Alpine Bindings BLISTER Gear Review Gear Reviews Jonathan Ellsworth Look Look Pivot 12 AW Look Pivot 14 AW Look Pivot 18 Marker Marker Griffon 13 ID Marker Jester 16 ID Marker Jester 18 Pro ID salomon Salomon STH2 WTR 13 Salomon STH2 WTR 16 Salomon Warden MNC 13 Skiing 101 Skis Travel Tyrolia Tyrolia AAAttack2 13 GW Tyrolia AAAttack2 14 AT Tyrolia AAAttack2 16 GW Tyrolia AAAttack2 18 X GW

Blister Alpine Ski Binding Guide | Blister Gear Review

Blister Alpine Ski Binding Guide | Blister Gear Review

Blister Alpine Ski Binding Guide

Intro

Two years in the past we revealed our Alpine Touring Binding Shoot-Out the place we mounted 5 of the main tech bindings (the Marker Kingpin 13, Dynafit Radical 2.zero, Fritschi Vipec 12, G3 ION 12, and Dynafit Beast 14), to the identical ski (the LINE Sick Day Vacationer 102), then skied them back-to-back-to-back and evaluated their uphill and downhill efficiency, ease of use, security, and sturdiness. We’ll be posting an replace to that shootout quickly to incorporate a number of of the brand new AT bindings launched up to now two years, however at present we’re speaking concerning the bindings we use within the resort, moderately than the backcountry.

Whereas “alpine” bindings (ski bindings that don’t have an uphill / touring element) are easier than “AT” bindings since there isn’t a want to mix uphill effectivity with downhill reliability and security, there are a dizzying variety of alpine bindings available on the market, and little details about why one specific alpine binding is perhaps a more sensible choice for you, which bindings are — and aren’t — suitable with the brand new boots you simply purchased, and so on.

Moreover, there are lots of myths, bits of misinformation, passionate defenders, and really vocal detractors of sure bindings, which makes it even more durable to get clear on what the precise traits are of those bindings, and the way they actually differ.

So we’ve collected right here various the preferred alpine bindings, then listed the producer’s’ said:

  • Worth
  • Weights
  • Stack Peak (how far off the ski the toe and heel of your boot will probably be when within the binding)
  • Toe and Heel Elasticity / Journey (The quantity of distance a binding can transfer earlier than the boot clears — i.e., “releases from” — a binding.)
  • Boot Compatibilities (Which bindings work with rocker-soled AT boots, or boots which have WTR soles, Grip Stroll soles, and so on?)
  • “DIN” (launch worth) vary
  • “BSL” adjustment vary (For those who purchase a brand new boot with a shorter or longer boot-sole size, will it’s a must to remount your bindings, or is there sufficient adjustment vary to accommodate the brand new boot?)

For extra on elasticity, journey, DIN, and so on. and the way they have an effect on on-snow efficiency, take a look at our Snowboarding 201 article on how bindings work.

We’ve additionally included a few of our reviewers’ private experiences with a few of these bindings, and we’ll proceed to replace this piece as extra bindings hit the market, and as we’re capable of get extra time testing a few of these bindings.

So to be clear, this will probably be an evolving doc, and what we now have right here is only a begin. However we hope that it’ll assist to clear up some confusion and permit all of us to make extra knowledgeable selections.

SKI BINDINGS

Blister's Alpine Ski Binding Guide

Salomon STH2 WTR 16

Salomon STH2 WTR 16

  • Worth: $350
  • Said Weight: 1220 g per binding
  • Stack Peak: 18.5 mm (toe); 24.5 mm (heel)
  • Elasticity – Toe: 52 mm
  • Elasticity – Heel: 16 mm
  • DIN Vary: 7-16
  • Vary of Adjustability (for different-sized boots): 28 mm
  • Boot Compatibilities: WTR and ISO Alpine 5355

These are reviewer Paul Ahead’s go-to bindings for work as a heli-ski information in Alaska, since they’re the simplest binding he’s used to click on into in deep snow (one thing that he has to do a number of occasions a day).

A part of what makes the STH2 really easy to step into is how straightforward it’s to clear snow across the middle publish of the toe piece, and the comparatively straightforward heel spring activation (particularly in comparison with the Marker Jester). This all additionally holds true for the older, non-WTR model of the STH binding, apart from the shortage of WTR-boot compatibility. As well as, the WTR-version of the STH2 works the most effective of something we’ve used with rubber-soled alpine and WTR boots.

