Marker Tour F 10/12 Tour Ski Binding — Real World Weigh-in

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This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Now we’ve gotten both versions of F 12 on the scale for the reality show. Brilliant. Latest model F 12 (2010/2011) weighs 35.9 ounces (1018 gr). Original model F-12 we have (early 2010 vintage) weighs in at 36.7 oz (1040 gr). That makes the latest model a hair LIGHTER than Fritschi Freeride Plus (36 ounces), and the earlier version insignificantly heavier than Freeride. (All weights with screws and brakes.)

Yep, on your feet the weight of the two backcountry skiing bindings (Marker Tour and Fritschi) is virtually the same. Of course the Marker doesn’t have the now classic Fritschi heel lift but rather a shorter max lift that’s tougher to engage — and you do have to exit the Marker to change modes between downhill and uphill. But the Marker indeed gives you a full-on wide stance alpine type binding that tours. Hard choice between Fritschi and Marker now, if you ask me. We be testing.

Marker Tour F 12 and 10, review and weight.

On the scale here at HQ, Marker Tour F12 original version. Latest weighs about an ounce less. Wow.

Shop for it.

And check our our Marker facility visit from Germany last winter!

Comments

75 Responses to “Marker Tour F 10/12 Tour Ski Binding — Real World Weigh-in”

  1. Bud Martin November 1st, 2010 9:23 am

    Isn’t the Dynafit binding the FT12 and the marker binding the F12?

  2. Dano November 1st, 2010 10:21 am

    :wink: Lou, how much does that plastic bag weigh ?

  3. Mike November 1st, 2010 12:15 pm

    Are you planning on doing a “flexiness” test like you did comparing Naxo/Fritschi/Marker/Dynafit a year or two back? I’d be curious to see how this stacks up, not that I’m particularly interested in changing away from Dynafits.

  4. Steve November 1st, 2010 12:20 pm

    Re: Full on wide stance alpine type binding.

    When you print the results of your testing it would be good to know the minimum width of ski that the Marker F12 works with.

  5. Jonathan Shefftz November 1st, 2010 12:24 pm

    At long last, the bindings are actually weighed, instead of merely regurgitating Marker’s misleading brake-less specs and proclaiming them to be lighter than Diamirs! (But of course we expected no less from Lou…)

  6. Dano November 1st, 2010 1:00 pm

    Steve, good point,

    And what width of ski crampon can be used, I read that it only has a 92mm crampon ? Is this true.

  7. Jonathan Shefftz November 1st, 2010 1:04 pm

    Where did you read that? I quick search reveals 113mm Marker ski crampons for sale.

  8. Vincent November 1st, 2010 1:57 pm

    What’s actually the difference in ski-performanc between F10/F12 and Baron/Duke. Is there actually still a good reason to go with the Baron instead of an F12?

  9. Jonathan Shefftz November 1st, 2010 1:59 pm

    Look at the heel on the Baron/Duke v. F10/F12 — whatever other subtle material differences might exist, the heel unit is obviously a much drastically different design.

  10. Dano November 1st, 2010 2:00 pm

    Quite a while back when the word was out that marker is making a Tour light Duke, guess it’s not true.

  11. DJ November 1st, 2010 3:00 pm

    I just want them because the DIN goes to 12 8)

  12. Dano November 1st, 2010 3:13 pm

    Jonathan,

    Lets try this again,

    TOURING CRAMPON
    Tailor-made and super-light anodized aluminum crampons for the F10 and F12 bindings are available in 82 mm and 92 mm widths. Mounting position is right under the arch, maximizing pressure and increasing climbing capability.
    http://knowledgebase.porterstahoe.com/2011-marker-tour-f12-and-f10/

    I thought I was loosing it more than I am.

  13. Kjetil November 1st, 2010 3:14 pm

    I got these for my new quiver of one skis. Still not ready to only have a Dynafit-setup, even though I’m probably 75% touring (50-60 total ski days a year)

    I’m sure it’ll function well for my use, but I still have some concerns regarding the F12. Marker promised added heellift, but it could have been even higher. I haven’t put them on my skis yet, but testmounted them on a wooden plank. After mounting them I could notice some slop between the plate and the back of the binding. I don’t think it’ll be noticeable, but maybe in the long run?

    Another concern of mine is the AFD under the toe of the shoe. After mounting them I stepped in my Skookums and the space between the sole and the AFD doesn’t look to be enough (even though I adjusted the AFD all the way down). I’m a little bit flabbergasted by this and I think it’s a real concern that it maybe won’t release right with my shoes. Considering a return of the bindings actually…maybe I’ll change to Onyx? Hmmm….

  14. Lou November 1st, 2010 3:37 pm

    Yeah, F12, not FT, thanks guys. We’ll get another first-look up ASAP with more dimensions and such.

  15. Lou November 1st, 2010 3:41 pm

    Flex test will come sooner or later, I’ll just compare to Duke…

    Plastic bag weighs around 2 grams according to the scale, but one wonders how accurate the scale is with something that light. Even so, I probably should have left it out!

