Break it down! The Backland-MTN is a beautifully executed classic tech binding that combines both vertical and lateral release under the control of one U-spring. How do they do it? We dig in.
When I busted the pre-retail tester (my fault) I was bummed, but every cloud has a silver lining. In this case, I had a binding to dissect! The Backland-MTN can probably be taken apart in a way that would allow reassembly, but I obviously didn’t bother with that here. In terms of wear and tear, it’s obvious this simple machinery could be quite durable. On first glance, you might wonder how well the housing rides on the center post, and how durable that assembly is. The machining on this part of the binding is impressively tight, and everything appears durable, but consumer testing is obviously key. We’ve got a couple sets of Atomic-Salomon bindings that have seen a number of days and don’t exhibit any problems. But the history of tech bindings as many of you know firsthand is fraught with disappointment. So we be watching things such as how the aluminum heel lifters interact with their steel axle pin.
More, we’d like to see one more spring option for fine-tuning release. We’re not sure if the spring is tunable as it is on some other U-spring bindings. Research is ongoing.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain. For more about Lou, please see his personal website at https://www.loudawson.com/ (Blogger stats: 5 foot 10 inches (178 cm) tall, 160 lbs (72574.8 grams).