The one difficulty we’ve had with two specific pairs of STH bindings (of the 6 or so pairs we’ve used steadily through the years) is that a few of them have developed a problem with the toe peak adjustment that leads to not with the ability to decrease the toe sufficient for normal alpine sole blocks.

 

Blister's Alpine Ski Binding Guide

Salomon STH2 WTR 13

Salomon STH2 WTR 13

  • Worth: $275
  • Said Weight: 1145 g per binding
  • Stack Peak: 18.5 mm (toe); 24.5 mm (heel)
  • Elasticity – Toe: 52 mm
  • Elasticity – Heel: 16 mm
  • DIN Vary: 5-13
  • Vary of Adjustability (for different-sized boots): 28 mm
  • Boot Compatibilities: WTR and ISO Alpine 5355

These are similar to the STH2 16, and just like the 16-DIN model, they’re a lot simpler to click on into in deep snow than any of the Marker bindings we’ve used. We now have, nevertheless, had a couple of pre-release points with STH 13’s when set on the greater finish of their DIN vary, so in case you are operating your DIN at 11, 12, or 13, you may think about bumping as much as the STH2 16.

 

Blister's Alpine Ski Binding Guide

Salomon Warden MNC 13

Salomon Warden 13 MNC

  • Worth: $300
  • Said Weight: 1132 g per binding
  • Stack Peak: 21 mm (toe); 24.5 mm (heel)
  • Elasticity – Toe: 30 mm
  • Elasticity – Heel 16 mm
  • DIN Vary: Four-13
  • Vary of Adjustability (for different-sized boots): 28 mm
  • Boot Compatibilities: WTR, ISO Alpine 5355, ISO Alpine Touring 9523

The snowboarding expertise of the Warden is usually just like that of the STH2 16. The Warden’s toe piece doesn’t clear snow in addition to the STH2, however the Warden nonetheless appears simpler to step into in deep snow than the Jester.

We haven’t observed any points with the lighter springs used within the heel piece of the Warden 13 in comparison with the STH2 16. Nevertheless, Paul Ahead has had some pre-releases on the STH 13, which has a really comparable heel to the Warden, so psychologically, he personally doesn’t really feel fairly as snug snowboarding the 13 heels when operating a better DIN setting (11, 12, or 13).

The most important cause to decide on the Warden over the STH2 is should you intend to routinely use AT boots with 9523 boot soles (i.e., not WTR or normal alpine soles) as a result of a lot of these boots require an MNC (multi-norm suitable) binding just like the Warden.

 

Blister's Alpine Ski Binding Guide

Look Pivot 18

Look Pivot 18

  • Worth: $475
  • Said Weight: 1245 g per binding
  • Stack Peak: 18 mm (toe); 19 mm (heel)
  • Elasticity – Toe: 45 mm
  • Elasticity – Heel: 28 mm
  • DIN Vary: Eight-18
  • Vary of Adjustability (for different-sized boots): 20 mm
  • Boot Compatibilities: ISO Alpine 5355

The Look Pivot 18 is a favourite binding of plenty of hard-charging skiers, and also you’ll typically hear such people say that they wouldn’t dream of snowboarding on anything. Why? Sometimes, the point out the Pivot 18’s metallic toes and heels, the vary of elasticity / journey of the toes and the heels, and the consistency of the Pivot 18’s launch — they launch when they need to, and never once they shouldn’t.

Whereas the Pivot 18 has lengthy been revered as one of many “safest” choices obtainable, it’s value noting that the consistency of your launch is impacted far more by how correctly your binding is adjusted to your boot than by what mannequin of binding you occur to be utilizing.

At Blister, Joe Augusten nonetheless swears by the Pivot 18, primarily for its metallic toe; Joe doesn’t belief plastic. Reviewers Jonathan Ellsworth and Mike Masiowski nonetheless very fortunately ski the Pivot 18, and don’t thoughts or discover the extra weight of the Pivot 18 when snowboarding. And Jonathan particularly feels high quality shifting right down to the Pivot 14 (whereas operating a DIN of 10 or 11) and dropping a little bit of weight.

