Best Ski Bindings
It’s amazing how we can love a sport (like skiing) and take the complexity of its gear a little for granted. It’s easy to be drawn to the flashy nature of a brand new set of skis, boots, and all of the clothing required, but often, the importance and inner workings of the bindings can be a secondary thought. Bindings may, in fact, be one of the most important pieces of gear when skiing as they are the only thing that connects you to the skis and allows you to glide downhill feeling the sensation that only skiing can provide.
There is a bevy of selections available on the market today when looking for bindings, and you most likely are getting ready to scour the web looking for the best pair that will work best for you and your skis. To save you some time and help you select a pair of some of the best ski bindings in the market, we’ve done the research and listed the top ten ski bindings of 2018. To help you out further we’ll also break down some of the features you’ll want to examine before you select the best option for your adventures.
- Marker Griffon 13
- Solid all around pick
- Look Pivot 14
- Allows good turning
- Rossignol Axial 3
- Good choice for beginners
10 Best Ski Bindings
Marker Griffon ID
Marker Griffon’s ID Ski Bindings are designed with a DIN range that goes from 4 to 13, which means you can select what you need to help increase your skiing skills. Also, these ski bindings create a wide footprint, giving you excellent power capabilities even if you use a wider ski.
The brakes on Marker Griffon’s ID Ski Bindings are also easy to swap out and can accommodate almost all ski types, as well as accommodating AT boots. These bindings also are easy to adjust, and easy to get on and off, which adds some simplicity to their use.
With Marker Griffon’s ID Ski Bindings, you’ll be able to perform well with the bindings bringing you Sole ID technology, helping you to adjust and accommodate your boots. Plus, the Inter Pivot heel is easy to step into and use, so you can hit the snow anywhere you choose.
Good brand reputation
Won’t work for larger skiers
Look Pivot 14 Dual WTR
Look Pivot’s 14 Dual WTR Ski Bindings use a pivot heel with a binding that creates a short footprint on the ski, providing natural flex and the ability to protect your knees from injuries. Also, these bindings work well for people who are at the intermediate to advanced skill levels when skiing.
With Look Pivot’s 14 Dual WTR Ski Bindings, you get a dual standard binding that allows for easy adjustments while you are on-the-go, and a pivot turntable heel that gives you better power and more protection since it absorbs shock well. These bindings are also compatible with Walk to Ride boots, and comes in a couple of versions for hardcore skiers, or more traditional skiers.
Depending on your variety of ski styles and trips, you’ll want a versatile, durable ski binding like Look Pivot’s 14 Dual WTR Ski Bindings to help protect your limbs from fatigue and injury while also boosting your performance. Designed to last, these bindings will help you perform better for many seasons to come.
Rossignol Axial3 Dual WTR 120
Rossignol’s Axial3 Dual WTR 120 Ski Bindings offer everything weekend skiers would want, with a good toe and heel lateral elasticity that won’t release early. Also, these bindings come with WTR boot compatibility, and are made to be lightweight to help boost your performance.
Rossignol’s Axial3 Dual WTR 120 Ski Bindings offer shock absorption features and injury protection that will help prevent your body from fatigue, boosting your performance. Also, they’ll help those learning new skills to become better skiers each time they hit the slopes.
These bindings offer a brake width that works well with skis up to 120mm and comes with a DIN up to 12, so these bindings are versatile and can handle a bevy of ski styles and skills. Also, these bindings come with a lightweight Axial heel and reinforced Dual Action toe piece.
Ideal for beginners
Could have better power transfer
Marker Jester 16 ID
Also, if you enjoy hitting larger jumps as you ski, you’ll get peace of mind with Marker Jester’s 16 ID Ski Bindings, since they are made with extra security to handle this type of skiing. Designed to be tough as a ski binding, and very popular amongst skiing enthusiasts, Marker Jester’s 16 ID Ski Bindings brings you a tough, strong, long-lasting option for extra security.
Also, Marker Jester’s 16 ID Ski Bindings are designed to be flexible and absorb shock as you hit the slopes, so you’ll cut back on your fatigue and injuries while also boosting your performance. With these ski bindings, you’ll be able to take big hits and large jumps with ease.
