Blizzard Zero G 95 Review

A favorite option among backcountry skiers, the Blizzard Zero G 95 skis delivers high-quality performance in a lightweight design. They give you the best of both worlds in terms of how they won’t hold you back getting to the drop-in point and will let you fully rip just about any line you want on the way back down. A versatile and lightweight model built to rip out of bounds. Read more of our detailed review below!

Quick Summary

  • Where to buy: Amazon
  • Best for: Backcountry touring skiers who want excellent downhill performance. Those looking for the complete package in one ski.
  • Pros: Lightweight and great for skinning or hiking in the backcountry. They also perform well in different downhill situations. Fairly affordable in the touring niche as well.
  • Cons: Not extremely stable at higher speeds, but that’s to be expected with a lightweight touring option.
  • Alternatives: Atomic Backland 95, Icelantic Nomad Lite, Salomon QST 99

Why Trust Me

I’ve been skiing almost as long as I’ve been able to walk. I have skied all over the world and have decades of experience skiing on, testing, and reviewing different skis and skiing equipment. I thoroughly researched the Blizzard Zero G 95’s performance, construction, and attributes. I also spoke to a few expert skiers who used them in the past. Below is my detailed review.

Detailed Review

The Blizzard Zero G 95’s are some of the best backcountry skis currently available. If you want a lightweight ski that will deliver standout performance in powder, curd, and hardpack alike, they are hard to beat. The skis are light enough to skin and hike with ease, and stay firm and powerful when you put them to the test on snow. They are a little narrow for some people, but remain effective despite that.

Backcountry Performance

The Blizzard Zero G 95’s are fully built to rip the backcountry. That has made them a favorite for skiers who live for lines outside of the resort. They provide some of the best features with both light-weight and performance in mind, making them reach the holy grail that most backcountry skiers seek. They are narrow, but surprisingly stiff and powerful too.

These skis are easy to tour with thanks to their lightweight nature. With a set of skins on, you’ll be cruising up the skin track as fast as your legs and lungs will allow. If you prefer hiking, they are still light enough to throw over your shoulder or strap to a backpack with little worry. Lightweight design is a key element to the touring niche, and the Zero G 95 directly hits that mark.

A surprising trait of the Zero G 95 is how well they do in powder conditions. I certainly wouldn’t expect a 95mm width ski to excel in deep snow, but the Zero G certainly does. It isn’t a top powder performer, but for a lightweight option, it does pretty well. The ski also excels in more hardpack conditions and provides a reliable, stable grip that will hold whether you’re hauling at top speed or making technical turns.

As you might guess with a light, narrow ski, the Zero G 95 is not the best at busting through cruddy snow conditions. It is capable in that regard, but you need to anticipate and react when conditions change. Charging full speed ahead through backcountry conditions can lead to some wipeouts and loss of control if you’re not careful.

Speed Check

Many touring skis, in order to cut on weight, sacrifice stability at higher speeds. While the Zero G 95 won’t win you any inbounds ski races, it does do better than most similar models at higher speeds. These skis are fairly stiff. When you get to extremely high speeds, especially on hardpack, you’re going to notice considerable chatter and wobble.

They aren’t out of control or impossible to wrangle, either. For a backcountry touring ski, they actually provide some of the best speed performance I’ve seen. You don’t need to be concerned about opening up the throttle and letting these rip. You just have to stay engaged when doing so. That’s good advice for any speed demon, but it’s especially important to keep in mind with these underfoot.

Construction and Style

The Blizzard Zero G 95 has a rockered profile in the tip and tail that increases versatility in the backcountry. It also comes with a traditional camber underfoot to help you maintain power and pop through changing conditions. That profile provides you with enough float to stay on top of deep snow and enough precisions to hold grip when things stiffen up.

A key element to keeping any ski ultra-lightweight is the core construction. These have a Paulownia wood core that’s known for its lightweight-but-strong nature. The core also has a unidirectional carbon frame surrounding it that adds extra strength and stability without much weight. Backing that are layers of bi-directional carbon in the mid section that help increase torsional strength and stability.

All of that combines to create a slim profile ski that’s built for power. The sandwiched sidewalls are built with strong materials, and that adds to the general durability. The sintered graphite base stands out in that regard as well.

