Ramer Model Universal – Vintage Backcountry Skiing Binding

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | July 30, 2006      

Whew, after this I’ve got one more Ramer binding for the museum then I can start on some other brands. Ramer Universal, in my view the best binding Ramer offered during his run in the business. Universal is basically a refinement of the original Model R. For better release characteristics it uses steel spring bars, and eventually incorporated Ramer’s wonderfully effective push-button length adjustment (though this pair on display has had the length adjustment mechanism modified by permanently fixing it with small nuts and bolts). This binding was the lightest available at the time, and is still a player in the weight arena (it’s only 4 ounces heavier than the Silvretta Pure). While the Model R still had somewhat iffy safety release at certain angles, it was quite effective as a touring binding when maintained correctly, and yielded many a fine adventure for late 1970s and early 1980s backcountry skiers all over the world. Check out the museum display.

Ramer Universal was possibly Ramer's height of achievement. Basic but effective.The rotating heel unit was tricky but you got used to it. Click image to enlarge

Ramer Universal was possibly Ramer’s height of achievement. Basic but effective.The rotating heel unit was tricky but you got used to it. Click image to enlarge


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11 Responses to “Ramer Model Universal – Vintage Backcountry Skiing Binding”

  1. Jim Dickinson October 23rd, 2006 4:58 pm

    I still ski on Ramer Universals! I have always liked them but maybe it’s time to get some new ones.

  2. Lou October 23rd, 2006 5:30 pm

    Thanks for the comment Jim! Hey, if they work for you then they work, but yeah, newer bindings might be better…

  3. Thorsteinn Broddason November 10th, 2006 7:19 am

    I still have these bindings on old Kästle Tour randonee skies, and use them occationally. the plan was to retire them this winter, but the only reason for that is the lack of performance in the skies.

  4. Carl January 1st, 2007 11:16 am

    I started with those back in the late 1970’s. I skied several peaks in the Tetons with those mounted on HEXCEL COMPS. I used Scott Boots since they were so light.

    What we have available today is absolutely amazing.
    I really like the “Museum” here!

  5. Martin Neumann March 5th, 2009 2:14 am

    Since I had this model I did not change. Very robust even on a trip to Russia I had no problems whith this binding. Once you loose a part Its quite simple to repair and you don’t have to be an engineer. In Austria you get them nowadays on ebay and most of the people use them for their kids to take them on the mountains. Its cheap and fits to all sizes of boots.

  6. Ken C. December 2nd, 2012 11:00 pm

    I still ski on a ‘vintage’ setup of Tua skis, Ramer bindings, and the ‘original’ (red) Dynafit Tourlite boots. One of these boots sustained some damage during a ski tour last spring. I am now perusing the web for a new pair of AT boots. I am concerned new boots may not be compatible with my Ramer Classic bindings. Does anyone know if the Ramers would fit the new AT boots that claim to work with “ISO Touring” bindings?

    Another option would be to obtain another pair of the old Dynafit Tourlite boots in ‘serviceable’ condition. If anyone reading this has a pair of these boots (U.S. size 10-1/2) collecting dust in your garage, I would be willing to pay a fair price for them.

  7. Lou Dawson December 3rd, 2012 11:25 am

    Ken, nearly any ski boot on the market today will work in the Ramer, only thing is sometimes the ski/walk mechanism can cause the heel latch on the Ramer to not close as far as you might like. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Pick some boots, get them in hand, and try them out. Lou

  8. John October 28th, 2016 12:41 pm

    Hello WildSnow —
    Is the Ramer Universal / Classic binding intended / able to be used with regular mountaineering boots as well as ski boots?
    Thanks much

  9. Lou 2 October 29th, 2016 7:18 am

    They are intended for ski boots though you can put some mountaineering boots in them. They are antique bindings. Do not use them for skiing. Lou

  10. Keith December 17th, 2016 10:28 am

    I skied these bindings with Fabiano leather mountaineering boots and Koflach plastic mountaineering boots in the early 1980s. Never had an issue though you get no help from your boots like the ones today. Also the bindings reliably released as long as the set properly and the release was kept well greased.

  11. Kristian December 17th, 2016 11:25 am

    Not obvious is that there are micro shims of thin sheet metal that can be added/subtracted located inside of the black heel piece for length adjustment.

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