G3 Releases New AT Binding — Yes Virginia, Dynafit Compatible


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

When I mentioned to my Italian friend Paolo how G3 had been keeping their binding secret, and were releasing the new grabber via a global conference call, he said “what do they think this is, a new Ferrari or something? It’s just a ski binding.” Italians, you know, they always have a way with words…We’ll, the new Onyx backcountry skiing AT binding is not equivalent in s*x appeal to a new Italian sports car (at least not to me). But it could be close.

New G3 Onyx is Dynafit compatible and could be one of the most exciting ski touring products in years.

New G3 Onyx is Dynafit compatible and could be one of the most exciting ski touring products in years.

While we don’t have the new Onyx in our hands yet, I spoke at length with G3 engineer Cam Shute, who’s been in on development of this exciting new grabber from its inception. Cam walked me through their amazingly complete website as well as exchanging a bunch of emails. Below are my first impressions. What do you WildSnowers think? Comments welcome.

- Yes, Onyx is Dynafit compatible (meaning it works with boots that have Dynafit toe and heel sockets, now known by competitors as “Tech” fittings.) Here at WildSnow we’re incredibly excited about this as competition can only bring great things for consumers and the sport as a whole.

- Please know that when a company puts as much money love and sweat as G3 has into doing an entirely new product, there is no reason for me to try and be a curmudgeon. So if this appears a bit fluffy I’m just trying to play nice ’till we really test these things. Even so, unlike magazines that award relatively untested products their “Editor’s Choice” and whatnot, we’ll refrain from considering gold labels ’till months from now.

- I want to compliment G3 on utilizing the web in doing a beautiful job of “information marketing” for a product launch. Instead of “here is some champagne and a slice of smoked salmon, if you want beefy information call later and I might know the answer,” we have what has to be one of the most thorough explications of a new ski binding in the history of the sport. Heck, with this as a resource we might even end up with a WildSnow FAQ that’s shorter than a novel! And, I won’t have to make a video as I did for the Duke launch (though I might anyway)!

- An issue in product development of any sort is the balance of marketing/design vs raw engineering. At first and second glance, it appears this effort is at the least done in full partnership with the development engineering team (who are all committed and active backcountry skiers). More, it appears the project was perhaps even driven by the engineering team. For example, who tells the story on the website? The development team engineers. And who walked me through the launch website? Yep, one of the engineers. Even so, a bit of marketing BS crept in. For fun, I’ll let you readers pick it out.

- Yes, Onyx switches modes on the fly — rather than having to exit the binding to easily change from downhill to tour mode and back (though we’re wondering if this will be the case once the brakes are installed.)

- MSRP $399.95 USD without brakes.

- Weight is somewhat disappointing, with Onyx specified at 1430g / 50oz (with screws) compared to Dynafit ST at 908g / 32oz. BUT, important thing about weight of Onyx is more mass not only allows features such as the attachment plate and toe indexing system — but allows for beefed parts such as the internal heel post. What’s more, G3 tells me that this is only a start and hints that other lighter offerings could be in the pipeline.

- Claimed “anti icing” feature at toe that eliminates problem of toe jaws not closing due to ice underneath. Not clear on how this works, but if it does then G3 has eliminated a niggling problem that frustrates less attentive Dynafit users.

- Binding adjusts for a 33mm range of boot lengths. Not much different than Dynafit FT/ST range of 26 mm, but Onyx includes for-aft positioning to maintain optimum boot position on ski. This feature is sure to be handy for a variety of applications, from using your own variety of boots, to shop rental and demo programs, to experimenting and finding out for yourself where the sweet spot is on your skis.

- It appears the toe unit positions the boot while stepping in, eliminating the sometimes difficult process of lining up your boot with Dynafit bindings. On the other hand, it also appears you have to hold the toe unit open with your ski pole, which could be awkward in tricky situations (but does eliminate the persistent and annoying problem of Dynafit bindings not closing properly due to improper positioning or thickness of the “trigger zone” on the boot sole.)

