Tag Archives: salomon

Salomon S/Lab Shift Ski Binding Review

There has been a lot of press about the new S/Lab Shift ski binding from Salomon. After nearly a decade of R&D Salomon has produced a ski binding that can deliver downhill performance with touring capability. A ski binding that gives today’s freeride skiers a chance to “earn their turns” by touring uphill and then charging ‘big lines’ on the descent!

Salomon can tell you all about the ski bindings here; and, as previously mentioned, the freeride peak hunting athletes’ are screaming “Holy Shift”. But what does a novice, rookie, greenhorn, virgin ski tourer think of the Shift ski bindings? Well read on.

Having never ski toured before I was both excited and apprehensive when Shep, Salomon’s friendly ski tour guide, introduced me to ski touring. First the safety kit, including a transceiver which was very reassuring. And then the 99mm underfoot QST skis with S/Lab Shift bindings, and skins. All I will say is; “if you are into Transformers you’ll love these bindings”. A ‘click here’ and a ‘click there’; and you transform a touring binding into an alpine binding, and visa versa – “simples”.

snow covered trees
 It was cold, windy, and in cloud; which gave my first experience of Sweden a rather ‘monochromatic’ outlook.

So with the skins attached and the bindings in touring mode, I managed to locate my boots securely. It takes a bit of practice, but I would have experienced that with any ‘pin binding’ – and you soon get the ‘knack’! We set off, nothing too adventurous  at the side of the piste, but enough to understand the technique of going uphill with skis – without the aid of a button or chair lift. Needless to say it was more tiring, but it was also more rewarding – I now understand the term “earn your turns”.

It was now time to, ‘click here’ and ‘click there’, and transform the bindings into alpine mode. This I am familiar with, and they felt as good as the bindings I have had on any of my piste/all-mountain skis!

The whole experience was great, and I managed to impress Shep enough to allow me to join a more adventurous trip the following day.

 Again it was cold, windy, and in cloud; which gave my first experience of Sweden a rather ‘monochromatic’ outlook. We skinned up much steeper terrain, with a customary ‘zig-zag’, and once again the bindings performed brilliantly in touring mode. Once again the pleasure of being away-from-the-crowds, that ski touring gives you, was delightful. But as Sir Isaac Newton eloquently said; “what goes up must come down”!

tree line skiing
I felt sorry for the trees, as we descended the powder fresh tree line. A twig here, a branch there; we became close friends.

If you have read my review of the Salomon XDR skis, you will know I’m not the most proficient off-piste skier; so with a ‘click here’ and a ‘click there’ I was ready to venture “outside my comfort zone”!

I felt sorry for the trees, as we descended the powder fresh tree line. A twig here, a branch there; we became close friends. Too close sometimes; but the bindings, in alpine mode, released with great aplomb! At the bottom it occurred to me, that while my colleagues made light-work of the tree line, it was I that was fully testing the bindings – as I ‘crashed’ my way down!

So what does a virgin ski tourer think of the Salomon S/Lab Shift ski bindings? Rather amazing actually! Here’s a binding that will perform in both alpine and touring mode; and will enable you to ‘earn your turns’ however extreme they may be!

Chad Blanc

Photographs Nigel Shepherd

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Salomon Drifter Mid-Layer Jacket Review

I work outdoors at a Watersports Centre, and I am an avid hill walker in my spare time, so I was interested to see if the Salomon Drifter mid-layer jacket would be a welcome addition to my assortment of gear.

The  Drifter mid-layer is really light weight, weighing in at just 500g, and packs down really small, thanks to the Primaloft 60g insulation, consequently you can carry it anywhere.

The mid layer has a pretty cool reversible function which allows you to wear it inside out. This particular colour reverses from an Acid Green to a Purple. The two sides have very different uses: one is more windproof, whilst the other is more breathable, so you can regulate your temperature to the conditions. Or treat it as two jackets!

salomon drifter mid-layer jacket
This particular colour reverses from an Acid Green to a Purple. The two sides have very different uses: one is more windproof, whilst the other is more breathable, so you can regulate your temperature to the conditions.

This mid layer jacket is also snow/water proof with Salomon’s AdvancedSkin Shield technology, and Pertex water repellent finish, which means you can wear it as an outer layer. I have found the jacket does not fare well to harsh rain conditions as the water does eventually seep through, but in light drizzle there are no problems.

The jacket was ideal for hill walking, and nipping down some caverns, in the peaks; because it is light and thanks to its breathability I did not overheat! It fits well and is consistent with all other Salomon clothing sizes.

