Low Tech (Dynafit) Ski Touring Binding — First Production Model 1986

Late 1980s First Production Low Tech (Dynafit)

First production Dynafit binding  1980s.

First production Dynafit binding 1986. Click image to enlarge.

Early ‘Dynafit’ bindings were first known as “Low Tech” and virtually hand made by inventor Fritz Barthel and his helpers in the basement workshop of their multi-generation family home in Austria. This is the first production model (Original prototype Dynafit tech ski touring binding.). Note the larger boot pins on the toe unit (right in photo below), as well as the heel release spring that was swapped out to change release. This heel spring design would remain in place for a number of years, until the mid 1990s when the current method of adjustable release tension was included in the heel unit.

Toe unit detail, the detailed hand crafting is impressive.

Toe unit detail, the detailed hand crafting is impressive.

Another view of toe, from the front in closed and locked position. To lock the binding in touring mode you rotated the lobe shaped part on the front, which engaged the ski top surface and kept the binding from opening.

Another view of toe, from the front in closed and locked position. To lock the binding in touring mode you rotated the lobe shaped part on the front, which engaged the ski top surface and kept the binding from opening.

The heel unit had no for/aft adjustment, so you had to mount it with care. Some modern race bindings use a similar type of base plate, to save weight.

The heel unit had no fore/aft adjustment, so you had to mount it with care. Some modern race bindings use a similar type of base plate, to save weight.

One fascinating aspect of this binding is how the heel torsional (sideways) release spring and cap were based on that of the Iser binding, as shown.

One fascinating aspect of this binding is how the heel torsional (sideways) release spring and cap were based on that of the Iser binding, as shown.

Weight: 11.6 oz, 328 gr (with screws)

It’s interesting to note the most popular bindings of this era, such as the Silvretta 404, were about three times heavier per binding. Considering that, it’s easy to see how the popularity of Dynafit and subsequent “tech” bindings was inevitable.

This binding was donated to the WildSnow.com collection by Fritz Barthel.

Original Dynafit retail binding 1986

Low Tech first production thumbnail.

Low Tech first production thumbnail.

  Your Comments

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  • Truax: @andy Gonna say that Michael pretty much covered it to a T. I also sk...
  • andy: @Michael. Thank you. I thought that might be the answer based on other post...
  • See: Mounted the 108’s today, and there’s definitely some metal underfoot aside ...
  • Allan: I spend more time on my 171 Voile Charger BC's 110 UF with Telemark Tech bi...
  • See: https://www.wildsnow.com/10025/carbon-megawatt-review-2014/ Say what you...
  • Ray: Avalanche condition are dicey in the Backcountry of South eastern British C...
  • VT skier: Kristian, I meant ATK Raider 12s !!...
  • VT skier: Thanks Kristian, I will probably buy the ATX 12 2.0 bindings now with that...
  • Robert V. Coppolillo: My dirty little secret? LaSportiva Hi5--108mm underfoot, surfy shovel, hamm...
  • Lou2: See, my weakness is for that light feeling on the feet, you all know that. ...
  • See: Actually, I think I may know the answer— in the interest of science. Thanks...
  • Kristian: I confess that I still am not sure what types of skis are best for challeng...
  • See: So Lou, I’m guessing you have one of the best quivers of touring skis on th...
  • Michael: I thought the Helio was a bit grabby in the tail compared to the Zero G. I...
  • Lou2: Ok, thanks Jana, we tracked that when we were in Utah for OR show, but then...
  • Jana Novakova: Just trying to reach out to the community to help out Bob. Thanks! http...
  • Dan: Thanks for the reassurance Jim, that is exactly what I did. Most of the r...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Errrr, not quite there Robert. I will admit, everyone he is admitting... to...
  • Robert V. Coppolillo: Ultimate truth, indeed, is that almost any ski is a frickin' blast in deep ...
  • Klaus: I've just bought some G3 momix skins for Movement shifts and do not like th...
  • Jim Milstein: Dan, just whittle the slots in your boot soles so the pins fit in. That's w...
  • Dan: Hi Lou, A Vipec 12 cautionary note. I just had a new pair of Vipec 12 b...
  • Ernstig: I really like the design of the power strap on the proclines. Would like to...
  • Noah: About a year late Lou and Jksprint, but they're out there... https://you...
  • See: Yeah, after years of using mostly 115+ skis for powder I've been thinking a...
  • andy: Truax and Michael: Awesome beta! Thank you! Curious: What didn't you like a...
  • Matti: Have been now touring for 6 days with these including 1/2 day testing at re...

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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.

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