- Binding is attached to ski with a plate system. This not only allows adjustment for/aft but will allow users to swap bindings between skis by installing several sets of mounting plates on various skis. That’s holy grail territory.

- Onyx is optimized for downhill ski performance, with efforts at reducing play and adding strength in areas such as the internal heel post.

- Instead of scoffing at AT binding concepts WildSnow has advocated for years, such as precise for/aft boot position on ski, solidity of boot/ski connection, necessity of mode switch without exiting binding, and user maintainability;upgradeablity;repair, G3 appears to have embraced these concepts. The engineer even told me that as a nod to WildSnow’s emphasis on complete accuracy of weights they made sure to include screws in the binding weight. Amen?

- Crampons and brakes are still under development. Indeed, this is not a full retail distribution-ready product as of yet (it’ll be on shelves next winter), though test samples are headed out and it’ll be under demo at the OR show. We thus caution all readers to know that just as with any first generation product, the consumer test program has not yet commenced and may bring issues to light that we or G3 have no way of anticipating.

- Use G3 toe with Dynafit heel or versa? Hmmmmm… I feel another Frankenbinding coming on…

- In summary, while Onyx may not satisfy the anorexic cravings of the vertical-or-else crowd, it is weight competitive with most touring bindings, but yields a more solid boot/ski connection and a host of other features that could make this a very popular product.

- Lastly, while business propriety means G3 can’t easily include the roots of the “Tech” system, it is worth mentioning that if it wasn’t for Fritz Barthel and his father Manfred creating the amazingly long living Dynafit binding system more than two decades ago, innovations such as the Onyx would have no platform to build on. More, it appears Dynafit will still be the king, queen and lord of lightweight full-function AT bindings. Thus, all hail the “Tech” system, in both new innovation such as Onyx and as the original Barthel Dynafit “Ferrari”.

Comments

42 Responses to “G3 Releases New AT Binding — Yes Virginia, Dynafit Compatible”

  1. Peter January 6th, 2009 8:10 am

    “Even so, a bit of marketing BS crept in. For fun, I’ll let you readers pick it out.”

    DIN booster.
    am I right? waddaheyewin?

    binding looks hot, even to this freeheeler.

  2. Nick January 6th, 2009 9:01 am

    Hearing that they are still developing the brakes is a bit of a disappointment. Would be nice if they addressed the weakest point of the Dynafit.

  3. Jonathan S. Shefftz January 6th, 2009 9:04 am

    Whoah! And they’ve apparently been working on it for three-and-a-half years, yet it’s remained pretty much entirely undercover until now.
    “They consistently told us that they wanted more performance and usability, without a weight increase.”
    - At 18 ounces heavier, they’ve compromised on that point, but I certainly see how some skiers would be willing to take on that extra weight, as long as the zero lifted/pivoted weight factor is retained, yet some aspects are improved.
    - And their design certainly is different. (And sufficiently so to evade a patent lawsuit?) After all, as great as the Vertical ST/FT binding is, not much has changed from a design standpoint since the mid-90s TLT IV. Then again, if all my backcountry bindings were changed today to new-in-box/old-stock mid-90s TLT IV bindings, I’d still be perfectly happy.

    So my assessment of how it compares to the Vertical ST/FT in various areas of “performance and usability” as G3 phrases it:

    - Field serviceability = Nice touch, but I doubt many users will care. In fact, what *all* users will care about most is whether it will be sufficiently reliability so that it will *not* ever need to be serviced over a reasonable lifetime. Only time will tell…

    - Binding entry = Nice to see boot sole thickness at the toe taken out of the equation, given that some boots have had problems with that, but needing to keep the tour lever pressed down while positioning the boot toe, and then needing to gradually release the tour lever with your hand or ski pole while keeping the boot toe aligned, hmm, impossible to tell right now whether that is going to be easier or harder for most skiers than what we’re all already used to (i.e., press down with the boot toe to close the toe unit pincers).

