Our randonnee binding collection here at WildSnow world headquarters holds a number of interesting classics and antiques. Silvretta 300 is beautiful — a simple and elegant plate binding designed for hard-core alpinism such as climb approaches or ski tours where weight is critical. (Thanks goes to Mark Worley for donating the 300s). To save weight and bulk, the 300 binding didn’t have a lateral (side) safety release. That always seemed a bit iffy to me, but then, just imagine those expert skiing europeans on their short mountaineering skis, flitting about the Alps and beyond. They never fell, so why was release necessary?
Fast forward to 2006. The Pure model line is Silvretta’s state of art offering to the rando world. They are beautiful — and they release. Enjoy these photos comparing old and the new. They both look so tasty I don’t know which one I like best. The Pures are so NOW, but the 300s have a retro mechanico look that’s too sweet. (But don’t worry, the 300s will stay hung on the wall, while the Pures are on snow.) Weights are interesting. The Pure Freeride (their top line model) weighs 28.8 oz 816 g, while the 300 weighs 28.6 oz 810 g (one binding, no screws). Of course you give up side release for the light weight of the 300, but it’s cool that in terms of weight the retro steel of the 80s could match space age plastic and carbon fiber of the millennium.