Best Cross-Country Skis – Reviews & Buying Guide
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Best Cross-Country Skis – Reviews & Buying Guide (September 2019)

Updated: January 15, 2019

Alpina Control 60 Cross-Country Skis

After 48 hours spent researching the best cross-country skis, we think Alpina Control 60 Cross-Country Skis is the best for most people.

This choice is based on several criteria: ability level, color, length, waist width, tip width, tail width, core, base, camber, edge, speed, durable, terrain, weight, and warranty, among other things.

 ProductPriceOverall RatingQualityDurabilityAppearanceMaintenanceValue for Moneyability levelcolorlengthwaist widthtip widthtail widthcorebasecamberedgespeeddurableterrainweightwarranty
Alpina Control 60 Cross-Country SkisAlpina Control 60 Cross-Country SkisCheck Price4.75.04.54.55.04.5Intermediate / advanceOrange / black170 - 200cm50mm60mm55mmPoplarWaxlessDouble camberNo metalFast / slowYesPowderNot specified1 year
Rossignol Evo OT 65 Cross-Country SkisRossignol Evo OT 65 Cross-Country SkisCheck Price4.55.04.54.04.54.5Intermediate / advanceWhite165 - 195cm53mm65mm60mmWood / air channelWaxlessSingle camberPartial metalFast / slowYesGroomed / powder5.84 lbs1 year
Whitewoods 75mm 3Pin Cross-Country SkisWhitewoods 75mm 3Pin Cross-Country SkisCheck Price4.34.54.54.04.54.0Advance / expertBlue / black157 - 207cm55mm64mm59mmWoodWaxlessSingle camberMetalFast / slowYesGroomedNot specified1 year
Rossignol Evo XC 60 Tour Cross-Country SkisRossignol Evo XC 60 Tour Cross-Country SkisCheck Price4.95.05.04.55.05.0Intermediate / advanceBlue / white176 - 196cm50mm60mm55mmWood / air channelWaxlessDouble camberPartial metalFast / slowYesGroomed11 lbs1 year
Fischer Orbiter EF Cross-Country SkisFischer Orbiter EF Cross-Country SkisCheck Price4.54.55.04.04.54.5Advance / expertYellow green / black174 - 189cm48mm43mm43mmWoodWaxlessDouble camberNo metalFast / slowYesGroomed5.8 lbs2 years
Best Cross-Country Skis

The best cross-country skis allow the skier, no matter the skill level, to choose their own path.

It can be easy to think that cross-country skiing is limited to relatively flat trails, but the truth is there are multiple paths to take and the choice is yours to make.

Launching yourself down a steep slope at 85 miles per hour isn’t what everyone thinks of as a fun afternoon. For those people who’d rather move slower but still soak up the winter sun, cross-country skiing may be the kind of winter sport you’d enjoy.

Originally started by a clever person who tied planks to their winter boots in order to cross snowy fields to get where they needed to go, cross-country skiing is now a very popular sport. You can enjoy an all-day outing with a ski backpack carrying all you need, or venture into the backcountry to tackle challenging terrain (a ski helmet is a must for that). You’ll need the right skis for the type of skiing you choose, though.

Not to be confused with all-mountain skis, cross-country skis only attach the toe of your boot and you won’t move at very high speeds if you don’t want to.

Similar to snowboard bindings, your riding style and skill level pretty much dictate the kind of cross-country ski that is best for you. Cross-country skis sizing takes your body weight and style into account. It’s important you get your correct size; the wrong size can make for an awful experience.

Extremely versatile, you can ski leisurely on groomed tracks, admiring your matching ski socks and ski pants or you can pull that ski mask down, zip that ski jacket up, put on the ski goggles and blast your way across the trail. The choice is yours!

Selection Of The Best Cross-country Skis

Here are the best cross-country skis for most people according to Outlinist:

Alpina Control 60 Cross-Country Skis

Alpina Control 60 Cross-Country Skis
(rated 4.7 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

Cross-country ski packages are a brilliant idea. They come with everything you need to get out there.

You don’t need to worry about types of cross-country ski bindings or what is good cross-country ski equipment for beginners.

Cross-country ski equipment packages contain cross-country skis, boots, binding and poles. Literally everything you need to get out there and enjoy the snow and nature all at once.

The other great advantage is that the components are guaranteed to work together and be right for your size and weight.

That’s why they are so good for the first time buyer.

Information

These Alpina cross-country skis are ideal for both off-trail and groomed trail use.

With a company name like Alpina it is no surprise that the Alpina Control 60 Cross-Country Skis is a great cross-country ski package either for the newbie or for the person who is looking for a really stable set.

These are recreational skis and so are usually waxless meaning you get to use them right out of the box.

The ski itself is wide enough to provide a great base for the beginner or someone who’s looking for stability. Yet at the same time they are thin enough to work well on a groomed track.

ability levelIntermediate / advance
colorOrange / black
length170 – 200cm
waist width50mm
tip width60mm
tail width55mm
corePoplar
baseWaxless
camberDouble camber
edgeNo metal
speedFast / slow
durableYes
terrainPowder
weightNot specified
warranty1 year

The ski comes in four different lengths: 170cm, 180cm, 190cm, and 200cm. The lengths work for different size ranges; the 180cm for example, works well for people that weigh in the range of 120 to 155 pounds. Remember you want to get the right length to weight ratio as it prevents you from sinking too deep into the snow.

