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Looking for suggestions of a nordic touring/backcountry skis set up.

I am looking to purchase nordic touring/backcountry ski equipment (skis, boots, binding, poles).  Typical terrain:  ungroomed Forest Service roads and trails in the Pacific Northwest.  I am 5'8", 160lbs.  My wife is 5'3", 115lbs.  We would likely carry 10lbs packs.  Can you make some recommendations, and can you special order if not in stock?  Thanks!

4 Replies

I prefer the metal edge type with the NNN BC bindings already attached like the Fischer Outback 68.  A friend of mine used the Fischer Spider 62s last year with the Turnamic bindings and has already had 2 bindings break, so I think it would be best to avoid them for off track.  One we were out his binding broke and we were pretty much as far you could be from the parking lot too, so he was walking out quite a ways.  Alpina Alaska boots are really solid for NNN BC for Men, I can't make any recommendations for women's.  Poles are really whatever you prefer, but I always make sure that they have the racing straps because it is better than just open loops in my opinion.  For sizing, follow ski recommendations and pole recommendations for your height and weight.

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@mattcarmichael Thanks for reaching out!

@Diesseldorf is spot on in their recommendation of the metal edge touring. Here are couple of options that we currently have in stock:

In terms of NNN BC nordic backcountry boots:

All of these skis, boots, and bindings will work together for a backcountry set up. If possible, we recommend visiting your local REI store to get fitted for your boots or you can also opt for a virtual outfitting appointment with one of our boot fitting experts. In regards to poles, you'll just want to make sure you order the correct length from the nordic ski poles we have in stock. There are some backcountry specific ski poles with larger baskets and sometimes are adjustable, however, those are out of stock at the moment. 

A note about special orders: that is a process that can only be done in store and the customer service specialist will need to confirm availability with our vendors. Generally speaking, inventory levels for snow sports like nordic skiing are very low right now due to higher-than-normal levels of demand.

Hopefully this helps, thanks!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

What about the Rossignol BC 100?


Thanks for following up!

Yes, the Rossignol BC 100 would also be a good option! It is wider than the previous options we listed, which will give you better floatation when skiing in deeper snow. Because of its width and features (full length metal edge, compatibility with aftermarket climbing skins, early rise rocker, etc.) it blurs the line between cross-country and backcountry downhill ski. As such, it escaped our search filters the first round through. 

One consideration for this ski is that they are compatible with telemark and alpine touring bindings. If you plan on doing steeper descents where you are carving turns, you would need to go with a much heavier duty binding than the NNN BC bindings we previously suggested. If not, the NNN BC bindings mounted on the these skis should work great!


At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.