Although I have other jackets for outdoor use the Salomon Drifter mid layer jacket has become my preference every time; especially at work, on those windy cold days at the centre, where the  AdvancedSkin Warm and Primaloft has helped keep me comfortably warm.  There is a ladies specific version too!

Thanks Craig (Watersports Centre Manager)

 

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Salomon XDR Skis Review

Salomon are replacing the X-Drive range of skis with the new range of Salomon XDR skis, next season, and let me tell you – its more than just a name change!

There will no doubt be plenty of articles explaining the technical merits of these skis; from the Snowsport Industries Great Britain (SIGB) Ski Test in March. This annual event is open to suppliers, retailers and the media; and provides them with an opportunity to thoroughly test next season’s skis. This year it’s in Kühtai, Austria.

They will no doubt explain the benefits of the full wood core, the single titanium laminate, the power zone, and the all terrain rocker – to name a few – and how these XDR skis meet Salomon’s desire to produce a ski that, in resort (or frontside as they like to call it) will handle a variety of snow conditions, such as carving groomed pistes, powering through crud or floating on fresh powder.

What I will say, “there isn’t an emoji with a big enough grin to express how much fun these skis are to ski”! I’m not going to explain the all mountain C/FX Shape; I’m going to say these are the best skis I have ever skied on; they are the skis for me!

So who am I? I’m the average recreational skier, who once a year travels to the mountains (Alps) to ski for six days. I like to ski on piste, and I’m extremely comfortable on red runs. I’m sure that ‘technically’ I could improve, but I’m on holiday, and my main focus is to have fun skiing in the mountains! I’m on the first lift and will ski all-day; so the ease with which I skied these skis, made them all the more delightful – and they look good too!

salomon xdr 80 Ti skis
I even ventured off-piste! Well a little area of ‘powder’ between the runs.

These skis took me where I wanted to go, on large carving turn, with excellent edge hold; even on the few ‘black’ runs these skis gave me the confidence to attack. The faster I went the more stable and confident I felt. I was having fun, run after run, and thanks to the lightweight construction I could – all day long!

I even ventured off-piste! Well a little area of ‘powder’ between the runs. I was awful, but the skis gave me plenty of float as I manoeuvred myself back to the haven of the neighbouring run. I tried it a few times, and marginally improved, however it only reinforced my love of the groomed ‘corduroy’ pistes – which is where I stayed!

So if reading this you’re thinking, “he sounds a bit like me”; there is a good chance that these Salomon XDR skis are the ones for you. Chad Blanc

But don’t just ‘take our word for it’; why not check out what the good people at Fall Line Skiing magazine have to say [Oct 2017]

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Salomon Q-83 Ski Review

The women’s Salomon Q-83 Myriad  all-mountain skis.

Recently it was that time in your life that every skier loves; time to purchase a new set of skis! I have skied several times around Europe, in different conditions, but whenever I am asked “what kind of skier I would class myself”, I’m not sure! I enjoy blue and red runs, and will go down blacks – if I have too. I’m learning to better my technique in the soft stuff, but most comfortable on piste.  I enjoy my skiing, and to me, that is the main thing.

skier skiing sunny day
I’m learning to better my technique in the soft stuff, but most comfortable on piste. I enjoy my skiing, and to me, that is the main thing.

Salomon Q-83 Myriad Women’s Skis

Personally, there are loads and loads of skis out there and, maybe as I am girl, I’m not one of these people who will do hours and hours of research. I summed up my requirements, to my other half, I wanted an easy turning ski that looks nice and will help me progress. He gave me a few options but the one that stood out most, and seemed to suit my ability, was the Salomon Q-83. As I said, I’m not very technical, so my boyfriend wrote the next part:

The Salomon Q series has proved a huge success and offers a vast range of skies for different abilities and types of skiing. The Q-83 is aimed at female intermediate skiers; that are looking to progress into skiing powder (the softer stuff) for the first time. It offers early wide edges (you’ll notice the bulge) and a hook free taper on the tip to allow for easier turning on piste. Basically this makes the ski shorter, and therefore easier to turn! The ski has a full wood core so will easily ski at speed and will still maintain plenty of control on piste. The ‘honeycomb’ in the tip dampens any vibrations. Finally, The ski has a utility rocker tip and tail which allows the ski to float easily in the softer ‘fluffy’ stuff.

