New Hagan Binding — a me-too?

Post by blogger | February 25, 2011      

I’ll be the second to say that another frame binding is somewhat of a yawner. But then, so are some of the tech bindings popping up like Edelweiss across the European alpine meadows. At any rate, we probably won’t have real testers for a while, but some of you were curious so below is the word from Hagan about their new backcountry skiing binding they’ll ostensibly be distributing next winter. Click images to enlarge. Your comments?

Hagan Z 01 backcountry skiing binding.

Hagan Z 01 backcountry skiing binding. Click to enlarge.

Page from Hagan catalog.

Page from Hagan catalog.


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29 Responses to “New Hagan Binding — a me-too?”

  1. Brian February 25th, 2011 9:21 am

    If they were going to imitate Fritchi, they should have at least picked a different color scheme! 😉

  2. gtrantow February 25th, 2011 9:31 am

    Why would Hagan pair their light weight skis with a seemingly heavy binding?

  3. naginalf February 25th, 2011 9:36 am

    I’ve only just started getting into this and have only done internet research so far, but the more I see the more I yawn at frame bindings as well. The franken-step is just not that appealing, in fact, after reading your review of them, I think I’ll be going with the Scarpa F1 boots as well as tech bindings, since comfort, ease of use, and utility seem more important to having a good time in the backcountry.

    Speaking of the F1 and its included spacer block for the toe, I was thinking that a similar block on the heel, keeping it flat and not hanging on the heel post might be a good idea. I can’t tell from what I’ve seen (I haven’t actually seen the bindings) but the heel never seems to touch the ski, being suspended on the binding. Is this so? If so, wouldn’t a heel block keep the weight on the ski and the only force on the binding being lateral, thus eliminating some of the slop I’ve read about. It would have to be a very custom piece of course since every boot is different, but even just a ridge of plastic horizontally across the ski would be good, something you can shave down.

  4. Scott February 25th, 2011 9:52 am

    Looks eerily similar to Fritschi. Which I use and like, and is still holding up nicely for me, so I won’t be in the market for another. The heel lifter doesn’t look anywhere near as convenient, though. The double bar scheme didn’t work all that well for Naxo (which I’ve also owned and used), in the end it just just iced up and still didn’t increase stiffness.

    Call me skeptical that they’re going to be able to tear much of a chunk out of Fritschi’s market segment, given that Naxo tried and failed.

  5. Louie February 25th, 2011 9:59 am

    I like how they say the burlier one is for the “off-piste freak”

  6. AndyC February 25th, 2011 10:25 am

    I especially like the way they have excluded 75% of US skiers–“up to 100 kg body weight”–220 lbs, take a 190 lb skier, add boots, clothes, pack, avy gear, poles, whoops, no go!

  7. Tom Gos February 25th, 2011 10:59 am

    It doesn’t seem to offer any technological advantage over a Fritschi, but I’ll take all the market competition I can get – if the result is lower prices then the more the merrier.

  8. Jernej February 25th, 2011 11:28 am

    It’s substantially cheaper than Fritchi if that helps.

  9. Bill February 25th, 2011 12:29 pm

    If it is lighter, cheaper, higher DIN (16), and has some good marketing, backed by some postive user reviews; I am sure they will sell.

  10. Jesse February 25th, 2011 1:30 pm

    Bill, the beefier of the two is still only DIN 12.

    Jernej, how much cheaper? I can’t find them for sale anywhere. Interestingly the info in the catalogue page shown here is at odds with the info on their website, which only talks about the Z01 but gives technical details that seem to match the Z02 instead.

    It’s impossible to judge how competitive they might be based on quoted weight, DIN and price alone. The silvretta pure performance is already a lot lighter (and a bit cheaper) than fritschis or markers, and in theory it goes to higher DIN than I would use anyway, but I’d never buy one because in my perception they’re soft and breakable. It all comes down to how they actually perform.

  11. Maki February 25th, 2011 2:25 pm

    Lou, it’s Hagan, not Hagen.

    naginalf, Pierre Tardivel uses a heel spacer, made of hard rubber, but he does not want to relaease the binding. I think that even a plastic one would impair safety quite a bit.

