Onyx Index and FAQ is Published

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | October 20, 2010      
New G3 Onyx binding.

G3 Onyx binding.

Onyx was blatantly missing from our backcountry skiing binding information menu (see nav bar above). As we aim to keep our binding info as current as possible, for us that was like going out skiing and discovering our boots are still at home next to the door. That said, we’ve published a ton of Onyx blog posts over the past couple of seasons, so those have been providing the goods for you info-seeking missiles out there. (See this link for Onyx search results)

The other day I whipped up an Onyx FAQ so we could get something useful under our Bindings category. Check it out here, and please leave feedback on this blog post if you’ve got anything to add. I’ll do some editing on it later today, and as with our other binding info pages we’ll be doing ongoing improvements and updates.

Thanks, Lou


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


62 Responses to “Onyx Index and FAQ is Published”

  1. Matus October 20th, 2010 9:32 am

    Speaking of Onyx, I would like to know something about commercial success of this binding. I have not seen it in terrain it is not in the shops here in Europe.. I guess, those who want dynafit system, they know why. And, therefore, they tend to buy the original – dynafit.

  2. Sam Punderson October 20th, 2010 11:00 am

    Lou, can you tell us what the position height, or the boot sole height of the Onyx is? I can’t seem to find that spec.

  3. Lou October 20th, 2010 12:22 pm

    Sam, that is buried in this blog post:

    I’ll copy to the FAQ, thanks for asking!

  4. Mark October 20th, 2010 12:43 pm

    Lou, you compare weights in the FAQ by saying the Dynafit Vertical weighs 512 grams (or whatever it was). Is that Vertical ST or FT? Thanks.

  5. Mark October 20th, 2010 1:36 pm

    I’d really like to know just how hard it is to get these things on in deep powder. Standing on one ski in deep light snow, will it be possible to depress the button and open the jaws on the other ski? Or will you just push the whole ski into the snow, making it too squirrelly to get the boot toe lined up?

  6. John S October 20th, 2010 2:10 pm

    There were some durability issues with the Onyx, mostly around the brakes and the climbing risers. The brakes on the 2010/11 models are completely redesigned, and can be fitted to the older bindings. The risers now use a torx screw to hold them in place, and should stay on.

    I installed a pair for my 11 year old daughter’s touring skis last winter (G3 Viva) as well as noticing some in the field, here are some observations…

    1. Being 11, she could not get into the binding on her own. The force to open the jaw and then coordinate the boot into place was beyond her. I found it troublesome, but I’m also used to FreeRides and DynaFits, so perhaps with use, I’d get it. G3 has the ruby binding this year, with reduced effort required to open the jaw.

    2. The toe lock on the Onyx is not a lock. It increases the retention by 15%. This is a safety feature in case of avalanche while skinning. My daughter’s light weight (80lbs) meant she never had to lock the toe, so I have no idea of what force it would take to pop it.

    3. When installing the binding, I wasn’t impressed by the guts. The metal slotted “ramp” that allows adjustment of the binding was pretty mickey-mouse and at small BSLs, the binding wasn’t too easy to set-up. And no, it wasn’t a home-mount, did it with a jig at the shop.

    4. My daughter thought the binding skied well. The Vivas seemed big for her (157cm ski for a then 4’9″ kid) but the ski/binding combo worked well for her. She drove them hard regardless of terrain.

    5. I encountered an individual on an icefields traverse last winter than had stuck his pole into the binding to move from touring to skiing, and the lever broke. It was very cold and he hadn’t brought his skis inside the hut, but I had often thought about this failure looking at the design and the possible leverage one could exert on the part. I wonder how common this is.

    I love G3 gear, relying on an AviTech shovel and loving my probe, as well as several pairs of their skis that I own, but I think the Onyx is a work in progress.

  7. Lou October 20th, 2010 2:54 pm

    Thanks John!

  8. Lou October 20th, 2010 3:14 pm

    Mark, that is the Vertical ST, 512 gr with brake and screws. Sorry about the confusion. When in doubt, always check our weight chart. I try to keep that accurate


    I’ll edit the FAQ..

  9. Mark W October 20th, 2010 8:38 pm

    Hey Lou, I figured as much. The detail just caught my attention. Thanks.

