This is a first and maybe even a second look just because it’s so hard to look only once. Form and function, two principles of any good designer, might as well be a chicken and an egg debate. But really, which comes first, does it matter? Such are the internal discussions elicited when eyeing the candy that is ATK’s Revolution World Cup.
The vital stats:
Color (cannot forget the form): A tasty metallic emerald green. But honestly, after schooling myself on shades of green, I’m going with “Tea Green.”
Weight: 106g/binding verified.
Uses: Marketed towards skimo racers.
Materials: 7075 Aluminum, titanium, POM (a thermoplastic).
The ATK Revolution World Cup 2021 is part of the Italian company’s five-binding race lineup. And although this is the first look, we might as well take a second look. I can hear Mugatu: “ATK is so hot right now.”
The five bindings in the ATK lineage are the Revolution World Cup Brake (120g), SL World Cup (110g), SL Lightweight World Cup (110g), and the Trofeo (145g). Standing as the lightest of the race line, visually, the Revolution World Cup 2021 reveals both its limitations and possibilities. For some, it’s likely a rarefied few, would mount and ski this binding on bigger mountains and lines. For me, while the weight might be tempting, this candy is still found on the race-specific long-distance shelf.
The toe includes ATK’s Uphill Hardness Variator, which is basically an adjustment on the toe piece, located just before the toe lock lever, that adjusts the closing force of the jaws. Hard, middle, and soft are the three designated adjustment levels. You’ll likely want to adjust the level before setting off for the hills. Crampons attachments are not integrated but can be added. It looks like you can add a leash, but I haven’t yet. We’re saving grams here anyway, right?
Clicking into and stepping out of the toes is a no-big-deal process: it’s smooth in either direction.
The heels, minimalist too, offer a fixed release value of 8 (lateral) and 9 (vertical). The U-spring is capped by a single riser similar in height to the low riser on many speed touring and race bindings. The riser’s tightness, rather how easy or hard it is to flip back and forth, adjusts with tightening or loosening a Torx screw. Turn the heel 90-degrees and you have a flat mode seamless striding. Otherwise, just flip the riser over the pins, and off you go. Flip it back, click the heel in, for those efficient race-like transitions. And integrated into the heel spring where the pins insert into the boot heel are rotating bushings that ATK claims allow for easier entry while protecting the titanium spring from untimely wear.
Just because we’re into things like trying different boots with different setups (don’t read this gram counters, look away), we installed the heel with ATK’s heel adjustment plate at roughly 35g/plate. The horror.
For those who don’t know me, I’m an alpinist by sport preference but am inspired by those climbing technical lines in ski boots (while packing skis) and descending on skis. There’s an amazing progression going on right now.
As far as the World Cup Revolution 2021 goes, they’re saddled up on a feather-light Fischer Alp Attack: the whole ski/binding thing is 784g/ski. Although I’m getting the hang of skate skiing, this lightweight skimo setup is bliss. And with a sub-800g system and Scarpa’s Alien 1.0 as the slipper, I’ve got a setup I can skate ski on, and lockdown and make turns in most snow types (this includes survival turns), and when the time comes, these light planks can go on my pack for more technical ascents.
I’ll be participating in my first Grand Traverse in a week. So here’s to that. I’ll have a deeper look at the bindings later in the spring.
Graham is a professional climber, a Piolet D’Or Recipient, a community leader, a vocal climate activist, and an award wining creative. He is also simply a mountain lover striving for a balance between people, nature, and exertion.