    - Mode switch from skin > ski = No different than Vertical ST/FT, i.e., rotate something (along a different axis for G3) then step down.

    - Mode switch from ski > skin = Major improvement over Vertical ST/FT (which require exiting th binding), but this is almost never needed (aside from affixing skins, which requires exiting the binding anyway).

    - DIN booster = No different than Vertical ST/FT, except G3 is officially endorsing it (without commenting on just how much or how reliability the lateral release is affected).

    - Release setting range = Same as Vertical ST, but less than FT. I’m surprised G3 isn’t introducing a >10 version since everything else about the binding seems intended to appeal to such users.

    - Retention = G3′s presentation qualitatively discusses lateral and vertical elasticity, yet without using those words and without providing any quantitative measures. Skiing Magazine many years ago provided detailed results of elasticity for different bindings. If G3′s design really differs from the Vertical ST/FT, then let’s see the data. One thing that does seem different in the design is that the lateral release spring seems to stay put, as opposed to rotating with the binding heel unit housing during a release (as it does on the Vertical ST/FT).

    - Brakes = Personally I use leashes, and when I’ve used Comfort brakes (with the second return spring removed), I’ve never had any problems, although I do know skiers who have had problems with Comfort brakes deployment. I hear the Vertical ST/FT brake is better, although I don’t have any personal experience. G3 could certainly appeal to some skiers with a redesigned brake, although apparently the brake isn’t ready yet?

  4. Lou January 6th, 2009 9:31 am

    “DIN booster definitely seemed like hype. It probably does what they say just as locking the Dynafit toe results in substantially increasing the lateral DIN, but would need exact numbers to really claim boost of “DIN” which is supposed to be fairly exact. Overall, just a minor quibble about verbiage, if they want to call the touring lock a “DIN booster” then fine…

  5. FrameNZ January 6th, 2009 9:36 am

    Lou, is their a relationship between Dynafit / G3? That is are they able to use similar points of boot contact on licence from Dynafit or is it sufficiently different to not infringe on anyone’s property rights.

  6. Lou January 6th, 2009 9:38 am

    The original Dynafit bindings have fairly good elasticity in lateral release, it’s in vertical where they could use more. I’ll be very curious to see if Onyx has more vertical elasticity than Dynafit, giving the pins will move through the same distance on the rear boot fitting.

  7. Lou January 6th, 2009 9:41 am

    Frame, several of the patents recently expired. I don’t think they’re pushing anything in a legal sense. I’ve always felt that a standardized boot toe/heel binding attachment for touring was a Holy Grail. Perhaps we’ve now got that. I’ve also heard that at least one other major AT binding maker has a “Tech” compatible system in the works, and there are of course the Italian ATC bindings that are mostly used for racing.

  8. Dave January 6th, 2009 10:09 am

    the images makes them look a bit beefy and awkward (first impression), but if they perform like the few other G3 products I’ve tried, they should be a sweet ride. my first dynfit ride was on a pair of G3 saints that I thoroughly enjoyed. It’ll be nice to see a live version mounted up.

  9. Tom G January 6th, 2009 10:56 am

    Wow, to me this does look like a significant improvement upon the Dynafit concept, particularly what I’ll call the “user interface”. If durability and performance are equal to Dynafit then I think G3 will have built a better mousetrap. I really like the action of the toe lock, heel mode switch, and climbing posts. I’ve often had problems with my Dynafit Comfort heels switching from tour to ski mode due to ice build up on the boot heel and it appears that this problem wouldn’t exisit with the G3. And any way you cut it, changing climbing post heights on a Dynafit is a pain, especially with the ski brake installed. I am a little suspect about the durability of the G3 climbing posts as they look to be made of plastic and it seems that bearing down on the heel post things would put a lot of stress on the binding. Despite that, not having to rotate the heel to switch modes and change post height has to reduce wear on the binding. It looks like the G3 climbing posts are ripe for modification and aftermarket improvements. It appears that most of the extra weight is in the base plates. The heel base plate is essential to the function of the binding but I wonder if you couldn’t mod in a lighter toe base plate. That extra weight might not be that big a deal if you have multiple skis as the economics of purchasing only one pair of bindings can make up for some extra weight. I’ll be really interested to see how the brake works and to read some test reports of actual usage. It will also be interesting to see how the Austrians at Dynafit evolve their product in response. Competition is indeed a good thing.

