Salomon has shaken things up a bit for 2020 with the revamped QST line. The Lumen 99 is arguably the most versatile in the class, and our testers loved the increased stability and the lighter-weight feel. Salomon accomplished this feat by changing up the shape a bit to make it turn better and be more stable at speed. The full-length poplar core is combined to a Ti power platform and a full sandwich construction. Adding to that, a full-length carbon and basalt blend increases power and edge grip. Cork in the tips and tails make for easy turning and reduced chatter at speed. Our testers seem to be impressed with the upgrades, and the 99 is a fantastic one-ski quiver for all-mountain performance.
Caroline Kessler skied the 174 and found it to be the right length. She gave all 4’s out of 5 for every category except flotation, but her overall impression and high average score lead us to believe that Caroline loved the 99. “Super-fun all-mountain ski for just about anyone! Holds an edge at any speed, maintains stability through crud and is fun! Poppy from turn to turn, and I could see having fun on these in any terrain.” It’s nice that Caroline points out the “poppy” nature of the ski, as that’s part of what Salomon had set out to do with the revamped 99.
Elissa DeGolyer also skied the 174 and felt that it was a bit burlier than Caroline did. Elissa gave it high scores in flotation, stability, edge hold, and overall impression. She didn’t find it to be terribly quick, but seemed to like the stoutness. “Heavier-set feeling. This ski is more solid with snow, the effective edge seems long which makes for feeling like you’re on a track.” Nice analysis from Elissa, noting that perhaps the Cork or the basalt makes for a less playful, but more poised character.
Kelsey Boleski loved the 174, and even thought she could go longer. All 5’s from Kelsey with the lone exception of a 4 for flotation. The Salomon QST Lumen 99 was my “favorite ski of the day. Checks off all the boxes. Not super-heavy but remains damp. They can hold an edge on the hard stuff, but are still playful in the fluff. Quick to turn and super-easy to earn your turns with this QST.” Great point by Kelsey here stating that the lighter weight will benefit backcountry skiers and tourers as well.
Annie MacDonald also was a fan of the 174, scoring it 5 out of 5 for overall impression, torsional stiffness, and stability. Her lowest score of 3 out of 5 was for quickness and maneuverability, so we have seen some differences of opinion from our lady testers as to the quickness of the ski. Annie states: “Loved this ski! Light and stable, good enough edge hold and light enough to be a great floater in pow. Very versatile all-mountain ski that would be good for all conditions and turning good! One-ski quiver for sure. Thumbs up!” Annie echoes exactly what Salomon set out to do with the Lumen 99—making a one-ski quiver that excels not only in a few areas, but rather most of them.
It’s an interesting ski, this QST Lumen 99 from Salomon. There were certainly some discrepancies among the testers and their results, but at the end of the day, none of them were negative, they just seem to hit on different highlights. As a new/changed model, that’s to be expected, and we’re psyched to see the long-term effects and enthusiasm over this soon-to-be popular ski.