Marker Jester’s 16 ID Ski Bindings are made with Marker’s Sole ID Technology and also comes compatible with standard alpine boots as well as AT boots with lugged soles. You’ll get a lot of versatility with these bindings, and long-lasting durability as well.
Good for various levels
A bit expensive
Salomon Warden MNC 13 Ski Binding
Along with their diverse compatibility, these bindings are able to shred hard with an oversized platform to allow for increased control with wider skis.
There is a U-Power toe piece and a HeelFlex interface that makes for stellar retention of skis and perfect release. Think this is not enough? These bindings also have Progressive Transfer Pads that make for a smooth, yet powerful lateral transmission.
Overall, if you want a binding that offers smooth release, powerful ski retention, and is highly versatile for boots, these are your best bet.
Works with a lot of boots
Climbing bar can be a bit difficult
Dynafit TLT Radical 2.0 ST
Dynafit’s TLT Radical 2.0 ST Ski Bindings bring you a lightweight binding set that’s durable and designed to handle hardcore backcountry skiing. Plus, these ski bindings are also alpine-friendly and come with a pivoting toe piece to make the bindings more versatile for the skier who likes variety.
Plus, these bindings also have an ISO/TUV certification in safety for their ability to release well in case of a crash. These bindings also help prevent injury and fatigue by absorbing shock, so you can ski for many hours and not worry about feeling overly tired.
Dynafit’s TLT Radical 2.0 ST Ski Bindings offer one of the best and most refined touring options you’ll find for your skis, and you’ll love the transitions and power you get when you use them. These ski bindings will make your ride smooth, and also give you the durability and versatility you want.
better for downhill
Salomon STH2 WTR 13
Salomon’s STH2 WTR 13 Ski Bindings provide you with an excellent stabile feel, a lot of power, great balance and power transmission even on wider skis, and the long-lasting durability you’ll want to boost your safety. Also, these skis come in a wide variety of color options, which means you can also feel fashionable and stylish on them.
Salomon’s STH2 WTR 13 Ski Bindings are compatible with Walk to Ride boot models, and will help boost your performance each time you hit the slopes. Plus, the boot to binding connection offered by these bindings is very strong, and will help give you the stability and safety you need to keep your body safe from fatigue and injury.
With Salomon’s STH2 WTR 13 Ski Bindings come with a DIN range of 5-13 and also have grippy WTR soles to help keep you in place. You’ll get a lot of long-lasting power and protection out of these durable bindings for hours of enjoyment while you ski.
Good release system
Probably not ideal for really experienced skiers
Tyrolia AAAttack 2 13 GW
These bindings are compatible with both Alpine and Grip Walk standards of boot soles.
To enhance these stellar looking bindings, they have a reliable release system, so that you can step out or be release from your skis with no problems. And the DIN on the Tyrolia AAAttack 2 13 GW Bindings is 13. They are meant for intermediate to advanced.
Conventional heel piece that some may or may not prefer
Marker Kingpin 13
Marker’s Kingpin 13 Ski Bindings bring a lot of safety and security, with a 13-DIN alpine binding that releases in two directions in case of crashes. Also, the bindings are designed to help absorb shock so that you won’t have to worry about fatigue or injury if you hit the snow for many hours in your skis.
Reviewed as one of the best types of ski bindings on the market, Marker’s Kingpin 13 Ski Bindings have excellent technology designed into them, creating more elasticity and flexibility in feel when you ski. With these ski bindings, you get a spring actuated heel that helps with dual pin setup, and also boosts your performance on the slopes.
Also designed to be lightweight, Marker’s Kingpin 13 Ski Bindings give you plenty of toe retention and an additional third row of springs to help you with comfort and smooth power transitions. These ski bindings will bring you the reliable performance you need for many seasons to come.
A bit heavy
G3 Ion 10
G3’s Ion 10 Ski Bindings feature an easy-to-use hook up system that is designed to keep snow out, making them simple to use and setup, and efficient at keeping away powder. Plus, you can easily switch from touring mode or out of it by using the rotating heel and lifter bars on the bindings.
G3’s Ion 10 Ski Bindings are also designed to be lightweight and are made to boost your performance no matter where you plan to ski. You’ll get a lot of shock absorption as well, which promotes safety and prevents both fatigue and injury while you are out on the slopes.
