(Charles Dustin Sammann)

The Best Alpine Touring Bindings of 2019


You’re only as good (and as safe) as your connection to your skis
(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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(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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(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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(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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(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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(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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