Expert Review: Look Pivot 15 Gw Ski Bindings · 2022
This review is my honest opinion of the bindings, which i purchased with my own money in December of 2021.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the bindings, which i purchased with my own money in December of 2021.
What really sets the Look Pivot 15 GW ski bindings apart from others is the peace of mind they give me. I've had many different bindings from multiple brands. I've also had multiple knee surgeries. But I'm confident everywhere I ski thanks to the unique heel piece which rotates around the tibial axis. These bindings are for skiers who like a bit of everything: fast groomers, deep-pow, tight-trees, or steep-faces—if things go sideways, at least I know my knees won't.
For me, the mark of a good binding comes down to three things: 1) I don't know it's there, 2) it holds when it should, and 3) it releases when it needs to. In two seasons of riding the Look Pivot 15 GW, they've proved to do all that and more.
About the bindings I own
- Model: 2022 Look Pivot 15 GW
- Height: 6’0”
- Weight: 225 lbs
- Preferred DIN range: 8–9
- Experience: 25+ years of skiing
- When I bought these: December 2021
- Days tested: 50+ days
- Boots: Lange XT Free 130
- Boot Size: 27.5
- Skis: J Skis Masterblaster
- Where I’ve used it: Cannon, Wildcat, Tuckerman's Ravine, NH; Killington, Magic Mountain, Stowe, VT; some local backcountry in NJ and NH
- Terrain: Groomers, moguls, trees, powder, steep alpine faces
How they perform
What I was looking for
As a bigger skier who likes to attack the fall line and push my limits on the mountain, I knew I wanted a burly binding that would last me a long time. While I don’t go into the terrain park, I try to ski as fast as I can in the most difficult terrain that I can find. The all-metal construction of the Look Pivot 15 GW sets my mind at ease, and I fully expect the bindings to hold up through many seasons of pushing them to the limit.
Why I chose this gear
Durability and safety. The Look Pivot 15 GW features an all-metal construction in the toe piece, so I don’t have to worry about any plastic pieces becoming brittle after a few years of exposure to drastic temperature changes. Throw in the rotating heel piece which gives the Pivot the most elastic travel in the industry, along with the most consistent release values, and this binding checks every box.
What I love about it
- Downhill Performance: The rotating heel piece allows the heel of my boot to move slightly and then return to the correct position without releasing (as long as the forces aren’t enough to trigger a release, of course). This prevents unwanted pre-release, which can be very dangerous to find yourself suddenly on one ski.
- Release Reliability: The Look Pivot 15 GW helps my skis stay on my feet when I need them to, and I can’t put a price on that.
- Uphill Performance: N/A; although the Look Pivot 15 and 18 bindings are the only bindings compatible with the aftermarket CAST Touring system, which would allow me to alpine tour without needing a separate set up.
- Durability: I know these bindings will last me a long time through multiple pairs of skis. Even though the brakes aren’t interchangeable like some other bindings, with the wide range of ski widths that they fit (the 95mm model works with any ski I would use under 100m wide), I don’t have to worry about the bindings not fitting my next ski.
- Weight: They are heavier than most comparable bindings, mostly due to the all-metal toe piece. The difference is not noticeable while skiing, and is well worth the added heft when I factor in the increased durability the all-metal construction provides.
- Power Transfer: This category is the best in class due to the short mounting profile, which allows the ski to flex more compared to most other bindings.
- Other: It’s easy to spot a Look Pivot binding on the hill, either due to the striking toe piece or the vibrant color schemes. They’re as beautiful as they are durable and functional.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Clicking in: The only aspect of the Look Pivot that is mildly annoying—to click in, the heel piece must be lined up straight. Sometimes when I drop my skis on the ground, the brakes will cause the heel to rotate slightly, and I need to straighten it before stepping in. I can see in deep snow or sketchy off-piste terrain that could be bothersome to do, but I think it’s a very small price to pay given the positives the rotating heel provides.
- Adjustability: For those who frequently switch ski boots, the Look Pivot is not as easy to adjust to different BSL lengths as most other binding options.
Favorite moment with this gear
Because the Look Pivot 15 GW features an all-metal construction, there is an aftermarket alpine touring conversation made by CAST that allows me to remove the toe piece for a Dynafit tech toe to hike uphill and access alpine touring options. When I reach my destination, I replace the toe piece and ski down with fully DIN-certified bindings. This was my first foray into the world of alpine touring, and I can confidently say that it would not have happened if it weren’t for the Look Pivot 15 GW. By using the CAST Touring system, I was able to tour with my existing skis and bindings, rather than needing to purchase an entirely separate set-up.
Value for the money vs. other options
Look Pivot bindings are generally more expensive than similarly constructed bindings from other manufacturers, such as the Tyrolia Attack2 14 and Salomon STH 16. And the Look Pivot 15 GW is right at the top of the list for most expensive all-mountain bindings (the Look Pivot 18 GW is obviously more, but I’m grouping the two together since they have the same features and construction, just different DIN ranges). However, when I factor in the components used along with the safety features, it’s not a drastic amount. In fact, given that most people purchase new bindings every time they get new skis, it would only take transferring them to a second pair of skis for the extra cost to be worthwhile. Given that every version of the Pivot is still indemnified by Look (supported via warranty and able to be mounted and serviced by a ski tech), that shows me that the quality is as good as I expect it.
The Look Pivot 15 GW is the top name in freeride and freestyle ski bindings. They feature top-of-the-line components and construction, along with a unique, rotating heel piece that provides best-in-class elasticity and consistency of release. Those are the most important characteristics of bindings, and, in my opinion, Look is the best of the best for both. There’s a reason that they are the binding most professional and elite skiers use. Whether one is exceptionally hard on their gear and needs that extra bombproof construction, or just value quality and don’t mind spending extra knowing their gear will last as long as they do, the Look Pivot 15 GW is the one to choose.