    As for frame bindings, the more the Dynafiddlers cry out loud their death, the more the industry puts new models on the market. Funny. (please forgive me, I just bought TLTs but haven’t used them yet so I’m still officially a Fritschi user. I’ll dynafiddle tomorrow and change my mind. Promise).
    Jokes aside I fail to see the advantage over the Diamirs, and the sense of investing in that area of the market (i.e. the smallest one), but I suppose they know better than me.

  12. Jernej February 25th, 2011 2:50 pm

    List price for Z01 is 330€ but they’re on sale online for 198€ here in Slovenia.

  13. Scott Nelson February 25th, 2011 4:32 pm

    @Naginalf: You got me in my garage to look at how high my boot sits off the ski. I use F1’s almost exclusively and ST Vert bindings. The boot heel sits btwn 2.5 and 3 cm off the top of the ski. I’ve never noticed any weirdness because of that. Just playing around with the boot in the binding, yeah, you can see a bit of movement in the rear binding, but it hasn’t affected my skiing at all, and maybe that “slop” is there for safety reasons? I’m sure Lou or someone else could comment on that better than me. It still amazes me how strong the Dynafit bindings are in spite of how minimal they are. And with the F1 you definetly want a shim under the ball of your foot or it just gets too flexy due to the bellow.

  14. Dave J February 25th, 2011 5:04 pm

    Hey naginalf

    “………..since comfort, ease of use, and utility seem more important to having a good time in the backcountry.”

    Hmmmmm…. then what is it you actually do in the backcountry?

  15. steveo February 25th, 2011 6:10 pm

    fun translation in the ‘hard facts’ marketing page. designed for a “pulsating market,” the climbing mode is “brilliantly nuanced.” Ha! Can’t see why anyone would buy this instead of the many other great offerings on the market.

  16. naginalf February 26th, 2011 12:52 am

    @ Dave ; I refer you to the first sentence of my first comment. I’m very interested and willing to learn. Just thought the F1s looked easy to use, comfortable uphill on the 90% of skiing done in touring, and closer to the most of what I would be doing most of the time until I get to actually mountain climbing, which since I live in wisconsin includes rolling hills, which means that I’d be constantly switching between tour and ski. Why not just xcntry? Because I know I’ll want to go downhill and, of the times that I could be making it easier to xcntry, I could also be getting my legs in shape with my touring skis. But like I said, I’m open for better ideas, I just know that I will want to tour and I’m only just doing as much research as possible before investing. Especially since I live in a state where you either downhill at a large hill or xcntry, there is no in-between and thus no one to demo the gear.

    To answer your question, nothing yet. Please excuse my ignorance. I am planning a vacation, perhaps to Vermont, to demo some gear perhaps.

  17. Adam Olson February 26th, 2011 8:11 am

    YEA!! Finally, a REAL step-in ski binding to compete w/ the Fritschi! The Silvaretta Pure has always been a bit weak. This looks like a good step up. Add a variety of brake widths and crampons to boot, the Hagan is well thought out.
    In my opinion most people are drawn to the Dynafit for the up hill performance. Its certainly not for ease of use. (I like a binding I don’t have to touch w/ my hands to operate). Without risers the skiing performance of the Tech bindings leaves a lot to offer too.

    Simply put, the Hagan seems like a skiers binding. Bravo Hagan!

  18. Lester Fresh February 26th, 2011 9:51 am

    If it’s “comfort, ease of use, and utility” and “getting…legs in shape” that you’re after and you’ll be living in Wisco for awhile you might want to drop the whole AT thing and get a widebody waxless light touring ski (Rossi, Madshus, Alpina) with a cheap tele binding and a light plastic tele boot. You CAN make turns, good turns, on those little hills and immediately turn around, climb back up (50, 100, maybe 300 vert if you’re lucky), and make some more turns. And, they don’t NEED to be tele turns. And, this setup is entirely capable and will bring new challenge to your local ski hill. And, that same ski hill is all yours after closing day. And, your alpine skills will improve. Then get some alpine trekkers for the occasional mountain trip. Sorry to go on, y’all, but I know there are quite a few people here who aren’t full time mountain residents and these light touring skis can really help scratch the itch for the in-between times. I’m in central Wisco and have moved my whole alpine quiver out to the mountains but I make turns nearly every day I’m here. In fact, I’m grabbing the dog and heading out the door now…

  19. Christian February 26th, 2011 12:13 pm

    Why waxless? Wax xc are just so much better, except maybe for spring snow…and you allso have the short-skin option from Madshus.

