Go deeper with our favorite telemark and alpine touring bindings of the year.

Outside picks the best gear for your alpine-touring setup, including the K2 WayBack skis.

Atomic and Salomon have collaborated to create a powerful alpine touring ski binding.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Marker Duke bindings

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Line Celebrity 100 skis.

What's the ultimate telemark setup this year? The Editors Santa Fe, NM

Simple, easy to use, and time-tested, the durable Freeride remains as comfortable inbounds as it is on the Haute Route. Its 6–12 DIN accommodates a wide range of skiing styles and abilities, making this one of the most versatile AT bindings around.4.5 lbs; blackdiamondequipment.com      …

With five adjustable underfoot cable settings, this binding, which was built to accommodate smaller boot sizes, suits all levels. 3 lbs; twentytwodesigns.com      …

The tour mode still lacks the flexibility of traditional bindings, but the wide range of variously stiff, color-coded cables makes the NTN a good choice for skiers of all abilities. “This binding truly brings telemark skiing to a new level,” said one neophyte. 5.4 lbs; rottefella.com  …

Good for Big Mountain With features like a free-pivot touring mechanism, a reliable safety release, brakes, and the closest thing to step-in convenience in the freeheel world, the NTN (New Telemark Norm) binding represents a significant departure from conventional tele bindings. While it can be overpowering when matched with…

ALPINE TOURING Good for All Mountain An update of the mainstay Fritschi Free-ride, the Eagle moves the pivot back an inch for a more natural skinning gait and broadens the mounting pattern for wider skis. “Kick turns are way easier than on Freerides,” said a tester. The DINs go…

Good for Big Mountain When it debuted last year, Marker's Duke changed the AT-binding landscape with its alpine-binding-like toepiece, stout construction, and best-in-class downhill performance. New for this season, the Baron is every bit as tough but in a slightly lighter (1/3 lb per pair) package with less DIN…

TELEMARK Good for All Mountain If you loved the snow feel and adjust-ability of TwentyTwo Designs' classic HammerHead, you'll go for the Axl, the same binding with a free-pivot tour mode. “Every bit as powerful and responsive as the HammerHead,” said one tester. And for the ups, another added,…

With a DIN of 12 and alpine-like toe and heel releases, the Freeride Plus is ideal for skiers who split time equally between the backcountry and the resort. 4.5 lbs; bdel.com Bonus: Also available as the Explore ($370), which have a max DIN of 10 and weigh almost…

Good for All Mountain While a few of our old-school testers found the unchanged 01 too powerful, our hard-chargers once again loved it. Because of its underfoot cartridge-and-cable routing and lots of heel retention, every ounce of your energy gets transmitted to the ski. Three different cartridge offerings allow…

ALPINE TOURING Good for All Mountain With unrivaled downhill performance, the DIN-16 Duke does anything a resort binding can—huck air, carve rails, hammer bump lines. Just don't think of it as an AT binding. It's an alpine binding with a walk mode. Yes, the Duke will tour when you…

Use your ski pole to switch this durable binding to the more efficient touring mode (instead of your toe pivoting in the binding, the binding pivots with your foot). 3.7 lbs; bdel.com Bonus: Choose from three compression-spring cartridges of varying stiffness (binding comes with one; pay $56 each…

Good for All Mountain With a max DIN of 12 and full alpine- and AT-boot compatibility, the Freeride Plus remains the go-to binding for aggressive alpine skiers who spend equal time in and out of bounds. Downhill performance isn't quite as rock solid as the Baron, but the Freeride…

ALPINE TOURING Good for Touring The 2010 ST uses a chromoly-steel toepiece that improves strength while shaving nearly two ounces of weight. And the interface between pins and inserts is now more precise, which increases downhill control: “Surprisingly solid,” said one tester. We love the pivot-point efficiency, kick-turn ease,…

Weighing in at just over a pound and a half per pair, the TLT Verticals are 50 percent lighter than any other AT binding on the market. Don’t worry, they’re burlier than they look—you can ski them hard. 1.7 lbs; dynafit.us Bonus: Dynafit reinforced the climbing post this…

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