The first point that I really noticed about them from the skis that I have previously used was how easy it was to turn. I have struggled previously with turning skis of this length but found my Salomon’s very easy. Thankfully, this helped with my confidence and when the time came and I decided to head off into the powder: lets just say it didn’t exactly go to plan the first time but after a few falls into the soft fluffy snow I started to gently get the hang of it which is something that I have never been confident enough to do.

skier fallen in powder
The ski has a utility rocker tip and tail which allows the ski to float easily in the softer ‘fluffy’ stuff. Or not!

Back on the piste, I felt that I was getting a little quicker and more confident the more I skied them. By the end of our trip, with the help of my boyfriend I was starting to learn to carve the skis. To me, the skis were exactly what I wanted. They were soft and easy to ski but seemed to be responsive when I started to pick up a little speed. My turning has improved dramatically and I even managed to gain a little confidence skiing in the powder. Overall, I really enjoyed these Salomon Q-83 Myriad skis and glad I went for them. I am looking forward to skiing them next year.

Finally, the fact that they are really pretty sums everything up but I need to remember not to look at them whilst skiing.

Thanks Mega!

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Salomon Q90 2014 Ski Review

Why I purchased the Salomon Q90 skis. In the past I have just gone with the flow and hired my skis, but now I’m at a skill level to know what I want ‘performance wise’ from a set of skis! At first the shear amount of choice was overwhelming but after reading reviews and watching videos I chose the Q90 2014 model; mainly for its all mountain performance and being aimed at intermediate to advanced level riders. I class myself at an intermediate level, consequently, these skis will be suitable as my skills progress.

salomon q90 skis
Salomon Q90 skis (2014).

Key Ski Facts:
Full wood core
Semi sandwich construction
Hook free taper
Pulse pad
Gentle rise tail (partial twin tip)
Wide edges
Carve zone
Total edge reinforcement
Utility rocker
169cm (130mm tip + 88mm waist + 116mm tail)
Turn radius 15.5m
Awards (skiing magazine official selection)
2014 Model
1510g (per ski)
Intermediate – Advanced

After picking the Q90 skis I wanted a binding suited to a mix of riding styles. The best one available at the time was the Marker Griffon 13, which is geared towards the ‘freeride’ market! This binding not only looks amazing but has the performance to match. My recent trip to Les Arc 1800 was the first time I tested these bindings and all I can say is amazing, they didn’t ejected when riding hard and no matter how much snow built up on my boots or skis these always engaged correctly unlike previous bindings I’ve used.

marker griffon ski binding
Marker Griffon 13 ski binding.

Next seasons Marker Griffon 13 ID bindings recently achieved the ISPO Segment Award for its compatibility with not just alpine but touring boots too which just shows the quality and advancement Marker has made in the past few years! So what is ISPO you ask?

Now back to the skis! The Salomon Q90 is a fantastic all mountain ski its full wood core made it extremely responsive on piste and helped to reduce chatter at high speeds giving me the confidence to push myself further.

Due to the wide design of this ski I thought the skis would struggle on piste when it came to carving, but no, it handled short and long carve turns extremely well; probably due to the integrated ‘carve zones’ which increases power and edge grip along the traditional cambered section. Unfortunately most of the off Piste was tracked and therefore only got to ride powder in a few places where it floated effortlessly due to the wide tip and tail.

Overall this whole set up is perfect for those wanting to explore new terrain giving the option for a mix of both on and off piste when the conditions are there. I give both the Q90 and Marker Griffon 13 five stars!

Here at Tallington Lakes Pro Shop we stock a range of the Q83, Q85, Q98 and other Salomon skis; so why not pop down to the shop or look online and view these skis in more detail!

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Our Experts Guide To 2016 Season’s Best Snow Jackets And Pants

Here’s our expert guide to this seasons best snow jackets and pants; for men and women.

Picture Dayton Jacket

Gone are the days of just 10K/10K jackets, today Picture have produced this awesome technical jacket with a rating of 20K/15K allowing defence against anything that the mountain may throw at you. What I love about the Dayton is the ability to add in a mid layer and connect it via a zip turning it into one continuous item and best of all is extremely warm perfect for those of you that feel the cold much more!

Generally I would pick a tailored fitting jacket despite the Dayton being a freestyle orientated fit it still felt great with the medium being the ideal size for me allowing more layers if needed. The material feels extremely hard wearing only time would tell how well it stands up to the rigours of riding through trees etc but my initial thought is it will be great, not only that but Picture have incorporated recycled polyester into the shell material giving you piece of mind that the lack of snow at the start of the season isn’t down to you.

picture organic clothing dayton jacket
What I love about the Dayton is the ability to add in a mid layer!

