The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Salomon QST 99 Review

The Salomon QST 99 is redesigned from previous versions, but still performs best in soft conditions.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $650 List | $374.00 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Fun in soft and predictable snow conditions
Cons:  Excessive chatter, ski short
Manufacturer:   Salomon
By Andrew Pierce ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 7, 2019
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 15
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 5
  • Carving - 20% 6
  • Crud - 20% 5
  • Powder - 20% 7
  • Playfulness - 15% 6
  • Bumps - 5% 6

Our Verdict

Salomon has redesigned their entire line of QST skis for the 2019-2020 season, so we thought we'd give the QST 99 another shot to test out their new construction. Although these skis sport a new carbon and basalt laminate running the length of the ski, which our testers found increased the dampness of the Salmonon QST 99, we still found the tips to be quite chattery despite the new "Cork Damplifier" technology. We scored the new version of this ski quite similarly to the previous and found them to be the most fun when conditions are soft and consistent.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Salomon QST 99
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $374.00 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$679.99 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$639.98 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$699.95 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$454.00 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
0
58
100
0
90
100
0
88
100
0
86
100
0
80
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Fun in soft and predictable snow conditionsFast, solid, consistent, large sweet spotHard charging, fun, easy to skiGreat all around ski, great pop, easy to swingExcellent carving ski, quick
Cons Excessive chatter, ski shortMinor chatterSlight chatter at high-end speedSometimes feels soft, skis shortChatter in the tips, poor powder performance
Bottom Line The Salomon QST 99 is redesigned from previous versions, but still performs best in soft conditions.The new Mantra, now called the M5, is more user friendly than previous versions but is still a powerful and consistently fun ski.The Daemon is a hard charging ski that can be tamed.Fantastic all around ski that will for perform for skiers of all abilities.This contender has superb edge hold and energy through turns.
Rating Categories Salomon QST 99 Volkl M5 Mantra Black Crows Daemon Blizzard Rustler 10 Nordica Enforcer 93
Stability At Speed (20%)
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Carving (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
10
Crud (20%)
10
0
5
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Powder (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
7
Playfulness (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
Bumps (5%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
Specs Salomon QST 99 Volkl M5 Mantra Black Crows Daemon Blizzard Rustler 10 Nordica Enforcer 93
Intended Purpose All Mountain/Soft Snow All Mountain All Mountain All Mountain/Soft Snow All Mountain/Firm Snow
Ability Level Beginner-Intermediate Intermediate-Expert Intermediate-Expert Intermediate-Expert Expert
Shape 138-99-120mm 134 - 96 - 117 mm 132 - 99 - 120 mm 135.5 - 104 - 125.5 mm 126 - 93 - 114 mm
Available Lengths 167, 174, 181, 188 170,177,184,191 170, 177, 183, 188 164, 172, 180, 188 169, 177, 185, 193
Waist Width 99 96 99 102 93
Radius 19m 21.2m 20m 14.5m, 16m, 17.5m, 19m 15.5m, 16.5m, 18.5m, 20.5m
Rocker Rocker/Camber/Rocker Rocker/Camber/Rocker Full rocker, reverse camber Rocker/Camber/Rocker Rocker/Camber/Rocker
Weight Per Pair 4530 4252 5265 4126 4464
Core Material Poplar/Carbon Weave Beech, poplar Poplar wood Multi-layer wood Beech and poplar wood
Tested length 181 184 183.6 188 185

Our Analysis and Test Results

We tested the 2019-2020 Salomon QST 99 in a 181cm length, which comes with 138-99-120 dimensions and a stated 18m turn radius. Salomon integrated a carbon laminate, which runs the entire length of the ski and is infused with basalt and is intended to increase vibration absorption. They also replaced their old Koroyd tip technology with what they call "Cork Damplifier", which is supposed to be lighter and damper. The overall shape and profile of the ski has not changed much, and our testers found the ski to be quite similar to previous versions.

Performance Comparison



The Salomon QST 99 is not what our testers would call a "hard charger"  especially when conditions are not soft. They are great skis for a person in the intermediate range looking to up their game and seeking a soft-snow oriented set of planks.
The Salomon QST 99 is not what our testers would call a "hard charger", especially when conditions are not soft. They are great skis for a person in the intermediate range looking to up their game and seeking a soft-snow oriented set of planks.

Stability at Speed


Salomon claims that the QST 99 inspires confidence when flying down your favorite groomers, but our testers only found that to be true when there was a fresh coating of new snow on top of the corduroy. When conditions were firm and steep (on or off-piste), we found the tips of these skis to be quite floppy, despite the new embedded technology.

Pictured here is our lead tester seeing how fast he can take the Salomon QST 99 down to Portillo's famous Tio Bob's for a burger. The QST 99 was not incredibly confidence-inspiring at speed  and the tip chatter we experienced. seemed to be the main culprit.
Pictured here is our lead tester seeing how fast he can take the Salomon QST 99 down to Portillo's famous Tio Bob's for a burger. The QST 99 was not incredibly confidence-inspiring at speed, and the tip chatter we experienced. seemed to be the main culprit.