  10. Nathan Bryant January 6th, 2009 11:01 am

    Interesting. Looks like these might not work with the new-model Scarpas that have the “optimized touring pivot.”

    Also, Jonathan, I have a Vertical brake mounted on my Comforts (Comfort brakes were already discontinued by the time I bought my 1st pair of Comforts), and I can confirm that (a) they have not changed the design in any fundamental way from the Comfort brake, and (b) one of my brakes exhibits the same sticking problem that Comfort brakes exhibit. This requires a duct-tape shim to fix.

  11. Bob January 6th, 2009 11:19 am

    I sure hope that G3 performs more testing with this product than they did with the Ascent telemark binding. I’m a skinny dude and I’ve broken both of my Ascent toe plates….which leads to nasty crashes. I’m glad to see competition in this area and I hope it leads to better performing and more economical choices for the consumer.

  12. Frank K. January 6th, 2009 11:20 am

    I was hoping for something that was competitive with Dynafit on weight. I’m not sure where this binding competes in the current spectrum: Dynafit is still the lightest, Duke is still the gnarliest, everything else is just in-between. Maybe I will re-read the article.

  13. nick January 6th, 2009 11:38 am

    I hope it has better durability than G3′s tele bindings, but from the looks of the plastic heel lifts I doubt it. The “field serviceability” isn’t very confidence inspiring considering that’s one of the main things they tout about their Targa tele binding- which is possibly the least reliable and poorest performing tele binding out there.

    Also disappointing to see that it weighs more than dynafits yet only has a DIN of 10. what’s the point?

  14. Matt Gunn January 6th, 2009 11:41 am

    Wow! One of my largest concerns with the dynafit system is auto rotation of the heel unit. Because of my stance I get A LOT of auto rotation with dynafits, especially if the snow is a bit warm. The new G3 binding looks like it will solve that issue which is a HUGE plus in my mind. Not to mention the ability to switch modes on the fly…

  15. harald b January 6th, 2009 12:15 pm

    Any word on where the binding will be manufactured??

  16. Bryce January 6th, 2009 12:59 pm

    Would the mounting plates would accept Dynafit bindings, too? For years, my splitboarding friends have not only been able to swap bindings between their boards, they can let their friends try their bindings on their own boards. There’s not much incentive for G3 to make a mounting plate that would encourage folks to wear TLT bindings and Onyx on the same skis. But I guess it’ll make it easier to swap the bindings out when G3 releases a lighter model.

    Also, while next winter will be the first full season for these bindings, G3 said they’re expecting a limited release in March. For those who want to test-drive this new Ferrari on the spring corn, I suppose.

    http://www.randogear.com

  17. Tucker January 6th, 2009 1:01 pm

    Nice to see. This should appeal to the majority of skiiers who might like to have a touring-capable binding but don’t want the fidgitiness of the dynafits, if the ‘hype’ plays out.

    Hope they’re successful with this.

  18. mike b January 6th, 2009 1:31 pm

    As jonathan S and lou hinted at—-picture this— you’ve just rappelled into that 45 degree couloir you’ve been eye-balling all season long. The conditions are perfect, bluebird day, 930am just before that splitter comes into the sun… Only problem is this: melt-freeze conditions and you have to figure out a way to A) hold the toe ‘wings’ open with either pole or hand. and B) figure out a way to simultaneously work the toe of your boot into the ski without it careening out of control ruining your prized descent.
    -I’ve had this problem on occasion with the Dynafit system and the solution is to dig a platform and stick the tails into the snow- and because the ‘wings’ stay open all you do is line-up the holes and you’re off!

