Salomon QST 99 Review

The Salomon QST 99 is a pretty impressive all-mountain ski that’s more than capable considering its narrower than some other top performers in the category. These skis are fun to be on, quick to turn, and do better than other all-mountain options in terms of stability at speed. They are popular and come highly recommended for any skier who likes to ski a bit of everything without losing their speed.

Quick Summary

  • Where to buy: Amazon, EVO, REI
  • Best for: These skis are a great all-mountain option that are effective in a range of variable conditions. Capable enough to be a one-ski option and remain effective at higher speeds thanks to a tapered shape. Can also be used as a touring option. 
  • Pros: A fun, reliable ski that will help you bounce all over the mountain. Good edge control at high speeds for an all-mountain shape. Durable construction and a trusted brand name.  
  • Cons: Not that great at busting through cruddy snow when conditions are less than ideal. Even though they are better at speeds than some other all-mountain options, they still can chatter when you crank up the throttle. 
  • Alternatives: Salomon QST 106, Blizzard Zero G 95, Atomic Bent Chetler 100

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 skied on previous years versions of the Salomon QST 99 and have thoroughly researched the most current version. You will find my detailed review below.

Detailed Review

The latest version of the QST 99 features a pretty decent reworking of the model that adds some weight without sacrificing much performance. This effectively helps the skis remain stable at higher speeds, which is an excellent characteristic for an all-mountain option. These skis provide you with everything you would expect out of an all-mountain model and are very fun to ski on.

Speed Check

I like to start ski reviews by looking at different speeds in different conditions. Overall, the Salomon QST remains effective and fun at higher speeds, especially compared to other all-mountain options. Salomon added some weight and construction features to make that happen. There’s layers of both basalt and carbon running the length of the ski to give it some extra power and weight. 

While those design elements are nice, you’re still going to experience some chatter when you get the skis going at full blast. That’s pretty much unavoidable with a rockered profile because you’re always going to sacrifice some versatility for stability at higher speeds. Any chatter is almost exclusive to hard-pack and groomers, however, and you won’t really notice an issue in other conditions. 

In other speedy situations, these skis perform extremely well and they are capable of blasting down steep lines without losing control. That makes them fun to turn if you’re not straight-lining, which is perfect for many different ability levels. Just know they don’t do the best job of busting through crud and slush when conditions are not ideal. That’s then amplified when you attempt such conditions at higher speeds.   

All-Mountain Attributes

The QST 99 provides you with the versatility and reliability you would expect out of a quality all-mountain ski. They do better on hardpack and groomers at high speeds than other options in the category, and they hold their own in bigger mountain conditions despite the 99 mm waist width. I typically like a wider ski than what the QST 99 offers, but I was impressed with what they could do with the narrow design.

These skis especially stand out in powder conditions. They float and carve well when the snow starts piling up and will give you effortless powder performance. If you have a powder ski, I would still pull the big boys out and use those after a really big dump, but the QST can more than hold their own if you don’t. 

The QST 99 also has a playful nature that I really enjoy. Taking them into the park is easy, and while they aren’t a true twin shape, I found you can ski switch on them pretty easily. They have a soft flex that caters to jibbing and rails as well. They also do a good job in bumps and trees thanks to their quick to turn nature, even if the latest version has extra weight that slightly limits those characteristics. 

Construction and Style 

Key design elements help to give the QST 99 their well-rounded performance and excellent all-mountain attributes. The full poplar wood core sets the foundation for the rest of their build and is part of the design that helps to limit chatter and vibrations at higher speeds. That layer runs tip to tail, which is almost becoming a lost art.

Carbon laminates surround the core and provide strength as well as stability. Key to that is the brand’s Carbon Powered C/FX technology that incorporates a layer of basalt to keep things strong without adding too much weight. Underfoot is a Powerframe Ti layer of Titanal that runs from edge to edge and helps add stability and control when you need it at speed.

The skis also have fully sandwiched sidewalls that hold the laminate layers in place. These provide additional support to keep the skis smooth while you’re flying down the snow. A rubber pulse pad also increases the smooth and stable nature of the QST 99. I really like the fiber-reinforced edges as well.