This is a curated package, which means it has been pulled together with a view to making things easy for the beginner but is not necessarily made by one manufacturer. In this case the bindings, boots and the ski poles that have been added by other equipment makers. The skis alone are Alpina.

These Alpina cross-country skis are ideal for both off-trail and groomed trail use. They are one of the best waxless cross-county skis, able to handle pretty much any winter terrain. When brought together with the rest of the equipment, you get a quality all-around package that gives you all you need to step out the back door and start skiing.

Pros

For increased durability, a tough plastic is molded to the top surface which also prevents snow from piling up.

You want to know what makes this ski set special? Well, actually, there’s more than there is space for here. But to get your appetite whetted, here are six special features which make this Alpina cross-country ski package stand out.

  • Ideal for on and off trail skiing: The 53mm waist means the Alpina Control 60 skis are narrow enough to fit well in groomed tracks but are still wide enough to give the float and stability needed when using them on ungroomed trails.
  • Superior traction for uphill treks: Rather than having a pattern cut into the base of the ski, Alpina has engineered the skis with a raised design. This feature gives you better traction for uphill striding even on fairly steep terrain.
  • Durable, with a reliable flex: The Control 60 skis are constructed with a wooden core for dependable flex. For increased durability, a tough plastic is molded to the top surface which also prevents snow from piling up.
  • Renowned Rottefella bindings: Managing the bindings is one of the million things you have to think about initially, but these bindings have a great reputation for being easy for the newcomer. They are durable and have an easy step-in design.
  • Boots are light and weather resistant: The men’s boot is a black Salomon Escape 5 Prolink and the women’s is a Siam 5 ProLink. Both give great ankle support while still being a flexible boot. The women’s has a fleece lining, too.
  • Poles are sturdy enough to be a stand-alone: The poles included in the package are the Swix ST102 Trail pole. These have an aluminum shaft making them feel sturdy and able to support you without being too heavy. The straps are adjustable and they come in sizes ranging from 120cm to 160cm.

Cons

What could possibly be wrong with this package? Well not much as it turns out. These are all good standalone products and when you combine them you get a great package. Before buying, though, have a look at these possible shortcomings.

  • Functionally the boots punch above their weight but without choice: This is like an original Ford Model T car – you can get any color you want as long as it’s black or, in the case of the women’s boot, grey. The important part is they keep your feet warm, give you ample support and work with the bindings. It would just be nice to have a choice.
  • The skis are waxless but you might try it: You don’t have to buy wax, but if you’re experienced and want a bit of zip right out of the box, you might want to go ahead and give them a waxing. It’s not strictly necessary, but will help your gliding.
  • Make sure you use the correct weight and height: The length of the ski that is best suited to you depends on your weight and height. It is important to get it right. Make sure to check the sizing chart to ensure you get the optimal length.

Comparison

 

Alpina Control 60 Cross-Country SkisAlpina Control 60 Cross-Country Skis

Rossignol Evo OT 65 Cross-Country SkisRossignol Evo OT 65 Cross-Country Skis

Whitewoods 75mm 3Pin Cross-Country SkisWhitewoods 75mm 3Pin Cross-Country Skis

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
ability levelIntermediate / advanceIntermediate / advanceAdvance / expert
colorOrange / blackWhiteBlue / black
length170 – 200cm165 – 195cm157 – 207cm
waist width50mm53mm55mm
tip width60mm65mm64mm
tail width55mm60mm59mm
corePoplarWood / air channelWood
baseWaxlessWaxlessWaxless
camberDouble camberSingle camberSingle camber
edgeNo metalPartial metalMetal
speedFast / slowFast / slowFast / slow
durableYesYesYes
terrainPowderGroomed / powderGroomed
weightNot specified5.84 lbsNot specified
warranty1 year1 year1 year

Summary

The Alpina Control 60 skis perform well on groomed trails but have the stability and traction needed to break out of the groove and head off into the woods.

The Alpina Control 60 Cross-Country Skis is a ski package which is comprised of Alpina cross-country skis, Salomon or Siam ski boots, Rottefella bindings and Swix poles. It is a happy example of the whole being greater than the sum of the individual items.

The Alpina Control 60 skis perform well on groomed trails but have the stability and traction needed to break out of the groove and head off into the woods. You can be happy with this package across any winter terrain that is suitable for cross-country skiing.

You’re good to go right out the box, because these are waxless skis and the bindings are already mounted. So what are you waiting for?


Rossignol Evo OT 65 Cross-Country Skis

Rossignol Evo OT 65 Cross-Country Skis
(rated 4.5 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

The right cross-country skis can make all the difference when you are attempting to learn this sport.

Investing in skis that are the right size and style will dramatically decrease your learning curve, as you move up in your skiing ability.

There are so many factors that come into play when choosing the ideal pair of cross-country skis.

Selecting the type of skis that will match up with your style of skiing is crucial.

It is also important to invest in a set of skis that have the ideal width, camber, flex and durability to deliver excellent performance on the trails.

Information

The Evo OT 65 represent an excellent option for beginner to intermediate skiers, especially those who want to enjoy backcountry Nordic skiing.

Investing in high quality cross-country ski gear becomes so important when you make the jump from a beginner to intermediate skier. You may have taken a few cross-country ski lessons last winter, but now you are ready to become a regular, and it is time to get your own set of skis.

Understanding how to choose cross-country skis is so important, as every skier has their own unique style and characteristics. Investing in a set of skis is not only about product quality, but about finding the skis that are most compatible with your skillset.

