Atomic has been making skis since 1955, so it is safe to say they know a thing or two about designing a quality ski. With that in mind, we decided to include their fattest ski in their redesigned all-mountain line, the Vantage 100 CTI. While this ski does not shy away from arcing fast turns on-piste, its best attribute is its pow slaying ability. This is a fun ski for the advanced skier that finds himself exploring the whole mountain.
Atomic Vantage 100 CTI Review
Cons: Chatter at speed, poor crud performance
Our Analysis and Test Results
We tested the Vantage 100 CTI in an 180cm length that comes with 20% tip rocker, 70% camber, 10% tail rocker, and an 18m turn radius. The ski has a titanium backbone and carbon mesh, which are designed to give it strength while being lightweight. The ski itself definitely feels light, but, just as our testers saw with the Salomon QST 99, a bit of stability may have been sacrificed for it.
When in the right conditions, this ski performs just as well as most others we tested.
Stability at Speed
The Vantage 100 CTI is fast, similar to the Armada Invictus 99 Ti, and even scored the same 6/10 in this category. On even smooth groomers, our testers felt confident putting this ski on its edge and arcing fast turns.
Later in the day, as the on-piste terrain began to get chopped up by skier traffic, the ski felt less graceful. Our testers started to notice chatter and deflection from the tips.
The Vantage 100 CTI is a fun ski to set on edge, due in part to its shape, which is similar to the Armada Invictus 99 Ti. The 18m turn radius is a bit shorter than the Armada Invictus 99ti, and that lends itself to favor more medium radius turns than it's counterpart.
Atomic uses a "Firewall" in this ski, which they describe as an "extra full" sidewall. No matter its name, this sidewall design gives the Vantage line incredible edge hold, even in firm conditions. It also feels powerful through the turn and easy to transition between edges. For being 100mm at the waist, this ski is quick like the K2 iKonic 84 ti and feels right at home on the frontside.
This is a tough category for any ski, but this ski tied for the lowest score, only a 5 out of 10. Similar to the Salomon QST 99, the Vantage 100 CTI chattered in most conditions that weren't either fresh powder or smooth groomers. The ski also seemed to hook and catch in chopped up conditions, but when the sun turned the snow to slop, the overall width of the ski helped to push some of that out of the way.
Even though most people don't prefer to ski crud, sometimes it is a necessary evil if you're truly skiing all-(over the)mountain. This ski is manageable, but nowhere near the crudbuster that the Volkl Mantra is.
With a true 100mm waist and a large shovel of a tip, this lightweight ski has the capability to float with ease through powder. It outperformed the Nordica Enforcer 93 by staying on top of the snow during a true powder day and was right in line with the Salomon QST 99 in terms of a lightweight ski that floats effortlessly.
This ski has some tip rocker to push you to the top, and just enough evenly distributed stiffness to get a nice even flex on soft snow without feeling like the ski is going to taco in half. Out of the Vantage line, the 100 CTI was designed for the skier who seeks out soft snow more often than not.
Our testers found that what this ski gave up in unfavorable conditions, it made up for in terms of playfulness. Unlike the Armada Invictus 99ti, the Vantage 100 CTI has quite a bit of pop in it and felt smooth when landing. Its light swing weight makes for a fun and playful all-mountain ski.
The Vantage 100 CTI is surprisingly agile for 100mm underfoot, similar to the Volkl Mantra. That helps the ski be more maneuverable in steep moguls. Being on the shortest length ski we tested in this category also helped. Just as in the other categories, this ski tended to get bucked in poor conditions like the Salomon QST 99, but felt more stable when softer snow conditions persisted.
The best application for this ski is in smooth and consistent conditions. It shines in the powder and on fresh groomers but loses a bit of its luster in challenging conditions.
Starting at $699, it is a moderately priced ski that is a decent value, especially if you favor a powder oriented all-mountain ski.
The Atomic Vantage 100 CTI is an all-mountain ski that is best suited for soft snow. It is surprisingly nimble and lightweight and holds an edge very well. This ski is also quite playful and has some pop, but suffers from chatter and deflection when in inconsistent or firm snow conditions. Other skis outperform the Vantage 100, but it definitely has characteristics that still make it a fun ski to ride.
— Andrew Pierce