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The 9 Best Touring & Backcountry Ski Bindings of 2022-2023

By: Jordan Berde: Assistant Ski Buyer | September 22, 2022
 

The most important (and often overlooked) part of any backcountry ski setup are the touring bindings. And few pieces of gear have seen as much growth and innovation in recent years as backcountry touring bindings. The best touring bindings are lightweight but reliable. They’re efficient on the up but transmit power effectively on the way down. They’re not fazed by ice or steep skin tracks. Their risers need to be easy to use, and they need to be straightforward to transition from skiing to hiking and back. That’s a pretty impressive list of demands for a humble backcountry ski binding.

New This Year:

Luckily, this year’s crop of ski touring bindings is better than ever before. More manufacturers are building bindings that hold up to the rigors of day-to-day inbounds skiing that are capable of efficient backcountry travel as well. And they’ve managed to shave weight from established bindings without sacrificing safety or performance. So there’s never been a better era to shop for touring bindings.

Dynafit ST Rotation 14 Alpine Touring Ski Bindings 2023

Dynafit ST Rotation 14

Push doubt out of your mind. Line 'er up and send 'er with the new Dynafit ST Rotation 14 Alpine Touring Ski Bindings, the latest and burliest evolution in the Rotation lineup. Wide charger skis with metal are not a problem, your membership in the Huck 'n Luck Club will be intact with the beefiest pure tech binding on the market, and you won't be dragging anchors around all day long while skinning. The ST Rotation 14 is a great reminder of why Dynafit has been a leading name in touring bindings for so long.

Release RangeIndiv. Binding WeightOriginal Price
7-14605 g$649.95

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Armada Tracer Tourlite Alpine Touring Ski Bindings 2023

Armada Tracer Tourlite

The Armada Trace Tourlite Alpine Touring Ski Bindings are the call when you want a super light, ultra-reliable tech binding (they're the same as the Salomon MTN or Atomic Backland bindings) with no frills but all the "must have" features core touring demands, including three real climbing levels and 30mm of adjustability at the heel. Don't know what color your new touring ski is going to be? Get the all-black Armada Trace Tourlite and be prepared for anything. The Trace is light, simple, and super reliable, great for a wide range of skiers.

Release RangeIndiv. Binding WeightOriginal Price
3 Options326 g$599.95

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ATK Freeraider 14 Freeride Alpine Touring Ski Bindings 2023

ATK Freeraider 14 Freeride

The ATK Freeraider 14 Freeride Alpine Touring Ski Bindings are about as close as you can get to the performance and feel of downhill freeride bindings while still maintaining a full tech toe and heel system. Weighing in at just 360 grams, they pack an impressive feature set to satisfy the most demanding backcountry enthusiasts. Things like vertical and lateral elasticity in the heelpiece, a stout 8-14 heel retention range, and ATK's new Freeride Spacer, which allows for more contact and better power transfer between boot and binding. Couple that with nice climbing features like a five-position heel riser and a snow buildup-resistant toe piece, and you've got the perfect binding for those looking to tour fast and ski hard. While ATK might be a new name to some North American skiers, their bindings are tried and tested and have proven to be some of the most reliable and easy to use on the market.

Release RangeIndiv. Binding WeightOriginal Price
8-14360 g$699.95

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Fritschi Tecton 13 Alpine Touring Bindings 2023

Fritschi Tecton 13

The FritschiTecton 12 was already one of the few tech binding options suitable for hard skiing between the resort and the backcountry, and now with the upgrade to a maximum 13 DIN, it's even better suited to the task. Ideal for those who work on their skis and occasionally need to go uphill during the day, or as a quiver-of-one solution for travel or 50/50 use, the Tecton gets high marks for both convenience and durability. The Tecton is lightweight and versatile, perfect for skiers who like to use one setup for everything.

Release RangeIndiv. Binding WeightOriginal Price
5-13680 g$679.95

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Black Diamond Helio 200 Alpine Touring Bindings 2023

Black Diamond Helio 200

At an airy 200 grams per binding with an adjustable release value range of 5-10, the Black Diamond Helio 200 Alpine Touring Bindings is the ultimate connection for conquering big vert with even bigger descents. A versatile blend of ultralightweight yet with a beefy construction consisting of premium materials, the Helio 200 Alpine Touring Bindings make for swift ascents with some of the most stable downhill performance on the market. If you’re looking to shave weight and move more efficiently through the mountains, the Black Diamond Helio 200 is a great place to start.