Those who are still learning the sport will prefer waxless ski bases, a good amount of flex, and a relatively lightweight design. These are all characteristics of the Rossignol Evo OT 65 Cross-Country Skis.

ability levelIntermediate / advance
colorWhite
length165 – 195cm
waist width53mm
tip width65mm
tail width60mm
coreWood / air channel
baseWaxless
camberSingle camber
edgePartial metal
speedFast / slow
durableYes
terrainGroomed / powder
weight5.84 lbs
warranty1 year

The Evo OT 65 represent an excellent option for beginner to intermediate skiers, especially those who want to enjoy backcountry Nordic skiing. They offer wider touring dimensions, a waxless Positrack base, and partial metal edges. The result is skis that are very versatile while using off-trail, especially in conditions with deep snow.

These skis are also comfortable to control when going uphill, thanks to the partial metal edges, while skiers can enjoy fast and safe descents and off-trail rides.

Beginners who are learning the sport and intermediate skiers who want a balanced, controlled experience will love the feel of the Evo OT 65. The thin wood/air core is lightweight and easy to handle, while the smaller size delivers good maneuverability.

Pros

Almost all quality cross-country skis have a double camber design, such as the one in the Evo OT 65 model.

Rossignol Evo OT 65 skis are an excellent option if you are looking to invest in easy to use cross-country ski equipment. They offer a good amount of control and come at an affordable price. Here are the six best features of these skis.

  • Feature a thinner core: The wood/air core of these skis is thinner than comparable models, resulting in a lighter experience with softer flex. The core is still very sturdy, which ensures that it is durable enough to handle years of off-trail skiing sessions.
  • Come with a waxless Positrack base: Skis with a waxless base are the best option for beginner to intermediate skiers. The grip area is already built in, which makes these skis safe to use in any type of snow conditions. It is also possible to apply wax to the tips and tails in conditions where even more grip is necessary.
  • Small size and partial metal edges: The small size and partial metal edges result in skis that are very comfortable to control and maneuver while going uphill or downhill. The performance in flat sections is also very solid and predictable, making it easier for beginners to hone their skills.
  • XC Double Camber: Almost all quality cross-country skis have a double camber design, such as the one in the Evo OT 65 model. The design ensures an easy glide in any type of cross-country skiing conditions.
  • Bindings are included: These skis come with control step in bindings, which means that you will not have to purchase the bindings separately. Bindings are necessary to connect your boots to the skis and control the skis. Ensure that your ski boots are compatible with the bindings on these skis when purchasing them.
  • Comes in two different sizes: The Evo OT 65 skis are available in both 165cm and 185cm sizes, which means that skiers of different heights and weights will be able to find the product that is ideal for them. It is important to refer to the manufacturer’s cross-country skis sizing chart before buying.

Cons

While many would rate the Evo OT 65 as among the best backcountry cross-country skis on the market, they do have a few issues that potential customers should know about. Here are three product cons.

  • Can be outperformed by waxable skis in some conditions: Advanced skiers may have a better experience with waxable skis. While those require a lot of work, they can be waxed to provide a perfect grip match to the current snow conditions when you are about to ski.
  • Only available in one color and style: These skis are stylish in their appearance, with the white background offset by orange and red markings and letterings. But they are only available in one color combination, which is a little disappointing for those who may have preferred a darker color that stands out more in the snow.
  • Mounted bindings can limit user choice: Since these skis feature mounted brackets, it does mean that customers cannot decide on the binding and boot system they want to use. It is not a major issue for beginners, as they should be happy with the attached bindings, but more advanced skiers may miss the ability to customize.

Comparison

 

Rossignol Evo OT 65 Cross-Country SkisRossignol Evo OT 65 Cross-Country Skis

Alpina Control 60 Cross-Country SkisAlpina Control 60 Cross-Country Skis

Whitewoods 75mm 3Pin Cross-Country SkisWhitewoods 75mm 3Pin Cross-Country Skis

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
ability levelIntermediate / advanceIntermediate / advanceAdvance / expert
colorWhiteOrange / blackBlue / black
length165 – 195cm170 – 200cm157 – 207cm
waist width53mm50mm55mm
tip width65mm60mm64mm
tail width60mm55mm59mm
coreWood / air channelPoplarWood
baseWaxlessWaxlessWaxless
camberSingle camberDouble camberSingle camber
edgePartial metalNo metalMetal
speedFast / slowFast / slowFast / slow
durableYesYesYes
terrainGroomed / powderPowderGroomed
weight5.84 lbsNot specifiedNot specified
warranty1 year1 year1 year

Summary

These skis deliver excellent stability, while remaining very light and easy to use.

A versatile set of skis that will never let you down, the Rossignol Evo OT 65 Cross-Country Skis are a must purchase for ski enthusiasts who plan to hone their cross-country skiing skills.

These skis deliver excellent stability, while remaining very light and easy to use. The partial metal edges and waxless base provide a good amount of control to the skier. They are the perfect option for beginner to intermediate cross-country skiers.

Whether you are planning to explore the woodlands or engage in some classic gliding on trails, you cannot go wrong with the Evo OT 65. They are an excellent set of skis from a company with a great reputation in the industry.


Whitewoods 75mm 3Pin Cross-Country Skis

Whitewoods 75mm 3Pin Cross-Country Skis
(rated 4.3 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

Does the idea of gliding silently across untrodden snow with nothing but the sound of your own breath appeal to you?

Well, if you’re wondering how to choose cross-country skis you have come to the right place. Let’s get started.