    For me this could be a big- and potentially dangerous problem ski brakes or not.

    Other than that, there are truly some excellent features here. I’m thinking hybrids!

  19. Lou January 6th, 2009 3:08 pm

    Bryce, I doubt the plates will fit anything but the G3 units. But excellent, eh?

  20. Lou January 6th, 2009 3:09 pm

    Matt, have you ever tried to fix your auto-rotation problem?

  21. Tim January 6th, 2009 5:33 pm

    I hope the new binding works better than the G3 website.

    Clunky.

  22. Jeff January 6th, 2009 5:56 pm

    Hey Lou,

    Thanks for the stoke on the site…hope your Europe trip delivers.

    I have a quick question for you. I recently got a new ski in my quiver and have switched to Dynafit bindings on this setup. I mounted a set of Verticals on a pair of Liberty Helix 187 and am driving them with BD Methods.

    When I step into the binding and click into ski mode, I notice that the touring lever has a significant amount of play in it. I mean it rattles when I shake the ski…I can lift up slightly on the lever and it seems to “lock”, though I can pull the lever even further up into what seems to be a second “lock” position. First, is this play or rattle in the touring lever normal (~1/4 inch) with BD boots and secondly, which position is the actual “lock” position Dynafit advertises?

    Thanks in advance and hope my questions are clear.

    Cheers,

    Jeff

    PS…I sent this question to you in email, sorry about that. I read your contact stuff moments after sending…

  23. Dostie January 6th, 2009 7:20 pm

    As long as the Onyx stands up to typical abuse in the field it looks like they’ve come up with a winner. Agree with concerns about durability as evidenced in their telemark binding line, but AT gear is rarely subjected to THAT level of abuse, so their experience with tele ought to help with making their AT offering solid from day one.

    One feature that a few have commented on, the plate mounting system that allows swapping bindings easily between multiple skis should also be a big benefit to retailers who are renting gear. Combined with a 33mm adjustment range, and an adjustment that is not limited to the heel only, I think using the Onyx in rental fleets will help retailers sell Tech-compatible boots much easier. This alone ought to give the Onyx strong sales early on.

    There is also huge potential for the future of telemark skiing embedded in this. G3 has lots of experience with telemark, and now they will add to that experience with the Dynafit system. Others have already tinkered with variations on the Dynafit system for telemark. Therefore, combined with the sole of the NTN system we may be seeing the beginning of a new revolution in backcountry skiing.

    Perhaps the Holy Grail is closer than we think and it’s all based on the Dynafit system which, incidentally, was simply an inversion of Paul Ramer’s classic binding. Paul was WAY ahead of his time. WAY!

  24. Bill Bollinger January 6th, 2009 9:16 pm

    Hum, kind of a Liberace version of Dynafit

  25. Ziff January 6th, 2009 9:44 pm

    I, like many others, can’t wait to see these up close. I love the idea of being able to switch the binding from ski to ski. brilliant!

    mike b, …
    having had to enter my dynafit bindings as you mentioned in steep couloirs more than a few times, I actually see the G3 being easier not more difficult. let me try to explain…When I need to step into my dynafits in steep areas where losing the ski would be bad news, I have always held the ski with one hand and once the boot is aligned, I step down, and then pull up the lever. With the onyx, however, it would appear that one could do as you say (tail in snow) and then just depress the toe lever with your palm, align your boot, and pull lever up. The onyx would seem easier in theory as you don’t need to push your boot into the ski. As with any gear, it will probably just be a matter of finding something that works, as you did with the dynafits. Let’s face it, entering any binding in a steep couloir is never easy and requires one to be careful.

  26. cgd January 6th, 2009 10:47 pm

    The mode change lever seems like a bit of a question mark while in ski mode ie. getting stomped on and releasing the heel. Making the toe releasable while in tour mode would have been a bit of a grail grabber also.

  27. Marc Pfenninger January 6th, 2009 10:58 pm

    WOW, looks very cool, almost cool enough to make me wish I had waited on year to switch from Tele back to Alpine. Well maybe that will be reason enough to wait another year and add another pair and finally get that quiver I have been craving!

