Expert Review: Atomic STH MNC 16 Ski Bindings
This review is my honest opinion of the ski bindings, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2021.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the ski bindings, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2021.
The DIN range and bombproof design of the Atomic STH MNC 16 Ski Bindings make them the perfect alpine binding for aggressive skiers—especially those looking to mount a powder-specific ski.
About the bindings I own
- Model: 2022 Atomic STH MNC 16
- Height: 6’3”
- Weight: 180 lbs
- Preferred DIN range: 10–12
- Experience: 16 years of skiing
- When I bought these: October 2021
- Days tested: 20
- Boots: Atomic Hawx Prime 130
- Boot Size: 26.5
- Skis: Faction Prodigy 4.0 191
- Where I’ve used it: Snowbasin, Powder Mountain, Brighton
- Terrain: Powder, moguls, groomers, park
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was looking for an alpine binding that would hold up to skiing aggressively inbounds. For that reason I wanted a binding with a higher DIN range and metal construction to promote durability.
Why I chose this gear
I chose the STH 16 MNC binding for two reasons. First, the predominately metal design of this binding gave me increased confidence in its durability. Second, I had heard the STH platform made stepping into bindings in deep snow easier than comparable alpine bindings. I also considered the Look Pivot 15 and Tyrolia Attack 16 bindings; these both would have been great options, but neither of these bindings are known for being easy to engage in powder.
What I love about them
- Release Reliability: I have had no issues with the release reliability of the STH 16. They have kept my skis on my feet when I need them to and have ejected seamlessly at the appropriate time. With other bindings I have had premature ejections even when my DINs are appropriately set when landing switch or flexing the noses or tails of my ski. Weather in chopped up moguls or the terrain park, The STH 16 has never released when I didn’t want it to.
- Downhill Performance: The best way I can describe how the STH 16 feels is “plush”. And by that I mean that the binding boot interface feels solid and smooth. When I am skiing fast all over the mountain, I forget they are even there in the best way possible.
- Durability: The STH 16 MNC is as durable as they come. This binding has predominantly metal parts, which will withstand a lot more abuse than a mostly plastic binding. There are some superficial scrapes on the binding, but the binding feels just as capable today as it did on my first turns with it.
- Power Transfer: From the second I clip into my STH 16 binding, I feel locked into my ski. When driving my ski in long- or short-radius turns, the power transfer feels seamless. I also appreciated this excellent power transfer slarving or slashing through moguls or chop off-piste. I am also a big fan of the Tyrolia Attack bindings, but I would give the power transfer of the STH 16 the edge.
- Other: The narrow neck that attaches the toe piece of the STH 16 to the rest of the binding gives ample room to clear built-up snow compared to other alpine bindings. This feature makes it the easiest binding to put on in deep snow that I have ever used.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Weight: This is a heavy binding that is probably overkill for lighter and/or less aggressive skiers. The STH 13 binding is much lighter and would be better suited for those who may not need a burly binding like the 16.
Favorite moment with this gear
My home mountain is Snowbasin Ski Resort in Utah, and for years I had been working up the courage to hit a certain cliff. This spring I was able to stomp the biggest feature of my amateur ski career. I will say that it helped my confidence to know that I had a binding on my feet that I knew I could rely on as I pushed my abilities as a skier.
Value for the money vs. other options
Compared to other premiere metal alpine bindings like the Look Pivot 15/18, Marker Jesters 16/18, or Tyrolia Attack 16/17, the STH 16 MNC comes at a very similar price point. That being said, for non-heavy or non-aggressive skiers, I think the same benefits of the STH binding platform could be found in the lighter and cheaper STH 13.
The best compliment I can pay the STH 16 MNC binding is that I totally forget about it once I start skiing. From powder to park, this is the most reliable and easy-to-use alpine binding I have ever used.