There’s a lot involved in buying the equipment for cross-country skiing, more than getting the best cross-country skis in the world.

It can all be a little overwhelming at first, especially if you get lost in all the standards and what NNN and NIN mean.

Luckily some of the manufacturers have put together cross-country ski packages.

Information

The skis have a wood core which is laminated which means that it doesn’t need to be waxed.

When you’re looking to buy the best Nordic ski gear in your budget it can all get a little technical, but the Whitewoods 75mm 3Pin Cross-Country Skis bundle has made the whole thing easy for you. Even though the name seems a little technical, this is a package which gives you everything you need to get started.

Here’s what you need to know; cross-country ski length is dependent on your weight. The ski needs to be longer the more you weigh so it doesn’t sink too far into the snow. People in the range of 121-150 lbs. need the 177cm ski for example. Luckily Whitewoods provides 4 lengths (157cm, 177cm, 197cm and 207cm) plus a handy guide to make sure you get the correct length.

The package comes with everything you need to get going and they don’t expect you to even mount the bindings which is a help because these things are a little intimidating.

ability levelAdvance / expert
colorBlue / black
length157 – 207cm
waist width55mm
tip width64mm
tail width59mm
coreWood
baseWaxless
camberSingle camber
edgeMetal
speedFast / slow
durableYes
terrainGroomed
weightNot specified
warranty1 year

Contained in the package are the Whitewoods Cross Tour skis themselves, plus bindings and boots (which need to work with each other) and the cross-country ski poles. Literally everything you need to get started. Whitewoods makes all of the equipment in the package.

The skis have a wood core which is laminated which means that it doesn’t need to be waxed. Another good thing if you’re just getting into the sport.

This is where the 75mm 3PIN comes in; both boots and bindings are 75mm 3Pin and therefore match so you don’t need to worry about anything else.

Pros

Metal edged skis help with steeper terrain and harder packed snow.

With so many pieces and parts which have to combine together to make the perfect cross-country ski package, there’s plenty of specialties which feature as real pros. Here are six which really come out as being well above average.

  • Perfectly sized for groomed tracks: With a 55mm waist, Whitewoods Cross Tour skis are the perfect size for gliding through tracks. They also give you enough stability and float to try going off the track, too.
  • Partial metal edges: Metal edged skis help with steeper terrain and harder packed snow. The Cross Tour skis in this package have partial metal edges for better control and support going downhill and a firm grip going uphill.
  • The bindings come pre-mounted – which means they are correctly placed: There is no guess work, you won’t put the bindings on backwards by mistake and best of all no drilling holes in the wrong places. You don’t want to spoil your new skis before you’ve even been outside on them.
  • These are good boots: Boots must be warm and water resistant. The Whitewoods have a 100 grams of Thinsulate lining to keep the warm in. There is a quick dry liner to get you back out there faster. The upper is breathable and weatherproof.
  • The boots / bindings combo are a really good match: There’s nothing difficult about these boots and bindings. You clip in and out easily. The foot will come out easily if you get into trouble but you get a nice stable ride otherwise. You feel secure yet they’re easy to use.
  • The package looks and feels like it was made to go together: This might not matter to everyone, but this package comes together in one good looking package. The boots, skis and poles all look right. They are not a jumble brought together to simply do the job at hand.

Cons

You are wondering about downsides aren’t you. How could there not be any when there are so many individual pieces and parts. You’ll be happy to know even the minuses aren’t that big a deal overall, but forewarned is forearmed.

  • Waxing is a good idea: These are waxless skis, but you will probably want to wax them the first time. They don’t glide that well right out of the box. You will notice you’re working harder than you need to be otherwise. It is worth it to get a great first time experience.
  • The poles could be better: Although they do the job; they release the toe properly, the basket is there and the grip is ok, the poles are just a little lower standard than the rest of this package. If you really hate them, poles aren’t expensive.
  • Packages are created for the average person: If you’re on either end of any of the spectrum, really tall or on the slight size, you might find that you’re at the edges of the package. Don’t try to squeeze in to fit, since it’s crucial to have skis of a proper length to support you on the snow.

Comparison

 

Whitewoods 75mm 3Pin Cross-Country SkisWhitewoods 75mm 3Pin Cross-Country Skis

Alpina Control 60 Cross-Country SkisAlpina Control 60 Cross-Country Skis

Rossignol Evo OT 65 Cross-Country SkisRossignol Evo OT 65 Cross-Country Skis

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
ability levelAdvance / expertIntermediate / advanceIntermediate / advance
colorBlue / blackOrange / blackWhite
length157 – 207cm170 – 200cm165 – 195cm
waist width55mm50mm53mm
tip width64mm60mm65mm
tail width59mm55mm60mm
coreWoodPoplarWood / air channel
baseWaxlessWaxlessWaxless
camberSingle camberDouble camberSingle camber
edgeMetalNo metalPartial metal
speedFast / slowFast / slowFast / slow
durableYesYesYes
terrainGroomedPowderGroomed / powder
weightNot specifiedNot specified5.84 lbs
warranty1 year1 year1 year

Summary

For the least amount of hassle and an affordable price, Whitewoods has put together a package that will get any beginner out on the track gliding like a pro in no time.

The Whitewoods 75mm 3Pin Cross-Country Skis package is perfect for someone looking to buy their first cross-country ski set. The Whitewoods Cross Tour skis work especially well on a groomed base but are capable of going off-track as well.

