Expert Review: Armada Shift N 10 MNC Ski Bindings · 2022
This review is my honest opinion of the bindings, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2020.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the bindings, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2020.
The Armada Shift Binding is suitable for all skill levels and all types of skiing. I trust this binding on my biggest backcountry days or even ripping around the resort. It’s super easy to use, lightweight, and very safe. It may not be the best binding to use in the terrain park, but otherwise, it's impressive.
About the gear
- Model: 2021 Armada Shift Binding
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 160 lbs
- Preferred DIN range: 7
- Experience: 19 years skiing
- When I bought these: December 2020
- Days tested: 40 days
- Boots: Dalbello Lupo
- Boot Size: 26.5
- Skis: Armada Tracer
- Where I’ve used it: Backcountry and Resort
- Terrain: Cliffs, piste, bumps, ice, steeps, flats, couloirs, glades, and touring.
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was looking for a touring binding that allowed me to feel comfortable skiing all types of terrain and conditions.
Why I chose this gear
I chose this product because it is easy to use, feels similar to a normal alpine binding on the way down, and is smooth on the way up. I considered the Marker Kingpin; however, I picked the Armada Shift for the complete toe piece.
What I love about them
- Release Reliability: The design with the toe piece rather than the pins allows me to adjust the toe din, which helps with being more confident that the binding will release when needed. I've always come out when needed.
- Downhill Performance: The design and technology step in like an alpine binding when skiing, allowing excellent downhill performance. It’s still lightweight for touring but built to ski well.
- Durability: The Armada Shift Bindings are very durable. I have ridden these extremely hard, and with the aluminum construction, they are very sturdy. The Armadas are a very popular binding. They are sold at most ski shops, making them easy to repair or replace.
- Power Transfer: Low to the ski allows for excellent power transfer.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Uphill Performance: With the ease of transition, the shift binding has great uphill performance that is easy to use and very smooth. I will say that one issue with the design for the uphill performance is the lack of climbing height. Most touring bindings have two different heights, whereas the shift only has one, which can be very annoying and tough on steeper terrain. Also, sometimes the brakes release from the locked position and begin to drag in the snow, although this is very rare. However, this should be avoidable if one remembers not to walk with their skis on top of each other.
- Weight: The Armadas are heavier than a standard touring binding because of the full toe piece but still light enough for long days of touring.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite moment with this piece of gear would have to be when I skied Storm Peak. We started the skin at the bottom of the couloir and toured about halfway. The bindings did great, and everything was smooth. We began to boot pack from there, and the binding made it very easy to take them off on the steep terrain. Once to the top, the transition was super easy into ski mode, and we had the most fun on this early season’s couloir day.
Value for the money vs. other options
Looking at brand new tech toe touring bindings, they are all very similar in price; however, the Armada Shift gives me the confidence knowing I have a full toe piece, and I am not just relying on the pins. Other options, such as the Marker Kingpin, Salomon MTN, Dynafit Superlite, Black Diamond Helio, and the Dynafit ST Rotation, may be a little cheaper will be lighter and not as bulky, which is great for long days of touring and skiing more mellow. The Armada Shift Bindings being a little bulker with the full toe piece adds a little weight and a lot of durability.
Overall, the Armada Shift is a great binding for everyday skiing, whether I am doing a long day of touring or skiing around the resort. The bindings are safe and reliable and will have one skiing confidently as ever in all terrain types.