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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    103

    Marker Alpinist 12 vs mtn lab vs g3 ion 12 vs ???

    Hey guys, currently on a pair of shifts as my touring binding for the last 2 years and looking for a bit lighter of a binding setup. With that said, I definitely am looking for what provides the best downhill performance. I do ski fairly aggressive and don’t want to end up breaking whatever I purchase, however I am only 160lbs so I’m not too concerned with that. These bindings will go on 190 Wildcat tours for what it matters and I’ll likely only go out with these in soft snow conditions...From my research it definitely seems like all of the bindings in the title are comparable. Kinda thinking I should avoid the zed due to lesser durability? Am I crazy for wanting to go to one of these setups if I prioritize downhill performance? I wouldn’t be hitting any crazy drops or throwing tricks but do want to be able to hit 5-10’ drops confidently...I’ve seen people hitting decent drops with both the mtn lab and ion 12 and they seemed fine. What would/did you guys choose and why? Currently leaning towards the marker alpinist 12’s due to a bit lesser cost and good reviews but they all seem very comparable...any input? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    SLC, Utah
    Posts
    1,387
    get the red ones

    in all seriousness add atk binders to your list

    Sent from my Pixel 4 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    103
    Quote Originally Posted by tgapp View Post
    get the red ones

    in all seriousness add atk binders to your list

    Sent from my Pixel 4 using Tapatalk
    yeah I’ve considered those as well but I’m on a bit of a budget...is the performance and durability really there for the additional cost?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    426
    All are plenty durable for the use you describe. Do you want the ability to adjust your release values versus swapping out a u-spring (mtn)? If so, that eliminates the MTN binding. The Marker also uses a u-spring for vertical release so you need to swap out springs to adjust the vertical release whereas the Ion has adjustable vertical release on the pins. Also, regarding the Zed, G3 update the heel pins last season so there *shouldn't* be any issues there anymore. I like the toe piece on the Ion/Zed. No experience with the Alpinist so can't help there. I think the biggest differences are going to be more in the uphill due to differences in ramp angle, heel riser height, ease of flipping risers, etc. I feel they would all ski fairly similarly.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bonedale
    Posts
    5,251
    Ski Trab Titan Vario.2. The guys at skimo.co told me the toe piece is one of the few they haven't seen broken. The toe wings have a little bit of elasticity to them due to a unique design, which aids with retention. The heel is gapless, which helps with consistent release. If you need a high RV, of course the Freeraider 14 is probably the best choice.

    But of the ones on your list, I've heard the best things about the MTN. I don't know anyone who skis it and dislikes it.

    And no, you're not crazy for skiing one of these hard and hitting smallish drops. I posted about this recently, but I cannot tell a difference between the Kingpin heel and the Speed superlight 2.0 heel. The only "heavier" binding I'm more interested in for pow touring and 50/50 use is the Tecton because I've heard good things and it releases at the toe ... but I certainly don't think you're crazy for wanting one of the many excellent 250-300g bindings.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Golden B.C.
    Posts
    358
    Ive used the ion and mtn lots. I like the MTN more, skis great at half the weight. Expert spring has only released when needed. Normally run my sth/916 at 11 din. I'm smaller than you though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Tahoe>Missoula>Fort Collins
    Posts
    1,524
    there's a thread on this i think
    single? always know what to say with Keys
    www.thekeysapp.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Not Brooklyn
    Posts
    7,094
    They're all fine. If you don't know why you'd pick one over the others get the cheapest one.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    西 雅 圖
    Posts
    3,998
    You need to make up you mind about which weight class you want.

    Alpinist and MTN are sub-300 gram U-spring designs and are both solid bindings, but they're under 300 grams. I slightly prefer the MTN/Backland Tour because you don't have to reach down and rotate the heel to switch climbing modes and the high mode is a bit taller.

    Sub-150 gram options (but not rando race bindings) like the Dynafit Superlight 150 and BD Helio 145/ATK Trofeo are great for ultra-light but not race-light skiing, unless you need to adjust for different BSL's or like steep skintracks (no high climbing level), but that doesn't sound like what you're after.