The entire product, cross-country skis, binding, boots and poles are all Whitewoods products which gives the package a certain cohesion which curated packages don’t have. The only niggle is the skis really do need a wax, even though they’re waxless skis.

For the least amount of hassle and an affordable price, Whitewoods has put together a package that will get any beginner out on the track gliding like a pro in no time.


Rossignol Evo XC 60 Tour Cross-Country Skis

Rossignol Evo XC 60 Tour Cross-Country Skis
(rated 4.9 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

What do you get when you combine some of the best known names in cross-country ski packages? You just might get the best cross-country skiing in the world.

If that sounds too much like hyperbole wait until you see this.

Ski packages combine cross-country ski boots with cross-country ski poles with bindings and skis. Sometimes this means there is a compromise in one of the parts.

It is a refreshing surprise when one of them turns out to be everything you could want from a package and more.

Here there’s a combination of the best names in the business.

Information

Stable, lightweight and great gliders, the Rossignol Evo XC 60 Tour skis are best sellers on their own.

Rossignol, Salomon, Siam, Swix and Turnamic all come together to create the Rossignol Evo XC 60 Tour Cross-Country Skis package. This is a great cross-country ski equipment for beginners package but will also suit the more experienced skier, up to the edge of advanced cross-country skiing.

The Rossignol Evo XC 60 skis are a no-wax ski which comes in four sizes for different weight ranges. There are cross-country skis for the heavier skier (the 196cm works for the 108 – 230 lb. range) and 166cm for lighter skiers (down to 80 pounds) with 176cm and 186cm options between those two. The 176cm ski itself weighs in at 1.36kg.

For men, the boots are black Salomon Escape 5 Prolink, and Siam 5 ProLink for women in a sort of silvery grey. Both have an internal heel reinforcement and over the ankle support. The women’s have a fleece lining.

ability levelIntermediate / advance
colorBlue / white
length176 – 196cm
waist width50mm
tip width60mm
tail width55mm
coreWood / air channel
baseWaxless
camberDouble camber
edgePartial metal
speedFast / slow
durableYes
terrainGroomed
weight11 lbs
warranty1 year

The Turnamic bindings are an automatic step-in binding which slide onto a pre-mounted plate on the ski. NNN compatible, these stand-alone bindings are known for the way in which they transfer power through to the ski. There is an adjustment tool included which allows you to adjust forward or back to adapt to snow or terrain.

Lastly the ski poles are the excellent Swix poles, which have an aluminum shaft and a fixed 16mm basket as well as an adjustable handle.

Stable, lightweight and great gliders, the Rossignol Evo XC 60 Tour skis are best sellers on their own. Combine with all the other top products and you get an excellent cross-country ski package that’s hard to beat.

Pros

With cross-country skis you need to get the right length of ski otherwise you sink into the snow too deeply.

With such excellent individual components it is almost too hard to pick out the features that make this package stand out from the competition. Even the ski poles are special in their own way. But here are six features worth special consideration.

  • Of course, we must start with the Rossignol Ski: This ski is incredibly light and so gets great glide across the snow. The core is made of wood which, with its smart design, makes them easy to control while still being responsive. But they are stable which also helps you progress.
  • Large size range translates to better control: Not many skis offer such a wide range of sizes. For smaller, lighter weight skiers, this means being able to get a length that is better suited to your build giving you greater maneuverability and control.
  • Step-in, adjustable bindings by Turnamic: Sometimes in packages there are compromises but not here. The bindings are designed to be really simple to use, but at the same time they have enough scope to allow you to adjust as you become more adept and need more.
  • It is all about the proper length: With cross-country skis you need to get the right length of ski otherwise you sink into the snow too deeply. Rossignol makes this easy with a handy online calculator. You get the right length of ski and poles, too.
  • Salomon and Siam boots: Yet again there’s no compromise in the equipment. Salomon and Siam are known as being great boots – just look at their stand-alone value. But these are the ones Rossignol chose for their package. These will keep you warm as long as necessary.
  • All the components are current: Another nice feature about the package is all the components are the latest version – there is no old technology which someone needs to sell on at any price. The best skis, boots, skis bindings and poles in one package.

Cons

So what’s wrong with them? There has to be something doesn’t there? Well don’t forget there is more than one component so there’s a lot to review. But there are some considerations you might want to think about before splashing out the cash.

  • This is an above average product designed to fit everyone: Though this has above average components remember you are looking at a package. If you already have boots you love, then there may be some redundancy. Just be sure your boots are compatible with the NIS NNN bindings.
  • Out of the box, you might consider some wax: These are waxless skis, but unless you want to work hard it might be worth a line or two of wax. This way you’re guaranteed to be good to go from the start and always love them.
  • The bindings are their own technology and it is new: If you’re already familiar with another binding type it might take you a minute or two to work out the new Turnamic binding. Once you do, you’ll never look back. If you’re a real neophyte, welcome to the new world.

Comparison

 

Rossignol Evo XC 60 Tour Cross-Country SkisRossignol Evo XC 60 Tour Cross-Country Skis

Alpina Control 60 Cross-Country SkisAlpina Control 60 Cross-Country Skis

Rossignol Evo OT 65 Cross-Country SkisRossignol Evo OT 65 Cross-Country Skis

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
ability levelIntermediate / advanceIntermediate / advanceIntermediate / advance
colorBlue / whiteOrange / blackWhite
length176 – 196cm170 – 200cm165 – 195cm
waist width50mm50mm53mm
tip width60mm60mm65mm
tail width55mm55mm60mm
coreWood / air channelPoplarWood / air channel
baseWaxlessWaxlessWaxless
camberDouble camberDouble camberSingle camber
edgePartial metalNo metalPartial metal
speedFast / slowFast / slowFast / slow
durableYesYesYes
terrainGroomedPowderGroomed / powder
weight11 lbsNot specified5.84 lbs
warranty1 year1 year1 year

Summary

Each of the individual components is from a quality, known sports manufacturer whose product is more than capable of standing alone in the market.

