Salomon Quest-96 Lumen (2014)
Salomon clearly means to steal market share with the aggressive pricing on its new Quest series. Women would do well to take advantage. The Lumen packs a lot of versatility onto a 96 mm waist—wide enough for soft-snow flotation, but edgy enough to hold its own and finish every turn on hardpack. It’s a capable generalist that didn’t dominate any one test criterion but put up solid marks across the board. And no other ski beats it on price.
The Lumen is the 96-mm model in Salomon's new Quest line of directional-biased (non-twin) all-mountain skis. With the 103-mm Stella above it and the 88-mm Lux below it, it splits the difference in price as well as width. Like all models in the new Quest series, it's designed to blend the best attributes of "progressive" design (looseness, maneuverability) with more traditional directional stability (stiff tail, positive edge-engagement). Salomon's Utility Rocker combines floaty, shock-absorbing tip rocker (and a touch of easy-release tail rocker) with reassuring, carve-friendly camber under and behind the foot (in all about 65 percent of the ski's length). Salomon works to consolidate the ski's mass closer to the foot by incorporating lightweight honeycomb structures into the tip and tail to reduce swing weight and enhance maneuverability and quickness. It's a metal-free, full-wood-core, semi-sandwich construction that combines lively, forgiving cap construction on top with grippy vertical sidewalls below. Extra-wide edges withstand off-trail abuse. Fans of the French brand will notice that Salomon significantly consolidates its line for 2013-14, eliminating redundant models (including several BBRs and the narrower Rocker/Rockettes) and focusing on two key freeskiing lines, Rocker2 and the new Quest family. While the Rocker2 skis (widths of 108 to 122 mm) still offer a more newschool, looser, twin-tip type of performance, the Quest series (88 to 115 mm) offers a more directional, secure, carve-ready performance. Meanwhile, the hard-snow/carve-oriented Enduro line, a tester favorite for frontside applications, returns with East- and groomer-friendly 80 and 85 mm waists.
|Level||Intermediate, Advanced, Expert|
|Lengths||154, 162, 170, 178|
|Rating: Stability at Speed||2.88 / 5|
|Rating: Maneuverability||2.73 / 5|
|Rating: Hard Snow Grip||2.53 / 5|
|Rating: Crud Performance||2.88 / 5|
|Rating: Forgiveness||3.10 / 5|
|Rating: Flotation||3.03 / 5|
|Rating: Overall||2.84 / 5|