Best Ski Bindings of 2021

Ski Bindings

Published: July 14, 2021

The best ski bindings with the right features and performance will help to take your skiing abilities to the next level.

You might think that ski bindings are not the most important nor the most interesting piece of equipment, but getting the right ones will make a big difference. Connecting your boot to the ski and making sure that it comes off in a fall is important, especially for beginners, and the strength and flexibility of a binding are key factors for the more advanced skiers. To help you choose the right ski binding, we’ve put together a list and broken down their important features and performance, so that you can find which one will work best for your skiing style.

Best ski bindings: our quick answers

 

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Best overall

1. Atomic Backland Tour

Atomic Backland Tour

Click to view on amazon.com.

DIN: “Women”, “Men”, “Expert”

Weight: 1.26 lbs/pair

Brake Sizes: 80, 90, 100, 110, 120 mm

Skill Range: Advanced-Expert

The Atomic Backland Tour take the minimalist, classic tech-binding design, and combines it with remarkable upgrades to make it an interesting addition to the lightweight touring binding category.

What we like about the Atomic Backland Tour ski bindings is that their toe piece is primarily made of metal with the upper toe lever being the only plastic piece. The construction, both in the toe and heel, feels very solid. This model features a small, metal bar at the front of the toe piece, which will help in guiding the foot when stepping in. Its wider mounting pattern inspires a bit of confidence when driving wider skis, and its heel piece utilizes a U-spring that determines lateral and vertical release. The binding also includes three spring options of increasing retention values and are categorized as “women”, “men,” and “expert.”

Like most bindings, the Backland Tour’s heel also rotates to transition from ski mode to walk mode. However, the difference with the Backland Tour is that there is no need to rotate the heel to a full 180° because its heel risers move independently from the heel tower, so you only have to rotate it to about 90° to get in flat mode. These heel risers stand out because of the mounting plate, which comes with a standard 30mm adjustment, and is a nice feature for most of us who have multiple boots with different binding release values.

The Atomic Backland Tour is available with either brakes or leashes. The leashes are pre-coiled, and its leash clip is 4-mm thick, which means that you can use it to measure the heel gap between the heel piece and your boot. The brakes weigh 96g each, and utilize a lever that flips forward or backward to release or lock it.

What we do not like about the Atomic Backland Tour ski binding is that even if it features a toe stop to guide the foot, it is still a bit difficult to step into and requires a bit of force in the forward direction. However, if you spend more time on it, you can easily get used to it.

Overall, the ski binding is excellent on a skin track. It is simple, and allows easy and quick transitions. It’s also quite easy to use.


 

Best for kids

2. Salomon L7 Junior

Salomon L7 Junior

Click to view on amazon.com.

DIN: 2-7.5

Weight: 1.8 lbs/pair

Brake Sizes: 80, 90, 100mm

Skill Range: Beginner-Advanced

The Salomon L7 Junior is a ski binding that is designed for youngsters. It comes with features that will help them progress and level up their abilities.

What we like about the L7 Junior is that this model features an automatic wing adjustment, which allows the elastic toe base to adjust the boot width and height just by stepping-in. Its steel construction is super rigid and non-deforming, thus allowing for optimum power and precision. It also has an optimized volume toe due to the adapted wings and body shape, with no compromise on safety. Its compatible pedal adapts automatically to junior and senior boot norms. Furthermore, the binding is tested and certified by the TUV safety monitoring agency. It is a good choice for children and teens above 55 lbs., with a DIN range of 2 to 7. It is one of the safest bindings on the market due to the combination of the automatic wing adjustment, the elastic pedal, and the automatic toe. It has a sleek, low-profile design that will match your child’s favorite skis with ease.

What we do not like about the Salomon L7 Junior is that it is not suitable for beginners, but is rather more appropriate for light adult skiers or aggressive junior skiers. Overall, if you are looking for a simple, stylish, and safe binding, the L7 junior is a good choice.


 

3. Marker Free 7 Kids

Marker Free 7 Kids

Click to view on amazon.com.

