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Armada Invictus 99 Ti Review

This is not your everyday Armada ski; it is powerful and hard charging.
Armada Invictus 99 Ti 2017/2018
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Price:  $825 List | $454.97 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Stiff, carving ability
Cons:  Not playful
Manufacturer:   Armada
By Andrew Pierce ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 4, 2017
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64
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 6
  • Carving - 20% 7
  • Crud - 20% 6
  • Powder - 20% 7
  • Playfulness - 15% 6
  • Bumps - 5% 5

The Skinny

The Invictus 99 Ti rides the line between Armada's typical lively park and powder ski and a groomer bombing hard charger (leaning more towards the latter). The Armada Invictus 99 Ti was created to be a rock solid all-rounder, and the results of Armadas intentional work is evident. The Invictus line impressed testers with its ability to navigate most conditions.


Our Analysis and Test Results

The 17/18 Armada Invictus 99 Ti vs. Its Predecessor


The Armada Invictus 99 Ti receives more than just a top sheet makeover for the upcoming season. The construction overhaul includes new metal laminate and the incorporation of Intelligrid. The laminate update is essentially a thinning of the metal layers, which according to Armada, increases rebound and thus agility. As metal is primarily used for vibration damping, Armada adds Intelligrid (a grid of "Xrystal Mesh") to counteract the thinner metal layers and keep ski performance high. Intelligrid also contains carbon fiber stringers which aid in stiffening the ski back up. The Invictus 99 Ti is displaying new colors and graphics, incorporating more blue into the digital design and reducing the fiery red tones.

See the two models side by side, with the new Invictus 99 Ti on the left and the prior version on the right.
Armada Invictus 99 Ti 2017/2018
Armada Invictus 99 Ti NEW

Summary of changes for 2017/2018:
  • New Look — In its second year of production, the Invictus 99 Ti is updated with fresh colors and graphics for both the topsheet and base.
  • Intelligrid — This technology adds a grid of "Xrystal Mesh" and Carbon Fiber stringers which decrease chatter and increase stiffness.
  • New Metal Laminate — Less metal equals more rebound, quicker edge to edge, and lighter weight.
  • Weight Decrease — Likey a result of the downsized metal laminate, the weight of the Invictus 99 Ti is now 2020g per ski. (compared with 2130 g).

We're excited to give the Armada Invictus 99 Ti planks a test run. Until we have a chance to do so, the review below pertains to the 2016/2017 version.

Hands-On Review of the Previous Armada Invictus 99 Ti


Armada Invictus 99 ti
Armada Invictus 99 ti

If you came here looking for a review of a classically playful Armada ski, you've come to the wrong place. The Invictus 99ti, which we reviewed in a 179cm length, was designed to be a hard charging all mountain ski, and because of that, this ski is fairly stiff unlike most of Armada's other lines. Not to say that this ski can't be fun in the right conditions and on the right terrain, but you wouldn't be reaching for a pair on a deep powder day or to go lap your favorite park features.

The Armada Invictus 99 ti...charging!
The Armada Invictus 99 ti...charging!

Stability at Speed


Like quite a few of the skis tested in the men's all-mountain category, the Invictus 95ti likes to go fast. It has a generous amount of camber underfoot, and our testers found it to be pretty stable and damp at high speeds, most likely due to the titanal layer found inside (hence the "ti").

Fast turns on the Invictus!
Fast turns on the Invictus!

We found it to be not nearly as stable as, say, the Volkl Mantra, but didn't experience near the amount of chatter and tip flap at high speed as the Salomon QST 99. Overall, if you like making large turns (20.5m turn radius) and don't have trouble setting a ski on edge, you'll feel comfortable at nearly any speed on these skis.

Carving Performance


With the Invictus line, Armada has proven they don't just make noodly skis that are fun in the pow and in the park. The 99ti was designed with carving the frontside in mind, and it does that well, especially at higher speeds.

Laying the Invictus' on edge
Laying the Invictus' on edge

At lower speeds, our testers found it took some more effort to get on edge. Once on edge, the ski felt stable throughout the turn, and the edge to edge transition is quick as long as you keep your speed up. But we found ourselves wishing for more pop and energy while carving, like the Nordica Enforcer 93.

Crud


The Invictus 99ti may not be the crud busting machine that the Volkl Mantra proved itself to be, but it does have a lot going for it in the world of crud. The 133mm tip combined with slight tip rocker allows the ski to push wet or soft snow away. The titanal layer does provide a bit of rigidity and dampness, but with too much speed, the Invictus tended to deflect quite a bit.

Powder


This competitor performed just as well as every other ski reviewed in this category. The generous shovel has just enough rocker to float the tips, and with 99mm underfoot, the entire ski stays on top of most powder days. Although there is no tail rocker to speak of, a turned up tail allows the ski to release out of the powder, similar to the Atomic Vantage 100 cti.

Invictus slaying the pow pow.
Invictus slaying the pow pow.

Overall, this charging ski held its own on all but the deepest of powder days and was right at home in wide open bowls of fresh snow.

Playfulness


The Invictus 99 is far from what we would consider a typical playful Armada ski. Most likely due to the double titanal layers found within, the ski lacks pop and sensitivity, and landings tend to feel stiff.

Dropping!
Dropping!

The skis also feels heavy, which forcers the skier to work harder to bring the ski around while in the air. The Invictus is similar to the Atomic Vantage 100 cti in that it has a titanal layer, but Atomic was able to create a lighter swing weight, which adds to the playfulness.

Bumps


Scoring only 5 out of 10, moguls are this ski's lowest scoring category. While not impossible to mash bumps on the Invictus 99ti, skis like the Volkl Mantra were much easier to navigate through mogul fields.

Steep bumps below for the Armadas.
Steep bumps below for the Armadas.

The ski felt slightly cumbersome and tended to get bounced around in firm conditions. An advanced mogul skier might appreciate the consistent flex throughout the ski and be able to tame the Invictus.

Best Application


As with all skis in the men's all-mountain category, this ski is designed to handle just about anything you can throw at it. While it does have specific areas it shines most in (carving and powder), in the right hands, this ski will be able to take you anywhere on the mountain.

Value


At a whopping $825, the Invictus 99ti is one of our most expensive skis that we reviewed.

Conclusion


The Invictus 99ti is Armada's venture in to a true all-mountain ski. While not our most highly rated ski, it does handle certain terrain and conditions well, and, for an advanced skier, it could be a great all around ski to explore the mountain on. The Invictus line is offered in many different widths. So, depending on average conditions on your local hill, a similar ski in the Invictus line may suit you better. We recommend this ski for advanced skiers that love arcing large turns on groomers who also want a ski that can handle powder on the side.

Bye! Have fun!
Bye! Have fun!


Andrew Pierce