Finding the perfect ski is, without doubt, the most exciting part of gear shopping. And finding the right boot – essential. But so is finding your binding, with its key role of keeping boots attached to skis whilst shredding, and releasing when needed. And when a binding fails, or it’s wrong, and sends you flying, it can be not just frustrating but dangerous. So to learn a little more about bindings and how to choose them, check out Backcountry Editor Martin Chester’s guide to bindings, or read on for our Editors’ Choice ski bindings of Winter 22/23.
Editors’ Choice bindings 22/23
ATK Raider Evo
Touring / Freetouring
DIN Range 5 –13
Weight (per unit) 370g
Fans of ATK have the new Raider Evo family to get excited about this winter that sees the Italian brand firing all their legendary touring tech know-how into the freetouring sector. There are three new bindings in the series – the Raider Evo 13 being our pick of the bodacious bunch on account of its mega versatility. The innovative new heel piece with automatic brake replaces the manual push button mechanism, and the new toe piece comes with adjustable vertical release, so you can dial it in to fit your style. Ideal for skis anywhere from 80-120mm underfoot, new materials in the toe piece means that it’s super easy to get into even with worn-out soles. There are heaps of other features to get psyched about, including the uphill hardness variator that allows you to change the tension up front to compensate for insert wear and tear, 14mm of stomp-tastic elasticity in the heel, and the snowpack-proof system that keeps the toe clear of angel dust even after multiple transitions.
BEST FOR Freetourers looking for a fully featured lightweight tech binding that’s built to charge and endure.
Salomon Strive 14 GW
Alpine/ Freeride / Freestyle
Range 5 –14
Weight (per unit) 980g
Salomon’s binding designers revolutionised the touring binding sector back in 2018 with the groundbreaking S/Lab Shift and they’ve ripped up the rulebook again this winter with the launch of the innovative low-profile Strive. Inspired by the Shift, the brand spankin’ Strive (also available under Atomic and Armada branding) is a super-light binding that sits really low on the ski. By decreasing the weight of the revolutionary LDN (Low. Direct. Neutral) toe piece and lowering the centre of mass, the new alpine and GripWalk-compatible Strive provides a more balanced position, max feedback and responsiveness – aka a better skiing experience. Also available in a 16 DIN model, the Strive comes with a 20mm stack height and long nose with class-leading 45mm of elastic travel, so you can keep on trucking through the rough stuff with no unexpected release-shaped surprises.
BEST FOR Advanced to expert skiers looking for a lightweight responsive ripper for all-mountain antics.
Tyrolia Protector Attack 13 MN
Alpine/ Freeride / Freestyle
Range 4 –13
Weight (per unit) 1,450g
Tyrolia’s Protector is an innovative new binding designed to mitigate knee injuries caused by rearward twisting falls. The clever new ACL-saving Protector binding releases both vertically and laterally (most bindings feature only vertical heel release) from the heel, and while this may not be a totally new concept, what is completely novel is a) it comes with 7mm of elasticity to decrease the chance of unexpected pre-release and b) it releases in both directions so you aren’t limited to having to have a right and left ski. Available in several different models, we tested the freeski-specific Attack 13 version in Kühtai last winter and were impressed by both the engineering and performance. Compatible with alpine, touring and GripWalk soles, it’s robust, responsive and, most importantly, mega trustworthy – aka a confidence-inspiring binding that integrates really well with the ski for a powerful, intuitive ride.
BEST FOR: Anyone and everyone who values their knees.