Choosing an Alpine Touring Binding
Dynafit has 6 models this year and has competition from Plum with 6 of their own. Then throw the race bindings from Ski Trab, La Sportiva and Hagan in the mix... And these are just tech fit alpine touring bindings! We were supposed to be streamlining the binding decision process last year and when I looked at our binding wall the dozen choices shocked me. However, each binding has its own little niche.
Here is a Binding Comparison Chart and a few tips to help you decide.
|Binding||Brand||Weight (g)||Release Value||Break Width (mm)||Price|
|RSR||La Sportiva||123||Non adjustable||NA||$799|
|Low Tech Race||Dynafit||135||Auto Locking||NA||$799|
|TR Race||Ski Trab||141||Non adjustable||NA||$539|
|Radical ST||Dynafit||531||5-10||92, 100, 110, 130||$499|
|Radical FT||Dynafit||599||6-12||110, 130||$599|
|Beast||Dynafit||935||6-16||105, 120, 135||$999|
DIN does not apply: As of now, there is no indemnification process for AT bindings and therefore no comparison with their resort brethren. On our site it will always be referred to as release values and though it corresponds, it is not meant for direct comparison. A release value of 9 is good for almost every skier, but if you really charge hard or weigh a little more look into a tech fit that goes up to 12.
Leave your plate bindings at the resort: The Fritschi, the Markers and the Guardians still have a place, but if you are earning your turns more than a handful of times a year, it's time to get with the tech fit revolution.
Tech Fit bindings: These use to just be called Dynafit bindings, but now that their patent is up there are plenty of other players in the game. Tech Fit bindings are great because they are light. Not just because they are made of less material, but because they pivot on the pins on the toe of the boot, meaning you only lift the weight of your boot each step not the whole binding.
Trusting Tech Fit: I know you look down at these things and ask “what is holding me to the ski?” A few years ago it was tough to make the leap of faith, but luckily thousands of great skiers have done it before you. I mounted up 3 pairs of Plums for Chris Davenport just last season as he attempts his Centennial Project. Check out this video for a more visual demonstration.Light is Right: If you read any other articles on our website you are probably sick of hearing that, but I will say it again for bindings: there are plenty of people that ski the lightest race binding possible at all times, even on the fattest skis (that is if you like auto locking toes and no adjustable release) if you are worried about weight, don’t have an extra gram in your bindings.
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- Thomas Bull