DIN: 2-7

Weight: 2 lbs/pair

Brake Sizes: 85mm

Skill Range: Beginner-Intermediate

The Marker Free 7 is a durable, high-performance all-mountain binding that suits younger skiers.

What we like about the Free 7 is that this model features a 4-linkage Biotech toe. With that, in an event of a backward twisting fall, both vertical and horizontal forces are set off on the toe of the binding. Biotech acknowledges this force and reliably reduces the release force. Additionally, it has a moveable anti-friction device gliding plate to allow for a precise release that is unrestrained by dirt, snow, and ice buildup. Its Compact Junior Heel is efficient with perfect release properties and a mix of great design, lightness, and functionality. Its release properties and excellent value make it perfect for beginners and occasional skiers. Plus, it has a 22-mm stand height and is appropriate for skiers who weigh 53-165 lbs. It also has an 85-mm-wide brakes to fit most junior powder and freestyle skis.

What we do not like about the Marker Free 7 is that it only caters to lightweight skiers. Besides that, the ski binding offers performance and easy step-in and out, and has a DIN range of 2-7 to allow for an easy release in the event of a tumble. It may also be one of the best ski bindings for beginners.


 

 

4. Rossignol Axium Junior

Rossignol Axium Junior

Click to view on amazon.com.

DIN: 2-7

Weight: 3 lbs/pair

Brake Sizes: 73, 83 mm

Skill Range: Beginner-Intermediate

The Rossignol Junior Axium is a model specifically built for young freeriders and freestylers, with a design and features that make it a top-performing binding.

What we like about the Axium Junior is that this binding features the Dual Action II design, which decreases friction in twisting falls and allows the boot to release from the binding freely. This is a 180-degree multi-directional release with high vertical and lateral elastic travel, providing shock absorption and reducing inadvertent release. It has a 45mm lateral travel, and a 12mm elastic travel. Its toe pieces are designed to guide the boots naturally into position. Plus, its Axium heel piece is lightweight and easy to step into.

The Axium Junior uses lightweight composite materials that aid in easier turn transitions. It also features Tefton AFD and long lever arms for an effortless exit from the binding.

What we do not like about the Rossignol Axium Junior is that it is not appropriate for more advanced skiers. It only accommodates skiers who weigh about 48-155lbs. All in all, the ski binding is perfect for narrower waisted junior skis and can also accommodate adult boot sole norm. It is lightweight and will surely help beginners and intermediate skiers level up their skills.


 

Best for women

5. Armada Shift MNC 13

Armada Shift MNC 13

Click to view on amazon.com.

DIN: 6-13

Weight: 1.9 lbs/pair

Brake Sizes: 90, 100, 110, 120 mm

Skill Range: Advanced-Expert

The Shift MNC 13 is a very viable choice that offers excellent downhill and uphill performance, and suits those who ski in the backcountry and on lift-served terrains.

What we like about the Armada Shift MNC 13 is that this model’s downhill performance feels solid, responsive, plush, and powerful. Its power transfer and construction are excellent. Plus, it has a dual-mode toe piece, which is Multi-Norm certified for skiing and Multi-Norm compatible with all adult ‘normed’ boots, any boot with full-sized toe and heel lugs, and any WTR or Grip Walk boots. The toe piece allows for conversion to a tech toe for touring.

To switch from downhill to uphill mode and vice versa, there is a small block between the wings on the toe that is pushed toward the heel to spread the wings and expose the touring pins by pressing a lever on the toe with a pole tip. The wings can spread wide enough to fit your boot inserts, and then, the lever is pulled up to lock the toe out for the uphill. Its heel piece does not have to move for uphill travel due to the location of the pins, which means that the boot’s heel will always clear the heel piece on the binding. And then, brakes must be locked up by flipping a lever back and stepping down with your boot. To transition back, you have to push the toe block forward and flip the brake lever down, and step in like in a traditional alpine binding. The ski binding allows for a wide range of motion for kick turns, and its heel risers operate just fine uphill.

What we do not like about the Shift MNC 13 is that the transition is a bit tricky and it takes time to get used to. It can be frustrating to use the block that switches the toe from ski to walk due to the lack of clearance for the fingers to activate it.