  16. gillesleskieur November 1st, 2010 3:42 pm

    dose this binding have the same mounting pattern than the baron? (i mean screw holes..)

  17. Jonathan Shefftz November 1st, 2010 3:52 pm

    FYI for anyone who’s interested, the 113mm crampon is listed as in stock at Berg’s, Ski Bartlett, Backcountry, OMC, and Shopatron/Marker. That size crampon is also listed at Evo, Mountain Gear, and U.S. Outdoor, yet doesn’t seem to be currently available at those etailers.

  18. Lou November 1st, 2010 4:01 pm

    Same mounting pattern as far as I know…

  19. Max November 1st, 2010 4:32 pm

    Thanks for the independent weight test… looks like a winner. I’m going to test ski a pair of these in the next day or two. I’ll let y’all know how it goes.

  20. Lou November 1st, 2010 4:50 pm

    That’ll be great Max, get back soon with your take! In particular, test how the step-in function works. Apparently some of the first production run didn’t snap on to some boots, requiring one to pull up on the rear lever to close the binding.Had something to do with tiny differences in manufacturing dimensions. They say this is now fixed, but we like to trust — then verify, right?

  21. David November 1st, 2010 6:02 pm

    I am a Fritshi fan but was considering the Markers this time around but they just don’t suit my needs. The main issue is the need to exit to change modes. Most of my skiing is done in Hokkaido, Japan which is powder heaven and the need to exit is a pain in the butt.

    I just purchased the new Frirschi Freeride Pro but havn’t mounted them as yet. I was interested to see the below link after I had purchased. There is an image of the broken binding as well. It snapped at the “more natural pivot point”.

    http://www.backcountry.com/black-diamond-fritschi-diamir-freeride-pro-binding-108mm#review_200074433

    Lou, I would be interested to see on of your legendary binding reviews on the new Freeride Pro up against the F12.

    I have never had too many issues with durability of the Fritschi’s. I’d be very interested in your views.

  22. Lou November 1st, 2010 7:00 pm

    Review is a comin’ once we really work the things.

  23. Wes Morrison November 1st, 2010 8:10 pm

    Here is a review I posted on another site.

    I skied the new Marker Tour FT12 alpine touring binding last February at Mammoth’s Trade Fair. It was mounted on a pair of 177 Volkl Nanuq (metal free ski from original Mantra mold), and I used my old first generation Megarides. I also brought a pair of skins, and gave the tour mode a quick feeler.

    Downhill performance was very good. The snow was almost too good for testing with nice windblown powder off piste, and perfect groomed packed pow on. I did manage to find a wind stripped area of hard snow though. The F 12 felt very responsive and offered noticeably more grip and power than my Freeride Plus. I think the wide plastic frame really offers more direct lateral contact than Fritchi’s single metal bar. This is another binding that Marker adapted from a true alpine binding, and it shows. These ski very well. Do they ski as well as a Duke? Hard to say, I never ski my Dukes with anything other than an alpine boot, and they are mounted on obSETHed, so tough to compare. However, I would imagine the Duke would ski better just by being heavier. The real competition for the Tour is the Freeride Plus, and I think downhill it wins hands down. Note: the stance on the FT felt very neutral just like a Freeride or a Duke. I like that.

    Uphill performance is ok. The pivot felt more natural than a Fritchi, but not as good as Dyna/Onyx/Silvretta. Like the Duke/Barron, you have to get out and unlatch underfoot to change modes; a big hassle yo-yoing, but no biggie for most descents. I like the security of the lock, and have gone “insta-tele” on other bindings before. The climbing bars are easier to use than the Duke, but still latch under the plate, and are not as easy to use as a Freeride. The titanium wires themselves are quite minimal, and rest in a rubber seat when extended. This worked better than I thought, and seemed pretty solid.

    Overall, I really like the Tour. It’s slightly lighter and skis better than the Freeride Plus. I know Fritchi is upgrading their binding for next season, but I did not ski it so I will perhaps unfairly compare it to the current Plus. The underboot tour lock, and climbing wires are a not as user friendly as a Freeride, but I think I would get used to them. I did notice some icing when switching modes, something I have had to deal with on both my Dukes and Fritchis. Oh well.

    Just for reference, I am 5’6” 175 lbs, ski about 170 days a year, and am a full time, full cert instructor/trainer. I also do a little BC guiding, and work PT as a buyer at a shop. I mostly tour on G3 Onyx, but also own Dukes, Freerides, Silvretta 555, Naxo and Dynafit Vertical 10.

  24. Tim November 1st, 2010 10:41 pm

    Hey Wes, I was at that same trade fair, and skied the Marker Tour F-12 as well. I agree with most of your findings. One problem everyone in our group had, was what Lou has reported above, which is that the heel did not fit our boots, and required us to lean down to latch the heel. In other words they were not really a step-in.