    Keep up the good news!

  28. Mike Traslin January 7th, 2009 12:13 am

    Having spent all my life growing up in North Vancouver British Columbia climbing,skiing,mountain biking,playing ice hockey,skateboarding I am proud to see a product this hot looking come from my neck of the woods!

    I might be as proud of owning these bindings as my father was of his first surfboard!
    Time will tell, now I must dream of where they could take me!

  29. Lou January 7th, 2009 2:28 am

    Jeff, the various “clicks” or “locks” of the Dynafit touring latch are there just to adjust to wear and manufacturing differences, though some folks try to use them to take up slack and tune how tight the binding closes on the boot toe in alpine mode. As for the play you mention, it sounds like the normal amount. Mainly, remember that you only want to lock the latch/lever while you’re in touring mode, unless you’re trying to totally lock out your lateral safety release. You saw our how-to videos, correct?

  30. Lou January 7th, 2009 2:48 am

    Dostie, interesting points, thanks. Good to mention Ramer, but everyone should realize that a big part of the Dynafit revolution was the concept of eliminating the binding frame/plate, which not only adds static weight, but has to be lifted every step. This idea was where the Barthels were original and required some leaps of faith, such as figuring the ski boot was strong enough to form this connection. More, the elegant design of the tiny but amazingly functional Dynafit heel unit was also difficult, challenging, and very original.

    Ramer’s idea of a ball/socket that doubled as touring pivot with lateral release was his important contribution, and when inverted and shrunk became the Dynafit toe socket/pin system.

    For Dynafit history, see our binding museum.

    As for tele, that’s so 1970s.

  31. Mark January 7th, 2009 7:40 am

    Wow! Guess it is about time another Dynafit compatible item emerges.

  32. Dostie January 7th, 2009 7:48 am

    Lou,

    Yes, I was only referring to the ball and socket concept Ramer pioneered. Fritz’ contribution of inverting those, eliminating the plate, and using spring bars on the heel as well is undeniably ingenious.

    As for tele being so 70s…you must be getting senile or been drinking too much Austrian beer. ;) Tele is so 90s. That was the decade of the free heel, unquestionably. And while AT rules the roost now, and probably will forever more (and I believe it should), tele will continue to have a place in the backcountry. Especially ‘cuz the turn is so sweet, even if the gear is not.

    OT: Hey, why don’t you allow/provide emoticons for comments?

  33. Lou January 7th, 2009 8:12 am

    Dostie, it’s probably the beer, or perhaps just being here, as I’ve not seen a tele binding since leaving the states. But yeah, probably 1990s…

    As for emoticons, I’ve just never gotten around to that. Folks that really want them don’t seem to have any trouble getting a smiley face in there.

  34. Randonnee January 7th, 2009 11:53 am

    My Salewa randonee bindings had the ball-and-sockets on a metal frame. Ramer knock-off? Quote-”I was only referring to the ball and socket concept Ramer pioneered.”

    Quote- “Tele is so 90s. That was the decade of the free heel, unquestionably.”
    For me, the late 80′s telegear development caused me to alpine turn mostly, and then just give up on duckbill boots and cable bindings completely in exchange for 20th century technology. Interesting how I am impressed now when skiing randonnee on some lines that I skied on Asolo Super Comps, cable bindings, and Fischer GTS skis. That setup was perhaps the best mountain-capable traveling tele rig. Of course I was young and strong, but I remember using my BD nordic extendable 145 cm poles to skate logging roads with an overnight pack on the GTS. That width of ski retained some nordic efficiency and the leather boot had some degree of ankle flex. I hardly see the point of the new wide skis and giant boots for tele…but I am over 50!

  35. Derik George January 7th, 2009 3:03 pm

    What the duece??????