  10. Curtis Pauls October 21st, 2010 8:40 pm

    I was on the Onyx last season and was fairly impressed. All of my comparison obsession comes from 8 seasons on Dynafit TLT’s. Yes, the Onyx is heavier. Yes, it does take some getting used to stepping in, and yes, there were issues with the climbing risers, and yes, last season the brakes had breakage issues.
    Still, the pros outweigh the cons for me. I got used to them and appreciated the quick change from ski to tour (a tricky business with the TLT’s when equipped w/ brakes). Appreciated being able to swap them from early season “rock skis” onto mid-winter skis, and then to the spring touring skis. As to the heel risers-not a big deal, and G3 has fixed it and offer a retrofit fix for 09/10 models. The brakes are fixed too. And they’ve changed the colour of the ski to tour mode lever on the back of the binding from black to red, dunno if the material is the same-I never saw any break but suppose they could. I generally used the grip of my pole to pull the mechanism up instead of jamming a pole in there.
    As far as I’m concerned, the Onyx retains the major advantages of “tech” compatible touring-efficiency on the up through the pivot point at the toe and therefore energy savings for the down.
    Also, G3 has great customer service if you have any issues!
    Here’s to a big winter!

  11. Jonathan Shefftz October 22nd, 2010 6:39 am

    The discussion of swapping bindings reminds me, has anyone tried the B & D (not, not BD) adapter plate for Dynafit bindings? Adds half a pound, but seems to allow for unlimited adjustment range:

    Dynafit adapter toe and heel
    Plates allow you to mount Dynafit bindings and provide 53 mm total range of adjustment.
    Adapter has truing screws to align the toe with the heel. For/aft adjustment to get proper positioning of binding on ski.
    Note these plates are machined out on the underside removing material to make them as lightweight as possible, yet maintaining the stiffness for solid edging performance.
    weight 1/2 lb per set w/ screws
    $60.95 per set

    Heel Shift
    Dynafit heel shift lets you to move your heels in 6mm increments forward and back allowing you to adapt to different size boots without re-drilling. Total shift 36 mm, 18mm front and 18mm back. custom shift available. Note current position is negated due to mounting screws. Includes all screws needed.
    $34.95 per set

  12. honkey October 22nd, 2010 11:46 am

    I have to agree w/ curtis. Three seasons ago I abandoned bc telemark skiing in favor of “cheating” w/ AT gear. Year one was on a naxo, which I felt toured great w/ the crazy double pivot system. However, if I figured if I was going to cheat, I might as well do it right, go light, and switched to Vertical STs. Loved them, can’t really say a bad thing about them. Sub 10lb touring rigs are pretty darn sweet!

    When the onyx came out I felt it was my duty as a shop rat to try the “new” thing. The few dynafit breakages i’ve fixed have revolved around cracking the nylon heel “post” the heel piece itself rotates around. One thing I immediately liked about the onyx is the post on it is aluminum, not plastic, and can be easily replaced. I liken the onyx to my dodge vs the dynafit as a “toyota”. Toyotas are more popular and very reliable, but when the break they are a pain to deal with. With a couple torx screw drivers you can easily take apart and re-assemble the entire onyx without removing the mounting plate from the ski. The accessibility and servicability (sp?) of the onyx are bonuses in my mind. That and the plate system is awesome for swapping the binding from my beater skis to my good touring skis.

    I got ~2 dozen days last winter on the onyx, mostly in the bc but a few hard days at the resort. i skied the crap out of them inbounds in bumps and making big turns down firm groomers with no issues at all.

    The toe is a bit of a pain to get into, but it’s not a deal breaker for me. The slightly better “return to center” and decreased bias for an unplanned lateral release are plusses in my book. Locking anything out while skiing is asking for trouble.

    Given the G3 commitment to continue to improve the system and support it, I am very comfortable recommending this binding to my customers and friends. I can deal w/ the weight penalty (which is really pretty minor in the grand scheme of things) for the added features and serviceability.

  13. Jonathan Shefftz October 23rd, 2010 7:45 pm

    – Maybe we’re talking about a different part, but the Dynafit heel “pedestal” (around which the entire heel unit rotates in case of lateral release or when switching the binding between ski > tour flat > tour low elevator > tour high elevator) is definitely metal.