Pros:
Internal Atlas mid layer connects seamlessly
Good fitting adjustable hood
1 Large mesh pocket with 1 smaller zipped pocket
Durable hard wearing material
Extremely warm especially when combined with the Atlas mid layer
Fully waterproof taped seams
Soft lined chin area helps to prevent chaffing
Good waterproof rating 20K
Good breathability rating 15K
Thermal dry system

Cons:
Wrist gaiter feels too tight around my hand
Not a tailored fit
Small non slip shoulder pads
Slightly too loose around the neck/chin area (for me)

Fit:  Medium jacket was a good fit not too baggy despite not being a tailored fit, looks great especially when the Atlas mid layer is added. (My details 180cm Tall, 32” Waist, 37” Chest, 75kg)

Picture Books Pant

This is the ultimate addition to the Dayton Jacket in combination these Book pants look awesome! Unlike any other snow pant these come equipped with its own powder skirt that is extremely stretchy, fitting my waist perfectly just giving an extra layer of protection against the powder.

The inside has a super soft fleece liner that feels great and I found help wick some moisture away from my legs perfect for a long days riding. What I didn’t like was there were no reinforced cuffs to guard against sharp ski edges but if snowboarding this wouldn’t be a problem. As with fit I wasn’t a big fan of the baggy look but if you are after a freestyle look these would be perfect.

Pros:
Warm and soft fleece liner
Large inside thigh vents with contrasting lime green netting
Extra stretchy waist powder skirt
Tags to attach the Drayton jacket
Metal boot hook
Good waterproof rating 20K
Good breathability rating 15K

Cons:
False cargo pocket
Doesn’t have reinforced cuffs
Slightly baggy feel and look

Fit:  Medium pant was a good fit around the hips and waist with a slightly baggy/freestyle look but some people may like this. (My details 180cm Tall, 32” Waist, 37” Chest, 75kg)

Helly Hansen Progress Jacket

First off Helly Hansen have really progressed their technology and design with this jacket, personally it is my favourite mid ranged jacket we sell not only is the price great but it has the tech to match with its 15K/15K waterproof and breathability ratings! Unlike others with the same ratings the Progress Jacket has a soft stretchy outer fabric which adds another dimension to this already awesome jacket.

Although not tested up in the mountains the added Primaloft makes this a very warm jacket in temperatures around 0 degrees with enough room for added mid/base layers for colder conditions. My only negatives with this jacket are that the zips aren’t taped only a real issue in extreme heavy rain and there are no wrist gaiters which would allow snow to get into the jacket sleeve when riding through deep powder.

helly hansen progress jacket
The Progress Jacket has a soft stretchy outer fabric!

Pros:
Large cuff openings
Internal media pocket
Large fully adjustable hood
Soft external shell material (slightly stretchy)
Large side pockets
Good underarm mesh venting
Lightweight with Primaloft insulation
Good waterproof rating 15K
Good breathability rating 15K

Cons:
No wrist gaiters
Slightly short in the length
Zips aren’t taped

Fit:  Small jacket was a good tailored fit with good length in the arms yet comes up slightly short in the body but once combined with the pants shouldn’t be an issue. (My details 180cm Tall, 32” Waist, 37” Chest, 75kg)

Helly Hansen Legendary Pant

This is the perfect addition to the Progress Jacket, if I hadn’t already got a complete set up I would definitely get this pant after trying it on and the integrated tech it has! What I like about this Legendary Pant is 3 keys points; reinforced cuffs which perfect for skiers like myself helping to prevent unwanted cuts, 2 way stretch Helly performance fabric gives excellent levels of protection against the elements and finally the tapered fit around the knees helping minimise the bulky look you sometimes get with snow pants.

I forgot to mention the additional internal clip that helps stop the traditional single button from popping open when you sit down or are riding hard which has happened to me many times in the past. My only real concern with these pants is the small thigh vents which could cause you to get too hot during the warmer spring months.

Pros:
Reinforced cuffs
Taped pocket zips
Soft external shell material (slightly stretchy)
Lightweight
Great fit/length
Dual button clip waist closure
Good waterproof rating 15K
Good breathability rating 15K
Primaloft insulation

Cons:
Slightly small thigh vents
Single rear pocket

Fit:  Medium pant was a good fit around the waist with a tailored fit that narrowed towards the knees. (My details 180cm Tall, 32” Waist, 37” Chest, 75kg)

Roxy Sassy Women’s Jacket

First off trying on this jacket it felt slightly baggy around the shoulders but a good fit around the waist despite this it was extremely comfortable and felt really warm in the zero degree conditions we tested it through. What was unusual with this Sassy jacket was the contrast between the textured grey material and the smooth yellow giving this an edge in the looks department.

