Ramer Universal “Military Version”

Ramer Universal “Military Version”
Backcountry Skiing Alpine Touring Binding

This backcountry skiing binding is a variant of the 1980s Ramer Universal. We believe it was produced for military and institutional use and thus we call it the Universal “Military” version, or “UM” for short. Most features of this binding are similar to all other Ramer bindings, so check other displays for details about how the safety release works, etcetera.

Visually, the most distinguishing feature of the UM is that all steel is zinc chromate plated, giving it and even more industrial look than previous models. The binding has several features that show Ramer’s attempts to claim his bindings had “DIN” release, as well address shortcomings in lateral release mechanics.

Ramer Universal "M" model.

Ramer Universal “M” model.

The UM has a serious shortcoming. The rear section of the binding is constructed with two lengths of steel C-channel, rather than the beefy aluminum C-channel extrusion of the Universal model. This results in a binding with a tendency to twist and move while downhill skiing, and may easily bend with heavy use.

The UM has a serious shortcoming. The rear section of the binding is constructed with two lengths of steel C-channel, rather than the beefy aluminum C-channel extrusion of the Universal model. This results in a binding with a tendency to twist and move while downhill skiing, and may easily bend with heavy use. It is surprising the military ever accepted these bindings, or did they?

The most important innovation with this model was the use of a slot for the lateral release setting bolt (this feature would appear in the MT-2000 model. As with other Ramer models, you move this bolt for and aft to adjust lateral release tension

The most important innovation with this model was the use of a slot for the lateral release setting bolt (this feature would appear in the MT-2000 model. As with other Ramer models, you move this bolt for and aft to adjust lateral release tension

Where the bolt is located dictates the DIN setting according to this sticker. Crazy thing is you need a torque wrench to do it right, as the DIN is only valid if the fastener is tightened to 100 inch pounds. Add that to the fact that you also have to grease this binding, and things start to feel decidedly automotive.

Where the bolt is located dictates the DIN setting according to this sticker. Crazy thing is you need a torque wrench to do it right, as the DIN is only valid if the fastener is tightened to 100 inch pounds. Add that to the fact that you also have to grease this binding, and things start to feel decidedly automotive.

In all, an interesting step in the journey to modern ski touring randonnee bindings.

Weight:28 oz, 798 g (one binding, with screws)

These bindings were acquired from the Cooper Hill Nordic Center in Colorado in the late 1990s, the bindings were probably manufactured and distributed in the late 1980s. We suspect they were part of a small ski touring rental fleet this business had at one time. A bit sad to think someone tried to rent out this binding and promote backcountry skiing, as the binding was somewhat dysfunctional and would have resulted in bad experiences for many users — perhaps another reason for the brief telemark revival of the same period?

Ramer Universal Military binding.

Ramer Universal Military binding.


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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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