Fritchi Diamir Vipec Binding
One thing is becoming increasing clear: tech-type backcountry skiing bindings, which rely on sets of pins to hold the toe and heel in place and boots with tech fittings, have become the preferred system for dedicated backcountry skiers.
Dyanfit and G3 also have new and noteworthy models, but the most potentially game-changing bindings at this year’s show are the Fritchi Diamir Vipecs, the first two-piece, tech bindings with an adjustable release setting (like the DIN setting on an alpine binding) that releases from the toe and the heel—keeping you secure while shredding, but also allowing you to promptly release when needed.
This is a significant upgrade. To (hopefully) keep you from tearing your ACL, a binding must release during a big crash. Historically, AT bindings tended to prematurely release in ski mode in rough conditions, putting the skier in danger. To avoid this issue, skiers would put themselves at risk by using a toe lockout that wouldn’t release—even during a crash.
The Vipec solves this problem with a set of wings that fold down flat to release your toe and potentially save your knee. But it won’t release during normal skiing, even if you huck a cliff or chatter off irregular snow at high speeds. The toe has a sliding carriage that moves side-to-side to provide play on par with alpine bindings.