All in all, these ski bindings provide an impressive downhill performance. These are very powerful bindings with excellent power transfer, and suit skiers with advanced to expert skiing abilities.


 

6. LOOK Pivot 14

LOOK Pivot 14

Click to view on amazon.com.

DIN: 5-14

Weight: 2 lbs/pair

Brake Sizes: 95, 115, 130mm

Skill Range: Intermediate-Advanced

The Look Pivot 14 is a beautifully constructed binding that is incorporated with remarkable designs and features that one should look out for.

What we like about the Pivot 14 is this model’s pivoting heel piece, which will allow you to swivel around the axis of your lower leg. Its turntable heel brags high-class elastic travel that will help prevent any unwanted pre-release. Plus, it has a giant heel lever with a huge spring to provide you with a ‘thunk,’ as you step into the binding and it reassures you that it’s not going to let you down.

The Look’s full-action toe piece is said to be the best in retention, release, and increased coupling strength. It is not a full metal build, but it still is a solidly built toe piece.
The Pivot 14 has the widest range of elastic travel. With up to 45mm in the heel and 28mm in the toe, it goes a long way to keep your foot in the binding, even through knocks and bumps.

The ski binding features a multi-directional release wherein both the heel and toe release laterally. In the event that you ski off a rock, instead of releasing and leaving you without a ski, the Pivot 14 will attempt to bring your boot back to the center in the binding, as long as it is safe, based on your DIN setting. If the force is too strong, the binding will release both in the toe and heel, giving you a smooth release, which will protect your knees.

What we do not like about the Look Pivot 14 is that it is a bit finicky to work with. However, its performance and feel are enough to ski with, and its toe seems more robust. The ski binding mechanism is solid. If you are looking for a binding that puts safe release at the top of its priorities, and if you are planning to spend your time in the resort, then the Look Pivot 14 is for you. It may also be one of the best ski bindings for bad knees.


 

7. Salomon STH2 WTR 13

Salomon STH2 WTR 13

Click to view on amazon.com.

DIN: 5-13

Weight: 5 lbs/pair

Brake Sizes: 90, 100, 115, 130mm

Skill Range: Intermediate-Advanced

The Salomon STH2 is one of the more popular options, especially for aggressive downhill skiers, and is compatible with a wide range of boot sole types.

What we like about the STH2 is that they offer a sturdy feel that ensures a more efficient power transmission and will provide you a better feel for changing and varied conditions. They feature a 3D Driver Toe, which allows for multi-directional release and optimum elastic travel, pivots in multiple directions to dampen shocks when landing. Plus, the XL Wings engage the boot better. They’re easier to step into powder with and provide more lateral power. Their Stomp pedal is fixed and wide to ensure the best transmission. Furthermore, their micro-simultaneous wing adjustment is user-friendly, with just one turn of the screw and both wings moving at the same time. Additionally, they have a manual toe height adjustment and heel flex interface that guarantee a natural ski flex. They also feature self-retracting brakes that eliminate hang-ups on switch landings, and an oversized platform at 71mm that will ensure maximum lateral power transmission, especially on wide skis. Additional features include progressive transfer pads that increase dampening and lessen shocks. The STH2’s elastic travel will keep you in when you want and let you out when needed, and provides a smoother ride. The ski bindings’ low-profile chassis has a low-stand height to increase terrain feedback and enhance power transmission.

What we do not like about the Salomon STH2 WTR 13 is that a few pre-release issues might arise when set at a higher end of the DIN range. But overall, they are much easier to click into when in deep snow. They have more precise high lateral transmission and more control to be able to reach a new level of performance.


 

Best for men

8. Black Diamond Fritschi Tecton 12

Black Diamond Fritschi Tecton 12

Click to view on amazon.com.

DIN: 5-12

Weight: 3.6 lbs/pair

Brake Sizes: 90, 100, 110, 120 mm

Skill Range: Advanced-Expert

The Black Diamond Fritschi Tecton 12 are some of the best ski bindings with features that are hard to match, and skis nearly as well as an alpine binding.