Paul Ahead nonetheless has a couple of pairs mounted up however they’ve largely fallen out of every day use for a couple of causes. First, the rotating heel piece of the Pivot bindings could be a little bit of a nuisance in deep snow. General, he nonetheless finds them to be simpler to step into than the Marker Jester, however not as fast because the Salomon STH2 as a result of typically the heel piece must be re-aligned. Second, the Pivot 18, 14, and 12 are additionally a lot more durable to regulate to totally different boot sole lengths (and Pivots have a shorter vary of adjustment) than the opposite bindings listed right here, which makes swapping between boots harder and time consuming. And relatedly, it’s extra difficult to regulate the ahead strain on Pivot bindings than the opposite bindings right here. However when you discover ways to do it (or in case you aren’t regularly swapping boots or adjusting your DIN settings) then this can be a minor issue or a non-factor.

 

Blister's Alpine Ski Binding Guide

Look Pivot 14 AW

Look Pivot 14 AW

  • Worth: $425
  • Blister’s Measured Weight (with 110 mm brakes): 1155 g per binding
  • Stack Peak: 18 mm (toe); 19 mm (heel)
  • Elasticity – Toe: 45 mm
  • Elasticity – Heel: 28 mm
  • DIN Vary: 5-14
  • Vary of Adjustability (for different-sized boots): 20 mm
  • Boot Compatibilities: ISO Alpine 5355, Grip Stroll

The previous (non-WTR or Grip Stroll) Look Pivot 14 was a favourite of many Blister reviewers, together with Jonathan Ellsworth, because of its elasticity and constant launch. The draw back is that they’re a bit bit finicky to work with, however many people just like the efficiency and really feel of the bindings sufficient that that is what we proceed to ski.

Nevertheless, it’s value noting that changing the brakes on the Pivot household of bindings is a way more concerned course of than on any of the opposite fashions listed.

Final yr’s Pivot Twin 14 was suitable with WTR soles, however Look made some minor updates to the AFD in order that the brand new Pivot 14 AW is suitable with each Alpine and Grip Stroll soles, however not WTR. Whereas the turntable design of the heel stayed the identical with the final three iterations of the Pivot, the modifications to the AFD for the “Dual” WTR model after which the present “AW” Grip Stroll model required a considerable improve within the quantity of plastic on the toe. The brand new Grip-Stroll-compatible Pivot 14 AW has an almost similar toe as final yr’s Twin model, simply with an up to date AFD that works with Grip Stroll soles. Whereas some individuals aren’t a fan of the lower in metallic vs. the previous Pivot 14, we’ve truly discovered that the brand new toe appears to be extra strong.

So whereas some skiers (together with reviewer Alex Mueller) used to hold an additional AFD with them because the previous Pivot 14’s AFD could possibly be vulnerable to failure, we haven’t skilled the identical problem with the brand new model. The mechanism is strong, and doesn’t end in a distinction in toe peak (boot angle). Look added the sliding AFD in an effort to assist with the presence of rubber soles on Grip Stroll boots. We suspect that this will even make the discharge on alpine boots much more dependable.

 

Blister's Alpine Ski Binding Guide

Look Pivot 12 AW

Look Pivot 12 AW

  • Worth: $375
  • Said Weight: 1135 g per binding
  • Stack Peak: 18 mm (toe); 19 mm (heel)
  • Elasticity – Toe: 45 mm
  • Elasticity – Heel: 28 mm
  • DIN Vary: Four-12
  • Vary of Adjustability (for different-sized boots): 20 mm
  • Boot Compatibilities: ISO Alpine 5355, Grip Stroll

The Pivot 12 AW is similar to the brand new 14 AW, however is a bit lighter and has a decrease most launch worth. Whereas none of us at Blister have skied the brand new Pivot 12, we’d advocate this to lighter skiers on the lookout for the toe elasticity and on-snow really feel of Pivot bindings.