    – Dynafit heel unit servicing does not require uninstalling the mounting screws. Servicing the lateral release function is very easy. Servicing the vertical release function requires some careful reassembly, since it involves taking apart the heel unit “sandwich” but I think the Onyx is the same way?
    – Dynaft toe unit servicing, well, the only thing that would ever need to be done is replacing the plastic lever, and that is done without uninstalling the binding.

  14. Lou October 24th, 2010 7:12 am

    Honkey, what Jonathan says. Appreciate your insight into Onyx, but if you work in a shop I’d hope you know the Dynafit and Onyx heel spindles are both aluminum. Though, yes, the ones on the Dynafit have been known to break, though such is very rare. The Dynafit heel spindle is held down on the ski by a plastic plate, which does break, though rarely. Perhaps that’s what you refer to?

    We have a big blog post about Dynafit durability here:


    When Onyx has been around as long, I’m sure we’ll have a similar blog post about it as well.

    Instructions for removing Dynafit heel unit from spindle are here:

    Instructions for Dynafit heel unit breakdown are here:


    And of course, all this is in our Dynafit index available via the menu at top of website, or this link:


  15. honkey October 24th, 2010 10:34 am

    I stand corrected. While those heel pedestal don’t have the shiny aluminum “look” to them, they are. I pulled my box of dynafit goodies to see which bindings broke in the past (I saved them) and all 3 were comforts. That being said, for the dozens I’ve sold & serviced here and the dozens sold by other shops in the area, 3 failures over the course of a few years is pretty impressive.

    I guess my main point w/ the Onyx heel is that you can completely service it without having to remove any screws from the ski to do so. Crack the pedestal on a Dynafit and you have to remove the heel unit from the ski to replace it. If I can help it, I’d prefer to leave those nicely sealed screws alone.

  16. Lou October 24th, 2010 1:14 pm

    Honkey, you are spot on this time around 😀

  17. Jonathan Shefftz October 24th, 2010 3:38 pm

    True, but a broken heel pedestal entails bigger problems than having to uninstall and reinstall four screws! (Like, for instance, needing a new pedestal…)

  18. dave g November 3rd, 2010 8:56 pm

    RE: G3 Onyx Heal lift, has anyone had issue with the height of the heal lifts? I feel as if the height is not as much as my old TLT?

    and yes, I too have first generation onyx (2009-10) and the smaller heal lift pops off at the worst time, side hilling. Did i read that G3 will retro the heel lifts?


  19. Curtis Pauls November 8th, 2010 11:46 pm

    To Dave G-yes the low heel lift height seems a bit lower to me too, but that said I haven’t minded so much, just makes me focus on a slightly mellower skin track. I find it rare that I need the high setting. And also yes- G3 has fixed the heel riser popping off thing this year and there’s a very simple retrofit fix that should be available wherever you bought yours. It’s a screw with a head that prevents the heel unit from coming off, but the plastic heel pieces get replaced as well. (I’m keeping my spares in the repair kit now.) I had heard from a rep that they had changed the colour of the ski to tour mode lever on the rear of the binding from black to red to make it easier to find with dark coloured skis but I just got a new pair and no such luck-maybe next year?!

  20. Lou November 9th, 2010 7:17 am

    Curtis, I’d agree that most of the time a slightly lower heel lift is not a big deal, especially if you ski tour in a place with more Euro traditions of skin track angle.

  21. Jack January 9th, 2011 10:27 am

    Went skiing on the G3 Onyx today and after I came down from the last run and I looked at my skis and notice something was missing. It was my low position heal lifter was no longer there. After checking the other heal I notice how easy the lower heal lifter is to remove, only a slight tug from the side and it falls off. Not the end of the world, BUT IT IS THE ONLY THING THAT PREVENTS THE TOURING MODE LEVER FROM BEENING PRESSED DOWN FROM A STICK OR SOMETHING WHEN YOU ARE SKIING!!!!!!!!!! Can you imagian what would happen if this happeded at speed in the trees? Would it not be better to have the touring lever in the down position for skiing and up for touring, much less chance of a accidential opening and safer for the skier?

  22. Lou January 9th, 2011 1:04 pm

    Jack, you might have a point. The G3 binding boys read this, so I’m sure your event will get their attention. Meanwhile, did you find it easy to get the part replaced?

  23. joeedmark February 23rd, 2011 10:31 am

    Jack, I lost a couple lifters also, G3 has a fix for this with new risers and screws that do not come off. And it’s pretty easy to switch into touring mode accidentally with or without the lifters!