What we like about the Fritschi Tecton 12 is that this model uses a tech style toe, which eliminates all pivoting binding weight. It features 13mm of lateral elastic travel and adjustable toe pins for different boot widths. This new toe piece design makes it easier for stepping in and has a small bumper, which releases the toe in the event of a fall. The lateral release sets this binding apart from most other tech bindings. Its heel piece moves forward and back on the ski to allow it to switch from walk to ski mode. Plus, it has two climbing risers mounted at the front of the heel lever and a plastic, alpine-style step-in mechanism instead of metal pins. Its heel piece holds the boot directly onto a platform on the base of the binding, meaning that there is a direct connection between the boot and ski. The heel also offers 9mm of vertical elasticity.

The Fritschi Tecton 12 also feature protrusions of plastic that fit into the pin channels cut in the heel of tech boots and fill the space that is usually occupied by typical tech binding heel pins. This feature is called ‘power rails,’ and should increase lateral responsiveness and remove any play between the boot’s heel and the binding’s heel piece.

What we do not like about the Black Diamond Fritschi Tecton 12 is that they are a bit trickier to set up than most traditional tech bindings, as it is a bit tricky to attach the brakes to the heel unit since it requires a bit of force. But overall, the Tecton 12 are easy to step into. They go uphill nicely, switching from walk to ski mode is smooth and solid, and this model is a compelling choice for skiers who are looking for increased downhill performance over the traditional tech bindings.


 

9. Marker Kingpin 13

Marker Kingpin 13

Click to view on amazon.com.

DIN: 6-13

Weight: 1.6 lbs/pair

Brake Sizes: 75-100 mm; 100-125 mm

Skill Range: Advanced-Expert

The Marker Kingpin 13 may be exactly what you want or need as they are designed as half-tech bindings and half-traditional alpine bindings, but are rather suitable for hard-charging backcountry skiers.

What we like about the Kingpin 13 is that this model will allow you to tour flat-footed as it includes two levels of heel rise and has a toe-piece range of motion to allow you to do what you want. It provides an excellent downhill performance and it is the first tech binding to receive the AT ISO/DIN certification from TUV, a German testing organization. So, this proves that it is safe and has consistent retention.

This binding features a 38mm whole pattern and is in line with the widest mounting patterns among tech bindings, which allows for the binding to have greater leverage on the ski and better transmission from the boot to the ski. Its toe piece has three rows of opposing springs that may be stronger and more retentive. The heel piece is unique and relies on a retention system that is very similar to that of an alpine binding, with a pivoting spring-loaded lever that holds the boot in place, in conjunction with spring loaded forward tension. To switch into touring mode, the entire heel slides backward with a small lever under the instep of the boot. There are two flip-down heel elevators built into the heel piece, which provide three climbing positions including a flat mode. Its uphill performance is the same as any other good tech binding. The toe provides excellent torsional stiffness when sidehilling on hard snow, and the heel lifters are intuitive and stable enough. It also clicks into place easily and seems to hold up to a lot of skinning.

What we do not like about the Marker Kingpin 13 is that it is heavier than most tech bindings, and it is only compatible with most AT boots with tech fittings. Boots with short, rockered soles should be used with a special adaptor that is made by Marker for compatibility. All in all, the Kingpin 13 is best for hard and fast backcountry skiing. It is capable, versatile, and a good choice for an all-around ski binding.


 

10. LOOK Pivot 15 GW

LOOK Pivot 15 GW

Click to view on amazon.com.

DIN: 6-15

Weight: 5 lbs/pair

Brake Sizes: 95, 115, 130mm

Skill Range: Advanced-Expert

The Look Pivot 15 GW ski binding has always been a favorite among freeriders due to its performance and burly construction.

What we like about the Pivot 15 is its Pivot hell that gives the binding a short footprint on the ski and allows for natural flex. It has industry-leading elastic travel, which will help prevent knee injuries and avoid pre-releasing.