 

Blister's Alpine Ski Binding Guide

Tyrolia AAAttack2 18 X GW

Tyrolia AAAttack² 18 X GW

  • Worth: $525
  • Said Weight: 1215 g per binding
  • Stack Peak: 12-15 mm (toe); 17 mm (heel)
  • Elasticity – Toe: 30 mm
  • Elasticity – Heel: 16 mm
  • DIN Vary: Eight-18
  • Vary of Adjustability (for different-sized boots): 32 mm
  • Boot Compatibilities: ISO Alpine 5355, Grip Stroll

We’ve discovered the entire Tyrolia Assault collection to be very straightforward to step into — the heel has a way more constructive engagement than the Marker Royal Household. However the Tyrolia toe doesn’t clear snow as simply because the Salomon STH2. For skiers on the lookout for a high-DIN binding that works with Grip Stroll soles, the Assault 18 X GW is a superb choice. Tyrolia up to date the whole Assault collection for 17/18 with a brand new adjustable toe mechanism that works with Grip Stroll boots, and the bindings got here again unchanged for 18/19.

 

Blister's Alpine Ski Binding Guide

Tyrolia AAAttack2 16 GW

Tyrolia AAAttack² 16 GW

  • Worth: $475
  • Said Weight: 1120 g per binding
  • Stack Peak: 12-15 mm (toe); 17 mm (heel)
  • Elasticity – Toe: 30 mm
  • Elasticity – Heel: 16 mm
  • DIN Vary: 5-16
  • Vary of Adjustability (for different-sized boots): 32 mm
  • Boot Compatibilities: ISO Alpine 5355, Grip Stroll

We haven’t hung out within the 16-DIN model of Tyrolia’s Attack2 collection, however the one distinction between it and the 13-DIN model is the Attack2 16’s larger DIN vary and barely heavier weight. So aside from that, every part we are saying concerning the Attack2 13 ought to maintain true for the Attack2 16.

 

Blister's Alpine Ski Binding Guide

Tyrolia AAAttack2 14 AT

Tyrolia AAAttack² 14 AT

  • Worth: $375
  • Said Weight: 1115 g per binding
  • Stack Peak: 17-22 mm (toe); 24 mm (heel)
  • Elasticity – Toe: 30 mm
  • Elasticity – Heel: 16 mm
  • DIN Vary: Four-14
  • Vary of Adjustability (for different-sized boots): 32 mm
  • Boot Compatibilities: ISO Alpine 5355, Grip Stroll, WTR, ISO Alpine Touring 9523

This can be a good binding for skiers who like the texture of the Assault collection however want extra boot compatibility choices as it really works with Alpine, Grip Stroll, WTR, and ISO Alpine Touring 9523 soles. It’s value noting that the Salomon Warden is suitable with almost the identical vary of trainers because the Assault 14 AT, however is rather less costly at retail.

 

Blister's Alpine Ski Binding Guide

Tyrolia AAAttack2 13 GW

Tyrolia AAAttack² 13 GW

  • Worth: $275
  • Said Weight: 1035 g per binding
  • Stack Peak: 12-15 mm (toe); 17 mm (heel)
  • Elasticity – Toe: 30 mm
  • Elasticity – Heel: 16 mm
  • DIN Vary: Four-13
  • Vary of Adjustability (for different-sized boots): 32 mm
  • Boot Compatibilities: ISO Alpine 5355, Grip Stroll

For skiers in search of a light-weight, easy, and reasonably priced binding within the 13-DIN vary, the Tyrolia Assault 13 is tough to beat. It’s solely suitable with alpine and Grip Stroll soles, however it’s received an excellent vary of adjustment to suit totally different boot sole lengths, in addition to a low stack peak. We’ve additionally discovered that the Tyrolia heels are a lot simpler to open and shut, particularly in tender snow, than any of the Marker Royal Household bindings, and the Tyrolia bindings don’t have the difficulty we’ve skilled with some Marker bindings the place the heel closes half means however doesn’t utterly lock. That is particularly noteworthy for lighter skiers.

The heel engagement of the Assault 13 could be very strong and constructive, and feels extra just like the Salomon STH2 collection than the Marker Royal Household.

When you’re in search of a binding with an identical really feel and weight however at a better DIN vary, take a look at the AAAttack2 16 and 18 X. And in case you want extra boot compatibility choices, take a look at the Attack2 14 AT — it’s slightly heavier and costlier, however it’s suitable with ISO Alpine 5355, WTR, Grip Stroll, and ISO Alpine Touring 9523 boots.

