2020 Atomic Vantage 86 C W

Atomic’s Vantage collection is home to a wide range of widths and constructions ranging from 75 mm all the way up to 107 mm and utilizing either metal or carbon in their construction. This Vantage 86 C W is designed to be an approachable, versatile all-mountain ski for resort skiing. Using carbon instead of metal cuts some significant weight out of the ski, coming in at 1400 g in the 157 cm length. Atomic’s construction technique already results in a relatively light ski. They remove quite a bit of material from the center of the ski, creating a channel between two raised portions along the edge of the ski where you need it most. The entire Vantage collection for both men and women has made a name for itself as being lightweight, responsive, versatile, and a lot of fun for a variety of skiers.

Sam Purnell skied the 157 cm Vantage 86 C and first noted that she thought she could’ve skied it in a longer length, “I think to be more aggressive; I would want a longer ski.” Two choices for someone like Sam, either go for a longer length Vantage 86 C W or move to the metal-clad Vantage 90 Ti W. That said, she still had a lot of fun testing the Vantage 86 C W. “Good ski for groomers and packed out woods. Sturdy and dependable edges. It started to feel a little less dependable with more aggressive turns and higher speeds, but perfect for someone who wants to feel the ski and cruise nice and easy all day.”

Carly Monahan also tested the 157 cm Vantage 86 C W and had a similar reaction as Sam, commenting that it “would be really fun for someone who wants to ski all day without getting worn out on a more aggressive ski.” To be honest, we think a lot of skiers fall into that category, probably more than those that need those aggressive skis. Carly scored the Vantage 86 C W 5 out of 5 for both quickness/maneuverability and forgiveness, but we also saw 4s out of 5 for just about every other category. “Light and versatile; predictable, but playful.”

Shelby Parenteau also hopped on the 157 cm length and “found this ski nice and stable, yet very light, which was a plus.” Shelby is a progressing skier herself, coming from more of a snowboarding background, and it seemed the Vantage 86 C W worked really well for her. “Quick to maneuver edge to edge, this ski was easy for me to turn and feel confident. A great light-all-mountain ski for the progressing lady.”

Allison Ruschp tested the 165 cm Vantage 86 C and thought it was “light, fun, and very carve-able.” The shape of the Vantage skis is designed to achieve good carving performance. They don’t use very high-rise rocker and there’s not a significant amount of early taper in the tips and tails, so you retain good edge contact through any style turn. She even went as far as saying “the shape of the tips makes turn initiation easy,” which will be a huge benefit for skiers working on their carving turns. Alli also thought it “handles ice and crud well without too much chatter,” which is valuable feedback for a lightweight ski like this. “Easy to ski in all on-trail conditions and would be fun in the woods.”

If you’re looking for a fun all-mountain ski that’s relatively easy going, the Vantage 86 C W could be a great choice for you. It has an excellent blend of performance for a lot of women ranging from lower-level intermediates all the way up to lightweight or less-aggressive advanced and expert skiers. It’s not the most powerful, it doesn’t have the best vibration damping, but it’s one of the lightest skis you’ll put on your feet and is a whole lot of fun around the entire mountain. Best part? It won’t wear you out even if you’re skiing bell to bell.


Allison Ruschp

Age: 32Height: 5'5"Weight: 135 lbs.

Ski Style: Ex-racer who's calmed herself down

Shelby Parenteau

Age: 27Height: 5'2"Weight: 130 lbs.

Ski Style: Snowboarder

Sam Purnell

Age: 26Height: 5'5"Weight: 130 lbs.

Ski Style: Strong and athletic with an adventurous spirit

Carly Monahan

Age: 33Height: 5'4"Weight: 135 lbs.

Ski Style: Athletic and active, but laid back

2 Comments on the “2020 Atomic Vantage 86 C W”

  1. I’m looking for what I’m calling my post hip replacement skis. I’ve enjoyed Abolute Joys @159cm for the past 5 years or so. Now looking for something wider and maybe a bit shorter (I think I may need to slow down a tad instead of charging around with a new hip) but will be mainly on piste and playing around the edges. Definitely need something good on icing conditions / crud as I tend to ski in mid Feb in Austria. I’m 158, 70kg and I consider myself an upper intermediate (post op) looking to get back to advance level and ski technical. Also considering Astral 84, Total Joy and BP 82 or 88. Any thoughts on what might be a good fit?

    1. Hi Jasmin!
      I feel like the post-hip skis should be light and metal-free. That puts you in line with the Vantage 86 C and the BP 88 in my book. If you liked the Absolute’s, you’ll get the same type of character out of the Totals, but if you’re looking for something different, I’d go with either the BP 88 or the Vantage 86. Have fun!

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