The 2020 Nordica Navigator 85 is a surprising ski that is a great option for a huge range of skiers. Unchanged for this year, the Nav 85 is now the widest of the collection, with the Navigator 90 being phased out/morphing into Enforcer 88. Built with a poplar/beech core and a titanium hex bridge, the Navigator 85 has a great blend of snap, pop, and stability. The shape of the ski has always set it apart, with its Enforcer-inspired tip and Dobermann-like tail, the Navigator 85 is an awesome blend of playfulness and power. At 85 mm underfoot, the skis absolutely rail turns on groomers. At 179 cm length, the skis have a 16.5-meter turn radius, so these things really turn on a dime. That tail is stiff enough to hold strong carves from advanced and expert skiers, but they are also suitably forgiving for intermediate level skiers. They really do hit a broad range of the skiing population, and they’re really well-built and designed skis.
Michael Rooney skied the 186 and found it to be the proper length. He gave out a ton of high scores, with 5’s for stability, quickness, playfulness, versatility, and overall impression. His score of 3 out of 5 for forgiveness indicates that Michael thought it was a pretty stiff ski with fantastic stability. “The Navigator 85 is a great advancing intermediate to expert level ski. It loves to turn and on edge it carves easily. It handles bumpy stuff well too. It is a fun ski!” It’s nice to hear that a ski with precision and stability can also be fun. That’s what Nordica was aiming for with the shape of this ski, and it’s nice to see that it actually works.
Tad Lamell liked his 179 cm test length, scoring the ski 5’s out of 5 for quickness, playfulness, and versatility. Tad “enjoyed the length to width ratio! Easy turn and good edge hold. Stable enough for me at high speed. Good for all-mountain groomers.” As our second tester to comment on the easy-turning nature, Tad picks up on the smoothness of the ski, and how responsive it is for how light it is.
Also on the 179, Rick Randall found it to be appropriate. He scored the skis all 4’s, right down the line, and this usually means that the ski is truly well-rounded and has a ton of different strengths. Rick was “really surprised by how well this ski held an edge, was quick from turn to turn, and stable at speed.” Rick did notice, whether he would have had the same experience with the 186, we’re not sure, but that the “only thing is tip flat from the rocker profile on hard-pack snow.” He finishes by stating that the Nav 85 is a “really fun and lively all-mountain ski that can also rip carves.”
Dave Marryat skied the 179 and liked the length, the forgiveness, and the edge hold of the Navigator 85. All 4’s and 5’s for Dave, including a 5 for overall impression. This ski really does surprise a lot of different skiers. Dave calls it “an excellent daily driver. Light and easy edge to edge. Holds a turn nicely. It has a big sweet spot.” And in terms of the ski’s broad appeal: “Anyone could hop on this ski and have a good day.” That’s a really nice thing to say about a ski!
As a Dad, I somewhat take offense to Parker Herlihy’s comment that the Navigator 85 is the “best all-mountain dad stix!” But if you’re going to have all-mountain skis, might as well get the best!
But yes, the Nordica Navigator 85 checks a ton of boxes for a ton of skiers, Dads included. The carving ability puts them over the edge in comparison to some competitors, and they’re just really well-constructed skis.