Release RangeIndiv. Binding WeightOriginal Price
5-10200 g$754.95

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Marker Kingpin 13 Alpine Touring Ski Bindings 2023

Marker Kingpin 13

If you tour up to ski hard on the down, the Marker Kingpin 13 Alpine Touring Ski Bindings has pretty much been the name of the game for a while now, and we don't see that changing any time soon. The revolutionary combination of tech toepiece and alpine heel continues to work wonders, providing natural, lightweight hiking on the way up and powerful, intuitive skiing on the way down. The toepiece has been reworked a bit for this year, with some tweaks to make step-in a bit smoother, even in gloppy snow conditions. But other than that, it's the same old Kingpin, ready to enable backcountry freeriding at the highest levels. The Kingpin was the original 50/50 binding, and with these updates, it maintains its place on top.

Release RangeIndiv. Binding WeightOriginal Price
6-13715 g$699.99

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Salomon S​/Lab Shift MNC 10 Alpine Touring Ski Bindings 2023

Salomon S​/Lab Shift MNC 10

The Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC 10 Alpine Touring Ski Bindings bring the innovative touring function and exceptional versatility of the original model to a wider audience with a DIN range aimed squarely at lighter, younger, and less aggressive skiers. They convert from ski to tour mode at the flick of a lever and offer the unrivaled safety, reliability, and response of a fully DIN-certified binding when pointed downhill. If you're juggling both resort and backcountry skiing on a single setup, it's a no-brainer - the Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC 10 Alpine Touring Ski Bindings are in a class of their own. If you’re looking for true alpine performance combined with pin binding efficiency, the Shift MNC continues to be your best option.

Release RangeIndiv. Binding WeightOriginal Price
4-10865 g$549.95

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Marker F10 Tour Large Alpine Touring Ski Bindings 2023

Marker F10 Tour

Backcountry skiing is a tantalizing prospect, but getting started can be a bit daunting. Luckily for you, the Marker F10 Tour Large Alpine Touring Ski Bindings help make the barrier to entry just a bit lower. With these frame bindings, you can keep the majority of your existing resort setup, and make it work for entry-level tours in the backcountry. The great thing about them is that they ride exactly the same as traditional resort bindings, giving you continued use inbounds as well as confidence out of bounds. They eliminate the need for two setups, letting you keep rocking your same boots and skis while you try out a new discipline of the sport. They're simple, reliable, and ski like a dream. The Marker F10 Tour is a great introduction to touring bindings, that doesn’t sacrifice any inbounds performance or require special boots.

Release RangeIndiv. Binding WeightOriginal Price
3-101100 g$399.99

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Cast Touring FreeTour Upgrade Kit

Cast Touring FreeTour

The list of pros, bros, and big people who trust their lives to the CAST system is legion. If you're looking for a way to tour with a tech toepiece and still use your normal Look Pivot 15 or 18 bindings for the downhill, this is the way to go. The Cast Touring FreeTour Upgrade Kit includes almost everything you need to make your Pivot bindings touring-capable - toe pedestals, tech touring toepieces, brake retainers with climbing aids, and toe shims - you supply the Look bindings and boots with tech toe fittings. An AFD (Anti-Friction Device) compatible with your boot sole type must be ordered separately. If you want the absolute certainty of a Pivot binding on the down, combined with pin touring capability, CAST is impossible to beat.

Release RangeIndiv. Binding WeightOriginal Price
8-181000 g$350

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The Selection Process:

Our ski buyers have an endless amount of knowledge on all things skiing stemming from years of experience in the ski industry in tandem with their countless hours spent on slopes everywhere from groomers to the remote backcountry around the world. evo's buyers assess all products coming to market, lean into this knowledge, and put together this selection of the best products. They have a unique perspective as they truly see everything offered across the category.

Jordan Berde

Jordan (she/her) is the Assistant Ski Buyer at evo. Before working in this role, she worked at the evo Denver store for two years, where she began as a bootfitter and quickly moved into Store Lead and then Store Supervisor roles. Prior to evo, Jordan worked as a bootfitter at other shops, a mountain bike instructor for kiddos in Colorado, a ski patroller in Alaska, and a liftie in Taos. She's an avid backcountry skier and ski mountaineer and recently summited Mt. Baker as a fundraiser for SheJumps, a non-profit committed to getting more women involved in the outdoors.

She started sliding on snow later than most (in her late 20s), but now she’s the friend getting up at 4 am to make sure she can get a dawn patrol lap in before work! Jordan is passionate about diversity and inclusion and making outdoor activities more inclusive to all genders, races, and ability levels. When she's not skiing, Jordan is likely on her mountain bike exploring all that Colorado and Washington have to offer with her wife. Some say she never stops moving…