The Icelantic Nomad 105 is one of my personal favorite skis because they are both versatile and fun. That gives them the ability to handle just about any condition and leave you with a smile on your face the entire time. I love their playful nature along with their ability to go from deep powder to busting crud to bombing cruisers without blinking.
- Where to buy: Amazon, EVO, REI
- Best for: All-mountain skiers who want a ski with endless versatility that comes alongside powerful and playful performance.
- Pros: One of the most fun skis I’ve ever been on. Reliable performance across the mountain with the ability to bounce around different terrains and conditions with ease. A great all-mountain option.
- Cons: They can get a little chatty at high speeds on packed snow.
- Alternatives: Armada ARV 106, Icelantic Nomad Lite, Head Kore 105
Why Trust Me
Born and raised in the mountains of Colorado, 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. The Icelantic Nomad 105 has been my go-to all-mountain option since 2016. I’ve used this ski more times than any other during that period. Below is my detailed review.
The Icelantic Nomad 105 is a great all-around ski for many reasons, but one of the biggest is that it’s simply fun to use. I haven’t been on another ski that provides as much pop and play across all parts of the mountain. Whether I’m hitting deep and steep lines or ripping through trees and bumps, these skis will provide high-end performance throughout.
I love to go fast when I’m skiing. Whether that’s taking early warm-up laps and fresh corduroy, endlessly searching for fresh tracks in powder, or mobbing through bumps like I’m in the olympics, I need my skis to hold up in each one of these situations and many more. The Icelantic Nomad 105 is able to stay stable and responsive at high speeds through all of those situations. If that’s not a great indicator of their amazing abilities I don’t know what is.
The only on-mountain situation where I felt that these skis didn’t quite deliver the performance I was looking for was at extreme speeds on packed or groomed snow. However, that’s to be expected due to the rockered profile on the tip and tail. They got a little bit chatty when I was really bombing. While that didn’t result in any loss of edge control, you will feel a little wobble at extreme speeds.
In every other condition, the Nomad’s deliver with flying colors, even when pushed to the limits. They stay responsive and in-control when in deep snow, and their playful nature makes them stand out at high speeds. That versatility is especially evident as you go from one type of terrain to the next. You can push these skis to the max all over the mountain and expect amazing control and response the entire time.
All-mountain skis need to live up their namesake and give you good performance across the many different terrain and conditions you’ll find on the mountain. A great all-mountain ski will provide you with excellent performance across those changing variables. The Nomads have the amazing ability to eat up and spit out every type of snow, making them an all-mountain monster.
In powder and deep snow, these skis truly excel. They are wide enough to easily float and surf across deep lines, while still being light enough to obey your every command. The tip and tail rocker stands out in deeper snow and provides much of the playful nature that you’ll experience in these conditions. These same attributes, alongside a seriously strong construction, makes them tear through cruddy and chopped out snow as well.
Take these skis on more common resort runs and you’ll have a blast. Even with a little wobble at high speeds, the skis can carve or cut with the best of them. In trees, they are highly maneuverable and bouncy to help you evade incoming obstacles. They are a little large for a true park ski, but still capable in that regard. The fun, flexy feel allows them to dip through bumps as well.
Construction and Style
Icelantic is a Colorado-based ski company that has been manufacturing skis for over a decade. They have a reputation for building some of the most durable and effective skis around. Much of that has to do with their “Bombproof” construction that hypes the skis as stronger than most. I’ll say from first-hand experience, (without attempting any explosives) that these skis hold up to that distinction. You can beat them up and they’ll smile back at you.
The Nomad’s core is made from 100% Paulownia wood that’s used for its lightweight-but-strong nature. From there, the laminates add a ton of strength and flexibility to give these skis the reputation they’re known for. A carbonium topsheet keeps everything together with layers of strong wood and fiberglass throughout and the 20mm rubber foil helps absorb shocks and keep you stable.
Another design element that makes the ski stand out is the Durasurf construction of the sidle wall and base, which adds strength where you’re most likely to hit a rock or other obstacle in the snow. The 2.2mm steel edge provides plenty of bite and edge control from tip to tail, further enhancing the almost endless capabilities.
