Hands-on Gear Review

Dynafit Grand Teton Review

Price:  $700 List
Pros:  Solid and fast
Cons:  Require excellent skiing skills
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
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  • 5
Tested length:  182
Actual Length:  181
Available Lengths:  164, 173, 182, 191
Manufacturer:   Dynafit

Our Verdict

Dynafit Grand Teton skis are solid, but generally unremarkable. In a world where performance can be somewhat flashy, excelling in some areas and bombing in others, unremarkable performance isn't a bad thing. As compared to the wide variety of skis on the market, the GT is excellent. As compared, however, to our targeted selection, others are apt to be a better choice. Our Editors' Choice model, the Fischer Hannibal 94 skis better in most conditions and is almost two pounds lighter. For those looking to charge hard with little regard to weight, the Dynastar Cham High Mountain 107 skis better than the Grand Teton but weighs over a pound more.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Jediah Porter

Last Updated:
Sunday
May 31, 2015

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The Dynafit Grand Teton is a middle of the road ski with middle of the road dimensions and performance. In finding nothing extraordinary in the performance of the GT, we found an adequate all-around ski.

Performance Comparison


Lead backcountry ski tester Jed Porter finds some April powder in Grand Teton National Park. Coincidentally  on the Dynafit Grand Teton ski.
Lead backcountry ski tester Jed Porter finds some April powder in Grand Teton National Park. Coincidentally, on the Dynafit Grand Teton ski.

Weight


We could divide our entire roster of eight tested products into two major weight classes. We find that the threshold splitting our roster in half, about seven pounds, divides the skis that seem to tour super easily from those that feel at least a little weighty. Because of this, overall, we are a little more forgiving of the ski performance of those on the lighter end. If we can tour up easily, we are less worried about the downhill. Conversely, for heavier skis we want them to ski really, really well. While, especially as compared to just a few years ago, a 7.5 pound pair of skis like the Grand Teton isn't really all that heavy, its downhill performance doesn't justify the extra weight. Sure, we tested heavier skis, and the Dynastar was more than a pound heavier, but generally those skied quite a bit better.

Versatility


With middle of the road ski performance, and upper level weight, these will not be an excellent bet for one's only pair of backcountry skis. They are good all around, and will be durable. However, other skis in our review perform with a greater range of success.

The Dynafit logo is a snow leopard. We aren't sure what these tracks are that we encountered while on the Grand Teton  but it is extremely unlikely they are a snow leopard. Alberta  Canada.
The Dynafit logo is a snow leopard. We aren't sure what these tracks are that we encountered while on the Grand Teton, but it is extremely unlikely they are a snow leopard. Alberta, Canada.

Stability


The Grand Tetons like to go fast and make long turns. In big, open terrain, this ski really comes into its own. It rewards immaculate balance and high-end technique at high speed, and in that setting the expert skier will enjoy this product. In steep terrain, landing high energy jump turns, the Grand Teton is similarly reliable and solid. Our Editors' Choice product, the Fischer Hannibal 94 accomplishes similar stability with a fraction of the weight, while the big gun Dynastar Cham High Mountain 107 far exceeds the GT in stability.

Firm Snow Performance


We found nothing remarkable in the hard snow performance of the Grand Teton. The extra mass dampens chatter and provides appropriate torsional rigidity. The moderate width increases leverage, but the construction seems to back it up.

The Grand Teton skis with the summit of the actual Grand Teton in view.
The Grand Teton skis with the summit of the actual Grand Teton in view.

Powder Performance


We found none of our skis to suffer in powder. The hard charging Dynastar was more solid, while the Voile V6 was more fun. But the rest of the skis all performed similarly in the best mid-winter hero snow.

Poor Snow Performance


There were certainly skis in our test that performed worse in sloppy and breakable snow than the Grand Teton. Virtually every backcountry day out requires negotiating some sort of poor snow. We do not enjoy it, but we do have to survive it. In the gnarliest breakable conditions, particularly during some ski guiding at the end of a long long dry spell near Silverton, CO, we had to resort to survival skiing technique on the Dynafits. Otherwise we were able to use the wide form and tip rocker to make rudimentary turns. Notably, the Dynastar Cham and G3 Synapse Carbon 109 both made even the trappiest breakable crust almost fun. These two products set the bar for what a ski can do in tough conditions.

Ian and Jed doing some comparative ski testing at Bow Summit  Banff National Park. Ian in the foreground on the Best Buy K2 Wayback  and Jed is riding the Dynafit Grand Teton.
Ian and Jed doing some comparative ski testing at Bow Summit, Banff National Park. Ian in the foreground on the Best Buy K2 Wayback, and Jed is riding the Dynafit Grand Teton.

Durability


We had no problems with the durability of the Grand Teton. In the past, Dynafit has not had the best reputation for ski durability. However, the feel of the Grand Teton model is solid and confidence inspiring.

Best Applications


We can recommend this model for all around backcountry skiing for an expert who likes to go fast in big, soft conditions.

Value


While three of our skis are tied for the least expensive, the GT is a close second place. At $700, with apparently good durability, and often available at a far better price, we can easily call this a budget ski. The catch is, at and below this price point there are excellent products available. Our Best Buy K2 Wayback 96 is $50 cheaper, performs better, and is perhaps even more widely available.

Conclusion


They Dynafit Grand Teton is a big mountain, go fast, mid-weight touring ski. Lighter models will suit most tourers better, and beefier skis will ski a little better. But this model may hit the sweet spot for many people.

Dynafit Grand Teton skis  Dynafit Speedskins  Black Diamond Ascension Nylon skins  and G3 Alpinist skins lined up between sunny ski sessions in Silverton  Colorado.
Dynafit Grand Teton skis, Dynafit Speedskins, Black Diamond Ascension Nylon skins, and G3 Alpinist skins lined up between sunny ski sessions in Silverton, Colorado.

Other Versions and Accessories


With the Grand Teton we tested the corresponding Dynafit Speed Skins. Dynafit works with mega skin manufacturer Pomoca to modify and brand their skins for use on Dynafit ski models. Dynafit's proprietary skin attachment method is the easiest to use that we have found, and the fabric and glue strike all the right balances. Other skins glide better or grip better, but Dynafit's are a great balance. Many touring skis can be purchased with the corresponding skins or matched with those from a third party. If Dynafit skis work for you, you should also choose Dynafit skins. We do not always recommend this brand loyalty.

Jediah Porter

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Most recent review: May 31, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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