    We were using these with alpine boots, and although I was impressed with the rigidity, would probably not use these as an everyday resort binding.

    That was some good snow, eh?

  25. Peter November 1st, 2010 10:58 pm

    David, my son is a patroller here in NZ and skis on new Fitschi Freeride Pro’s (one season old) – both toe-pieces have snapped at the pivot bolt in exactly the same place as on the picture in your link. He is not a big or agressive skier, and doesn’t jump off cliffs – buit does spend a lot of time on his skis naturally. Seeing that photo in your link makes me wonder whether there may be a faulty batch of Freeride Pro’s out there? (sorry for posting off-topic).

  26. David November 1st, 2010 11:35 pm

    Peter, thanks good to know. I do a lot of days on my planks as well BC guiding.

    If you look at the thickness of the plastic in the toepiece it doesn’t look too solid and seems to be more of a design issue.

    Sorry Lou for going off topic again, I have a habit of this.

    I think I will call the distributor here in Aust and clear a path for a possible return. I will fit them, cross my fingers and pray for safe passage.

    Third time lucky with the spelling of Fritschi on previous post :) , not illiterate, trying to type too fast.

  27. Wes Morrison November 1st, 2010 11:48 pm

    Tim-

    Yep, the snow was pretty good, but not as good as the year before. That fresh powder to windbuff all day in ’09 was one of the best days ever. I did not have any issues stepping in. I agree that the Tour bindings are not the best choice for everyday resort use; only the Duke/Barron really seem to pull that one off.

  28. Gaybe November 2nd, 2010 9:14 am

    I’m still racking my brains with why anyone would go with this product over the Freeride. I see not a single advantage.

  29. Lou November 2nd, 2010 9:28 am

    Gaybe, the Marker Duke is quite a bit stiffer, and this version is not much different from Duke. That is one possible advantage, but not a big one in my opinion as Freeride does fine for zillions of skiers. Another possible advantage is more durability, especially for lots of lift served days.

    http://www.wildsnow.com/379/backcountry-skiing-binding-flex-tests-updated-august-2006/

  30. Bryce November 2nd, 2010 1:08 pm

    Re: Wes’ review. With the Pro, Fritschi did address a lot of the Plus issues that you mentioned in your review. Much more natural touring stride. Wider platform for stability. Return to center so it can handle harder impacts.

    http://www.randogear.com

  31. Gaybe November 2nd, 2010 11:11 pm

    Has anyone actually done a torque test on either of these new models? If not, this is all just conjecture…

  32. Lou November 3rd, 2010 7:01 am

    Not quite conjecture, as when you check them out it’s pretty obvious they’re beefy. More, the very nature of how the Duke/F10/12 binding is latched to the ski makes for a much more solid connection. The exact test will happen here, am waiting for the latest manufacturing run so we don’t have any issues with exactly what binding we tested.

  33. Mark November 3rd, 2010 12:17 pm

    Fritschis have the pivot game won–or so it appears–but maybe Marker can bring on the clamps with less play. I’ve never cared about the so-called slop, but for some it is a serious consideration.

  34. Fernando Pereira November 7th, 2010 12:41 am

    @Gaybe: I ski on Dynafits ST 10s for touring and Marker Barons for resort and short tours. I haven’t skied on Fritschis since the original Freerides, so I don’t know how much the + and the Pro fix the issues I had with them: 1) too high above the ski, 2) ski feels dead underfoot, 3) accidental switching into free heel mode in very deep snow or when taking (small) jumps. Both the ST 10s and the Barons feel to me more solid boot-ski connections than the Freerides I skied on for 5 years.

  35. Vanessa November 13th, 2010 7:51 am

    I have worked in a tune shop for about 5 years and ski in the backcountry…I’ve tried the fritchis and thought they were right down there with the naxos as far as performance, durability, and touring. I own the ft 12s, the barons, and the silvretta freeride…The dynafits and barons are my favs of the three (especially after torque testing the silvrettas) and the Dynafits definitely win out over the barons for long touring. That being said the barons are what I ski in bounds or when I’m going to go sidecountry skiing. I’ve see more fritchis blow up, pull out, or get slop than the markers so for me its an easy choice.

  36. Mike November 13th, 2010 8:12 am

    I’ve now heard from two testers of this binding that they have had significant issues with heel alignment while touring on sidehills. Anyone seen this? I’m very excited to have a reason to quite skiing on Freerides, as I have experienced all of the issues that Fernando lists above.

  37. Lou November 13th, 2010 8:42 am

    Mike, we’ll be doing a torque test next week. Lou

  38. Monty November 24th, 2010 9:39 pm

    Hi guys. Was trying to decide on my first touring binding between Dukes and Barons and then I found out about F10/12s. I’ve researched Barons and found a couple (only a couple) of guys in other forums who broke off toe piece chunks. Never heard of a Duke breaking. Can anyone rank the durability of Duke vs Baron vs F12??