In terms of style, these skis have a sleek look that reflects their smooth-riding abilities. The deep blue top sheet features a simple-but-classy mountain top graphic. They are a little basic, but don’t look plain.  

Price and Value

The Salomon QST 99 is a high-quality all-mountain option with a price tag that comes in at the middle of the pack. They aren’t the cheapest skis around, but they are far from the most expensive. Their price, combined with all of the amazing attributes that they have, gives them a lot of value. I would recommend them for any skier who wants a stable, smooth, and fun ski.

What I Like

Overall, I was really impressed with these skis. There’s a reason they are so popular and I can see why many experienced skiers use them for their go-to everyday option. These give you excellent all-mountain capabilities, especially for a 99 mm width ski, and they are rugged enough to handle basically anything that comes their way. They aren’t my favorite all-mountain model, but I’d definitely put them in the runner-up category. 

The QST 99 performance at higher speeds is also something I really like. I love to find a fresh groomer, point by skis straight, and try to break the sound barrier. These skis stay more stable than a lot of other all-mountain options in the category, and while they are not a true racing ski, I was impressed with how fast you can get them before they start to chatter. 

It’s also worth mentioning the powder performance. I was pleasantly surprised with how these skis did in deep snow. They performed like a much bigger ski and gave me effortless flow on perfect, snow-filled days. Their flexy and playful nature also make them fun in the park.

What I Don’t Like

There’s not a lot to dislike with the QST 99, but my chief concern is how they underperform in both cruddy snow and slush. If you often find yourself in less-than-ideal conditions, I would recommend using a different ski. The QST 99 can get bogged down or out of whack on runs that have seen a bunch of other riders.

I also talked to a few skiers who used the QST 99 as a backcountry touring ski and they said that, while they are fun to ski downhill, they are a little heavy on the way up. The added weight that gives them extra stability at speed comes into play here. If you are looking for an effective touring option, I wouldn’t exactly recommend them. They can be a good choice if you don’t have a long ascent, but for big trips you will want something more lightweight. 

The Alternatives

If you’re looking for a ski with similar traits to the Salomon QST 99 in terms of all-mountain performance, reliability, and an affordable mid-range price, check out these other recommended alternatives:

  • Salomon QST 106This is the wider version of the QST that’s perfect for anyone who wants the extra space. They are even better in powder than the narrow version, and the extra material makes them hold up a little better in cruddy snow. This width is more my style of ski. If you like big-mountain situations, you’re going to like what it has to offer. 
  • Blizzard Zero G 95These are a backcountry-focused option that will give you well-rounded characteristics on snow. They are effective in a range of conditions as well, both on the way up and skiing back downhill. They have a pretty nice rocker, which makes them fun and versatile. They are definitely in the ultra-lightweight backcountry category, which means they’re best left for touring.
  • Atomic Bent Chetler 100This is another option that serves as a good alternative to the QST 99. They are fun and playful to ski on, but still give you excellent all-mountain performance across the board. Great in powder, but in a smaller size than the powder-focused 120’s, these are another excellent choice. 

FAQs

What lengths does the Salomon QST 99 come in? 

The latest version of the QST 99 comes in 167, 174, 181, and 188. I took the 188 version and would recommend that if you’re a taller and experienced skier. 

Are these good for powder? 

Somewhat surprisingly, they do well in powder. You wouldn’t necessarily expect that out of a 99 mm waist model, but the QST 99 does great in powder and is fun to ski on in those conditions. 

Is there a women’s version of the QST 99?

Yes. There are both women’s and men’s versions of the QST 99, with the main difference being length and sizing. They both offer similar attributes and are a favorite for many types of skiers.  

Final Verdict  

The Salomon QST 99 is a pretty sweet ski. They offer excellent all-mountain performance and are playful, stable, and effective to boot. The latest model comes with a few cool construction features that help them stay stable at higher speeds, and they are a great choice for skiers of all ability levels. Their quality performance, durability, and all-around fun-to-ski nature make them highly recommended.  

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