Posted on August 27 2018
New Touring Bindings 2019
2019 Touring Bindings
The long time concern of Alpine touring has been that tech bindings just are not capable of competing with the beefiness of a good old fashion alpine binding. The question of whether or not you will release from your pins after hucking that 20ft or simply cruising down that 15-20 degree meadow of powder. Manufacturers have spent years developing, redeveloping, and scrapping bindings all together in order to gain a skiers trust in making a binding secure enough to tackle the biggest lines you ride, or security for the not so aggressive backcountry riders. While tech binding do not follow the same DIN rules as alpine bindings, that doesn’t mean you will release prematurely or blow your knee from locking your toe to avoid popping out. This years bindings have reached a level of lightweight and functionality all in one.
The Black Diamond Helio Collection “Beefy” but “lightweight”
Black Diamond is stepping up the lightweight binding game and introducing you to the Helio Binding collection. With 4 New bindings coming to the scene in 2019 and all with their own little specialty. From the race ready Helio 110 to the long distance and big line shredding Helio 200, Black Diamond is making their mark in the lightweight game. The Helio series is not your average 1st gen binding. Black Diamond Helio binding were brought over from the Italian company ATK, these bindings have been tested for multiple seasons in the alps, so you know they have been put through the ringer. The numbers in the Helio’s name correspond directly with the weight of the given binding.
Black Diamond partnered with ATK to bring the Helio 110 in to the North American Market. Using a Toe that is constructed with Monolink Technology, which allows for higher clamping power and much lower material weight. The easy entry system gives you that powerful and fast transition from downhill to uphill with virtually no chance for error. This binding is designed for the race ready and mountaineer savvy individual who wants to bag peaks in half the time and effort.
Helio 145 & 200
Those two words, “beefy” and “lightweight” don’t usually belong together, however, after seeing the Helio 200 in action you, I can say that I felt secure and confident when I was staring down the gun of a 60 degree couloir. The Helio 145 and 180 differ in the Sliding heel plate, the Helio 180 gives you an added 30mm of adjustment for switching between boots or trading ski’s with a friend. Much like the Atomic Backland or Salomon MTN bindings, the Helios have an alternative Pin stiffness dependent on the size of the skier, to make sure you are in the proper release value for your given size.
Backcountry Alpinist Freeriding may be the New Norm for 2019.
Some of us want to ski hard, big lines like the ones we see in the movies, I know I do. Tech bindings have always been a piece of equipment that can scare away the more aggressive skier from ever trying a pin tech set-up. You shouldn’t have to decide between lightweight or safe bindings when shopping around for a tech binding. Manufacturers have known about this for a while and have pushed out some of the best bindings in years to bring you the new age of backcountry freeriding. It took me quite some time to realize that Pin bindings don’t have to mean I ski with a little less courage. I can still grip it and rip it down steep big lines with little to no hesitation, after checking the avy condition first ofcourse. The best part, I am eager to take lap after lap while my friends riding old Marker Barons or Fritschi Freerides are less than happy to lap from sunup to sundown.
Marker Alpinist 12
The Marker Kingpin was the go to binding for any big mountain backcountry skier, and it will always be the go to for those pushing the limits on what a pin tech binding is capable of. But weight is still an issue with these bindings. Marker wanted to make something that was as enjoyable skiing down as it was easy to skin up. The Alpinist 12 pushes the limits on what lightweight means for an adventurous individual. With a DIN rating up to 12 and a lateral release, the Alpinist will hold you to your ski while riding big lines and cranking turns at Mach speed. Coming in at 245 grams is a comforting change from the kingpins, whose weight hits a high 650 grams.
PLUM YAK 14
PLUM introduced the YAK 14 to take down the Adventurous individuals lifelong dream of, you guess it, crushing big lines. But not only big lines, but that big mountain 10 miles out in the backcountry. This 450 gram beast of a binding will give even the bigger ridders that sense of turning the dial up another notch. The YAK 14 is not a skinny ski binding though, it boasts an impressive 50mm hole width, meaning it is intended for a wider variant of ski, usually one that pushes the 110mm and up parameters. With an added stomp pad the YAK will allow you to drop whatever you deem fit in the desolat backcountry, regardless of conditions. Chances are you’ll most likely break yourself before this binding ever does.
Salomon Shift MNC 13
This is the crossover binding that the touring world has been waiting for. A fully functioning alpine binding with pins in the toe for a smooth tour. The Shift encompasses the greatest safety attributes of an alpine binding. From the TUV safety standard for DIN control, to it’s compatibility with any alpine boot for days on the resort. If you are in the market for a touring setup that will carry you through the season without breaking the bank the Shift is perfect for you. Ski all day on the resort with your alpine boots, then switch to your Touring boots and grab some laps in the backcountry. At roughly 900 grams this is definitely not the lightest tool in the shed, but if you are on the fence between jumping into touring completely this is a perfect binding for you.
Kiddos Get the Lightweight Setup They Deserve.
It’s high time that we let the youngsters and the smaller shredder have a lightweight setup they will enjoy. Once your kiddo breaks into the mondo size 21 boots, they should be ready to get a binding that will let them enjoy the backcountry as much as the rest of us. They should not be limited to a heavy frame binding for those trips out to the backcountry, otherwise you are going to have one unhappy camper that won’t want to join you on your next outing. Both Dynafit and PLUM have taken care of the more petite individuals so everyone can enjoy the wonderful world of touring. If they are still a bit shy of the 21 mondo size the hagan zr is still suitable for a smaller individual to get out and rip a lap or two with.
Dynafit Rotation 7
Dynafit knows the struggle of hauling big frame bindings up the skin track, and how uncomfortable they can be on the avid backcountry enthusiast. So this season Dynafit held nothing back and introduced the Rotation 7. With the Rotation 7, the bindings DIN can be lowered to 3.5 for the more petite and lighter weight shredders. while still retaining the same quality that we have come to love with Dynafit's Tech bindings.
PLUM Guide XS
PLUMS trusted guide binding packed into a smaller package. With a DIN ranging from 3.5 to 7 this binding will have any smaller skier lapping the backcountry for days. The Guide is one of the few bindings out there with a DIN certified heel turret that can be trusted alongside conventional releasing bindings. In case you are worried that your little one might outgrow the binding. The Guide can be mounted with a 70mm sliding adjustment plate to ensure that even if their foot grows you will not have to get a completely new set-up for them.