    Also I can’t say I’ve ever had a pair of “heavy” bindings. How much impact does a pound or two have on reaction time for tight glade turns or other all-mountain skiing? I like to ski 25% park, 25% glades, 40% steeps and cliffs, 10% speed runs but I also have a pair of Rossi Scratches w/ Atomic 412..

    Any opinions on weight vs durability? I guess lots of people prefer lighter if Marker is throwing F10/12s at us… Leaning towards Barons.. Any advice would be helpful.

    I’m 5’11″, 185 lbs. Cheers.

    ps- the “anti-spam quiz” answer isn’t powder?!?

  39. Lou November 25th, 2010 11:01 am

    Monty, do you tend to break bindings? If not, I wouldn’t worry about which Marker you get in terms of durability… if so, just get a Duke and don’t look back.

    In terms of reaction time, I’ve heard top park guys talking about lighter weight on feet being a help, but for the normal person I’ve not had the impression it’s a factor, as your timing adjusts to your gear after you use it for a few days. Weight, however, is of course the enemy if you’re earning your turns.

  40. Viktor November 30th, 2010 12:57 pm

    One thing that i like about the freeride and naxo is that they can be easily adjusted for different sole lengths if, for example, you want to try your friends skis for a while. Is this done as readily with the f10/f12?

  41. Kjetil November 30th, 2010 3:23 pm

    Viktor, as long as you have a screwdriver available, you’re good to go! (The only thing that might make this a problem is if you are at the low end of a small binding and your friend is at the high end of a large binding)

  42. Shane December 7th, 2010 9:46 pm

    Does the tour binding come with a paper template for self mounting, like the duke and baron?

  43. Kjetil December 8th, 2010 1:48 am

    Shane; yes, it does. It’s also the same template as the Baron/Duke.

  44. Stan December 15th, 2010 9:39 pm

    I have a new pair of Garmont Shogun boots and will set up with two skis, a Dynafit package for touring and a set of Movement Sluffs with Dukes as my second set. I am a little concerned that the Dukes will chew and wreck my boots as they will likely used on both skis.

    Should I get a dedicated downhill boot or will the Shogun boots be able to stand up to the pounding and grinding of the Dukes? What you think?

  45. Chris January 3rd, 2011 12:25 pm

    I’m looking for a binding to use for about 75% touring, 25% in-bounds and torn between the F12, Baron and Freeride Plus. The F12s seem like a good choice, but I’m going to be using technica alpine boots until I can afford a pair of touring boots. Does the F12 do a good job of holding the heels of alpine boots? I used to ski race, and while a lot of pressure in a turn isn’t a big issue in the backcountry, if I carve a hard turn on packed snow in a resort on the F12s, will I have heel release problems? Any advice is appreciated!

  46. canwilf January 3rd, 2011 12:44 pm

    > 75% touring

    Then you want the Freeride Plus.
    The others are not convenient because they make you remove your boot from the binding to change modes.

    Freeride Plus is very popular with tourers and free-riders alike.

  47. Lou January 3rd, 2011 3:19 pm

    I’d agree, if it’s really 75% touring then get a touring binding. On the other hand, please know that one binding can’t always do everything…

  48. Jeff January 21st, 2011 2:16 pm

    Lou,

    I may get a new pair of Peace Pipes from RAMP (http://www.rampsports.com/store/skis/unisex/peace-pipe-56.html) and want to put a new AT binding on them. I’ve been skiing on an old set of Diamir Fritschi AT binidings for the last 5 or 6 years and have never had much of a problem with them (except one of the toe pieces seems to self-loosen on DIN setting a bit). I ski about 50% backcountry (mostly heli-skiing) and 50% in resort. While I’ve never had any problems skiing at a resort with those DF bindings, they do seem a little light weight for resort skiing and I’m hoping that the Marker F12 Tours might help with that concern. Your thoughts? Also, the Peace Pipe’s are 115mm in the waist; is the F12′s available with a ski brake that will fit 115mm waist or will I need to go with the DF’s or something else?

  49. Adam February 21st, 2011 5:49 pm

    I am looking at getting a pair of Rossignol S7′s and trying to decide what binding to put on them. I will be using this setup for mostly backcountry (Not a very light setup) but also for powder days at the resort. I will be using a Alpine touring boot for backcountry but also want to use my alpine boot when I ski resort. I have been skiing the Fritschi Freerides for the last two seasons and they have been good, I like the ease of the touring mode, have not had any issues with them breaking, but my biggest complaint on them is how high that they sit above the ski, it looks like the Marker sits closer to the ski. Has anyone skied both and noticed any difference in regards to this?

    Thanks

  50. Nick April 2nd, 2011 1:35 pm

    I was touring in the F12s yesterday and broke my second Tour binding for the year with a knee forward in tour mode. The plastic rail underfoot snapped in half in the heavier snow. In a single season this will be the second pair of Marker Tours I have broken. When a binding makes me ask what happened to my old Naxo’s you know it has a great deal of design flaws.

