few laps in the park on these, which are nice and light, the flat tail isn’t great for the park. If one wants to spin a quick 360 or a nice backflip, these will do the trick, but I would stick to backcountry jumps if one can.
- Switch riding: With a mostly flat tail, switch riding is not what these backcountry skis are designed for.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite moment on these skis were some long days in the Wyoming backcountry. These skis shined on the uphill for over 10 miles and were such a breeze on the way down. I still had the energy for another lap. We were fortunate enough to have 2’ of new snow, and the ski overperformed in all aspects.
Value for the money vs. other options
The Atomic Backland 107 is a great ski for the price, especially if someone can get them for under $700. Some other backcountry skis are made with carbon to decrease weight and increase stability, which can increase the price dramatically. Skis like the Black Diamond Helio Carbon will run upwards of $900, but I find the Backland performs better all around. The Backland 107s are also more durable, based on my opinion. Skiers will likely end up like me and only get this ski as their backcountry ski going forward.
This gear unlocks the ability to crush the inbounds, side country, and backcountry for any length of time. Its lightweight design and bomber construction make any day worth skiing.