  24. Jake March 2nd, 2011 7:18 am

    Any thoughts on the safety release with the Onyx? I know many believe the RVs on Dynafits are not quite as “safe” in some instances as the DIN/RV on alpine or alpine like AT bindings.

    Also any thoughts on accidental heel pre-release from the ski flexing with the Onyx? Presumably the mounting plate would act as a stiffener to some extent like Dynafit intended with the carbon plate on the FT/ new Radical.

  25. Lou March 2nd, 2011 8:55 am

    Jake, my take is that the best and latest full-on alpine bindings might indeed have safer release than most AT bindings. On the other hand, I think the safety release of an Onyx or any other tech binding is easily as good as any other AT binding, including the Marker offerings.

    In my view, most of the reason the latest alpine bindings are safer is simply because if one desires they can be set to lower settings and you’ll still stay in them, due to the elasticity and design of the binding. But other factors intrude as well.

  26. Evan March 30th, 2011 3:26 pm

    Thought I’d chime in re: my experience with the G3s:

    I recently upgraded to a “do-anything” rig, consisting of fat-ish alpine skis, BD Quadrants, and G3 bindings.

    Since I’m now a flat-lander (thanks to professional school), my skiing has been limited to a week or so a year, usually around Mt Baker. Sadly, on my very first day of the season (which for me means mid-March), and the first time out on my G3s, the bindings broke. Or, rather, one toe-piece failed.

    As you may know, the jaws of the toe-piece are prised open by the movement of a plastic ramp underneath the springs. That plastic ramp/sharkfin sheared off right at its base, which meant the jaws couldn’t be opened as intended. It looked like there was a bubble in the plastic, which probably compromised the structural integrity of the ramp.

    Anyhow, this was obviously a bummer, coming as it did on the first day of my one week of skiing. Thankfully, G3 acted quickly* to replace it, and I had a new toe-piece mounted and ready to go two days later. I had no problems thereafter, though I’ve been keeping a close eye on both ramps for any sign of failure. I’m guessing this was just a terrible fluke, and am pretty confident that the bindings will hold up from here on out. Just thought I’d report and see if anyone else had had a similar problem.

    * very special thanks to Sam and the folks at Backcountry Essentials in Bellingham, without whom none of this would have been possible. They really made a case for me to G3, and got me up and running much more quickly than would have been possible otherwise. I should’ve gotten you guys a sixer—next time.

  27. AndyC August 16th, 2011 5:15 pm

    Any updates on the Onyx? Revisions were made for 2010-2011 but almost all the reviews and comments I’ve seen have been related to the beta version and the first year version. The reason for my question: I’ve got a new pair of Volkl Mantras (191 cm, 2011 version) and a new pair of Zzeus and I’m trying to decide what binding to use for them for 80% lift-served with some off-piste and sidecountry and 20% reserve as a backup for my Manaslus if something fails on them. I have a spare pair of Vertical STs–will I gain anything significant by using the Onyx, or a Marker (nothing but bad reviews on the Tours). I don’t jump off anything; I try to ski conservatively, but fast because I’m chasing the grandkids who go fast. The oldest straight-lines blues, started black diamonds last season, loves to jump off-piste (and through the trees).

  28. Mark September 22nd, 2011 6:47 pm

    I like to do drops. Nothing huge, but 10-15 foot drops. A K2 rep told me that I need to have the Marker Duke bindings but I hate the idea of climbing with all that extra weight. Do you think the Onyx bindings will hold?

    I am also trying to find solid boots at the same time. I think Garmont boots are preferred but I am having trouble finding good info on what boots I can have with the Onyx binding. Suggestions?

  29. Lou September 22nd, 2011 7:51 pm

    That’s exactly what they designed Onyx for, sort of a version of a heavy duty tech binding. Get ’em and report back here after you’ve used for a month or two.

    Any boot with tech fittings will work fine.

  30. tOM October 6th, 2011 8:00 am

    Lou, any chance you could break out your digital scale and give the weights of the individual parts of the Onyx, as you do for the Dynafits? Reason is, last spring I took a nasty tumble after my ST’s did the toe prerelease thing on me, (this has happened two or three times, always on firm snow with some texture), I’m thinking of trying my Onyx toe with the ST heel for firm conditions. in theory this should be a good combo that binding freedom inserts make easily accomplished. I don’t like the idea of having to lock toes to keep from coming out in any conditions, but guess I’ll do what I have to. The Onyx toe may be a worthwhile option for those who’ve already got them.