These Nomads also have a great style. Every year, Icelantic comes out with a new theme for all of their skis designed and painted by the artist Parr, who has been with the company since its inception. The latest edition of the Nomad 105 features an ancient civilization vibe complete with a sailboat and some funky looking hieroglyphs to stoke your inner wanderer.
Price and Value
The Icelantic Nomad 105 is a moderately expensive all-mountain ski. They are priced similarly to other all-mountain options. That gives them great value both for their versatile performance and because they can be an effective one-ski option that will give you the ability to tackle anything that comes your way. I have a 5-year-old pair of Nomads that look a little beat up but still ski as great as they did right out of the box..
Another reason why the Nomad 105 provides great value is that it’s backed by Icelantic’s 3-year Bombproof Warranty. These skis are hard to damage and live up to their name. However, if anything does happen to them the company offers a no-questions-asked warranty that backs up their own belief in their product. You don’t need to do anything to get this warranty, owning a pair of Icelantics qualifies you for it.
What I Like
I like nearly everything about the Nomad. These are my go-to all-mountain option, and I have put them through just about every condition on the mountain. What stands out most to me is their versatility. You need choices in any all-mountain ski, but the Nomads stand out because they can handle just about any condition that comes their way.
I also like their playful nature and how it relates to various conditions. They excel in powder and give you an enjoyable, floaty feel. In addition, they have an ability to bust through chop and crud while not skipping a beat when it comes to performance. The rockered tip and tail helps a lot towards that end and provides you with a lot of the playful nature that you’ll surely experience when using the skis.
The durability and strength are great as well. You certainly won’t have to baby them if you encounter a rough patch of snow with some obstacles sticking out. Plus, with the 3-year Bombproof warranty on your side, if the unfortunate does happen you can rest assured that Icelantic will hook you up with a new pair or fix yours free of charge.
What I Don’t Like
There aren’t a lot of downsides to the Icelantic Nomad 105. They are a versatile ski that can hold up in different conditions and terrains all over the mountain. My only real concern with them is that they wobble a bit at high speeds. Even so, that’s almost exclusive to pack and groomed runs when you are going as fast as you can.
I didn’t experience any loss of control at speeds when the chat started to be noticeable, but it does keep them from cruising at top speeds for an extended period of time. On modest to somewhat steep pitches, this isn’t a big deal. You’re only going to see it on steep, fast runs, but it is worth mentioning.
Another aspect I don’t like about the Nomads is that I always want a new pair every year because the graphics seem to get cooler and cooler with each new edition. I don’t buy a new pair every year, of course, but I probably would if I could. When you’re in the Nomad club, it’s hard to turn back.
If you’re looking for an alternative option to the Icelantic Nomad 105, it’s hard to find another all-mountain ski that’s quite as fun. Even so, here are some other solid choices:
- Armada ARV 106 – This is a great all-mountain ski that provides versatile capabilities in a playful package. Not quite as well-rounded as the Nomad, but still able to hold its own all over the mountain, the ARV has been a go-to all-mountain option for many skiers over the years.
- Icelantic Nomad Lite – If you’re looking for a ski to take into the backcountry that’s similar to the Nomad 105, you’ll love the Nomad Lite. These feature just about everything the 105’s have except they are lighter and fully cater to backcountry exploration. That makes them a bit less durable, but they are still strong.
- Head Kore 105 – These are a lightweight all-mountain option that are also worth exploring as an alternative to the Nomad 105. They don’t quite have the deep snow performance and playful nature as the Nomads, but they are a little more nimble in the trees and still provide you with excellent response across the board.
The Icelantic Nomad 105 is a highly recommended all-mountain ski. It’s a personal favorite of mine that has gotten me through more days on the mountain than any other model I’ve used in my 35 years of skiing. They are capable and effective in all sorts of conditions, from deep powder all the way to iced-out groomers. A utility ski that’s hard to not like, the Nomads are built to hold strong year after year.
I’d recommend these skis to any ability level, but would preface that by saying they can be a little wide for beginners. I wouldn’t say they’re too much ski, but can take some getting used to if you’re just learning. Other than that, I really think these skis and consider them to be some of the best all-mountain options around.