TGR Tested: Faction Agent 2.0
The Agent 2.0 is light on the up and sharp and precise on the down, making it perfect for technical skiing requiring tricky maneuvers. - Walter Wood
For a ski brand based in the Swiss Alps, Faction Skis has some big shoes to fill. However, instead of focusing on re-doing the same old tired, traditional designs, they are busy pumping out skis with an eye towards the future. The Agent 2.0 is an all-new touring ski designed to provide excellent every day performance at a pricepoint we can all get behind. Complementing the high-end Prime series, the Agent is Faction’s everyman’s touring ski that will hold its own in everything from mellow backcountry pow days to steep and scary ski mountaineering objectives. It’s light, it’s precise, and it’s easy to ski.
The Agent 2.0’s design keeps things simple. It makes no absurd promises about hard-charging ability or ultra lightweight performance, instead focusing on reliablity, durability, and a user-friendly ski experience. That is not to say that these can’t ski hard and fast in all kinds of conditions. The Karuba wood core feels light and strong underfoot, with a smooth and responsive flex that contributes to the predictability of the ski. At 96 mm underfoot, the waist width isn’t for those double-overhead days, but the tip and tail rocker should provide plenty of fun on when maneuvering through trees or tight chutes. The 179 cm version comes in at a satisfyingly-light 1570 grams.
Since the Agent 2.0 is designed as a touring ski, we naturally took them out on a tour, and were immediately surprised by their light weight, making skinning and bootpacking a breeze. However, any ski can be light, so the real surprise came on the way down, where the Agent 2.0 shines. When ripping turns just about anywhere, the predictability and ease of skiing is what stood out the most. It’s not too stiff, so it won’t buck you, but the edge hold and stability were outstanding. Simply put, the ski does exactly what you tell it to, and when it comes to dropping into steeps or otherwise technical skiing, that’s a handy attribute. Tester Walter Wood sums it up, saying that, “The Agent 2.0 is light on the up and sharp and precise on the down, making it perfect for technical skiing requiring tricky maneuvers.”
Who's it for?
We’re inclined to agree with Faction on who this ski is for: everybody. While it might not be your best companion after the biggest storm of the season, it’s an excellent go-to for everyday backcountry skiing. Whether you live on the East coast, hunt Colorado couloirs in the spring, or just want a ski to take on long walks in the woods, the Agent 2.0 is a perfect choice.