  31. Lou October 6th, 2011 8:16 am

    Tom, good idea, I’ll give it a shot. Thanks to G3 we’ve always got a pair of Onyx here for eval.

  32. Lou October 7th, 2011 8:04 am

    Tom, I just got the Onyx heel and toe weights done, they’re on the Onyx FAQ page:


  33. Tim Steward October 10th, 2011 2:03 am

    I have recently had an issue with one of the toe pins snapping off my Onyx bindings! Does anyone know of this happening with Onyx bindings (or even Dynafit bindings)? On examination of the failiure point there appeared to be a defect in the metal and it failed under fatigue (I’m 65kg and I’ve had them for three seasons of moderate use). Luckily this happend whilst getting into them on a ski field. Had it snapped whilst skiing or away on a multiday tour it could have been catastrophic!

  34. Lou October 10th, 2011 5:54 am

    First generation Onyx had this problem on some bindings. Latest do not as far as I know. I’d imagine they will warranty any binding this happens to.

    Any idea how old your Onyx are?

    Never heard of it happening with any model of Dynafits. Instead, a few years ago a certain manufacturing run of Dynafit parts caused some of their heel pins to break.

    Dynafit engineers have told me that one of the biggest challenges with making tech bindings is the strength and heat treating of the tiny parts that interface with the boot. Not much tolerance for error, as compared to say the massive toe wings and heel unit of an alpine binding.

    Overall, it concerns me that folks making tech bindings would allow any of the above to happen. It seems to indicate a lack of quality control. Seems like critical parts such as those should be tested more tot he level of how they test the manufacturing of things like carabiners. For example, BD does that by plucking numerous carabiners from the manufacturing run and testing them to failure, as well as testing every one to a below failure stress (at least that’s how they were doing it when I visited a few years ago.) But then, I’ll always remember the first pair of Fritschi Diamir that flew into shrapnel on my workbench oh so many years ago. And on and on. Scold scold.

  35. Andy Jensen November 8th, 2011 7:48 am

    Does anyone know where I can purchase the Onyx Service Kit? I live in Bariloche in Argentina and have just purchased a pair of Onyx, but I want to be sure to have a good supply of spare parts when I make my next US run.

  36. Sarah November 16th, 2011 11:27 pm

    I’ve had the first version of the Onyx for a couple seasons of mixed backcountry and resort skiing, and am seriously considering a switch to Dynafit. My primary complaint for skiing in the Pacific Northwest is ice getting stuck in the toe piece, which regularly requires banging the ski with my pole to remove the ice and make the toe piece operational again (i.e. being able to get in or out of the binding). Incidentally, this also happened when I was spring skiing in drier CO. When the toe piece works, I love how burly it is. Just wish G3 would remove the ice-collecting “mouth” from the front of the binding. When I talked to a G3 rep on the phone, they seemed to think this was a normal problem with AT bindings(??)

    My second issue is that on several occasions, I’ve had the posidrive screw that adjusts the DIN setting in the heel piece come loose to the point where the heel piece is no longer functional in ski mode. In general, I’ve also had to ramp up the DIN setting to one above my alpine set-up in order to not be constantly popping out of these bindings in variable snow. I am not a large person, and should not be having these problems.

    Aside from the above issues, my brakes failed, but my local shop upgraded them for free. No problems with the new brakes. The heel lifts seem flimsy, but I’ve never lost one.

    Curious to know if any other Onyx users have had similar problems, or can suggest a way to avoid the ice-up or screw loosening. I’m also wondering if the new toe piece is any less likely to collect ice.. looks identical to the old one(?)

  37. Lou November 17th, 2011 6:27 am

    Sarah, a couple of things:

    1. The first retail version of something as complex as an AT binding is in my opinion always suspect. This in the case of any brand, model, of anything. Especially AT ski bindings. I’ll say it, over the last 20 years I’ve seen so many problematic first-time binding offerings (I could make a list, but it would be depressing and the PR people would start frothing at the mouth, and we wouldn’t want that for them or anyone), I’d suggest that anyone who buys the first year of any backcountry skiing binding is a beta tester, and should be ready to somehow swap out for the next year’s version. I can’t tell you how much time I and my associates have wasted mounting and testing first itteration bindings that broke, or had functional problems. If it wasn’t my job to do reviews quickly, I’d as a rule wait one season to test and review any AT binding.