Our testers found the skis overall feel more damp, especially underfoot, but even our intermediate level ski testers were able to push this ski past their comfort level on steep, fast groomers. We also found them to be suscept to chattering out, instead of holding a solid edge, in steep and chalky off-piste conditions. Overall, we found only a slight increase in stability at speed compared to older models.

Carving Performance


While the Salmonon QST 99 is relatively quick edge to edge given its 99mm waist width, it would not be our first pick for a slalom race. Our testers agreed that the edge hold left something to be desired, and the overall bulky dimensions of the ski meant they had to be on their game to control the ski throughout the turn.

We were lucky to enlist the help of a few of the world-famous Ski Portillo Instructors to test our skis. Pictured here is one of them setting the Salomon QST 99 on edge. Soft snow at moderate speeds was preferred by our testers on these skis while carving.
We were lucky to enlist the help of a few of the world-famous Ski Portillo Instructors to test our skis. Pictured here is one of them setting the Salomon QST 99 on edge. Soft snow at moderate speeds was preferred by our testers on these skis while carving.

We found that at moderate speeds, and with medium radius turns, this ski could be fun carving down soft groomers. There is a bit of pop from the camber, but the lack of quality edge hold when conditions were firm had our testers shying away from the QST 99.

Crud


When conditions are firm and/or variable, the Salomon QST 99 are best left at home. Our testers felt that the big floppy tips combined with a relatively soft flex and poor vibration dampening left quite a bit to be desired out of an all-mountain ski. Adding to that, we found those tips being deflected easily and the tails hooking and catching in uneven chopped up snow. Our testers were hoping for increased performance in this category from this new design, but we did not find that to be the case.

Plenty of crud to be had in lean snow years  but notice the smile on our lead testers face...skiing is (almost) always fun! Even on the Salomon QST 99s  which left a lot to be desired when the conditions were less than ideal.
Plenty of crud to be had in lean snow years, but notice the smile on our lead testers face...skiing is (almost) always fun! Even on the Salomon QST 99s, which left a lot to be desired when the conditions were less than ideal.

Powder


This is where the QST 99 truly shines. It performs like a dream on an untracked fresh line. Steep, mellow, low angle, it doesn't matter as long as mother nature has laid down a new blanket of fluff for you. Our testers praised the Salmon QST 99's ability to float effortlessly through all but the deepest powder days, thanks to a large rockered shovel and a wide waist. Our testers also found it easy to slarve and slash the pow in open terrain, and then quickly transition to short poppy turns in tight trees. As long as the storm delivers, the QST 99 will too.

This photo  while not representative of the many powder days we tested the Salomon QST 99s on  really shows why this ski performs well in the soft stuff. A wide base underfoot of 99mm combined with a huge shovel (tip) and plenty of tip rocker come together to make floating in pow a breeze.
This photo, while not representative of the many powder days we tested the Salomon QST 99s on, really shows why this ski performs well in the soft stuff. A wide base underfoot of 99mm combined with a huge shovel (tip) and plenty of tip rocker come together to make floating in pow a breeze.

Playfulness


Our testers found these skis quite comfortable in the air. They have enough pop to get you airborne and are light enough to maneuver for simple 3's and shifties.

The sun was shining and we were getting sendy. The Salomon QST 99 are light enough and forgiving enough to lead to some pleasant air time.
The sun was shining and we were getting sendy. The Salomon QST 99 are light enough and forgiving enough to lead to some pleasant air time.

The soft flex pattern of the QST 99 also adds to its playfulness. While you won't be taking these skis into the superpipe, our testers had fun taking them off short drops, especially when conditions were soft and forgiving.

Bumps


While the Salomon QST 99 may be a bit clunky in tightly spaced  or huge  moguls  our testers found some pleasure in meandering their way through wide open small mogul fields due to their forgiving nature.
While the Salomon QST 99 may be a bit clunky in tightly spaced, or huge, moguls, our testers found some pleasure in meandering their way through wide open small mogul fields due to their forgiving nature.

The Salomon QST 99 dimensions proved to be slightly cumbersome for our testers in the bumps. We found them to be relatively light and nimble, especially given their proportions, but in tightly spaced moguls, or those with deep troughs, it was easy for the skis to get in the way. Despite all that, our testers were able to have some fun in small soft bumps on these skis.

Value


The Salomon QST 99 are right in the middle group in terms of pricing. While we feel the price is fair for the quality of the ski, in our opinion, there are better performing all-mountain skis in the same price range.

Conclusion


When the skiing conditions are easy, the Salomon QST 99 will deliver. They are best suited for a pow day where you lap your secret stash until it's tracked out and then head home. Even though they were redesigned with the thought of improving their performance in variable conditions with all sorts of new technology and materials, our testers felt there is still something left to be desired our of these skis. In a huge field of amazing all-mountain skis, sometimes simpler is better.


Andrew Pierce