The Rossignol Evo XC 60 Tour Cross-Country Skis package is really impressive for a beginner to intermediate cross-country skier who wants to get the best value within their budget.

Each of the individual components is from a quality, known sports manufacturer whose product is more than capable of standing alone in the market. Their combination into this package makes all the decisions easy and presents you with a quality package.

Sizing is made easy by the customize button on the website – just remember to leave room for socks if you want them. This cross-country ski equipment package will last you for years.


Fischer Orbiter EF Cross-Country Skis

Fischer Orbiter EF Cross-Country Skis
(rated 4.5 / 5)
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Cross-country skiing is an incredibly freeing experience, where you get to cruise through snowy meadows, hills and along frozen lakes.

But no skier can properly learn and improve at the sport without a quality pair of cross-country skis.

With the right set of skis, bindings, ski poles and boots, it is possible to take your cross-country skiing game to the next level.

Investing in skis is not only about finding a product that is excellent quality, but selecting one that matches your characteristics and skiing style.

The most durable and compatible set of skis will dramatically lower the learning curve for those who want to ramp up their skills.

Information

These skis have a waxless base, which is perfect for intermediate skiers who do not want to go through the hassle of having to wax their skis each time they want to enjoy an outing.

The Fischer Orbiter EF Cross-Country Skis are a very impressive set of skis that will improve your performance in many conditions. The narrow tips and tails deliver the necessary glide and stability while going downhill.

Fischer has added a wood core to these skis, which delivers a lightweight feel and excellent durability. There are no metal edges on these skis, but intermediate users will have no problem increasing speed on the trails.

Beginners who are just learning the sport may have a hard time with these skis. But intermediate skiers who have been skiing for a few months will have no trouble mastering them in a few sessions. The wider body delivers good support and extra stability, especially when you want to reach higher speeds.

ability levelAdvance / expert
colorYellow green / black
length174 – 189cm
waist width48mm
tip width43mm
tail width43mm
coreWood
baseWaxless
camberDouble camber
edgeNo metal
speedFast / slow
durableYes
terrainGroomed
weight5.8 lbs
warranty2 years

Featuring an NIS binding plate, these skis will attach to high quality NNN bindings without any issue. It is important to invest in bindings, skis and boots that are compatible with each other.

These skis have a waxless base, which is perfect for intermediate skiers who do not want to go through the hassle of having to wax their skis each time they want to enjoy an outing.

If you are searching for an affordable, stylish set of skis that will deliver the necessary support, stability, glide and speed, the Fischer Orbiter EF may be the ideal product for you.

Pros

These Fischer waxless cross-country skis are the best option for intermediate skiers who do not want to bother with waxing their skis before every excursion.

Fischer Orbiter EF skis are an excellent option for cross-country skiers of different skill levels. They provide the necessary glide and control while cruising, while they are excellent for skiers who want to reach higher speeds. Here are six features that really stand out.

  • Narrower tips and tails: With the narrow tips and tails on these skis, Fischer has designed a product that delivers excellent grip and glide in different conditions. While advanced skiers who want to race at high speeds may want different skis, intermediates will be pleased with the glide on offer from this model.
  • Lightweight Air Core Basalite core: The wood core of the skis features volcanic basalt fibers, which reduce weight and result in a very consistent flex in all types of conditions. They also have a double camber design, which provides a lot of grip.
  • Excellent option for skiers who want to reach high speeds: Thanks to the power layer within the core of the skis, there is better damping performance when reaching high speeds. When compared to skis in the same category, these are excellent for those who want to maintain control at higher speeds.
  • Compatible with NIS ski bindings: Orbiter EF skis have an NIS plate installed, which means that the type of cross-country ski bindings used should be NNN or NIS. The advantage here is that the bindings simply slip on to the plate with no need for screws. Make sure your boots are compatible with the New Nordic Norm (NNN).
  • The base on these skis is waxless: These Fischer waxless cross-country skis are the best option for intermediate skiers who do not want to bother with waxing their skis before every excursion. Such models rely on a textured pattern, or fish scales, to grip the snow in various conditions.
  • Available in three different sizes: Fischer Orbiter EF skis are available in three lengths – 174cm, 184cm and 189cm. It is best to consult a cross-country ski sizing chart before you decide on the correct size for your weight.

Cons

Orbiter EF Fischer cross-country skis are a fantastic option for skiers who want the best glide, stability and damping performance when they are cruising across various types of terrain. But there are three product cons that you should know about before investing in these skis.

  • Comes in a single color option: These skis are only available in a single color, which is predominantly yellow with some black in the center. While it is a stylish design that will fit with most ski gear, a couple more color and design choices would have been appreciated.
  • Not ideal for some advanced cross-country skiers: Advanced skiers who want the perfect grip in different conditions may prefer waxable skis. While waxless models are very good and offer convenience, waxable skis can be tuned to deliver the perfect glide and grip in difficult conditions.
  • May be too challenging for beginners: Given the narrow tips and tails, lack of metal edges and focus on delivering more speed, beginners may have a tough time with these skis. They can be hard to control when you have only been cross-country skiing for a few sessions. The product is tailored towards intermediate and some advanced skiers.