Made with a lot of durability, you’ll get a lot of use out of G3’s Ion Ski Bindings and get to enjoy the snow for many seasons to come in these bindings. Made to be easy-to-operate, you’ll love the simple design and performance boost you get with these ski bindings.
Easy to use
Solid toe piece
Difficult to use on hard packed snow
Our Binding Criteria
When analyzing the best picks for your snow adventures, there are a few items you’ll want to consider before you make your purchase. Some of these items you’ll want to consider include the type of bindings, DIN, brakes, and materials. We’ll cover all of these items in more detail below. But first, we will talk about the types of bindings available on the market for your purchase.
Types of Bindings
Ski bindings are typically offered in three different styles: Alpine bindings, tech bindings, and Alpine touring bindings. We’ll break down what each category of ski binding type has to offer to help you consider what you’ll want to purchase.
Alpine Ski Bindings
These are designed for the traditional downhill skier, and are designed to be simple and efficient. Most Alpine Ski Bindings are easy to slide into and lock, and are also made to be compatible with all types of downhill skiing boots. Getting out of these types of bindings is also easy, since you just need to press down in the binding’s heel piece, and the bindings will release. Plus, most Alpine Ski Bindings don’t need to be lightweight for downhill skiing activities, so they are also made to be very durable and provide you with performance-boosting features, like great balance and strong power transmission.
They are designed with a low stand height, so you get a better connection to your skis with these types of bindings. If you crash, Alpine Ski Bindings are made to release easily, making them very safe. Some of the more expensive ski bindings in this category also have strong elasticity in the release, and a rotating heel piece to help the bindings release. These are also made to give you a smooth ride when you hit the slopes, and help absorb shock when you downhill ski, promoting safety since you won’t feel fatigued or experience injury as often. If you prefer resort skiing, then these bindings will highly benefit you, since they are made to assist you perfectly with that activity. However, alpine bindings don’t typically perform as well for other types of ski outings.
Tech Ski Bindings
You’ll get a more lightweight binding option than what you’d typically receive if you were to purchase Alpine Ski Bindings. If you know you’ll be going uphill often, then you’ll want the lightweight option of tech ski bindings, which are made to be very light in comparison to the classic alpine bindings, and also feature a toe piece that have dual pins to help better lock you into ski boots that are compatible with these types of bindings. Remember, depending on the bindings you purchase, your skis may not be compatible with them, and tech ski bindings won’t work with regular alpine or touring ski boots.
Like Alpine Ski Bindings, Tech Ski Bindings allow you to release your heel each time you climb, so most climbing bars on tech bindings are low profile and can be easily used on steep hills to prevent you from feeling overly tired. However, with the drop in weight you get with Tech Ski Bindings, you won’t get as great of a power transfer when compared to Alpine Ski Bindings. So, more backcountry skiers prefer this type of binding since they are more lightweight. So, this type of ski binding works best for people who like to ski long distances or go for several days in the backcountry.
Alpine Touring Ski Bindings
Alpine Touring Ski Bindings work as a combination category that combines the best of both worlds with both alpine and backcountry features developed into them. The frame helps to provide power transmission and balance, and you can flip a switch to get the bindings into touring mode, allowing the heel to loosen and giving you helpful climbing bars when you need to climb. These ski bindings are meant to be versatile for the skier that enjoys variety, so with Alpine Touring Bindings, you also get bindings that are compatible with a wide range of different types of boots. Still, you need to make sure the boots you want to use are compatible with these ski bindings, since not all boots are compatible with them.
Most skiers prefer boots with a wide range of motion for backcountry skiing. Alpine Touring Ski Bindings are also made to be very durable and long-lasting, but also aren’t as lightweight as other ski bindings. If you are a backcountry skier that goes for average distances and travels uphill often, or if you need something versatile that can handle both backcountry and resort skiing, then these skis might be right for you. However, if you hit the slopes for longer periods of time, then these types of ski bindings might not be great, because they aren’t lightweight and can create more fatigue on longer trips.
When you’re trying to decide what type you really need to help you boost your performance, consider where you will ski, how long you will ski, and how versatile your plans are. If you plan on doing resort skiing only, then more traditional Alpine Ski Bindings will provide you with everything you need. However, if you plan on hitting the backcountry, then Tech Ski Bindings will help prevent fatigue while staying lightweight for long, uphill climbs. If you want a more versatile option that can handle both resort and backcountry skiing, and you aren’t planning any long outings, then Alpine Touring Ski Bindings offer you what you’ll need to accomplish your goals.
