It will be hard to go wrong with the Nordica Navigator 85 Skis.
While they're not recommended for beginners, both intermediate and advanced skiers will enjoy how smooth, versatile, and lightweight these all mountain skis are.
They're constructed beautifully, aiming to last far into the future, and what's best is the price tag.
- Groomer performance10
- Powder performance8.9
- Edge hold9
- Ease of Use7.4
- Construction quality9.5
When you are an intermediate or advanced skier, you tend to know what you like and what you don’t when it comes to skis.
But with all the different varieties on the market, it can be hard even for an expert skier to know which skis have what features.
Looking at a wall of options at a sporting goods store can be daunting, frustrating, and in the end, not very fruitful. That’s what we are here to help you with.
Let’s take a look at the Nordica Navigator 85 Skis. They are lightweight, powerful, and allow you to make turns very easily.
Although, there have been some users who talked about how the skis are not great on powder and that they are not for beginners.
In any case, let’s take a more in-depth look and then you can decide if these are the right pair for you!
In a Nutshell
- Lengths: 165, 172, 179, 186 cm.
- Sidecut: 124/85/109 mm (for 179 cm length).
- Profile: Camber underfoot with rockered tips and tails.
- Turn Radius:5 m (for 181 cm length).
- Level: Intermediate – Advanced.
- Type: All-mountain.
Wood Core: The wood core on each of the Navigator skis provides optimum performance and durability. No more buying skis every season with these, because they were made to last.
Textured Surface: The textured surface on each ski ensures that there isn’t as much wear and tear after you take them out on a rough ride.
Fiberglass Laminate Matrix: Made with Titanal, an aluminum alloy, the matrix makes sure the skis are as responsive as possible when you are ready to make a turn or go down a slope.
There are also certain points along the ski in the Titanal layer that have been cut out to reduce the weight of each ski, while still maintaining the performance.
This, along with the wood core, also ensures the skis are as lightweight as possible.
Rockered tips: The rockered tip on each ski makes for easy turns and ensures you are able to float over soft snow.
The rise of the tips also makes the ski easy to maneuver, increasing the dampness of it so you don’t feel too much vibration from any bumps you might encounter in the snow.
Squared-off tail shape: This tail shape ensures great edge hold, so you will not be wiping out every time you try to make a turn.
This shape also helps with going in and out of turns. You will be able to control these skis and go wherever you want on the mountain or on the slopes.
Sidewalls: The Navigator 85 skis also include ABS sidewalls, which will allow you to have better control of your skis, better edge grip, and more stability.
Topsheets: The Navigator 85s also have a topsheet on each ski that is scratch-resistant and wood grained. This allows your skis to last for a longer period of time as well, while still looking good.
With all the features these skis have to offer, you would expect them to cost a pretty penny. But that is not the case here.
The price-tag on the Navigator 85 Skis is actually quite easy to digest, depending on the length you choose. They are incredibly affordable for an all-mountain ski.
No more sacrificing quality because you can’t afford a higher-end option. Nordica has solved that problem for you.
This is great for those on a budget, or leisurely skiers who can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on quality skis.
The Navigator 85 Skis are also damp, meaning you won’t experience any vibrations as you ski down a bumpy slope.
Especially when you are skiing on hard-packed snow at high speeds, vibration can be almost a given. But you don’t have to worry about that here; it will be a smooth ride every time.
These skis are also quite powerful. If you want to charge down a mountain or race your friends to the end of the trail, the Navigator 85s will not let you down.
They will easily get you through the heaviest and cruddiest of snow while allowing you to have a blast while doing so.
This doesn’t mean you have to push these skis every time you use them. Feel like coasting? These skis can gear down at your request should you decide to take it easy on the snow.
You also won’t have to worry about falling over or completely wiping out when turning. Because of the sidewalls and the shape of the skis, you won’t have any problem turning when you need to.
They are responsive, yet forgiving, making these skis easy to maneuver even at a second’s notice.
When a turn can mean the difference between hitting something (or someone) or gliding past them, being able to turn swiftly and easily becomes very important.
Due to the materials the 85s are made of and how the skis are constructed and designed, they are as lightweight as possible.