 

Blister's Alpine Ski Binding Guide

Marker Jester 18 Professional ID

Marker Jester 18 Professional ID

  • Worth: $475
  • Said Weight: 1195 g per binding (110 mm brake)
  • Stack Peak: 18 mm (toe); 22 mm (heel)
  • Elasticity – Toe: 30 mm
  • Elasticity – Heel: 16 mm
  • DIN Vary: Eight-18
  • Vary of Adjustability (for different-sized boots): 20 mm
  • Boot Compatibilities: ISO Alpine 5355, Grip Stroll, WTR, and ISO Alpine Touring 9523

For 18/19 Marker up to date their flagship 18-DIN binding with their “Sole ID” tech, which suggests the Jester 18 Professional ID is now suitable with Alpine, Grip Stroll, WTR, and ISO Alpine Touring 9523 soles. Whereas we many Blister reviewers have a whole lot of days within the Jester 16, none of us have skied the Jester 18 Professional. We’re hoping to get on the brand new binding quickly, and we’ll replace if / once we get time in it.

 

Blister's Alpine Ski Binding Guide

Marker Jester 16 ID

Marker Jester 16 ID

  • Worth: $425
  • Said Weight: 1054 g per binding (110 mm brake)
  • Stack Peak: 18 mm (toe); 22 mm (heel)
  • Elasticity – Toe: 30 mm
  • Elasticity – Heel: 16 mm
  • DIN Vary: 6-16
  • Vary of Adjustability (for different-sized boots): 20 mm
  • Boot Compatibilities: ISO Alpine 5355, Grip Stroll, WTR, and ISO Alpine Touring 9523

The present iteration of the Jester now has elevated means to regulate the peak distinction between the AFD and toe piece in order that it may well now accommodate Alpine, Grip Stroll, WTR, and ISO Alpine Touring 9523 boots. Aside from that, it stays the identical dependable binding that Marker has made for years.

Our main challenge with the Jesters has been that they could be a bit troublesome to step into, notably when sporting any boots which have rubber pads on the soles. Stepping into them in deep snow requires rather more thorough clearance of the toe piece of the binding and the toe of the boot than the opposite non-Marker bindings we’ve used. That is compounded as a result of the design of the toe piece doesn’t filter out snow in addition to another bindings, so you’re primarily kicking your toe right into a strong plastic pocket filled with snow.

As well as, the heelpiece is designed in order that it doesn’t snap into place till the boot is comparatively deep into the binding, so it takes a bit extra pressure earlier than actuating. Bigger skiers or those that are most frequently stepping into and out of their skis on agency surfaces are unlikely to have any points, however lighter skiers and people who are ceaselessly placing skis on and taking them off in deep snow could also be happier with different bindings.

As soon as they’re on, nevertheless, we have now for probably the most half discovered these bindings to be dependable and confidence inspiring, and lots of Blister reviewers have skied the Marker Jester and Griffin for years and have a whole lot of days in them.

 

Blister's Alpine Ski Binding Guide

Marker Griffon 13 ID

Marker Griffon 13 ID

  • Worth: $295
  • Said Weight: 1019 g per binding (110 mm brakes)
  • Stack Peak: 18 mm (toe); 22 mm (heel)
  • Elasticity – Toe: 30 mm
  • Elasticity – Heel: 16 mm
  • DIN Vary: Four-13
  • Vary of Adjustability (for different-sized boots): 20 mm
  • Boot Compatibilities: ISO Alpine 5355, Grip Stroll, WTR, and ISO Alpine Touring 9523

Whereas the Marker Griffon doesn’t actually stand out in any specific method, it’s a superb, reasonably priced binding that we have now used fairly a bit at Blister, and we have now skilled few reliability points. It does have the identical toe and heel points in deeper snow because the Marker Jester, however this problem is lowered the decrease you occur to run your DIN setting (because it makes the heel simpler to interact). The actual promoting level of the Griffon 13 ID is that it’s an reasonably priced choice for skiers who want one alpine binding that works with their inbounds boots and all kinds of touring boots.

Backside Line

Whereas everybody has their private preferences and biases with bindings — particularly since they’re charged with saving your knees within the occasion of a crash — there isn’t a single, excellent binding that’s good for everybody. So select a binding based mostly in your private priorities and the suitable DIN vary. And we’ll proceed so as to add to and replace this text as we get time in additional bindings.

Additional Studying: Bindings 201

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