We’ve talked about Ski Binding DIN on many of the products listed in our buyer’s guide, but what is this, exactly? DIN stands for Deutsches Institut für Normung, which defines testing that takes place on all ski bindings to measure how much force it will take to get a binding to release a boot that is locked into it. DIN numbers typically range from 1-18, and the higher the number, the longer the binding will hold you before releasing the lock.
For obvious reasons, you want to make sure you get a DIN number in a binding that will fit your needs, because if you buy one that releases too easily or too late, then you could experience injuries and performance issues you could otherwise easily avoid. Another thing to remember is that not all DIN ranges offered up by brands and bindings in the industry is DIN certified, and included in this is a variety of tech bindings. So, when you see safety certifications, like the ones provided by the Marker Kingpin, then you’ll know that the ski bindings are DIN certified.
Most manufacturers of ski bindings do offer charts that try to assist you with figuring out what DIN you really need, but to get an accurate representation for yourself, you’ll want to go to a ski shop to figure this out. If you aren’t qualified to figure out the DIN you need or don’t already have it measured, then it’s best to get the experts to assist you.
Most DIN manufacturers measure DIN by a skier’s weight and their skill level, so you’ll need to consider all of that when you try to get a ski binding in the correct DIN range. Most skiers that are new to the slopes won’t want a high DIN setting, and sometimes it helps to have space as well to make adjustments as you learn your DIN.
Figuring out the ski binding brake width you need is an important, albeit often overlooked, feature to consider when selecting the right type of ski bindings. Brake widths for ski bindings come in a wide variety of sizes, and are typically listed in millimeters as a standard for each model. To figure out the ski binding brake width you really need, you want to measure the waist width of your skis to ensure that you get a close match between that and your ski binding brake width. In fact, most skiers select the brand of skis they want before getting ski bindings to make sure they get the fit just right.
There is not official standard about what width you should choose for what ski, but it’s a good idea to select a ski binding that is at least the minimum of the waist width of your skis, and nothing below that number. You want to avoid having to get your ski bindings’ bars bent or adjusted, since this can affect performance, although it can be done.
Also, avoid getting a brake that is too wide for your skis. Brakes that are too wide can drag and create problems if you hit hard pack snow. So, the usual suggestion is to select a ski binding that is no greater than 10-15mm wider than your ski’s waist width measurement.
Toes and Heels
Most manufacturers, including Marker and Atomic, will use only the best and most durable materials to manufacture their bindings. You won’t find many low-quality materials created by well-known brands, like the manufacturers we provided on our list above.
Most well-known ski brands will design their ski bindings with high-quality materials that include magnesium, titanium, stainless steel, and carbon. You’ll also notice that most brands offer features like adjustable toe heights and ski bindings that will help you hike uphill for added comfort. Also, most brands use systems that are easy-to-use, and have good DIN choices as well.
Toe and heel pieces on ski bindings are made to securely hold your boots and keep you connected to your skis, so you should get efficient power transfer from your legs as well as a smooth, high-quality feel. Also, springs are designed into ski bindings to help keep your boot connecting into your binding, giving you great power and an overall boost in performance.
Depending on your budget, you can get ski bindings manufactured with different materials, and made with different types of toe and heel pieces. You’ll find bindings that are made for beginners, as well as higher-priced models made for experts that offer more options. When you consider what you need, you’ll need to factor in what your skill level is, what is most comfortable for you, and how much money you can afford to spend.
Q: What types of bindings are best for my skiing style?
When you’re trying to consider what type of bindings are best for your skiing style, you need to think about your riding style (freeride or touring), and whether you will ski on powdery snow, or snow that is hard packed.
Atomic bindings are usually made to focus on either freeride and touring styles of skiing, or the park and powder conditions you’ll encounter. So, depending on where you’ll know you’ll be skiing, you need to consider what will work best for you.
Touring and freeride bindings bring you a low standing height, making it easier to hike uphill and also giving you better stability and support as you ride. These bindings are made to handle oversized platforms and conform to their power transmission and reactivity capabilities. Plus, these types of bindings feature many DIN values, and also are compatible with touring and Walk to Ride standards.
