The Armada Invictus 95 is one of several new models of Invictus skis that include the 89ti, 95, 95ti, and 108ti. All of these are loosely based on the Invictus of the past, but offer a bit more versatility and covers a wider range of skier styles and ability levels. We had the chance to test out the 95 and 89ti in the fall of 2015, and wanted to post some preliminary thoughts about performance.
Armada Invictus 95 and Invictus 89ti Video Ski Review
Riders: Matt and Laura
Conditions: Groomers, Chop, soft snow (5”), hard pack
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Tyrolia AAAttack 13
Ski Personality: Smooth and stable all-mountain frontside charger with an easy going feel
On the Snow Feel: The Armada Invictus 95 feels quite stable and not very playful at all. The 95 is more forgiving than the 89ti (and likely 95ti), but I wouldn’t necessarily say that it is beginner friendly. It’s still a ski that likes to charge pretty hard, and was relatively stable in a wide variety of conditions.
Powder: The Armada Invictus 95 has a medium flex, AR Nose Rocker, and relatively light weight. All of these seem to help make the Armada Invictus 95 a capable ski in softer snow, but I wouldn’t say that the powder performance is great. At 95mm underfoot, it just doesn’t have the float of a wide-waist powder ski. However, if you’re looking for a ski that is super versatile and still capable of taking on the deep snow the Armada Invictus 95 isn’t a bad option.
Turn Initiation and Carving: The Armada Invictus 95 is quite a bit more forgiving than the 89ti (and likely the 95ti), and was slightly better at slower speeds. That being said, the Armada Invictus 95 is still a ski that likes to be pushed, and we found that it still took a bit of speed to get it on edge. Like the 89ti, the Armada Invictus 95 felt much more at home making medium to wide radius turns, and although it felt a bit quicker than the 89ti, it still wasn’t super lively or energetic. It’s not that the ski is dull, or unresponsive, but it wasn’t super exciting either. It seemed to be happier at speed, and it remained stable and damp when carving large radius turns, but I’d like to see a bit more energy at slow to moderate speeds.
Speed: The Armada Invictus 95 is good at speed, but not quite as good as the 89ti. This is no surprise as the titanal laminate helps to dampen negative vibrations and makes the ski feel a bit more powerful. The Armada Invictus 95 was happy at moderate speeds, but we did notice a bit of chatter at high speeds, especially on roughed up terrain. Those who really want to push hard and fast would be better off looking at the 95ti, but those who are just starting to push themselves a bit harder off-piste will find the 95 to be a nice transition ski.
Uneven/Variable Terrain: The Invictus 95 is good in chop and variable terrain, but again not great. The AR Nose Rocker helps to push soft snow out of the way, but the Armada Invictus 95 doesn’t feel as stiff or burly as the 89ti and 95ti. The latter two are much better at blasting through crud and chop. Again, it’s not that the Armada Invictus 95 is bad in these conditions, but it requires a slightly different approach. The Armada Invictus 95 was better suited to slower more reactive skiing in the crud as opposed to just blasting through at higher speeds. There were several times we came in too hot, and got bounced around a bit more than we’d like to.
Edge Hold: The Armada Invictus 95 feels pretty locked in once on edge. It does have a nice pintail design that keeps it from feeling hooky, yet still provides plenty of stability and hold throughout the turn. While I did prefer the stiffer flex in the tail of the 89ti, the 95 was still powerful.
Flex: The Armada Invictus 95 is softer than the 89ti and 95ti, but it’s also not a noodle. The softer flex makes it a bit more forgiving, but it still skis like a ski that likes to be pushed. It wasn’t super easy to turn, and does require a bit more effort than we expected.
Switch: The Armada Invictus 95 has a very directional feel to it that is unusual for Armada.
Jumps and Park: This is a directional frontside ski and would not be a great ski for the pipe and park.
It seems that the Armada Invictus 95 fits into the category of versatile all-mountain skis that aren’t necessarily great in any one category, but pretty well-rounded. It’s suited to a wide variety of terrain, and will have experienced piste riders exploring off-piste more often. It’s a capable ski in just about every condition, and much more approachable than the 95ti. Those who want a bit harder charging ski with all the same versatility should check out the 89ti or 95ti.