    I tour/ski about 25-40 hours a week and have never had so many problems until I mounted the Marker Tour F12?s. They’re too light to handle spring snow as was demonstrated to me yesterday and they wear out in the toe piece very easily. Previously in the season, both of my bindings (again Marker Tour F12s) were replaced due to the “tour friendly” toe portion developing a vertical rotation due to cheap ass plastic wear out… I’d lose a ski on every kick turn by the time of their demise. Again that was both the 2010 and the 2010/11 bindings FAIL rate 100%! Ride them off piste 80% of the time and replace them every 2 months, a great investment… Ski it if you can, or the binding will let you…

    Far from a freeride safe binding, far from durable, far from flawless. Stay away from these bindings.

  51. Mark Ramsby April 3rd, 2011 2:51 pm

    Lou,

    Earlier in the season I suffered an Achilles tendon rupture while skiing brand new Dynafit TLT’s. I’ve been trying to figure out what really happened. The incident happened when my ski hit something below the snow and stopped. The binding did not release until I had collapsed the boot (Megaride). I read in here about some similar injuries, but not as severe, caused when the knee was driven straight over the ski. No twisting involved.

    Once I got home, I put the skis on the bench, clamped the tails down and placed a lever, a properly sized 2X in the boot (very high-tech). I could only get the binding to release when set at the lowest setting. I found that the lever would nearly collapse the boot cuff each time prior to release.

    With this information, I talked to the manager of the ski shop that sold me the skis & bindings. He’s a good guy with an inquisitive mind, total ski geek, so we were able to talk through the whole situation. He put the skis and boots on their bench and tested for release. This is not a really good test as DIN settings don’t mean anything on AT boots & bindings, but it provided a benchmark. The bindings released within the proper range for a DIN binding. It is important to note that the standard DIN test for downhill bindings applies force to the boot sole, so boot flex is taken out of this equation.

    With this information, we talked through what might be happening. Here’s the theory that we came up with: The forward release of the Dynafit binding requires the boot heel to move vertically in order to release. If the boot cuffs are softer, the boot will collapse before applying upward pressure to the pins and it may not release. In a downhill binding, or most “plate” style AT bindings, there is some flex to the toepiece. There are wings, rotation or some other device that allows the toe to move forward, which allows the “clamp” at the heel to release. With a Dynafit binding, the front pins are fixed in position and the rear pins are long enough that they stay engaged unless there is upward movement at the heel. If you are skiing a softer boot, there is effectively no release straight forward. At a minimum, the release tension is effectively higher the softer the boot is. What do you think?

  52. Lou April 3rd, 2011 3:47 pm

    I was with a guy once who ruptured has achilles tendon on alpine bindings. Tennis players do it. Hikers do it. Just about any motion sport has its share of that injury. In other words, it doesn’t take a ski binding or boot to cause it, rather just the right motion and weighting of your ankle and bam. In other words, ski bindings most certainly may not protect you from a ruptured achilles. Likewise, I know people who have blown their knees out hiking. If it’s that easy to blow a knee out, can a ski binding protect you from that 100%? Nope.

    Some of what you say applies, but with the right type of motion you can stick a boot in any binding and drive your knee forward super aggressively without causing a release. I’d say the boot is more to blame than the binding, and ultimately, I’d blame everything involved as your injury sounds like one of those sports injuries that was a perfect storm of bad stuff, and those types of injuries will unfortunately always exist.

    As for alpine bindings allowing the boot to move forward in a release, if you think that you have a poor understanding of alpine bindings. Most do not allow the boot to move forward at all in a direct vertical heel release, nor do they have any provision to release in a direct forward motion of the boot without any vertical motion. More, any spring tension between heel and toe units is actually in the heel unit, which moves backwards and forward a small mount to compensate for bending of the ski as well as providing some spring loaded “forward pressure” of the boot against the toe unit.

    The heel unit “clamp” in an alpine binding heel is usually based on some sort of catch or pivot with movement of the heel unit under spring tension. The spring allows the heel of the boot to move up as well as the binding, and at a certain point the heel unit snaps open and releases the boot. This process has little to nothing to do with the toe unit.

    As far as we’ve been able to tell in our testing, Dynafit heel vertical release is just as facile as any alpine binding, though it sometimes allows less vertical movement before release, and is thus not as good at shock absorption in our opinion.

    Oh, and back to the boot, you are correct that a boot that’s soft in forward support can contribute to certain types of ankle injuries (such as impingement and tendon ruptures). But again, it’s more the boot than the binding. Stick a softer boot in an alpine binding and you’d have the same problem in virtually all cases. I actually had several ankle joint impingement injuries when I used to bump ski aggressively — in stiff alpine boots. Amazing the force that skiing can apply to a boot and subsequently your body…

    It’s common in skiing leg injuries to immediately think the binding is at cause. But all ski bindings have a rather disconcerting limit on how well they actually protect you in real life, and that limit is often exceeded. It’s why orthopedists in ski towns own airplanes and real estate (grin).