Park and powder bindings are made to be low-profile, lightweight, and their trigger range is typically higher. If you opt for this type of binding, then you’ll be the type of skier that likes to make jumps and knows you’ll be making hard landings as you ski. These bindings combine with an oversized platform to give you a lot of power and feel as you move.
Depending on where you plan to ski and your skill level, you’ll want to factor all of that in to your decision about ski bindings. Once you know where you’ll be and how you perform, you’ll be able off better determine what you need out of your ski bindings.
Q: What do I need to know about ski binding compatibility with ski boots?
Various types of ski bindings will be compatible with different types of ski boots, so you’ll need to read up on the brand’s description of the ski bindings to find out what types of ski boots they’ll work with. However, many ski bindings now come with dual compatibility options that can help you with traditional downhill ski boots as well as AT boots.
When you’re searching for the compatibility options on your ski bindings, you’ll see reference to ISO 9523 standards or Walk to Ride (WTR) type boots. Some boots are made with taller, rocker type soles which traditionally didn’t fit or release well from downhill ski bindings. However, most brands nowadays are tech savvy enough to make their bindings compatible with a wide range of boots, with dual compatibility boot features.
Q: What about bindings that offer dual compatibility?
Purchasing ski bindings that offer a dual compatibility feature will allow you to purchase less expensive boots as an addition to your ski gear set-up, saving you a bit of money. Also, these types of ski bindings will allow you to switch back and forth from the slopes to the backcountry, providing you with greater versatility if you need or want it. And, even if you only focus on one style of skiing, slopes only or backcountry only, you’ll still get the performance you need out of your ski bindings.
Q: Should I consider pre-packaged deals on skis and bindings?
When you shop for the best ski bindings to meet your needs, you’ll probably see that a lot of ski bindings come sold alone, or with a pre-packaged ski and binding combination. So, do you want to purchase a pre-packaged deal to get both your skis and bindings, or should you skip this?
One obvious benefit of buying pre-packaged ski bindings together with skis is a more affordable purchase, since you can find a lot of 11-DIN bindings with skis at a less expensive price. However, the cheaper offerings also come with a downside, and that’s low-quality materials that might not help you improve or boost your ski performance.
If you are the type of skier that’s already advanced or becoming intermediate, then it’s probably better for you to buy your ski bindings and skis separately. This will help you adjust and adapt to your skill level and ski style more easily, and also get you better quality materials built-into your skis and ski bindings.
However, if you are just starting out on your ski adventures, and know you are a beginner, then it might be good to save a bit of money as you dabble in the sport. If your skill level isn’t high, then you’ll still get a lot of use and have a lot of fun buying a pre-packaged deal for your skis and ski bindings.
So, while the choice between a prepackaged ski and ski bindings deal is a matter of personal preference and can save you some money, skill level should be an important factor to consider when you make this decision.
Q: What are the main components of ski bindings?
Besides the obvious toe and heel pieces, your ski bindings are made up of three other main components, and they are:
- Ski breaks: When you place your boots into their bindings, you will notice that there are some prongs that line up along the sides of the skis. However, they are out of the way. When you find your self in a fall, your bindings may release from your skis setting them free. But not to worry, the prongs flip downward and catch snow. This stops your skis from running away.
- Anti-friction device: These may be metal or Teflon pads that mount under the skis, just below your forefeet. They allow the skis to slip with ease out of the bindings without, you guessed it, friction.
- Lifter: This material that goes under your bindings is created to increase your hold of edges. However, often, this can be found more often than not as a feature for those who race.
When you’re deciding on the best ski bindings to fit your outdoor winter adventures, you’ll want to consider a few things, like your skill, your weight, where you’ll be skiing, and what types of snow you are likely to encounter. Once you know what you need based on these factors, you’ll be able to make an excellent decision and purchase the ski bindings that are right for all of your fun winter adventures.
With the right type of ski bindings on your skis, you’ll boost your performance and experience a lot of helpful safety features that can keep you skiing healthily for many seasons to come. High-quality ski bindings, although not always the first thing a skier will purchase, do require a lot of thought and consideration prior to making a purchase.