    Man, only a tele company could make a dynafit binding look ugly and clunky! They can have it, give me the smooth precision of my TLTs any day.
    ;-)

  36. Chris E. January 8th, 2009 11:28 am

    Ha-Ha, you said G3 “releases” new binding. I actually get it!

  37. Lou January 8th, 2009 3:56 pm

    Hmmmm, I guess “releases” was a bit over the top… sorry about that. I should have said “the secret it out.”

  38. Curt January 9th, 2009 1:59 pm

    Having started as a backcountry telemark skier in ’81, I enjoyed the gear’s freedom, lightweight, and effortless switch from skiing downhill to immediately shuffling along laterally to find a better untracked line thru trees. No need to figit with changing from locked heel to free heel. I even kept a little kick wax on to get me up some easy hills or over to another bowl without skiining up (Teton Pass area). Eventually freeheel parallel technique replace the tele turn 90% of the time. I switched to the Dynafits a few years back, but taking the skis off to switch to free heel -just to traverse a few hundred feet for a better untracked shot- that is enough to occassionaly turn me back to my tele skis (depending on the terrain). If G3 Onyx can pull off the easy switch from fixed heel to free heel- then that alone is a big advantage for having the easy mobility to really zig over to a better descent fallline. The Dynafits are slow and a pain in the ass to switch> Plus ice seems to get under the toe springs so I have to carry a little pin to scrap it out- meanwhile the telefolks are halfway up the skin track. For easy of use,heel lift switch, and switching modes, my Fritchies are much easier than the Dynafits, but their weight is obviously the drawback. Looks like G3 has addressed most of the Dynafit issues- but having had a G3 telebinder lever blowup, (common) I hope they make the heel lifters and other plastic parts stout enough. A ski brake would entice me use it at the resort… Lastly, has anyone rigged up a homemade plate to switch Dynafits from one pair to another pair of skis without glue and screws? Would probably entail a plate with snowboard- K2 style screw-in inserts.

  39. Chris February 10th, 2009 2:55 am

    @ Nick, @Jonathan S, @Nathan B, @Curt – I realize that everyone has is entitled to their own opinion and style. However I have to say it: If you’re putting brakes on your dynafit setup, you obviously are defeating the purpose of having a lightweight binding and are probably not doing any serious uphill vertical worth mentioning. Putting brakes on the Onyx, which is heavy on its own, is even more backwards thinking in my opinion. For inbounds dynafit users too. If I find myself inbounds with my dynafits, I have no qualms about using cords rather than brakes inbounds. It has always worked out great for me. I have always been baffled as to why brakes are manufactured for dynafits. Maybe if dynafit gave out a better cord system with their bindings… (no bondage for me) I had to make/buy my own cord system. (Thanks Lou for the ideas) Bottom line for me: I am looking forward to the toe piece anti-icing features of the Onyx and seamless downhill/touring mode switchover. Cheers to G3 for having what it takes to make a new dynafit compatible product.

  40. Nathan B February 10th, 2009 12:05 pm

    Chris, given that G3′s offering weighs almost 50% more without brakes than Dynafit’s does with brakes, well, I guess you must not be planning on doing any serious vertical either. Wow, are you for real?

  41. Guido February 11th, 2009 7:49 am

    Chris: interesting perspective on the brake/no brake issue…after suffering a broken thumb during the course of running tackling a non braked dynafit bindinged ski that jetted away while trying to click in on hard glacier ice and a 60 km wind, and numerous frustrating time lags due to a sliding ski click in while heliskiing where time is of the essence, i braked the ski for convenience sake…and never looked back. The weight is negligable. I’m old enough to have toured on securafixed and d/h gear…i don’t remember whining about it back then either, most photos from that era show a fairly euphoric shit eating grin; on the up or the down. :)

  42. Mark March 16th, 2009 10:23 am

    Lou, you commented on the auto rotation problem reported by Matt. I’ve certainly experienced this in wet snow as well. Is there a fix?

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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Backcountry skiing is a dangerous sport. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions or templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow its owners and contributors of any liability for use of said items for backcountry skiing or any other use.

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