    Let’s just say that if ski bindings worked as well as people seem to think ski helmets do, we’d be much better off. Reality, however, is different.

  53. Mark Ramsby April 3rd, 2011 5:54 pm

    Lou,

    Thanks for your response. I didn’t write to whine. I probably should have stated right up front that I take full responsibility for my injury. You described it well as a “perfect storm of bad stuff.” I’m really interested in the potential reason(s) that the binding didn’t release, in order to avoid it in the future.

    Bottom line is that I have skied a lot and crashed a lot (it kind of goes together). I raced when younger. I’ve never experienced the kind of pressure prior to release that I experienced in this fall. So I’m just trying to figure it out.

    Your thoughts on the softer boot is similar to what we came up with, so it’s nice to have that corroboration. Although, the boots I was skiing are Garmont Megarides and while soft, there are lots out there that are softer. Obviously the binding is doing what it was designed to do as it tested out well on alpine DIN tests.

    As for alpine bindings – admittedly my experience is a little dated as I haven’t skied anything but AT for over ten years. But when I did ski downhill bindings, I used both Solomon and Marker. Both of those toe pieces incorporate (or did incorporate at the time) spring-loaded ‘wings’ that retained the toe. They helped release the toe in a twisting fall. In a straight ahead impact like I experienced, those would open slightly and release the heel as I described. Early models were sensitive enough at normal (non-race) settings that with aggressive skiing you could ski right out of them. I doubt that was the intent of the design, but that was the result. And it got really uncomfortable on a fast run out when that happened! Most (non-tech) AT bindings seem to leave it at rotation out.

    So, I’ll keep thinking about it and hope for another ski season like this one next year – well except for the Achilles thing. For now my “skiing” consists of supporting my Doc really well. I hope he doesn’t waste that $ on a BMW payment but goes skiing!

    Cheers!

  54. Lou April 3rd, 2011 6:25 pm

    Mark, I didn’t take it as a whine, it just sounded like you guys were reaching a bit. Main thing is that ski bindings simply do not protect you from all injuries. Secondary, you’d have to be a binding engineer to figure out if alpine bindings really have a function that helps release the boot in a direct forward force situation, with no side twist and no heel lift.

    Not to sound preachy as I’ve most certainly whacked myself around enough… but If you want to ski on through your life into older years, it’s imperative that you develop a style that’s easy on your body and doesn’t result in too many injuries. Everyone probably has a different opinion of how that style would look, but it’s definitely something to consider. At some point, for example, you get to the point where ANY falling tends to feel very inappropriate in terms of caring for yourself.

    Lastly, I’m a firm believer that tech bindings provide a very good safety release provided they’re carefully set and not skied locked, but every binding with a different release machinery is going to have some angles of release that are better, and some that are worse. Thus, it might protect you _better_ in some falls but worse in others. Perhaps you discovered the worse.

    BTW, you didn’t have the toe locked, did you?

  55. Kjetil April 4th, 2011 1:16 am

    I got these bindings for this year’s setup, but they only managed to hold up for 3 months of skiing and skinning. The front binding developed tons of slop around the pin which the binding the rotates around while skinning. I could clearly see that that the plastic around the pin had been “ovalized”. Last weekend I was at avalanche workshop and there were 3-4 others there with F12s, and everyone had slop around that pin. Even one person who had only skinned one tour with brand new bindings had already developed slop.

    It’s totally obvious that these bindings “wears out” rather quickly when used for skinning. Apparently Marker is trying to figure out a plastic mix that doesn’t get eaten up while skinning, but it’s apparent Marker Tour-bindings have serious durability issues.

    Got new bindings on warranty, but traded them in with Onyx. 3 days on the Onyx, and I’m really happy I finally went tech-style. Waaay better on the up, and just as good on the down.

  56. Lou April 4th, 2011 7:04 am

    Yes, it sounds like these bindings when used for much uphill have a durability issue that involves the walking pivot. Probably easy to remedy so watch your bindings and return on warranty if they have undue wear, and I’d imagine next year’s will be improved. I totally trust Marker to take care of these sorts of things quickly and effectively. As always, being an early adopter of a product is not always all roses. My son has a pair of these bindings in play, but does have them on swap plates and tends to go to his tech bindings for extended uphilling. Nonetheless, he does tour the Marker. We’re planning on a long-term review after he’s done using them for the winter, so we’ll see about the wear issue.

  57. Mark Ramsby April 4th, 2011 1:30 pm

    Lou,

    No, I didn’t have the toes locked. And I’m right there with you on the falling. Sorry if I gave you the impression that I only skied from crash to crash. Those were younger days. I don’t ski a lot inbounds anymore and ski more conservatively in the BC, but I still fall. Somehow in the powder it’s just good fun! I’m north of 60 and this is the first ski injury that has kept me off the slopes for more than a few days. I guess I was due.