Comparison

 

Fischer Orbiter EF Cross-Country SkisFischer Orbiter EF Cross-Country Skis

Alpina Control 60 Cross-Country SkisAlpina Control 60 Cross-Country Skis

Rossignol Evo OT 65 Cross-Country SkisRossignol Evo OT 65 Cross-Country Skis

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
ability levelAdvance / expertIntermediate / advanceIntermediate / advance
colorYellow green / blackOrange / blackWhite
length174 – 189cm170 – 200cm165 – 195cm
waist width48mm50mm53mm
tip width43mm60mm65mm
tail width43mm55mm60mm
coreWoodPoplarWood / air channel
baseWaxlessWaxlessWaxless
camberDouble camberDouble camberSingle camber
edgeNo metalNo metalPartial metal
speedFast / slowFast / slowFast / slow
durableYesYesYes
terrainGroomedPowderGroomed / powder
weight5.8 lbsNot specified5.84 lbs
warranty2 years1 year1 year

Summary

These skis are affordable, stylish, durable and will deliver the type of responsive, speedy and stable experience that intermediate cross-country skiers are looking for.

Intermediate skiers who are hoping to take the next step in their cross-country evolution will love the Fischer Orbiter EF Cross-Country Skis. These skis have narrower tips and tails, which deliver an excellent glide while cruising. The wider center also produces good stability for climbing and classic skiing.

These skis are affordable, stylish, durable and will deliver the type of responsive, speedy and stable experience that intermediate cross-country skiers are looking for. You can certainly take more risks out there knowing these skis will deliver the control you need.

If you are determined to level up your performance now that you have mastered the basics of cross-country skiing, the Orbiter EF skis are the product for you. They offer excellent value and Fischer has a reputation for producing great ski gear.

Best Cross-Country Skis Buying Guide

Classic Touring Cross-Country Skis

Made for park trails and ski resorts, touring skis are the most popular Nordic skis used in the sport. They are stiff, narrow and light for a quick, smooth ride over neatly-packed snow.

There are two kinds: classic and compact. Classic skis are longer than the more modern cross-country skis you see popping up everywhere and are sized based on your height. Compact skis are fatter and shorter for increased control in deeper snow and are based on weight.

Skate Cross-Country Skis

Skate or racing cross-country takes place on hard-packed snow, frozen lakes covered with snow or groomed trails. Hold on tight to those ski poles! Cross-country racing skis are made for speed.

Stiffer, shorter and faster than classic skis, they are also more responsive and maneuverable in snow. The very narrow tips help with gliding and maneuvering, two of the most important aspects of skate cross-country. You’ll want you a camber that matches your body weight exactly to keep the ski as flat as possible.

Groomed/Ungroomed Cross-Country Skis

Mostly used on groomed trails and open runs, these skis are wider at the tip and waist than the classic cross-country ski but are not as wide as the typical backcountry ski.

The benefit of their shape is that they offer more stability and support on ungroomed terrain but are still narrow and agile enough to efficiently and quickly glide over your favorite track. You won’t be able to go on the wildest adventures with these, but you’ll still have fun outside the resort.

Backcountry Cross Country Skis

For exploring deep snow outside the groomed trails, the wider tip floats powder easily and the softer camber increases the grip on unpacked snow. Control is important for this ski style which is why there is usually a pronounced sidecut in the ski.

Metal edge cross-country skis are backcountry skis that can handle even steeper terrain, especially icier conditions. The steel edges give you more control and support for the short downhill trips and provide a super firm grim as you navigate up slopes.

Camber

Camber refers to the bow of the ski and helps power its movement. To move forward, you will kick (press your weight down on the ski, or camber). As it flattens, the ski grips the snow, allowing you to push forward. The camber then springs back to its bowed shape and you begin to glide.

During your cross-country ski sizing, body weight will be important in determining how much camber you need. If it is too stiff or soft, you won’t have much control.

Flex

The flex of a ski influences your speed and turning ability. All Nordic skis do not offer different flexes but for those that do, it’s important to choose the flex based on you weight.

Love traveling groomed runs at high speeds? A stiffer flex will work best. For those who enjoy the soft snow and a leisurely pace, a softer flex will grip the snow better and let your turn more easily. The more aggressively you ride, the stiffer your ski should be.

Waxless Ski Base

The best cross-country skis for beginners are fish scales, aka waxless skis. The textured pattern found at the bottom of the ski digs into the snow, providing grip in various snow conditions. This type of ski does not require as much upkeep to perform well and don’t slide backwards because the texture tightly grips the snow.

Though they are referred to as waxless skis, they actually perform at their best when glide wax is applied to their tips and tails.

Waxable Ski Base

With no textured grip underside, grip wax must be applied to the middle for grip and glide wax can be applied to the tip and tail to go fast – really fast.

Waxable skis are high-performance, with many cross-country ski racers using this ski for its unparalleled speed when waxing is done right. Part science, part art, it takes a lot of patience, time and practice to learn how to wax in any condition. For experienced skiers mostly, peak performance comes with time.

Ski Length

Unlike ski bindings, your body weight, for the most part, will be the most important factor in determining what the correct length of your skis should be.

Longer skis are faster than shorter ones, but shorter skis are easier for recreational skiers to handle. They are also easier to maneuver when you find yourself skiing in more rugged terrain. For those who fall in between sizes, opt for longer skis if you are very athletic or tend to learn quickly.