It features 45mm of elastic travel, and a 180-degree multi-directional release, which offers effective multi-directional protection in the event of a fall. Its all-metal race toe piece provides maximum power and precision. Strategically reinforced toe housing, an increased toe ramp, and elongated toe-wings were put in place for compatibility with both ISO 5355 Alpine and GripWalk soles. Its turntable heel piece is designed to rotate directly under the shinbone to reduce the risk of injury and provides 28mm of elastic travel for shock absorption and reduction of pre-releasing. Additional features include the shortest mounting zone to provide less swing weight and more consistent ski flex. It has more points-of-contact for increased lateral energy transmission, and gives more power to the edge of the ski to allow for more control, better response, and superior snow feel. Its longer elastic travel ensures more reliable retention to keep you in when you need. It offers the most elastic lateral and vertical travel, and the fastest re-centering prior to release to ensure optimum shock absorption and reduce unwanted pre-release.

What we do not like about the Look Pivot 15 is that it might be too excessive for casual riders. But all in all, this ski binding is hard to beat when it comes to build quality, lateral release, and longevity. It is more suitable for skiers with intermediate to expert skiing abilities.


 

Best Downhill Bindings (Alpine)

11. Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC

Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC

Click to view on amazon.com.

DIN: 6-13

Weight: 3.9 lbs/pair

Brake Sizes: 90, 100, 110, 120 mm

Skill Range: Advanced-Expert

The Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC is a ski binding that will allow you to skin uphill, like a tech binding, and turns into a full alpine binding for skiing down.

What we like about the Shift MNC is that it behaves like an alpine binding when in downhill mode, and allows for stability and elastic travel. In uphill mode, it allows for an efficient stride due to the tech inserts in use. It is TUV certified to alpine binding standards, which means that it is the first non-frame touring binding on the market that meets the safety standards of a standard alpine binding. On top of this, the binding has elastic travel in the heel and toe. Its 47mm of elastic travel in the toe is impressive with 9mm of elasticity at the heel, which produces a more consistent release, a smoother ride, and a safer tech binding.

The ski binding’s downhill performance feels solid, responsive, powerful, and plush, like an alpine binding. The power transfer seems excellent and the construction feels solid. It is an alpine binding in form and function, and works with compatible boots to make it perform uphill. It has release characteristics that have been certified. Indeed, it is the only tech binding that does not use tech-toe pins and has a release elasticity that is incomparable with touring bindings. The binding also provides valuable down and forward pressure that allows a direct feel connection that is in a class of its own. Additionally, you can use regular alpine boots for downhill use.


 

12. Dynafit ST Rotation 12

Dynafit ST Rotation 12

Click to view on amazon.com.

DIN: 5-12

Weight: 2.7 lbs/pair

Brake Sizes: 105, 120 mm

Skill Range: Advance-Expert

The Dynafit ST Rotation 12 is a user-friendly binding that offers excellent features for an optimum downhill performance.

What we like about the ST Rotation 12 is that it has excellent heel risers. It has three levels that are relatively apart, uniform in their height differences, and can be easily adjusted. Its pivot range of motion is also great. Given the shape of the toe piece, you can have more range of motion at the toe. Its binding feel is better than that of most touring bindings. The forward pressure of the pivoting piece and heel piece combined simulates resort binding elasticity. As for stepping in, you have to line up the pins on each side of the toe before applying pressure, and to either lock the toe piece for uphill travel or step into for downhill travel, and you have to center your heel. Adjusting the length and release value requires the use of available tools, while transitions are clear and straightforward.

The ST Rotation 12 is lightweight and holds a DIN touring binding certification. It features a rotating toe plate, heelflip lifters, and heel piece forward pressure. Plus, it is durable enough for long term use.

What we do not like about the Dynafit ST Rotation 12 is that it is prone to collecting snow and ice due to the moving parts that leave plenty of surface to gather and hold ice and snow. Other than that, the ski binding provides pretty neat attributes and good downhill performance. It is recommended for someone who requires DIN certification and prefers lightweight bindings.


 

Best Backcountry Ski Bindings (Touring)

13. Marker Alpinist 12

Marker Alpinist 12

Click to view on amazon.com.