  20. brian p. harder February 26th, 2011 12:15 pm

    For whatever it’s worth, now that I have about 25 days on my TLT 5 Performances, I can’t see why anyone would go for a Scarp F1. I suppose they have a slightly more forgiving flex uphill but downhill there is no comparison. I guess the TLT’s price could push a few folks away but…

    I’d be happy to sell my used F1 Races for a song if anyone is interested! No looking back for me.

  21. XXX_er February 26th, 2011 3:03 pm

    its hard to read that blurb but how many sizes of binding ,moving afd or no , alpine and/or AT , where is a the pivot , how far can the binding arc up from the ski without the toepiece hitting ,how many sizes of brake ,how will Hagan be distributed in N.A. and how is that company to deal with … so I question all the same things about a binding that is similar to a fritschi but what I question is how does hagan do it ?

    I bought a new hammer last week ,altho it was pretty much the same as the hammer I bought 10 yrs ago I didnt complain and say … is that all ?

  22. Marcin February 26th, 2011 4:10 pm

    We wrinkled our noses and rolled our eyes over this binding on the Polish skitour forum.

    The most likely explanation is that Hagan bought the Naxo engineers recently laid off by Rottefella and tasked them with making a new binding.
    Their response: the only thing they know how to do. Build a Fritschalike binding that is just unFritschalike enough to avoid patents and copyrights. Note the Diamirish toepiece, the Fritschi-like tour-lock/climbing aid and the periNaxoic heelpiece and twin angular-crosssection rail.

    Consensus No. 2:
    Not to belabour the point… pfffffffft.

  23. scottyb February 26th, 2011 7:55 pm

    Dudes, they should have put out a step in tech binder that can go to tour mode without taking off the ski. Also it needs to shoot rainbows out of a crevice in the back of the heel piece.

  24. Sam F February 27th, 2011 9:32 am

    Bunch of haters on here! Look at it this way, there is a good chance it doesn’t ski any worse than the freeride, are as durable as the marker tours, and it probably weighs less than the dukes!

  25. Lou February 27th, 2011 8:31 pm

    Sorry about the spelling of Hagan, fixed it.

  26. Greg Moellmer February 27th, 2011 9:41 pm

    There are a bunch of hater on here. I for one hate technology that has nothing new to offer me. “Well if you hate it so much, why did you even bother to post a response?” Good point, this will be the last time I think about the Hagan binding. Btw, their skis have a lot going for them.

  27. Gipsyskiing February 28th, 2011 2:54 am

    So you know, the Z02 should be around 380USD, roughly same retail price as the Diamir Explore and about the same weight; Z01 should be at 450USD.
    In my opinion, Hagan has developed these bindings in a business focus: to offer packs (skis+bindings+skins) to retailers; why would they leave all those rental setups to Fritschi?
    No real technology, only business….

  28. Jonathan Shefftz March 1st, 2011 9:24 pm

    “some of the tech bindings popping up like Edelweiss across the European alpine meadows” are “somewhat of a yawner” — which ones? Granted some of the *race* bindings are very derivative of the competition with no distinct characteristics. But I think *all* of the touring-oriented Tech bindings (i.e., with adjustable release settings) offer at least some distinguishing features that are compelling to at least some users. (I’ve been very impressed with my Plum Guide bindings so far, and also looking forward to my La Sportiva RT demo, assuming FedEx doesn’t mess up delivery on the second try, grrr. Also intrigued by the Dynafit Speed Superlight next year!) Granted none of these are stunning technological breakthroughs, but that just shows how hard it is to improve upon the late 1990s Dynafit TLT IV.

  29. Lou March 1st, 2011 11:08 pm

    Jonathan, yeah, I guess I’m mostly talking about the “race” bindings…. indeed, the tech touring offerings do have some features, though they’re not causing me to jump up and dance a jig in celebration…

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