Which binding for touring ?
Just like for alpine skiing, touring bindings have an impact on your safety, they are designed to protect your articulations. But touring bindings also have other goals such as reducing fatigue. We have three categories of bindings :
Convertible bindings or frame bindings :
They are quite similar to alpine bindings but the difference is, you can ‘walk’ with them with a natural heel lift, meaning you can climb the slopes without releasing your skis. You can use this kind of binding with regular alpine boots. They are the heaviest bindings for touring. We recommend them for short tours. Freeriders for instance like that kind of bindings, they allow them to reach their favorite spot quite easily as long as it’s not too high or too far and deliver solid performance on the way back down. The good thing is, they have a release system that is similar to alpine bindings.
“Low Tech” bindings :
They are specific to touring, Low Tech bindings (or LT) only work with specific ski boots featuring inserts: there’s a hole on each side of the boot tip in which metallic pins insert and keep the boot attached to the ski. The heel piece has a minimalist design and allow two positions, climbing or skiing. The ‘walk’ position lets your heel move freely while the ski positions keeps it locked in.
The main asset of these bindings is their lightweight: 700 gramms for an average pair, you can hardly make it lighter. But the lightweight has a price, there are no brakes on these bindings, only a leash to attach ski to ankle.
New generation bindings with inserts :
Half-way through the Low Tech and the Frame binding, these new touring bindings with inserts combine the lightweight of a LT with the safety of a frame binding. The result is pretty good as they weigh about 1.5kg per pair (3kg for frame bindings) and ensure a release similar to alpine bindings thanks to a heel piece that carries brakes and a lever system. Check out our Hybrid Low Tech binding!
Depending on your style and needs(approach, tour, backcountry), there is a binding for you.
Considering how quick tour skiing grows, manufacturers focus on improving their technologies so skiers get more performance, more safety and more lightweight.
Glisshop recommendations :
- Define your level, physical and technical skills to help you decide what you need exactly.
- Make sure you know what you want to focus on: lightweight for climbing, performance on downhill, safety ?
- Please get in touch with our staff if you need any help at all, we’ll be ahppy to help !