The latest version of the Blizzard Zero G 95 comes in two different colors: a mostly blue option, and a green-blue blend. The graphics are pretty basic without being boring. They have a nice style blend of old-school meets new-school.

Price and Value

With all of the excellent backcountry design and performance elements that the Blizzard Zero G 95 has to offer, I give it high value marks due to its approachable price. The value is well noted by many expert backcountry skiers who have used the skis for all of their out-of-bounds adventures. If you don’t plan on spending any time in the backcountry, these skis don’t make a lot of sense.

What I Like

If you enjoy backcountry skiing, you’re going to like these skis. They are simply some of the best backcountry skis currently available, which is why they are so highly recommended for anyone who wants to explore the wilderness. The blend of lightweight and high-performance is amazing, and these skis shine in a lot of backcountry situations. That goes for both long ascents and challenging downhill lines.

For a lightweight ski, it’s hard to find a better option with downhill performance in mind. These skis deliver across the board and, despite their somewhat narrow waist, they are going to be effective in various conditions. From powder to packed snow to long skins uphill, the Zero G 95 will help you perform better.

Another stand out feature I like here is how powerful the Zero G 95 is for a smaller profile ski. I was impressed with the grip and control it gives you throughout ever-changing conditions. It is reliable and durable as well. In the backcountry, you need equipment you can rely on both in how it performs and how long it will last. This ski hits those marks.

What I Don’t Like

I typically don’t like skis that are less than 100mm in waist width. That’s true here as well. For me, 95mm skis are just a little too narrow. I find it limits their abilities somewhat. If I were to choose, I would go with a wider backcountry ski, or a wider version of the Zero G. They are very impressive for their width, but in big powder, I just want more ski.

I also don’t like Zero G 95’s instability at speed. Shakiness is to be expected with many of the versatile backcountry and all-mountain options that you find on the market these days. However, it’s still not something I like. A little chatter isn’t that big of a deal, but if you want to really turn up the throttle and let loose, these skis are going to become a bit unstable.

Another downside to the narrow waist is that these skis aren’t that great a busting through crud or rapidly adapting to worsening conditions. You should be aware that you might need to sit back in the saddle when navigating crusty snow. They aren’t all-mountain monsters that can plow their way through anything.

The Alternatives

If you’re looking for an alternative to the Blizzard Zero G 95, there are plenty of other skis to explore. Here are some excellent options:

Atomic Backland 95 – This is another good backcountry touring ski that combines reliable and dependable performance with a lightweight construction. The Backland is versatile enough to be used in-bounds as well, which makes it a nice alternative for any skier who wants a setup that can easily roam in the backcountry and resort.

Icelantic Nomad Lite – This is a lightweight version of one of my favorite all-mountain skis. The Lite is built with the needs and demands of backcountry touring in mind, and gives you quality performance in a range of conditions. They are also playful and fun to ski, whether you want to seek out deep powder or simply take whatever comes your way.

Salomon QST 99 – These skis are a little bit more freeride focused but can still be used in the backcountry. They are durable and effective in a variety of situations and are a favorite of skiers who want a one-quiver ski that can do a bit of everything. They will definitely hold up better at higher speeds than the Zero G, but are heavier and not as well suited for touring. Read my detailed review to learn more.

FAQs

Are these skis a good resort ski?
Not really. The Blizzard Zero G is built for the backcountry and won’t give you as much resort performance as you might want. That’s mainly with speed on hardpack in mind, and they get a little chatty when you’re going fast.

Is the Blizzard 95 too narrow for deep powder?
While the 95mm waist width is a little narrow for a powder ski, the Zego G 95 still does a decent job in deep snow. If you only ski powder, you might want to go up to the 105 width, however.

What lengths are available?
The Blizzard Zero G 95 comes in 164cm, 171cm, 178cm, and 185 cm sizes.

Final Verdict

The Blizzard Zero G 95 is one of the best backcountry skis on the market. They are lightweight, capable, and dependable in a variety of backcountry situations. That makes them great for any skier who spends the majority of their time out of bounds. They are a bit narrow, which means they aren’t the best option for deep powder, but are still versatile enough to get you through just about anything.

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