If versatility is the most important factor in ski selection, the Atomic Vantage 90 CTI certainly fits that bill. It’s a ski that is both lightweight and strong and feels both playful and powerful. I feel like it’s a ski that will cater to a big audience including everyone from aggressive carvers to those who are more laid back. At 90mm underfoot it’s certainly going to have it’s limitations in deep snow or rough variable terrain, but it handles everything else so well that it could easily be a quiver of one type of ski for a lot of people. Those who want a slightly wider version should definitely check out the Atomic Vantage 100 CTI.
Atomic Vantage 90 CTI On-Mountain Video Ski Review
Jacket: Trew Cosmic Pants: The North Face Sickline Goggle: Smith IO
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Atomic Warden 13
Conditions: Soft Chop, Groomed, Hard Pack, Bumps, Trees
Ski Personality: I feel the best way to describe the Atomic Vantage 90 CTI is as a lightweight yet powerful and energetic carver that feels maneuverable and somewhat playful. It’s a ski that will cater to a lot of different skiers in a lot of different conditions.
On the Snow Feel: When on edge the Vantage 90 CTI feels stable, energetic, and powerful, and yet at the same time the ski can feel somewhat playful. Overall the feel would probably be best described as semi-stable.
Powder: It’s always somewhat of a challenge talking about powder performance in narrow all-mountain skis since of course the narrow waist widths aren’t meant for powder skiing. The Atomic Vantage 90 CTI is no exception, and really didn’t stand out for skis in this waist width. The Vantage 90 CTI does have a decent amount of rocker in the tip, but it’s stiffer flex doesn’t really do much to aid flotation. Sure it’s probably better than a narrower on piste ski, and when there’s a small amount of dust on crust, the 90 CTI will be fine. Just don’t expect the 90 CTI to perform well on days when you see a lot of fresh snow.
Turn Initiation and Carving: I really enjoy the feel of the entire Vantage line of skis on piste. Every ski from the 100 CTI to the 90 CTI is lightweight and somewhat playful, and yet surprisingly powerful, energetic, and stable. The 90 CTI is probably the most energetic, lively, and quick of the Vantage series, and really is a fun ski to carve on groomers. Adding in a titanal backbone gives the ski the dampness and stability aggressive skiers will like, but since it’s not a full laminate it keeps the ski lightweight and maneuverable. In addition, the lightweight Carbon Tank Mesh provides some extra strength and energy. It’s light weight and rocker profile (15% in tip and 10% in tail) ensures that even at slower speeds the ski won’t be overly difficult to turn. While the ski isn’t necessarily loose or surfy, it’s quite easy to smear turns and vary turn shape. Less aggressive skiers will find it forgiving and approachable. At the same time the ski offers enough torsional rigidity and stiffness to feel powerful. Tipping it on edge wasn’t overly difficult, but the ski definitely comes to life with some speed. Aggressive skiers that like to go a bit faster will will be rewarded with far more responsiveness and rebound energy. The ski is about as quick as a 90mm ski can be, and it has a very fun and lively rebound energy. I love that this ski feels so powerful and energetic for such a light-weight ski, and feel that the combination of powerful carver and maneuverability will really cater to a lot of different skiers.
Speed: Lightweight skis can sometimes feel a bit out of place at high speeds, but thanks to Atomic’s titanal backbone and Carbon Tank Mesh, the Vantage 90 CTI does well at moderately high speeds. The Vantage 90 CTI doesn’t quite fit into the charger category, but it has a high strength to weight ratio and a decent amount of power. When carving medium radius turns at moderate speeds, the ski feels very damp and stable. I might not use it to straight-line steep terrain off piste, but the ski feels perfectly at home carving high speed turns on groomed terrain.
Uneven/Variable Terrain: While I love the construction of the Atomic Vantage 90 CTI it’s biggest limitation in variable terrain will probably be the 90mm waist width. Sure the ski is powerful, stable, and damp but at 90mm it’s geared much more towards slightly roughed up groomers than it is to extremely variable terrain off piste. I’m not saying this ski can’t handle variable terrain, but it will feel much more at home skiing off piste the day after a 5″ storm than it will the day after a 12″ storm. It’s certainly one of the more capable skis in the class, but if you want a little more stability off piste, I’d definitely recommend looking at the Vantage 100 CTI. Still, I think this is one of the better skis in it’s class for playing ff piste. It’s powerful, stable, and somewhat playful.
Bottom Line: It seems as if everything about the Atomic Vantage 90 CTI was designed to make a powerful and energetic ski without adding a ton of weight. I think Atomic hit a home-run with this ski. The light weight keeps the ski maneuverable, forgiving, and even somewhat playful. At the same time the ski is quite powerful and stable. The ski is a fun carver, and it has a very exciting rebound energy. It’s forgiving and approachable enough for intermediate skiers, but will come to life for skiers with a bit more aggressive style. The 90 CTI is quite versatile and I think will stand out for a lot of skiers. I think it’s best suited to those in the Midwest or east coast where quickness and edge hold might be more important than float and stability. Those who want a bit more stability and performance in deeper snow should look at the Vantage 100 CTI.
This review reflects the OPINION of our testers based on their personal experience with a particular product. We do not guarantee that you will have the same experience with, or opinion of, a product as our testers did. This review
should only be used as a general guide.