    I do know how I ski. And I ski agressively enough that when I fall, the falls are forward, much like the one that I took on this injury (but without the sudden stop). I’m not sure that I will get back on these bindings at this point, but will probably return to a binding that has been successful in the past. We each have our own comfort zone, and I’m stuck in mine.

    Thanks for the conversation, Lou. You really did help me sort this out and I appreciate that. Really like your site, and hey, I’m not skiing, I have lots of time to read!

    Cheers!

  58. Chris April 10th, 2011 3:37 am

    I think I’ve the same problem as described here in some posts. The toe piece is loose and it rotates about 10 degrees or 1cm up and down.

    Picture here: http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb271/x-skier/marker_tour_problem.jpg

    My experience is, that the combination of broad skis (I mounted the bindings on Voelkl Katana), hard snow and traversing is the dead of these bindings. This winter I made about 25 tours and 2 bindings are screwed up till now.

    Hopefully Marker is going to improve the bindings, because I really would like them. Very good downhill performance and good weight, in my opinion much better then Fritschis.

    Cheers, Chris

  59. Lou April 10th, 2011 3:56 pm

    The bindings obviously need a bushing that prevent metal on plastic wear. I have to wonder if that got left out of the manufacturing specs, as Marker has test machine that cycles the bindings thousands of times to pick up on this type of wear. BTW, way back when, didn’t Duke have the same problem and they eventually fixed it? Or was that something else?

  60. Mihai April 14th, 2011 7:54 am

    Hi, I broke two sets of Tour F12 this season, I thought it`s me not understanding the proper settings, but I see other people have similar issues. Mine ones broke right behind the AFD, in touring mode, one in deep, heavy snow and another when a friend fell in front (again, in touring mode). I also have play in the front pivot plastic bush, after around 30 days of touring… They feel very stiff and responsive in downhill mode though…

  61. Kjetil April 14th, 2011 2:24 pm

    I really think the problem with the metal on plastic wear is a serious safety hazard. I went skiing with a binding that had considerable slop in the front binding around the pin and did a hard slash turn to avoid crashing in a tree, and the boot just slid out of the binding. It definitively released in the toe piece, and barely avoided being thrown into the tree. (Yes, I know I shouldn’t have used the binding, but I was far from the nearest shop, and the conditions were epic that particular day)

    Hopefully Marker can fix this problem, but since this happens in just about every Tour-binding after around 20-30 days of touring, they should recall the bindings. It’s a safety-touring binding that develops a potentially dangerous dysfunction by being used for what it’s designed to be used for.

  62. Monty April 14th, 2011 8:28 pm

    Wow lots of info.. I posted here a while ago and went with a used pair of Dukes. They’re a bit heavy but haven’t given out on me yet. We talk about doing doing less sidecountry and more full-day backcountry so a lighter binding would be nice. I ski aggressively, weigh 185lbs, and like to drop 30 footers.

    Anyways, was considering the F12 after being pleased with the Dukes but the last few posts seem scary. A freind has Naxo Trams and is very happy with those but he doesn’t like to jump off stuff like do… Also I saw a killer deal on some F10s..

    What’s the fundamental difference between F10 and F12? (besides the obvious DIN) For example if I ski at a 9 DIN, will the F12s hold better against release? Sorry if this is in a previous post but i did read through and didn’t see it..

    How do Naxos hold up against Marker Fs?

    I actually like that you have to take off your skis to switch from downhill to uphill.. at least you know you’re not going to suddenly be telemarking.. LOL.
    Cheers!!

    ps- anyone wanna sell a pair of used F12s?

  63. Bryan Keefer April 19th, 2011 9:36 am

    I too just broke f 12′s the first time I used them, unfortunately with 10 japanese clients, had a hell of a time holding them together with ski straps to complete the day. My son also broke his, new this year and one of his buddies broke the toepiece right off. Lots of wear issues at the toe pivot. No problems replacing them though, but got a pair of Freeride pros instead. Our company has quite a fleet of them, no problems and easy to use.

  64. simon April 29th, 2011 11:18 am

    wow, F10/12s seem to suck. i’ve been skiing EHPs with Dynafit FT12s all season touring and sled skiing in the BC and they’ve been stellar. adding some Renegades to the quiver and was considering F10/12s but after reading about everyones troubles, i’m going with Dukes and heavy metal components instead of plastic. for 10-20% touring duties they should be the ticket. appreciate all the info on this site – thx Lou

  65. RP September 22nd, 2011 1:34 pm

    Just thought it would be good to add that I also sent pair of Tour F12s to the scrap heap last season.

    Same issue; slop in the toe piece after roughly 10 days touring and maybe 15 inbounds. Totally shot after 25 days touring.

    I’ll admit I could have been more gentle with them.

