The new Atomic Vantage 86 C isn’t in a fair fight when asked to compete against the best (and most expensive) skis in the hotly competitive All-Mountain East genre. The Vantage 86 C isn’t trying to be the best ski; it’s trying – and largely succeeding – at being the best value. At a $399 street price, it’s a sweet performer that punches above its flyweight class, and its ultra-light chassis is simple for the less skilled to guide. With a size run that dips down to 157cm, it’s clear Atomic is trying to attract intermediates looking to transition out of rental skis and onto their first all-mountain stick. What makes the Vantage 86 C such a good choice for the so-so skier is that has a relatively high performance ceiling for a ski in its price range. The Carbon Tank Mesh that provides its structural integrity is a proven technology that’s lightweight, resists twist (so it holds a better edge) and is easy to flex. For the first-time ski buyer, it’s a smart step up from the basic package ski.
Full Review with test scores available on members’ site.