    Kingpin V-Werks and Tecton are both in the 660 gram range and both use a spring-loaded camming heel (I don't put the G3 Ion in this category; even with the spring-loaded heel you are still hanging from 2 pins) - I think they are noticeably better on firm snow at speed, but how much groomer zooming are you going to be doing on this rig? Both are fine, I slightly prefer the Tecton but would use either.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    784
    Quote Originally Posted by I've seen black diamonds! View Post
    They're all fine. If you don't know why you'd pick one over the others get the cheapest one.
    I bought the Markers on this advice. The high heel riser is a little low for my tastes, but it forces me to set a more efficient skin track. And otherwise I like them.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    47
    For those sensitive to toe/heel height differences; the marker alpinist is almost completely flat:
    https://www.wildsnow.com/10733/get-u...for-your-ramp/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    103
    Quote Originally Posted by paal View Post
    For those sensitive to toe/heel height differences; the marker alpinist is almost completely flat:
    https://www.wildsnow.com/10733/get-u...for-your-ramp/
    Interesting...so this should be the closest to pivots from my understanding? I’ve always felt a bit forward/off on my shifts and I think this definitely explains it. Thanks for that point. Right now I’m more or less leaning towards the alpinists but right now on my shifts having a max of 9* riser kinda sucks and markers max is only 10*...hmmm

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    The Fish
    Posts
    3,500
    The Zed is pretty flat as well and has higher climbing aids. I have both (alpinist and Zed) on new skis this year so nothing to add yet. I have owned 3 pair or MTN's my last pair the climbing aids got loose on, that sucked. With the brakes they ski very well but like any brake in wet snow they are pain to clear. I fell out of love with them.
    a positive attitude will not solve all of your problems, but it may annoy enough people to make it worth the effort

    Formerly Rludes025

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    47
    On my old dynafit radical bindings I used various 3d printed shims under the toe pieces. (I used quiver killer inserts so I was able to play around and swap to shims with different thickness) I cannot remember what I ended up using but It must have been close to 10mm
    ...the downside is of course that the heel risers will act shorter as you keep increasing the height up front.

    On my next setup (getting new skis in hopefully less than a month) I think I will go alpinist or zed just to get a reasonably priced, flat-ish setup that does not require any shims.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Driggs
    Posts
    253
    Quote Originally Posted by gregL View Post
    You need to make up you mind about which weight class you want.

    Alpinist and MTN are sub-300 gram U-spring designs and are both solid bindings, but they're under 300 grams. I slightly prefer the MTN/Backland Tour because you don't have to reach down and rotate the heel to switch climbing modes and the high mode is a bit taller.

    Sub-150 gram options (but not rando race bindings) like the Dynafit Superlight 150 and BD Helio 145/ATK Trofeo are great for ultra-light but not race-light skiing, unless you need to adjust for different BSL's or like steep skintracks (no high climbing level), but that doesn't sound like what you're after.

    Kingpin V-Werks and Tecton are both in the 660 gram range and both use a spring-loaded camming heel (I don't put the G3 Ion in this category; even with the spring-loaded heel you are still hanging from 2 pins) - I think they are noticeably better on firm snow at speed, but how much groomer zooming are you going to be doing on this rig? Both are fine, I slightly prefer the Tecton but would use either.
    This is spot on. You're talking about a whole range of bindings from very different classes, all of which are going to tour way better than your Shifts. And are you wanting a brakeless binding, or not? Alpinist doesn't do brakes, others are optional. IMO brakes are really cool if you think you might come out of your ski.

    My .02: I haven't had, or seen any friends have great experiences with Ion durability, I think we've killed 6 or 7 pairs in the last three years? Some people like them apparently, others end up swearing at them a lot.

    Vipec should be on your list, it holds up to the sort of hucking you're talking about just fine, is probably a little safer than the others thanks to the toe release, and is very light. You will probably feel a difference power transmission wise if you ski a lot of hardback though. If you want to step it up just a notch, go Tecton or V Works Kingpin. Both of those are easier to tour on, have better risers, and allow you to transition with your skis on, unlike the Shift. And I doubt they'll feel very different on the down.