Ski Width

There are three points on the ski where width is measured: the tip, the tail and the waist. The hourglass curve of the ski is known as the sidecut.

Skis for groomed trails should be, at most, 70mm, and there should be a minimal sidecut to allow the skis to glide efficiently and straight forward. Skate skis are narrower than classics for speed. Backcountry skis are wider than the other types. The width helps them float and turn easier in soft snow.

Ski Weight

Backcountry skis are typically constructed using lighter materials and have features such as notches in the tip and tail that you can attach climbing skins to. The lighter weight sacrifices its dampening ability on hard snow however.

Many ski makers have found a happy medium between a weight good for touring and the resort so have some fun exploring your options. Look for a ski that doesn’t throw your back out or leave you with sore hips while kicking and you should be fine.

Sidecut

If your skis are wider in the tip and the tail, meaning they have an hourglass shape, then they have a sidecut. Nordic skis typically all have a sidecut because they are designed for groomed, familiar areas and the unexplored lands the ski lift doesn’t go to.

The more pronounced the sidecut of a ski, the better it can handle the freshly fallen, unpacked snow that you’ve been searching for. Skis with sidecuts are easier to turn in powder and on trails.

Reverse Sidecut

Shaped more like snowshoes, you won’t find that sexy hourglass figure on a ski with a reverse sidecut. The middle of this ski is wider than at the ends.

Not suited for all types of cross-country skiing, this shape is ideal for groomed areas of packed snow. The thicker middle allows you to glide much more easily over tracked snow than softer snow. When skiing with a reverse cut, you’ll also notice more power when pushing and an easier glide.

Durability

Skiing in general is not a cheap sport. Skis and the necessary equipment can be rented but if you do decide to get your own pair, wanting a set that lasts a long time is common sense.

Skis constructed out of materials like wood can be put through any kind of situation on the mountain and will still be standing years after purchase. Just remember to look for skis that are well made but don’t add too much weight to their construction.

Color

The color of your skis never seems to matter until you’re actually on the trails and see that everyone else’s look better than yours. There’s no need to feel like it’s shallow to care about such things, who doesn’t like their ski gloves, ski googles and other gear to match their skis?

You’re not a ski bunny and even if you were, when did looking good become a crime? The best cross-country skis are an expression of you just like most any other purchase you make.

Alpina Control 60 Cross-Country Skis
Our pick for the best cross country skis is: Alpina Control 60 Cross-Country Skis. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching cross country skis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I buy professional gear or should I rent?

If you are a casual skier and you will not see any snow-covered hills and trails outside of that one vacation, you’re better off renting your ski equipment. If you are going to be skiing and actually improving you skills, keep in mind: you get what you pay for.

Why would you buy bad equipment if you are trying to do improve? Get the best, most responsive gear that will get you to the next level is our advice in this situation.

Do I maintain my skis the same way I maintain my snowboard?

Listen up: a snowboard bag or ski boots bag is not where anything other than your board or snowboard boots belong. Unlike a snowboard, it takes more than a snowboard wall mount to keep your cross-country skis ready for use. Most people throw their things in their ski bag, forgetting to do all you can to keep it ready for next season.

Wax the base of your skis and then take stock of your bindings, checking for issues with the base attachment and locking mechanism. After that, you can store them.

Should I get backcountry or classic cross-country skis?

Classic cross-country skis are some of the most popular for a couple reasons. They are very versatile and can be used on the resort, in groomed places and let you blaze your own trails. Backcountry skis don’t work as well on groomed areas but float powder well.

If you are unsure of which area you’ll stick to, you’re better off grabbing a set of classic cross-country skis, they are ideal for those who haven’t made up their minds just yet.

Where can I find deals on cross-country skis?

Classic, skate and backcountry cross-country ski packages are great for those who are just starting off in the sport. Packages also come with the added benefit of saving you the time and headache of finding compatible ski boots.

The best place to find some great package deals, as well as cross-country ski lessons, is your local ski shop. If you decide to go this route, just know that at least one or two pieces will be of lower quality.

Do I really have to wax my skis?

No matter which type of ski you have decided to get, wax is required to get a good glide with them. Glide wax has to be applied to the tip and tail of the ski. It can feel a bit overwhelming in the beginning, but if you use a universal paste wax, it will be easier.

Universal wax has to be reapplied often but hot wax is the best way to go. It takes more time but lasts longer, but yes, wax is needed.

Alpina Control 60 Cross-Country Skis
Our pick for the best cross country skis is: Alpina Control 60 Cross-Country Skis. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching cross country skis.

Sources

  1. Cross-Country Skiing in Pennsylvania State Parks and Forests, Pennsylvania
  2. Cross Country Skiing, City of Midland
  3. Cross-country skiing, Wikipedia
  4. Cross-Country Skiing - Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, US National Park Service, Sep 11, 2018
  5. Cross-country skiing injuries and biomechanics, National Institutes of Health, Dec 8, 1989
  6. Skiing & Snowshoeing, Yellowstone National Park, Mar 26, 2018
  7. The science behind cross-country skiing at the Winter Olympics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Feb 21, 2010
  8. Cross-country skiing (sport), Wikipedia
  9. Review of Injury Countermeasures and their Effectiveness for Cross-Country Skiing, Monash University, Jul 12, 1996
  10. 7 Best Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing Spots in Southern Utah, Southern Utah University, Jan 06, 2017

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