    Going with Barons now… glad they’ll mount in the same holes. :-)

    Rossignol S7 The System (176cm)
    160lbs, 5’7″

  66. Lou October 5th, 2011 10:19 am

    All, we didn’t do extended review of 2010/2011 model of FT 10 and 12 due to concerns with pivot wear. New version for 2011/2012 has a vastly improved pivot and some other improvements. We are in the process of doing a first-look, and will hopefully be happy enough with it for a full review. Lou

  67. stevenjo December 7th, 2011 4:37 pm

    Lou – as usual we know you have your hands full but was curious how the review on this is coming along. I’m about ready to pull the trigger on a new resort rig (Rossi Super 7) and was planning to put on a baron or duke….Possibly F 10/12 but not sure if it would hold up for 80% resort/side country. I know the weight difference might seem like peanuts overall with a ski that big/heavy, but if I can get away with it why not? (6” 160lbs small cliffs only)

  68. Lou December 7th, 2011 5:44 pm

    Good things take time. Louie has the 2011/12 model of the FT and is testing. Optimistic. That’s all I can tell your for now. After last year, I’d wait till consumer and other testing goes on for a few months. Really too bad it’s so tough shopping for ski bindings. Lou

  69. Tomek January 21st, 2012 5:10 am

    Lou did you get any news about new Marker Tour F12 bindings? Did they solve the durability problem?

  70. David March 3rd, 2012 6:13 pm

    I have a pair of Marker F12 (the 2010/11 model). Was very happy with them but they developed the pin slop issue described above on a very steep and technical ascent in remote country, (North West BC in knee deep powder), making the descent a dicy nightmare. Have just handed them back to the store who are going to contact Marker (I am sitting in a knee brace as they spilled me on serious terrain). I am presuming there will be a warranty replacement, but does anyone know if the durability issue has been fixed, if not I will go for a different binding.

  71. Lou March 4th, 2012 1:09 am

    David, no one should be using the 2010/2011 model, it wore out too fast and some samples we had broke rather easily. The 2011/2012 model seems to be working for people and had a host of changes/improvements. Details here:
    http://www.wildsnow.com/6034/marker-f12-f10-review/

  72. Pat March 24th, 2012 10:41 am

    Verrry interesting…shopping for new touring bindings to put on my Rossi Lady S7. Just sold my Dynafit/Head 95′s (superlite setup). Don’t like the finicky heel height adjusting, toe entry etc. on Dynafit. Don’t need the superlite as not into randonee racing…way too lazy for that. Also, on last tour, I twice heel pre-released out of my Dynafits, but had the toe ‘locked’ as someone had told me to do. Instant whiplashed neck was the only injury fortunately. Besides not locking the toe, was told about snow packing issues in the Dynafit heel prongs when they are ‘deflected’ with a little pressure, not letting the prongs slip back. Anyway, looking at the Marker F10 or 12, but now reading all these comments on toepiece issues. Also heard the heel rails ice up and slip while touring up. Any comments on testing of the 2012 model? Female, 5’10″, 130 lbs, advanced 55 year old skier, living in ski resort. Have used the Fritshi Diamir in the past, and like the idea of the Marker being ‘closer’ to the ski, as compared to the raised bar of the Fritshi.

  73. david March 25th, 2012 7:44 pm

    Hi Pat,
    Thanks for your post, it is indeed a dilemma as we get older. My wife (60, 5″ 4″, 120lbs) has the newer version F10, they appear more robust around the pin and she does like them. They have shown no signs of the pin issue yet. We both found them to be a very nice binding to ski. As we age we are more concerned about not getting injured so the Marker release is very nice, it is v smooth and you can set it down to DIN 4 – I tried it around a buried tree, it was very slick!, very frustrating when the first version failed. (for all you young ones reading this who crank their bindings up to DIN 14 there is life after 40, but only if you still have knees). The trade off for us was weight over safety. Unfortunately there is no perfect binding, we don’t know yet if the newer version of the F10/12 has fixed the problems, but it is a very nice binding to ski. Marker gave me an in store credit with no questions asked, so I am now deciding what to do with it, they have no more F10s or 12s in Canada they can supply at the moment so I wait until next year, or put fritschis or G3 onyx on (which are in the store) as we still have some weeks of backcountry left in BC. An alternative for you is to try it, and watch the play on the toe piece and return them if it starts to wobble, the big risk seems to be in multi day trips where there is no store nearby where you are getting ice build up under the toe pin. If it is piste and some day trips that you anticiapte I think they will be OK.

  74. Max October 3rd, 2012 10:09 am

    I just bought a pair of k2 obsetheds recently and want to put a pair of touring bindings on them. I think that the marker tour f12 or f10 would be the best compromise between downhill and uphill capabilities. However the largest brake size for the tour f10/f12 is 110 mm and underfoot the k2 obsetheds are 117 mm. Would it be possible to put marker baron or duke brakes on the tour f12s?

  75. Mitch December 15th, 2013 6:19 pm

    Hello Lou, Thank you for writing this article! I was wondering if you could help me figure out what would be the correct forward pressure for this binding?

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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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