    The fact is, because of how small scale manufacturing works, it is very difficult for a binding company to extensively test the exact same binding they’ll sell at retail. In other words, they come up with pre-production bindings that are amazingly similar to what will be retailed, but in that final final change to mass production, stuff happens. Also, the cycle of in-house testing vs consumer release is sometimes quite short for the product version that’s close to matching the retail version. More, sometimes the bindings are “tested” quite a bit by the people who designed them, or are otherwise emotionally invested in them, and they thus rationalize their way through problems instead of fixing them. Same thing happens with the marketing and PR folks as well. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to listen to some kind of diatribe about how a problem isn’t really a problem, even though it clearly is and ends up being fixed the next year despite the PR person’s or binding designer’s lecture.

    2. Yes, all AT bindings can have ice problems. Some more or less. I suggest picking a binding based on other factors, then just learn to deal with how your particular choice ices up.

  38. Lou November 17th, 2011 6:39 am

    So, I guess what I’m suggesting is you upgrade to a later version Onyx (grin).

  39. Sarah November 17th, 2011 10:39 am

    I agree with all of your comments. Coming from a mixed alpine/tele background, the Onyx was very appealing when I was building up my first AT set-up, even though I would now avoid buying a first-year binding.

    If G3 delivered a new and improved pair to my doorstep, I would be happy to re-evaluate their product. Seems like they could use a few additional women testers anyway 🙂

  40. Jonathan Shefftz November 17th, 2011 4:21 pm

    Re first-yr bindings, I don’t think that ATK has changed anything for this season with the ATK / La Sportiva RT binding, and Plum’s changes to its Guide are pretty trivial. But I suppose that’s drawing on years of experience in designing rando race bindings.
    By contrast, G3 went into the Onyx/Ruby with years of designing tele bindings…

  41. Lou November 17th, 2011 8:07 pm

    Jonathan, the exception proves the rule, or something like that (grin). I wasn’t speaking of every binding ever made, but if you could be a fly on the wall of my workshop, you’d be appalled at some of the junk I’ve had to deal with over the years. All the way back to literally 1975, the first retail Ramer bindings, which promptly broke the first time virtually anyone skied on them due to a plastic part that held the front of the binding to the ski. This was promptly fixed, but it was definitely the first retail release of the binding. Fond memory of going out to 3,000 vertical foot Aspen Mountain to ski the first time on the binding, and having it break about half way down, then walking down the rest of the hill and straight back to Company 3, the distributor at the time. Then there was the first brand X, which literally exploded into shrapnel in the workshop before even getting it out on the snow. And many many more.

    In terms of Plum and ATK, I’m not sure how “new” their bindings really are. They all began as Dynafit copies, and they’ve had at least several years to refine them.

  42. Curtis November 17th, 2011 11:43 pm

    Just had a new (and frustrating) experience with the Onyx. When trying to slide the toe piece off the mounting plate, the screws (as far as I could tell) wouldn’t come clear of the holes in order to allow me to slide the toe piece off. The solution is to remove the plastic toe piece via the #10Torx screw, then yank the stuck screws out. Upon closer inspection I think the plastic housing somehow got stripped and wouldn’t allow the screws out. A strange issue to be sure, and no idea how it would have happened (the screws looked fine once out), but just so you don’t spend an hour fiddling with this, just take the plastic toe piece/lever off and take out the screws. Then swap ’em onto tomorrow’s skis and enjoy!

  43. tOM November 18th, 2011 5:42 am

    Curtis & all Onyx users: The screws not clearing their hole completely is common. I believe it occurs once the screws have been removed a few times and is caused by a combination of the plastic that the threads go through getting wallowed out and the head of the screw hanging up on an edge as you back the screw out. An easy remedy for me has been to slide the blade of my swiss knife in from the side under the lever to engage the threads of the screw. I hold pressure against the threads and turn the srew out with the driver. You only need to insure the head is aligned to clear the sides of the entry hole at the top of the lever and it comes out first time every time. I’ve also told G3 about this & feel it should be addressed as they refine their design.

