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Dynafit Blacklight Pro Review

A specialized pair geared for ski mountaineering, offering steep terrain security and minimal weight
dynafit blacklight pro backcountry skis review
Credit: Dynafit
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Price:  $800 List
Pros:  Light, stiff, optimized for firm and steep skiing
Cons:  Narrow application; not good in tough snow or powder snow
Manufacturer:   Dynafit
By Jediah Porter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 1, 2022
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
50
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 15
  • Weight - 25% 9.0
  • Firm Snow - 20% 8.0
  • Powder - 20% 2.0
  • Crud and Poor Snow - 20% 2.0
  • Stability at Speed - 15% 2.0

Our Verdict

The Dynafit Blacklight Pro is among the lightest skis in our test and one of the most specialized. Its narrow stature, stiff construction, and ultralight form come together to make a hot rod for high-volume, steep ski mountaineering. Think about busting out a volcano or a Teton peak before brunch, or linking multiple Colorado 14ers in a day.

Editor's Note: We tested the Blacklight Pro through the entirety of the 2021-22 ski season and wrote it up for you for the fall of 2022.

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Pros Light, stiff, optimized for firm and steep skiingStable, damp, versatile, floaty, balancedStable, damp, predictableAll-around performance, damp, inexpensive, available, sweet-spot weightFast, smooth, reliable, versatile
Cons Narrow application; not good in tough snow or powder snowModerately heavy, not optimal firm snow performanceMid-weight, no real stand out performanceSoft and dampHeavy
Bottom Line A specialized pair geared for ski mountaineering, offering steep terrain security and minimal weightThis is our favorite ski for modern, all-around backcountry skiing, bringing traditional reliability, modern dimensions, and performance balanceGood skis for good skiers in all kinds of conditions; the definition of all around backcountry skisInexpensive, proven all-around performance that's suitable for a wide variety of backcountry skiers and ski conditionsHeavy, big skis for hard-charging performance beneath a wide range of skiers in all backcountry ski scenarios
Rating Categories Dynafit Blacklight Pro Blizzard Zero G 105 Black Crows Camox F... K2 Wayback 106 Elan Ripstick 106
Weight (25%)
9.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
2.0
Firm Snow (20%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Powder (20%)
2.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Crud and Poor Snow (20%)
2.0
8.5
8.0
7.0
9.0
Stability at Speed (15%)
2.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
Specs Dynafit Blacklight Pro Blizzard Zero G 105 Black Crows Camox F... K2 Wayback 106 Elan Ripstick 106
Weight Per Pair 4.3 lbs 6.7 lbs 6.7 lbs 6.9 lbs 8.2 lbs
Weight Per Ski 978g, 994g
average: 986g
1515g, 1510g
average: 1513g
1510g, 1509g
average: 1510g
1518g, 1557g
average: 1537g
1863g, 1852g
average: 1858g
Weight Per Pair 1922g 3025g 3024g 3075g 3715g
Weight Per Surface Area Ratio, g/cm^2 0.59 0.72 0.71 0.71 0.86
Measured Length 170cm 178cm 182cm 179cm 177cm
Manufacturer Length 172cm 180cm 183cm 179cm 180cm
Available Lengths (cm) 158, 165, 172, 178 164, 172, 180, 188 157.1, 164.3, 172.1, 178.4, 183.4 172, 179, 186 167, 174, 181, 188
Claimed Dimensions (mm) 116/80/100 133/105/118 130/97/115 136/106/124 143/106/120
Measured Dimensions (mm) 116/79/99 133/104/118 137/97/117 135/107/123 143/105/119
Construction Type 3D Sidewall Cap Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Cap Hybrid Sandwich
Core Material Paulownia Paulownia Paulownia, poplar Paulownia Tubelite
Waist Width 80mm 105mm 97mm 107mm 106mm
Radius 18.5m 23m 18m 22m 19.5m
Rocker/Camber Tip and tail rocker Tip and tail rocker Tip rocker, camber underfoot Tip rocker, slight camber underfoot Tip and tail rocker, camber underfoot

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Blacklight Pro is Dynafit's lightweight ski for high, steep, far, and firm. These are spring volcano skis and skis for skiing bulletproof windboard well above the trees. They are also well-suited to inbounds "fitness uphilling". Pairing these skis with suitable boots and bindings will be important. Think light as you do so.