This means you’ll be able to float over soft just-fallen snow and you won’t ever feel like your feet are being weighed down.
Whether you’re on the ski lift or skiing down a slope, it’s good to avoid the sensation of 50-pound weights on your feet. This gives you more time on the slopes, and less time soothing sore legs.
Versatile and Especially Great on Groomers
Based on feedback from the majority of our testers, it is clear users found these skis to be best on groomers. They really grab onto the hard-packed snow and let you fly through the slopes.
While these skis do work well on powder and off-trail terrain, users found that they really shined on-trail and on groomed snow like you’ll normally find at a ski resort.
These skis stand up to a number of conditions, making them versatile and the perfect companion for a day on the slopes.
Worried about wetter conditions? These skis will take on slush and a bit of ice so you won’t have to back down from less than ideal conditions for these skis to perform.
The Nordica Navigator 85 Skis are also quite stable.
Because of the materials they are made from, the rocker/camber/rocker shape, and the sidewalls, you will never feel like you are shaky or uncomfortable on these.
No one wants to feel like they are wobbling all over the place when they are just trying to have a good time on the slopes.
This is especially good news for aggressive or harder skiers, as these skis definitely stand up to the task thanks to its power and stability. These skis are also a perfect fit for bigger skiers as they won’t buckle under pressure.
Given that these skis can handle rough conditions and aggressive skiers, it proves that the Nordica Navigator 85 Skis are long-lasting.
The high-quality materials used to build these skis ensure that you can grow with them as you perfect the sport.
The topsheet is scratch resistant saving you the worry of damages and extending the longevity of your skis. This also means they’ll keep on looking amazing after several rides out in the snow.
Don’t be afraid to tackle tough maneuvers or routes with these, as they’ll be able to handle most bumps thrown at them.
Pretty Much a Sure Bet
Unless you’re just starting out on the slopes, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with these skis. There’s a reason they’ve been praised by ski experts and enthusiasts around the world.
These skis act as the ‘baby bear’ in the market, melding together two other models of Nordica Skis for that ‘just right’ fit.
It plays to both soft and hard skiers, handles both soft and hard snow, and packs power while allowing you to coast.
This is great news for intermediate skiers who aren’t quite sure where they fit on the skier spectrum. Having skis that are this flexible and balanced makes them easy to learn and grow with.
Not Great on Powder
While the Navigator 85s are good for someone who skis occasionally off-trail or on powdery snow, they aren’t really at their best unless they are on-trail and on hard-packed groomers.
If you are primarily skiing on groomers, these are right up your alley, but if you like going off-trail and skiing on freshly fallen snow, you may want to look for different skis.
They can do it fairly well, but others do it better.
Not for Beginners
This isn’t a negative per se, but more of a warning. These skis are not for beginners. They are primarily for the intermediate or advanced user who wants a lighter-weight ski.
While they are easy to maneuver, you still need to have some experience behind you to really get these skis to perform at their best.
And if you are a more advanced or expert skier, you will be able to put some power behind them and get better results.
Based on all the positives and the negatives, we recommend the Nordica Navigator 85 Skis.
Besides the fact that they need to be used by a more experienced skier and that they don’t work best on powder, these really don’t have any faults.
They are stable, lightweight, powerful, and affordable. You really can’t ask for much more than that.
Sure, there are skis out there that can do similar things, but being affordable puts these in their own category.
They give the budget-minded user the ability to have a high-end pair of skis without having to take out a loan to get them.
>> Read our full guide to the best all mountain skis of 2018
Nordica is a brand commonly praised by sport enthusiasts and experts for offering affordable yet quality skis for snow lovers.
This brand continues to outshine the competition year after year with outstanding skis and equipment like the Nordica Navigator 85 2017.
Due to their track record and popularity, these skis won’t be hard to find both in-store and online.
To start your search, check out the following online retailers.
- REI (from $399)
- Utah Skis (from $399)
- Skiers Sport Shop (from $499)
But of course, you can also find these skis on Amazon.
That’s all for our Nordica Navigator 85 review. Are you tempted to give these skis a try?
I’m 6 ft. tall and weigh 170 lbs. I’m a solid intermediate skier that skis mostly on groomed trails. Should I get the 172 or 179cm navigators 85?