    While I generally prefer my ST’s for long tours and climb to ski trips, I like the Onyx better for in & out of bounds/sidecountry skiing for it’s superior retension.

    All the best, tOM

  44. Lou November 18th, 2011 6:21 am

    Have to say, I’ve had the same problem. Can’t remember exactly how I got that screw, I think I turned the binding upside down, then worked a thin blade in there to manipulate the screw, then turned it gently with a hand driver, or something like that…

  45. Curtis November 18th, 2011 9:15 am

    Wow thanks for that tip tOM! I tried what Lou did but to no avail. I’ll pass that one on for sure, let’s hope the G3 design team reads this blog!

  46. Tony S. November 18th, 2011 10:41 am

    In regards to icing, is there something wrong with spraying silicone or Pam on bindings? I used to try and use my Dukes wthout spraying Pam on them and would spend 15 minutes de icing each one. With them all Pam’ed up, I don’t chip away at anything, I just snap them closed instanly no matter what the snow cconditions.

    I just had my first experience with Dynafiddles, and I took them out without spraying anything on them. Not fun, LOTS of fiddling, prereleasing at the toe even after said fiddling, the whole deal, so I sprayed them down with Silicone instead of the Pam, incluing the tech fittings.

    Is this detrimental in any way to the Dynafit? Does it work as well with tech bindings as the Duke? It just seems like for how well it works for the Dukes, it would seem to be the essential answer to everyone complaining about the frustrations of binding ice up in tech bindings.

  47. Jack December 14th, 2011 9:19 am

    After two years of prereleases with my Dynafits FT12’s I switched to G3 Onyxes. Had a chance to take them out this weekend for a ride (on and offpiste) and was very, very impressed. Had them mounted on a pair of Armada JJ’s and drove them really hard ( I know, non-intended use for a tech binding) and could not get them to prerelease. Getting in is slightly harder, because you need to develop hand, foot and eye coordination, which is pretty hard once you’re past 20 years.
    Also, they are a bit heavier, but I don’t expect to do a lot of skinning with these planks anyway. For anybody interested in the new Radicals, don’t look any further and consider the Onyx bindings. A great invention are the mounting plates. With extra pairs of mounting plates you can have one binding for your quiver.

  48. Lou December 14th, 2011 9:32 am

    Good to hear some Onyx props, thanks Jack.

  49. Lee Lau December 14th, 2011 12:26 pm

    I had about 15 days on the new gen (11- 12 Onyx) bindings when they were in limited release on the G3 demo fleet in April of 2011. No pre-releases. Brakes worked well. Toe pieces were a lot easier to get into (ie needs quite a bit less effort to engage the opening mech).

  50. Stan Ladd January 9th, 2012 8:36 am

    I want to use Scarpa F1 boots with the Onyx binding. Because of the articulation at the toe Dynafit recommends the spacer under the boot behind the toe piece. Will the spacers affect the functioning of the Onyx in any negative way? Thanks for any advice.

  51. Lou January 9th, 2012 9:07 am

    I doubt a spacer AKA shim would cause any more problems than with any other tech binding. Such problems including friction during lateral release that could compromise the safety of the binding. Specific to the Onyx, the thickness and shape of the spacer may very according to height and location of binding.

  52. Skis February 22nd, 2012 3:09 am

    Thanks, very well written.

    Always wanted to get my hands on some Onyx, but not many ski shops in the UK that sell them!

  53. Matt January 7th, 2013 6:36 am

    I’ve been using these for around two years now. G3 was very helpful and upgraded the toe pieces for me from the originals. I just transferred them to a new pair of skis and had at least 6 prereleases from the same heel this weekend whenever I would really initiate a turn/flex the ski – the heel would pop out, but thankfully I just had to put the heel down for it to click back in. It scared me a little. I took it back to the ski shop that mounted them, and they said they were mounted correctly, but they had to back the pins out to get the bindings to release within acceptable values. It became clear when you looked at both skis side by side – the set that never prereleased went in further than the other set. G3 did a complete check of the bindings over the summer when they upgraded the toe pieces and said the heel pieces were working perfectly, so I am not sure what is going on. I’m using Scarpa Mastraele boots. I never had the bindings prerelease like this last year on other skis, and I skied them pretty hard. I’m just curious if anyone has seen this kind of thing before or knows what’s going on. Thanks

  54. Kjetil November 5th, 2013 5:39 am

    Quick question: Recently changed from Onyx to Radical12s, due to consistently breaking a pair of Onyx per season (exploding swap plates, blown springs, severed toe pins, faulty lock switch). So anyways, I feel like something is “off” with the Radicals. In flat touring mode, I feel like I’m not totally flat like with the Onyx. Higher brakes? Lower toe? Ramp? Thinking I should shim the toes. What’s the difference between Onyx and Radical12s in ramp? 3-4mm? Thanks!