DIN: 6-12

Weight: 1.18 lbs/pair

Brake Sizes: 90, 105, 115 mm

Skill Range: Advance-Expert

For those looking for all-around functionality, and a lightweight binding that is very commendable for the vast majority of backcountry skiing, the Marker Alpinist 12 is a good choice.

What we like about the Alpinist 12 is that it has a minimalist design, with a combination of features that make it unique. Its toe piece is standard with only two springs, but works quite well as it feels solid and has good retention. This may be due to the toe’s 3mm higher pivot point. Its heel tower rotates for lateral release and to transition from ski to walk mode and vice versa. Furthermore, the heel has adjustable release values for lateral release that ranges from 6-12. Its vertical release is controlled by a strong and hard U-spring. Plus, the Alpinist 12’s heel is designed to be mounted flush with the boot’s heel. As the ski flexes, the heel piece moves on a track to make up for the change in length. This means that it can increase consistency of release and create a better communication between the ski and the boot.

The Alpinist 12 comes with an option of brakes or leashes, though its brake can neither be added nor removed without taking the binding off the ski since the brake fits in a slot just below the heel tower. The binding walks very well on uphill mode and feels light on the feet. The toe lock-out also feels solid and is confidence-inspiring. Additionally, its heel risers are well-built and have three climbing levels: flat, medium, and high. In terms of downhill performance, it felt a lot smoother than most bindings, and there was less feedback transferred to the boot when in rough, icy snow. The binding also felt surprisingly smooth when skiing hard and fast, especially given its very low weight.

What we do not like about the Marker Alpinist 12 is that its toe is fairly difficult to step into, especially on your first try. So it will take you a couple of tries before successfully stepping into it. The brakes also offer very little stopping power compared to the brakes of heavier tech bindings. Overall, the Alpinist 12 is most suitable for those who prefer lightweight touring bindings that offer smooth downhill and uphill performance.


 

14. G3 Zed 12

G3 Zed 12

Click to view on amazon.com.

DIN: 5-12

Weight: 1.97 lbs/pair

Brake Sizes: 85, 100, 115, 130 mm

Skill Range: Advanced-Expert

Made from a company that is dedicated to making simple and durable backcountry gears, the G3 Zed 12 is a binding to look out for.

What we like about the G3 Zed 12 is that it tours quite well, is equipped with the best heel risers, and the toe pivot range is enough to suit our needs. The binding’s design has all the moving parts of a heavy binding, but its toe piece features big spaces that shed snow and ice better than most. These bindings also have shed a lot of weight in their toe piece, so that it sits more closely to the ski. Their toe bumper was also made smaller and lighter. The general functionality of the toe is simple and user-friendly; it is very easy to step into and is confidence-inspiring on the downhill, and pretty light on uphill travel. The transition from ski to climb mode is controlled by a lever in front of the toe. To lock out the toe for climbing, all you need to do is pull the lever up, and then push it down to allow release on the descent.

The Zed 12 binding does not make use of a U-spring heel. Instead, the heel pins are independent and rotate during step-in and release. This design is meant to reduce wear on the heel inserts, and allows for a more consistent release in the event of a fall. The Zed 12 makes use of a single screw for the adjustment of both the lateral and vertical release values of the heel. This significantly cuts the heel-piece weight and makes the heel tower sit a bit closer to the ski. Furthermore, its heel-risers can easily be actuated with the use of your pole basket and can offer the exact climbing height you need.

What we do not like about the G3 Zed 12 is that this model retains harsh ride qualities like that of traditional tech bindings. It performs well downhill, but does not inspire much confidence compared to others. All in all, the Zed 12 is suitable for those looking for the best ski bindings for advanced skiers. It is user-friendly, simple, has safety-oriented features, and advanced attributes.


 

Best Budget Ski Bindings

15. Tyrolia Attack 13

Tyrolia Attack 13

Click to view on amazon.com.

DIN: 4-13

Weight: 4.4 lbs/pair

Brake Sizes: 58, 95, 110 mm

Skill Range: Intermediate-Advanced

The Tyrolia Attack 13 is mostly for those who do not require a high DIN setting and prefer a lighter and more reliable option.

