The women’s Vantage 90 Ti from Atomic is intended to be a versatile all mountain ski, as is true with most skis in this width range. Atomic’s offering is quite unique, however, in the sense that it uses a construction that’s all its own. Atomic uses Prolite construction, a concept intended to make a ski both lighter and stronger. Material is removed from the center of the ski, the overwhelming reason why they are lighter, and the power comes from raised portions along the edges of the ski. This Vantage 90 Ti W differs from the men’s version as it uses a lighter wood core, but still gets Titanium Tank Mesh and Energy Backbone. When first introduced in our 2019 Ski Test, the Vantage models proved to be lightweight and ultra-responsive. For 2020, the flex pattern has been tweaked to boost forgiveness, while maintaining the performance benefits found in a light, stable, responsive ski.
Danielle Nichols tested the 169 cm length in the Vantage 90 Ti W. We typically see Danielle skiing heavier skis with more traditional sandwich construction, which made her feedback on the Vantage even more valuable. “Atomic is always a crowd pleaser. I feel like you can ski hard on this or super chill.” That’s really good to know, as the previous version of this ski was so stiff and responsive that it was rarely described as “chill.” We saw some high scores from Danielle, including 5 out of 5 for playfulness, forgiveness, versatility, and overall impression, while no criteria received lower than 4 out of 5. Its lightweight feel makes it super flickable, but it’s nice to know it had enough stability and edge grip to satisfy an aggressive skier like Danielle. “It’s like butter. I would recommend this ski to anyone!”
Annie MacDonald also tested the 169 cm length, which she noted felt a little short for her. That’s not terribly surprising, as Annie is another skier we often find on heavier skis, and even during our test was seen skiing much longer lengths. That said, she still had a lot of fun testing the Vantage 90 Ti W. We saw similar scores as Danielle from Annie, with mostly 4’s out of 5, and just forgiveness dropping down to 3 out of 5. That’s something to note about the Vantage 90 Ti W. Even though the flex has been softened up a bit, it’s still a fairly stiff ski. “Had good stability and some playfulness. Very versatile ski for intermediate to advanced ladies.” Intermediates should be aware of the high levels of responsiveness that come along with the Vantage 90 Ti, but it could be a great tool to bring technique and ability to the next level for a lot of women.
Kristi Brown also hopped on that 169 cm length and her response supported that idea: “Quiet and light. The perfect balance for an advanced intermediate hoping to improve her ability.” Similar high scores from Kristi as well, with nothing lower than 4 out of 5 and stability and torsional stiffness/edge grip earning 5 and 4.5 respectively. That’s impressive for a ski this lightweight. Kristi also found it to be a very intuitive ski, noting how great it felt when “you let it do all the work.” With high levels of responsiveness, the more you give it, the more you get back, but it’s nice to know the Vantage 90 Ti doesn’t ask to be driven at all times.
Mar Kuhnel also skied the 169 cm length and thought it felt “very stable at speed,” and noted that it was an “improvement on last year’s ski; a touch softer in the tip makes a big difference.” She still gave it a fairly low score for forgiveness, so timid skiers and less-aggressive intermediates may find it a bit much. “It did liven up a little bit at very high speeds, but I’m honestly not comfortable going that fast for very long.” 5 out of 5 for stability and torsional stiffness/edge grip from Mar, and we don’t expect it’s going to lack any performance for high-level skiers.
Whether you’re an advanced intermediate looking to improve or an expert who values a lightweight ski, the Vantage 90 Ti W offers a nice alternative to heavier, more traditionally-constructed skis on the market. More forgiving than in years past, but still a highly responsive ski with stability and edge grip that might surprise you given its weight.