For the brief time wearing this jacket we are confident it will meet and excel your expectations up in the mountains the only two negatives to consider are the button on hood rather than a zipped one and also no thumb hole in the wrist gaiter which can ride up when putting on gloves. Overall a great piece for the 2016 winter season with 10K/10K waterproof and breathability rating.

roxy sassy jacket
The Sassy jacket it felt slightly baggy around the shoulders but a good fit around the waist!

Pros:
Mixture of hard wearing textured and smooth material
Fully adjustable hood
Good mesh lined venting
Fully insulated
Fleece lined rear back pad
Jacket to pant attachment
Soft fleece lined chin guard

Cons:
Button on hood rather than zip
No thumb hole in wrist gaiter

Fit:  Medium jacket was a good fit around the waist but felt slightly baggy around the shoulders doesn’t feel like a slim fit more like a regular higher up. (My details 170cm Tall, 30” Waist, 36” Chest, 66kg)

Roxy Winter Break Women’s Pant

Heading away on the winter break of a lifetime? After testing this pant we think this is the one for you! Overall the pant felt amazing easily providing comfort for a whole days skiing or snowboarding. The velcro adjustable waist gave me the ability to fine tune the fit whether I had layers underneath or not it coped well.

When riding hard I have had previous pants pop open but I found the triple button/clip closure was bulletproof with the added ability to expand the cuffs to accommodate my ski boot with ease. A nice feature was the lift able cuffs helping to reduce the risk of getting covered in dirt when walking across car parks or roads. The only real negatives were the rear velcro pockets which could pick up snow and also this colour could show dirt fairly easy. Overall a great pant.

Pros:
Adjustable velcro waist
Triple button clip waist closure
Heavy duty zips
Smooth hard wearing fabric
Button up cuffs when walking
Mesh lined venting
Expandable cuffs

Cons:
Velcro rear pockets
Colour could show dirt easily

Fit:  Medium pant nice fit around the waist with a more relaxed fit and feel over the Salomon fantasy. (My details 170cm Tall, 30” Waist, 36” Chest, 66kg)

Salomon Fantasy Jacket

What an amazing jacket certainly covering all my desires and fantasy’s I would want from a ski jacket whilst up in the mountains! First off trying this jacket on sends me into another world the fit is perfect and also comes with a fleece lined back which is both soft and provides excellent levels of warmth.

On those snowy days the fully adjustable hood will be perfect giving an extra level of protection. Having this on for just a few minutes raised my body temp but no problem as it has large under arm vents which cooled me down in a matter of minutes. My only real negative is the tech specs are slightly low to what I’m use to but still perfectly adequate, with 10K/10K waterproof and breathability rating, and the wrist gaiter doesn’t come with a thumb hole which slides up when putting gloves on.

salomon fantasy womens jacket
Certainly covering all my desires and fantasy’s I would want from a ski jacket whilst up in the mountains!

Pros:
Fleece lined internal back
Lightly insulated hood with peak
Soft fleece chin guard
Fully adjustable hood
Hard wearing textured material
Large under arm vents
Internal media pocket + strap
Taped zips

Cons:
No thumb hole in wrist gaiter
Couldn’t find any more

Fit:  Medium jacket was the right length in both the arms and body with a tailored fit hugging the body. (My details 170cm Tall, 30” Waist, 36” Chest, 66kg)

Salomon Fantasy Pant

Shell pants are great but don’t offer the insulation many people want, whereas this Fantasy pant is fully insulated tested outside around 0 degrees these pants were extremely warm and felt great due to the soft internal fleece lining. The external twill material is extremely hard wearing standing up to branches and sharp ski edges with the reinforced cuffs.

With this pant there isn’t an expandable cuff but not a big issue due to being quite wide anyway but when it comes to spring or those warmer blue bird days there is no mesh venting to help cool you down so requires removing layers. Overall this is a great pant at a good price!

Pros:
Fully Insulated
Adjustable velcro waist band
Dual button clip waist closure
Hard wearing textured material
Internal soft fleece liner
Multiple front pockets
Reinforced cuffs

Cons:
Tight waist
No expandable cuffs for boots
No mesh vents
False rear pockets

Fit:  Medium pant was a little tight around the waist but fits great everywhere else, the slim fit doesn’t feel too tight good movement overall. (My details 170cm Tall, 30” Waist, 36” Chest, 66kg)

To see our full range of technical snow jackets, please click here, and for snow pants click here.

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