What we like about the Tyrolia Attack 13 is that this model is equipped with a toe construction called ‘FR Pro2 Toe.’ With its unique construction and horizontal spring, it allows for an optimum and ergonomic center of rotation for ski touring. In addition, it provides effortless walking and climbing with mechanical adjustments of the toe’s glide and an automatic adjustment of the heel that makes it compatible with alpine and touring boot sole norms.

The 77mm metal Anti-Friction Device (AFD) is super secure, providing better energy transmission and stability. It also features NX FR heel, a new 3-piece heel that allows for easy step in and out and provides better stability and power transmission. Furthermore, the Tyrolia Attack 13 is incredibly easy to step into and will provide everything you need for a safe descent. It has a lower stance height of 17 mm, making it more suitable for freeskiing. Finally, it has a Duracoating, which is a protective seal on the binding to help reduce wear.

What we do not like about the Tyrolia Attack 13 is that this model does not have the powerful features of a higher-end ski binding. However, it is still a good value option, and one of the best ski bindings for freeriding. It has excellent power transmission, is easy to step into, and is compatible with both ISO 5355 Alpine and GripWalk soles.


 

16. Salomon Warden 11

Salomon Warden 11

Click to view on amazon.com.

DIN: 3.5-11

Weight: 4.1 lbs/pair

Brake Sizes: 100, 115 mm

Skill Range: Beginner-Intermediate

The Salomon Warden 11 is a good value option with a lightweight design. This binding is suitable for skiers with beginner to intermediate abilities.

What we like about the Salomon Warden 11 is that its U-power toe allows for powerful and precise steering. Plus, it has an automatic wing adjustment system to allow you to adjust the boot’s width and height just by stepping in. Its heel piece makes it very easy to step into without compromising safety and performance. Indeed, it has an oversized platform of 77mm and is designed to provide more lateral power on modern wider skis. Its low-profile chassis, or low-stance height, creates sensitivity to the snow and is designed for increased terrains’ feedback and optimum power transmission.

What we do not like about the Warden 11 is that it is only recommended for most skiers weighing around 85 to 240 lbs., with beginner to upper-intermediate skiing abilities. Other than that, the binding is easy to step into and will get you back out faster. Its wide toe pieces and mounting pattern are enough to drive wide skis better than traditional ski bindings.


 

Best ski bindings comparison table

Foto Ski Bindings DIN Brake Sizes Skill Range Weight
Atomic Backland Tour

1. Atomic Backland Tour

“Women", “Men", “Expert"80, 90, 100, 110, 120 mmAdvanced-Expert1.26 lbs/pair
Salomon L7 Junior

2. Salomon L7 Junior

2-7.580, 90, 100mmBeginner-Advanced1.8 lbs/pair
Marker Free 7 Kids

3. Marker Free 7 Kids

2-785mmBeginner-Intermediate2 lbs/pair
Rossignol Axium Junior

4. Rossignol Axium Junior

2-773, 83 mmBeginner-Intermediate3 lbs/pair
Armada Shift MNC 13

5. Armada Shift MNC 13

6-1390, 100, 110, 120 mmAdvanced-Expert1.9 lbs/pair
LOOK Pivot 14

6. LOOK Pivot 14

5-1495, 115, 130mmIntermediate-Advanced2 lbs/pair
Salomon STH2 WTR 13

7. Salomon STH2 WTR 13

5-1390, 100, 115, 130mmIntermediate-Advanced5 lbs/pair
Black Diamond Fritschi Tecton 12

8. Black Diamond Fritschi Tecton 12

5-1290, 100, 110, 120 mmAdvanced-Expert3.6 lbs/pair
Marker Kingpin 13

9. Marker Kingpin 13

6-1375-100 mm; 100-125 mmAdvanced-Expert1.6 lbs/pair
LOOK Pivot 15 GW

10. LOOK Pivot 15 GW

6-1595, 115, 130mmAdvanced-Expert5 lbs/pair
Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC

11. Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC

6-1390, 100, 110, 120 mmAdvanced-Expert3.9 lbs/pair
Dynafit ST Rotation 12

12. Dynafit ST Rotation 12

5-12105, 120 mmAdvance-Expert2.7 lbs/pair
Marker Alpinist 12

13. Marker Alpinist 12

6-1290, 105, 115 mmAdvance-Expert1.18 lbs/pair
G3 Zed 12

14. G3 Zed 12

5-1285, 100, 115, 130 mmAdvanced-Expert1.97 lbs/pair
Tyrolia Attack 13

15. Tyrolia Attack 13

4-1358, 95, 110 mmIntermediate-Advanced4.4 lbs/pair
Salomon Warden 11

16. Salomon Warden 11

3.5-11100, 115 mmBeginner-Intermediate4.1 lbs/pair

 

FAQs

Do ski bindings make a difference?

Bindings are an important piece of equipment that attaches yourself to your skis. They keep you locked in and release you when needed to prevent injuries. Modern ski bindings are relatively the same, and you have to be pretty fixated to be able to discern the feel of two different ski bindings. Since bindings are a piece of equipment for safety, they should only be tested, mounted, and adjusted by certified technicians. Bindings and their mounting systems make a difference, especially in the way that the ski feels and behaves underfoot. Ski bindings that are properly set based upon your weight, height, skiing type, ability, and snow conditions will help you protect your knees, ankles, and legs from injuries during most falls.

What makes a good ski binding?

Ski bindings have changed over the years in terms of technology and construction. Modern bindings have much more control and power, and when choosing a good ski binding, you have to consider its DIN range, binding type, and brake width. You also have to look for the key factors that are needed for your safety, and of course, for you to have an optimum skiing experience. Durable construction with features that make it suitable enough to use for downhill and uphill already make a binding good. Plus, look for attributes that you think you need for a flawless skiing adventure.

Buying guide

There are some features and factors that you have to understand to be able to find the best ski binding for you. Note that they have to be compatible with your boots, and remember to never adjust the binding setting yourself and instead have a professional do it for you.

Brake width

All ski bindings are required to have a safety brake. Brakes have different widths and are usually replaceable. Make sure that the width is at least as wide as the waist of your ski, and try to avoid brakes that are more than 20mm wider than your skis.

Binding brakes

These are replacement brakes if ever you have bent or broken yours. Replacing brakes is only allowed if you change skis’ width.

Weight

The weight of a ski binding may be an important factor depending on the type of skiing that you will be engaging in. Although, performance and durability are the more important factors to look out for.

DIN range

This refers to the weight or ability range your bindings are designed for. It varies depending on height, weight, age, boot size, and ability. Higher DIN settings are required for skiers who weigh more, are taller, and more aggressive. If a ski binding has a higher DIN range, or is made of steel or metal components, it means that it is designed to be more durable.

75-4.5 are for youth skiers under 109lbs.

2-7.5 are for youth and teen skiers, or beginner adult skiers who weigh less than 140lbs.

2-9(10) are for teen and intermediate adult skiers who weigh less than 150lbs.

4-12 are for adults who weigh less than 200lbs. and have intermediate to advanced abilities.

6-14 are for racers or skiers with advanced to expert abilities and weigh about 150-210lbs.

9-16 are for advanced to expert skiers who weigh over 190lbs.

Anti-Friction Devices (AFD)

This allows the boots to easily slide out of the bindings when the toe pieces release. These are metal or teflon pads mounted on the ski under the forefeet.

Adjustment range

This will indicate what size of boots will fit into the bindings. A wide range of boot sizes will fit a ski binding with a large adjustment range.

Downhill bindings

Most of these bindings have a standard, fixed toe and heel, which are calibrated and manufactured for optimum safety and performance.

Alpine touring bindings

These bindings are usually designed to allow for hiking and skinning up the mountain, and then ski down. Its heel piece releases off of the ski while the toe remains fixed. These bindings are also designated as side/backcountry and work well as downhill bindings.

Race bindings

These bindings have a narrow platform due to the narrow waist of race skis. It also has more metal components for durability, and has higher DIN ranges for higher speeds.

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