Update: We’ve found that many skiers think bindings have one ramp or delta angle that can be expressed in degrees. In other words, we hear people asking things like “what is the ramp angle of that binding, 12 degrees?” One of the most important concepts in ski binding ergonomics is this: If your boot and your foot inside the boot are not at a somewhat level position while in the binding, you do have a binding “ramp” or “delta” angle. ONLY… THIS ANGLE CHANGES AS YOUR BOOT GETS LONGER OR SHORTER.
Now, before we are excoriated by marketing people who like to spout off with binding ramp angles, we’d guess that when you do hear things like “that binding has an 8 degree ramp,” that’s probably measured with the standard industry size sample boot, generally a size 27.
Main takeaway, beyond basic like or dislike of steeper binding ramp angles, many touring bindings do have significant ramp and skiers with shorter feet may experience incredibly exaggerated forward (heel higher) ramp. Solution is to be aware of what you’re buying (use the chart below), but also know that it’s quite easy to shim up the toe of most tech bindings using various sorts of DIY or aftermarket parts.
Also updated, spreadsheet below has some angles calculated using different boot lengths. Note those angles were calculated after adding 2 millimeters to the boot heel height to compensate for the position of the tech fittings in most boots. I also added a Fritschi Freeride frame binding for reference, with inserted boot still measured to the centers of the tech binding fittings.
Spreadsheet above, ski binding delta (ramp) numbers. Note, we’re trying to adhere to a convention here in calling the binding angle “delta” and the angle created by the inside of the ski boot we will call the “ramp.” We are gradually editing past articles to that effect. If we’re talking about the combined delta and ramp angles, we’ll probably call it “combined ramp angle.”
G3 has done an excellent job with the ION binding. The design is fairly standard, as far as tech bindings go. However, it’s well thought out, and has some key improvements. It is also well made; all parts are what appears to be reinforced plastic or metal.
I’ve been using the LT since last winter, on a variety of skis. I mounted them on the mega fat DPS Spoon skis. I intended to only use the setup in powder, but ended up skiing them on the occasional icy resort day — not my favorite thing but a good test. Icy conditions, wide skis, and tech bindings set to “normal” release values can be a bad combination. I was cautious initially, but eventually grew confident in the binding’s ability to hold me in. I haven’t pre-released yet in the IONs. Apparently the geometry of the toe unit as well as adequate toe wing pressure make a difference.
Added value re the toe unit performance: Many people find they can tour some distance without locking the toes. That’s nice when you forget to lock, and can be beneficial when tiptoeing through avalanche terrain.
(Please note, regarding our use of the Mammut carbon cylinder that’s only retail available in Europe. Quite a few of our readers are in Europe, and the cylinders can be brought to North America from Europe on direct flights. So we chose to configure these packs with the lightest weight option possible.)
Weight 1592 grams with carbon cylinder. Airbag backpack. Need I say more? Sure, it’s a blog, more shall be said.
Ever since Mike Arnold did our initial testing of the Mammut Ultralight 20 RAS (Removable Airbag System) I’ve been eager to configure one of these rigs for my own real-world use. I’m a “normal” user of this sort of rucksack, since my tours are generally more moderate than Mike’s, and I don’t do as much hardcore ski mountaineering as I used to. Well, I got it done — I’ve been out with the little blue fellow for a few days of powder skiing in Colorado avalanche terrain.OLDER POSTS »