The all-new Agent 3.0 is Faction’s latest addition to what we might term their free-touring family. We tested its credentials as a backcountry operative.
Faction’s website says their excitement over this new model cannot be overstated, and that “it truly has it all.” Even in the hyperbolic world of ski marketing, that is a bold claim, especially for a ski in the touring category; a section not known for versatility.
But the Agent 3.0 is a descent focussed touring ski meaning all the fun hasn’t been rinsed out chasing lightness. While stable at high speeds the performance suffers at lower speeds, which is typical of a touring ski. It isn’t particularly lively or playful but holds an edge on long radius turns and is relatively smooth through chopped up crud.
The Agent 3.0 is agile enough to ski gulleys with confidence and despite decent downhill ability, it climbs reasonably well. But on longer tours you will start to feel the burn due to the relatively high weight. If you’re skiing firm snow you may be surprised by the ski’s ability, where dampness, stiff flex and weight really come into play.
The weight is certainly an issue in a touring ski, but when you factor in the mid-fat waist and stiffness – both of which give great downhill performance – then the versatility of the Agent 3.0 may just counter that complaint and put the ski close to ‘quiver of one’ territory.
Great for what they’re designed for, touring with an emphasis on descents.