  55. Lou Dawson November 5th, 2013 7:29 am

    Kjetil, good question. I’ve been wanting to put more tech bindings on our chart of “heights.” Will do so ASAP.

    Just added Onyx to the chart.


    As you can see, it’s virtually the same ramp as the older TLT models (our baseline) — WHEN IN DOWNHILL MODE

    If you’re feeling a difference in touring mode, sure, heel lift heights on binding models vary. There is no standard. Your boot in your Onyx is probably flatter in “heel on ski” mode than with Radical, that’s why it feels that way.

    If you want a flatter foot with Radicals, yes, try a thin shim under the toe and some Nubbins on the heel lifter so you still get climbing lift when things are steep. Bear in mind that raising the toe will influence both downhill and touring boot angles.


  56. See December 13th, 2014 10:18 am

    I never really paid much attention to the Onyx, figuring it was just a Dynafit knock-off (which is what the Ion looks like to me). But a comment on the Beast post intrigued me, and I’m wondering if the Onyx might actually be an good combination of light weight, superior (for a tech binding) release/retention performance, and low price. Of the three, it’s the second one— performance— that I’m really interested in.

    I don’t like tech bindings for resort use, and I don’t like frame bindings for skinning. I recently mounted some new boards with Marker Tour F12’s (for mostly resort/maybe some bc), and I’m wondering if the Onyx would have been a better choice. Obviously, serious durability or functionality issues would be a deal breaker. Fiddly entry… not necessarily.

    I know Lou said (back in 2011) “I don’t know of any difference between Dynafit and Onyx when it comes to use them as a resort binding.” Unlike Obi Wan, however, I find Dynafits a bit prone to lateral pre-release, but not so much vertical prerelease. I guess I’m wondering if the Onyx is a viable “freeride” tech binding with no early adopter risk.

  57. Andy Mason January 7th, 2015 8:53 pm

    See, I’ve been quite pleased with mine for the last few years of mixed touring and resort use. Pretty much what they’re aimed at, without being Dukes (breaky), Guardians (incompatible with the one pair of boots I want to bring with me), or Adrenalines (plasticky, but that’s probably a baseless bias, of which I have several). The times I’ve pre-released were either my fault for doing something dumb, or a result of having the original, lower RV model.

  58. Aaron April 24th, 2015 9:23 am

    Just wanted to chime in. I bought G3 Onyx bindings for my partner who is an absolute novice having really only skiied x-country in Manitoba previously. She found them very easy to learn to get in and out of, and had no problems with them on several days of skiing simple terrain trails near canmore, and several days of lift skiing at sunshine and lake louise this spring. They were a great choice for someone who needed an easy to use binding with a reliable release.

  59. David S. November 14th, 2015 4:17 pm

    I wonder if anyone using the Onyx has had a problem with snow packing into the front of the toe under the release plate lever? I don’t use them, but in evaluating them it appears that could be a problem that would lead to additional difficulty entering and exiting the toe piece. Am I just dreaming?

  60. Dan November 22nd, 2015 9:44 am

    I am a novice in the AT world. I was wondering if the Onyx or an Ion would be a better choice? Mostly I will be skiing laps on a local hill and a few days in-bounds.

  61. Lou Dawson 2 November 22nd, 2015 10:09 am

    I think for a newcomer the ION would be better, as it’s easier to click into. In terms of how they ski, both will feel pretty much the same, and have the same level of “safety.” Lou

  62. Greg Louie November 22nd, 2015 11:11 am

    I think for anyone the Ion would be the better choice. Improved step in action, lever design, ramp angle, climbing lifters and materials selection. The ONYX was G3’s first effort, and they learned their lessons well.

  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube

WildSnow Twitter Feed


  • Blogroll & Links

  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to WildSnow.com and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version