The Best Ski Bindings Reviewed & Compared
Whether you are touring, free-riding, racing, or just plummeting a local hill, you'll need to invest a great pair of bindings. They are often the last piece of equipment that you buy but very well may be the most important. 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. Not only do they help you get down the mountain, but they also have built-in safety features that will minimize injury if you fall. With such a wide selection of bindings available, it can be difficult to know where to start. You'll find some of the top names in winter sports on our list, as well as some lesser-known (but great quality) brands. Get your gear together and head to the hills faster with our list of top bindings for 2019.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 9 hrs of research
Good brand reputation
Top 10 Picks
1. Marker Griffon ID
Good brand reputation
Won’t work for larger skiers
Marker Griffon’s ID Ski Bindings are made to be safe, reliable, durable, and also boost your performance by providing excellent balance and energy transfer capabilities. For skiers that are more lightweight, these bindings work great and can help anybody at any skill level boost their performance.Read more
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.
These bindings have a great feel and aren’t too heavy that they will wear you out, but they also feel strong and dependable. Among the four different sizes available, the weight doesn’t change much. The lightest individual binding weighs 2.23- pounds and the heaviest is 2.25-pounds.
Offering a great selection of sizes, these bindings are available in 90mm, 100mm, 110mm, and 120mm.
This versatile pair of bindings are great for all skiing styles and will quickly become your go-to. They are burly and durable without weighing you down. The sliding AFD is made from metal and provides dependable toe release.
2. Atomic Shift MNC 13
Fits all normed boots
You must adjust the AFD plate for a proper fit
The walk/ski toggle takes some getting used to
Are you ready for this? The Atomic Shift MNC 13 is the first binding with freeride capability and full touring in one. It has hiking pins that can be adjusted with the flick of a switch from “hike and ride mode” to “ski mode.” They are recommended for advanced-expert level skiers and might be the last pair of bindings you’ll ever need.Read more
To start out with, these bindings have a DIN range of six to thirteen. The adjustable toe height is great for fitting the bindings with any normed boot. This is the first binding that offers you such a wide range of versatility without compromising style or fit.
The wide platform is great for wide skis are provides great lateral power transmission. Additionally, the self-retracting freeski brakes hide when they are needed. Perhaps the most impressive feature of these bindings is their versatility. Being able to use one binding for some many different styles of skiing is mind-blowing.
This is the lightest set of bindings on our list! These do-it-all bindings weight only about 3.13-pounds for the pair, depending on the size.
These bindings are available in four different sizes, including 90mm, 100mm, 110mm, and 120mm with a 30mm adjustment range.
Seeing as how these bindings are fairly new on the market, there hasn’t been a lot of talk about the durability. Many reviewers have complimented the craftsmanship and have high hopes for them. We have no concerns about the durability because Atomic is such a highly praised and well-known brand. Additionally, these bindings come with a two-year warranty.
3. Look Pivot 18
Full metal housing
7 points of contact between binding and boot
Great for steep turns
Mainly for advanced and pro skiers
Blowing the other Pivot predecessors out of the water, the Pivot 18 is a binding that is best suited for advanced skiers. It gives you seven points of contact with your boot and a complete metal housing. The Look Pivot 18 feels tough, turns well, and keep you locked in. The turntable heel gives you a sense of freedom and also absorbs energy, helping to avoid a premature release.Read more
This is a great pair of bindings that won’t only keep you safe, but also offer a thrilling ride where you can fully showcase your skills. They feature multidirectional release which really allows you to dig into those turns. There are seven points of contact between the boot and the binding for optimal energy transmission, power, control, and response.
The DIN is quite adjustable with a range of eight to eighteen. Additionally, these bindings feature 28mm elasticity to avoid pre-release or knee injury.
To keep the weight of the bindings down, the mounting zone is very short. The short mounting zone provides consistent ski flex and improved response. Each binding weighs 2.74-pounds each.
These bindings are available in a great array of sizes, including 75mm, 95mm, 115mm, and 130mm.
These bindings have quickly become a favorite among many skiers. They are reliable and comfortable without being overly complicated. To finish off the bindings and enforce the durability, they feature a complete metal housing and a pivoting toe piece to make releasing a breeze.
4. Salomon STH2 WTR 13
Good release system
Probably not ideal for really experienced skiers
If you’re looking to purchase one of the most popular bindings on the market today for downhill skiers, then you’ll want to consider the Salomon STH2 WTR 13 Ski Bindings. These ski bindings are very sought after, mostly because they deliver excellent performance and safety measures for skiers.Read more
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.
On average, each binding weighs about 2.5-pounds.
These bindings are available in four different sizes including 90mm,100mm, 115mm, and 130mm, with a 28mm adjustment range.