    Don't go from a Shift to a weiner binding with a U spring. MTN's are awesome, but it doesn't really make sense to swing that far across the spectrum, especially on this burley of a ski.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Jackson
    Posts
    317
    Quote Originally Posted by paal View Post
    For those sensitive to toe/heel height differences; the marker alpinist is almost completely flat:
    https://www.wildsnow.com/10733/get-u...for-your-ramp/
    I've mentioned the Alpinist flatness (+2mm) in another thread. For some, it's greatest thing ever. For me, not so much and I feel the Backland/MTN (+8.5mm) is the sweet spot. I used to ski on a variety of Dynafits (Rad1, Speed, Radical, Vertical, etc) but most of those are way too ramped (+16-18mm) for me now. I'm currently in the process of shimming the Alpinist heel to give it a little more ramp (and heel riser high) so that it's closer to the Backland.

    Personally, I think the Backland/MTN is hard to beat for overall function, durability, and design. I've been hammering on mine for 3 years and they work as well as the day I mounted them (I'm pretty light at 155, though). You'll get used to whatever you get but ramp is real. My GF was burning up her quads until she moved to a MTN from a +16 dynafit (fighting the tipping-forward effect) and I immediately noticed that I had to proactively weight the front of the ski to get tips to engage when I replaced rampier bindings with Alpinists. YMMV.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Montucky
    Posts
    1,522
    I ski 190 wildcat tours in Plum Guide bindings and hit 5-10’ drops. You’ll be fine with the Zeds, or really anything else at 160lbs....I got 30-40 pounds on ya.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Sun Valley, ID
    Posts
    1,954
    Quote Originally Posted by phattypowpow View Post
    I've mentioned the Alpinist flatness (+2mm) in another thread. For some, it's greatest thing ever. For me, not so much and I feel the Backland/MTN (+8.5mm) is the sweet spot. I used to ski on a variety of Dynafits (Rad1, Speed, Radical, Vertical, etc) but most of those are way too ramped (+16-18mm) for me now. I'm currently in the process of shimming the Alpinist heel to give it a little more ramp (and heel riser high) so that it's closer to the Backland.

    Personally, I think the Backland/MTN is hard to beat for overall function, durability, and design. I've been hammering on mine for 3 years and they work as well as the day I mounted them (I'm pretty light at 155, though). You'll get used to whatever you get but ramp is real. My GF was burning up her quads until she moved to a MTN from a +16 dynafit (fighting the tipping-forward effect) and I immediately noticed that I had to proactively weight the front of the ski to get tips to engage when I replaced rampier bindings with Alpinists. YMMV.
    Alpinist too flat for me too. Your boot angle is also part of the equation if your alpine and touring are different. Just got ATK crest and FR14.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    西 雅 圖
    Posts
    3,998
    Quote Originally Posted by phattypowpow View Post
    I've mentioned the Alpinist flatness (+2mm) in another thread. For some, it's greatest thing ever. For me, not so much and I feel the Backland/MTN (+8.5mm) is the sweet spot. I used to ski on a variety of Dynafits (Rad1, Speed, Radical, Vertical, etc) but most of those are way too ramped (+16-18mm) for me now. I'm currently in the process of shimming the Alpinist heel to give it a little more ramp (and heel riser high) so that it's closer to the Backland.

    Personally, I think the Backland/MTN is hard to beat for overall function, durability, and design. I've been hammering on mine for 3 years and they work as well as the day I mounted them (I'm pretty light at 155, though). You'll get used to whatever you get but ramp is real. My GF was burning up her quads until she moved to a MTN from a +16 dynafit (fighting the tipping-forward effect) and I immediately noticed that I had to proactively weight the front of the ski to get tips to engage when I replaced rampier bindings with Alpinists. YMMV.
    Yeah, ramp is another entire discussion, but can drastically affect your skiing.

    The MTN/Backland Tour ramp of 8.5 mm works well for me, too; the net result feels much like my alpine setup (usually Warden 13's) and the transition is seamless. This after years of skiing on OG Dynafits, Plums, and Speed Radicals/Turns at 16-18 mm . . . FWIW, Speed Superlights at 7.5 mm and Kingpins at 9.5 mm were OK as well.

    Check out skimo.co's chart on pin height differentials here: https://skimo.co/pin-heights

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