Performance Comparison



dynafit blacklight pro backcountry skis review - we call it "dawn patrol" now, but early morning sessions have always...
We call it "dawn patrol" now, but early morning sessions have always been a staple of busy mountain athletes. Having something light and reliable for such training efforts is a great tool.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Weight


One Dynafit Blacklight Pro weighs just under one kilogram. The "kilogram threshold" is relevant in both skis and boots. Skis and boots less than 1000g are definitely well into the ultra lightweight category.

dynafit blacklight pro backcountry skis review - compared to "normal" backcountry skis, you will hardly notice the...
Compared to "normal" backcountry skis, you will hardly notice the Blacklight Pro on your backpack.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Few skis we test are lighter than the Blacklight Pro. There are some out there that are lighter, but the market just isn't leaning in that direction currently. Our test team is selective about just when we will take out skis this light. We do it to go far, to go high, and when the pace is quick.

dynafit blacklight pro backcountry skis review - our longest test mission on the blacklight pro was a mid-january...
Our longest test mission on the Blacklight Pro was a mid-January excursion to the true summit of the Teton's Treasure Peak. This mission involved almost 20 miles of travel in the short mid-winter daylight hours.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Firm Snow


Some amazing backcountry skiing takes place on firm snow. You might not reach that conclusion looking in magazines and mass-market ski movies. But facts are facts: big, beautiful mountains regularly involve the harder forms of snow. When that is the case, narrow ultralight skis will do far better than wide ultralight skis. The Dynafit Blacklight Pro is a narrow ultralight ski.

As such, we found it to be a stellar performer in the high and steep. During a legendary mid-winter drought (and during the first weeks of his offspring's life, incidentally), our lead tester Jed Porter snuck the Blacklight Pro out to clock his fastest-ever round-trip time on the notoriously exposed East Face of Buck Mountain in Grand Teton National Park. This effort involved skiing very, very hard snow (some would call it "ice"; however, anyone that's skied on the eastern portion of this continent would beg to differ) in steep terrain above cliffs. The stiff, well-balanced stature of the Blacklight held on very well in that setting. This is exactly where it excels. For fast and light missions on smooth, hard snow in serious terrain, you can't do better.

Powder


You don't choose these skis for powder snow performance. They are narrow and stiff. These are the opposite descriptors for optimal powder snow skiing. That said, they suffice. Our test team, in pursuit of reliable information, skied some early season powder days on Teton Pass. It wasn't the optimal equipment, but we did it for your benefit. If you're on an expedition with these skis and it happens to snow a ton, you won't be left "high and dry" on the Dynafit Blacklight Pro.

dynafit blacklight pro backcountry skis review - the dynafit blacklight pro, on this unexpected spring powder day...
The Dynafit Blacklight Pro, on this unexpected spring powder day, did well with the "dust on crust" conditions we found. Otherwise, we don't recommend them for fresh snow hunting.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Crud/Poor Snow


Poor snow exists along a continuum, and ski performance in poor snow also exists along a continuum. Finally, skiers have a broad range of abilities to cope with tough snow. The intersection of all these variables makes assessment a difficult one. Let's focus on typical skiers in typical "bad snow" conditions. Expert level resort skiers in refrozen breakable crust will have to resort to "survival skiing" at some point. On the Dynafit Blacklight Pro, you will revert to those basic tactics sooner than on bigger skis. It is physics. The mass and width of bigger skis help navigate tough snow. This is more exaggerated for the Blacklight Pro in breakable crust than it is in sloppy "mashed potatoes" snow. The narrow profile will dive through the crust and catch. Slower, methodical turning is required. You'll get through it, but it won't be pretty. You have to add a bunch of mass and width to do better than the Blacklight Pro. Even skis with similar dimensions don't do as well as the Blacklight.

dynafit blacklight pro backcountry skis review - sunrise over western wyoming from the top of glory mountain with the...
Sunrise over Western Wyoming from the top of Glory Mountain with the Blacklight Pro. The snow this day was tracked and crusty. Excellent testing, poor skiing.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Stability at Speed


Ski stability is roughly correlated with weight. This is especially true at higher speeds. The mass of the ski provides much of that stability. Light skis like the Dynafit Blacklight Pro will inevitably get tossed around. The same can be said for stability in steep terrain. In this setting, though, the tenacious firm snow grip of the Blacklight helps mitigate some of the stability concerns.

dynafit blacklight pro backcountry skis review - deep in the wilderness of western wyoming, the blacklight pro was...
Deep in the wilderness of western Wyoming, the Blacklight Pro was great for these firm, windswept, mellow-angled slopes.
Credit: Jediah Porter

Should You Buy the Dynafit Blacklight Pro?


This is a ski model with a relatively narrow application. It is likely this won't be your first backcountry ski setup. If, though, you've found weight and firm snow limitations of your "all around" backcountry skis, the Blacklight Pro is a worthy second ski for steep and firm or inbounds fitness training uphilling.

dynafit blacklight pro backcountry skis review - the dimensions of the dynafit blacklight pro aren't widely...
The dimensions of the Dynafit Blacklight Pro aren't widely appealing, but perhaps they should be. Much of the actual human-powered skiing that gets done (corn snow, groomed snow) is well suited to these skis.
Credit: Jediah Porter

What Other Backcountry Skis Should You Consider?


If you like the idea of optimized steep and firm performance but want slightly more versatility (at a greater weight — nothing is free), check out the Fischer Hannibal 96. We like the Hannibal for serious ski mountaineering. If you want even lighter little skis, lean towards the Movement Race Pro 77. The Movement trims mass, but you lose even more downhill performance.

Jediah Porter
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