Salomon’s STH2 WTR 13 Ski Bindings provide you with an excellent stable 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.
5. Marker Jester 16 ID
Good for various levels
A bit expensive
Marker Jester’s 16 ID Ski Bindings are made as a strong ski binding that helps you get more in your DIN, and also adds magnesium to a few places on the ski bindings. With this magnesium metal designed into the bindings, you’ll get less weight and better rigidity when you ski.Read more
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.
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.
These versatile bindings are light enough to be comfortable without affecting their durability. With only mere ounces between the different sizes, each binding weighs about 2.33-pounds each.
These bindings are available in four different sizes, including 90mm, 100mm, 110mm, and 136mm.
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.
6. Tyrolia AAAttack 2 13 GW
Conventional heel piece that some may or may not prefer
Tyrolia AAAttack 2 13 GW Ski Bindings are made to be an affordable option in bindings for a variety of different level skiers looking to get their gear together. Made with a lightweight toe that’s also strong and durable, these skis feel very playful, and also offer a platform that works well with modern skis.Read more
Tyrolia AAAttack 2 13 GW Ski Bindings have an All Areas Access design, and this means that they are built to be versatile. This means that you should be able to cruise down the groomed trails or sweep through the park with ease.
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 released 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.
One of the lightest bindings on our list, these weigh about 2.2-pounds each, on average.
These bindings are available in three different sizes, 85mm, 95mm, and 110mm.
Another durable pair, the NX FR heel provides great stability and transmission of power. Additionally, the anti-friction device is made from metal.
7. Dynafit TLT Radical 2.0 ST
Better for downhill
Dynafit’s TLT Radical 2.0 ST Ski Bindings come from one of the first brands to kick off the popular tech-bindings stage now in demand on the market today. The TLT Radical bindings are one of the most popular types of tech bindings available for purchase nowadays, and you’ll find that the recent updates made to these ski bindings offer a lot of safety and performance-boosting features.Read more
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 bring you a lightweight binding set that’s durable and designed to handle hardcore backcountry skiing. For the pair, they weigh about 2.5-pounds.
These bindings are available in four different sizes, 92mm, 100mm, 110mm, and 135mm.
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.
8. Marker Griffon 13
A bit heavy
Marker’s Griffon 13 Ski Bindings give a great combination of features for those looking for better safety and a boost in performance. These ski bindings are fully DIN certified, so you get a high-quality product that’s very durable and made to help your versatility.Read more
Marker’s Griffon 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 Griffon 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.
As a pair, these bindings weigh about 4.48-pounds, depending on the size.
These bindings are available in three different sizes, 90mm, 110mm, and 120mm.
Also designed to be lightweight, Marker’s Griffon 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.
9. Salomon Warden MNC 13
Works with a lot of boots
The climbing bar can be a bit difficult
As Salomon likes to tote these ski bindings, the Salomon Warden MNC 13 is the new sheriff in town. Whether you are riding with AT or traditional boots, you can use these bindings with no problem. Find out why we love them below.Read more
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.
Each binding weighs 2.5-pounds.
These bindings are available in four different sizes, including 90mm, 100mm, 115mm, and 130mm.
They are a burly set of bindings with a DIN of 13. And the Salomon Warden MNC 13 Ski Binding is designed conveniently to be worn with almost any boot out there, which is a huge bonus.
Overall, if you want a binding that offers smooth release, powerful ski retention, and is highly versatile for boots, these are your best bet.
10. G3 Ion 10
Easy to use
Solid toe piece
Difficult to use on hard packed snow
G3’s Ion 10 Ski bindings are some of the easiest-to-use ski binding options available on the market today and bring you tech bindings that are very user-friendly. While many other tech bindings can be difficult to operate, these are efficient with the set-up process and will boost your performance each time you hit the snow.Read more
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. 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.
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. Each binding weighs 2.56-pounds each.
These bindings are available in three different sizes, including 85mm, 115mm, and 130mm.
Made with a lot of durabilities, 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.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
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.
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.
Figuring out the ski binding brake width you need is 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 no 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.
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.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
When you’re deciding on the best ski bindings to fit your outdoor winter adventures, you’ll want to consider where you’ll be skiing, and what types of snow you are likely to encounter. With the right type of ski bindings for your chosen terrains, you’ll boost your performance and experience a lot of helpful safety features that can keep you skiing healthily for many seasons to come.
The DIN range of bindings is an incredibly important factor to consider. The higher the DIN number, the more force you will need to release your feet from the bindings. Many different factors come into play when choosing the right DIN setting for you, including the width of your ski, your weight, height, age, and skill level. There are online DIN calculators that can help lead you in the right direction, but it's always a good idea to have your kit checked out by a professional as well.
Other Factors to Consider
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 into 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.