GearSnow Sports

The Best Alpine Touring Bindings of 2019

(Charles Dustin Sammann)
buyer's guide
You’re only as good (and as safe) as your connection to your skis
 
ski bindings
(Courtesy Dynafit)

Dynafit ST Rotation 10 ($600)

Several years ago, the brand that launched the tech revolution in the eighties introduced a turntable heel to prevent pre-release. The new Rotation improves upon that model, with a centering function at the toe that makes lining up the back of your boot with the heelpiece more precise. 2.2 lbs

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ski bindings
(Courtesy Salomon)

Salomon Shift MNC ($650)

The Shift, developed in collaboration with Atomic, is like no other binding ever made. It has an alpine-inspired step-in heel and a tech toe for climbing that, with the flip of a lever, morphs into a traditional alpine toe for the ride down. Testers deemed it the most confidence-inspiring tech binding available. 3.8 lbs

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ski bindings
(Courtesy Marker)

Marker Alpinist 12 ($449)

A certain confidence comes with clicking into a binding from a brand known for reliability in the alpine world. Enter the Alpinist, Marker’s foray into high-speed ascending. Unlike many clamps in its weight class, the Alpinist features step-in ease and two ascending positions—five and nine degrees—where other bindings have only one. 1.1 lbs

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ski bindings
(Courtesy Black Diamond)

Black Diamond Helio 145 ($500)

Built for Black Diamond by venerable Italian binding manufacturer ATK, the Helio 145 fits the über-light, skimo-oriented Helio line of planks to a T. Made from machined aluminum and stainless steel, it’s the second lightest of BD’s four Helio bindings and just about as stripped-down as you can get. (Read: no brake option here.) 10.2 oz

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ski bindings
(Courtesy Fritschi)

Fritschi Tecton 12 ($650)

The Swiss-made Tecton remains one of the few tech bindings with adjustable toe and heel release. While testers deducted points for plastic, the Tecton’s overall retention and ski-pole-actuated simplicity scored well for ease of use and quick transitions. Testers also raved about the dynamic feel of the binding in downhill mode, afforded by built-in dampening at the toe and heel. 2.4 lbs

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ski bindings
(Courtesy Atomic)

Atomic Backland Tour ($625)

You can get it brakeless, but testers preferred the extra security in the event of a runner. Both come with an easy ski-to-tour-mode changeover that doesn’t require spinning the heelpiece. Instead, use your pole to flip a lever under your boot that locks the brakes up for climbing. Flip the lever back down, stomp into the pins, and you’re ready to ski. 1.8 lbs

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From Winter 2019 Buyer's Guide
Filed To: Alpine Ski BindingsSki BindingsWinter Buyer's Guide
Lead Photo: Charles Dustin Sammann
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