The Fritschi Tecton 12 and the Dynafit ST Rotation 10 are new, whilst the G3 Ion 12 and the Fritschi Vipec Evo 12 have been updated.
Fritschi Tecton 12
The Fritschi Tecton 12 is Fritschi’s answer to the Marker Kingpin which hit the pin binding market to much acclaim a few years ago. The concept is a pin toe piece for low weight and a natural walking motion paired with an alpine heel to give a better response when skiing: The best of both worlds.
The Tecton 12 uses the innovative Vipec front toe piece, this remains the only pin toe piece on the market which has a fully adjustable DIN thanks to the completely independent pin towers. This means that the Tecton 12, like the Vipec, has a fully adjustable front and back DIN just as an alpine binding does.
The Tecton 12 looks pretty easy to use; the heel works just as an alpine binding heel does but with an additional position for the binding lever which then allows the heel piece to slide back so it is out of the way of the boot when walking. It has a 2 stage heel riser just as you would expect on any touring binding of this type. The toe piece is much as you’d expect and features the usual step in guide to make getting the pins in your boots as easy as it can be.
Impressively it weighs in at only 100g heavier than a Vipec and is lighter than the Kingpin, though it is a little more pricey than both.
The Tecton comes with an option of 80 – 120mm brakes in increments of 10mm, the brakes are interchangeable. Just like the Vipec, can be customised with coloured plastic inserts, if you’re into that kind of thing. It’s compatible with the Traxion Crampon.
Dynafit ST Rotation 10
The Dynafit ST Rotation is the next iteration of the popular Radical ST series, although it has lost the ‘Radical’ name. The main improvements on this model are the self centering toe piece and a stronger and stiffer heel unit for a better transfer of power and feedback when skiing.
The improved self centering toe piece can only be a good idea – the Radical ST 2 didn’t have this and, although still a ‘step in’ binding if the toe was rotated it did make stepping into the binding an awkward process. This should fix that problem.
The changes to the heel are also welcome, though the Radical ST 2 skied really well and didn’t feel much different to an alpine binding anyway. The changes to the heel are basically beefing it up a bit so there’s less flex and less movement between the boot and binding.
Despite the additional features on the ST Rotation, thanks to some weight saving elsewhere on the binding, it’s no heavier than its predecessor the Radical ST 2.
The ST rotation is available with 90, 105 and 120mm brakes, though they are not interchangeable. It’s compatible with the Dynafit Crampon.
G3 Ion 12
The G3 Ion 12 is a rock solid and well made pin binding – it doesn’t have any of the fancy features like rotating toe pieces or independent toe towers other pin bindings have, but what it does it does excellently.
The 2017/18 version has only minimal changes to the previous version. The main one is that they’ve ditched the pop-up toe stoppers in favour of a fixed stop. When I first saw the pop up stoppers I thought it was a great idea as different sized boots could have the stopper set to the correct place. What I didn’t consider was the issue with such a system when it’s covered in snow or ice – presumably it got stuck all the time which is why G3 decided to ditch it.
If you’re after a high performance, simple and effective pin binding then the G3 Ion is for you. It’s available with 100mm brakes. Compatible with the Ion Ski Crampon.
Fritschi Vipec Evo 12
Yet another improvement to Fristchi’s Vipec – it’s good to see that Fritschi are constantly looking for ways of improving this binding.
The changes this season are only minor, and just like the G3 Ion, are focused on the ease of step in. They’ve switched the tiny little stopeers which were positioned by each tower for one big toe stop in the centre. The original Vipec very much had a knack to the step in – it either worked first time or it took numerous attempts and got annoying – this should improve it so that getting into the bindings is quicker and easier than before.
The Vipec takes the same brakes as the Tecton and comes with an option of 80 – 120mm brakes in increments of 10mm, the brakes are interchangeable. It’s compatible with the Traxion Crampon.
View the Fritschi Vipec Evo 12.