Expert Review: Salomon STH2 Wtr 13 Ski Bindings · 2022

Published on 10/12/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the ski bindings, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2020.
Ethan Y, Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Ethan Y

All photos courtesy of Ethan Y. 

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the ski bindings, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2020.

My take

The Salomon STH2 Wtr 13 is a highly reliable freeride binding that has been around for a long time with minor updates along the way; it has stuck around over the years because it is a great option for intermediate to expert skiers who want a binding that can handle aggressive skiing.

About the gear

  • Model: 2022 Salomon STH2 Wtr 13

About me

  • Height: 5’9”
  • Weight: 160 lbs
  • Preferred DIN range: 6–14
  • Experience: 20 years of skiing

Test conditions

  • When I bought these: November 2020
  • Days tested: 200
  • Boots: Roxa R/FIT 130
  • Boot Size: 26.5
  • Skis: K2 Marksman (177cm)
  • Where I’ve used it: Colorado, Montana, California, Pacific Northwest
  • Terrain: Resort, sidecountry

How they perform

Durability
5/5
Release Reliability
5/5
Versatility
4/5
Power Transfer
3/5

What I was looking for

I was looking for a binding that had an upper DIN range of 13/14 that could safely handle aggressive freeride skiing. Because these bindings would be my daily drivers and get a lot of use, I also prioritized durability.

Why I chose this gear

I chose the STH2 bindings for a few reasons; the first is their toe piece has the highest elasticity of any binding. Second, the durability of the all-metal toe piece. The STH2 has an excellent track record: the design has been around for decades with minor updates along the way to improve safety.

What I love about them

  • Release Reliability: Having a reliable release is the top concern for me; I care very much about my knees, and I want to be skiing for a long time. The STH2 not only has a long history of reliability, but the toe piece has the highest elasticity of any binding (the Look Pivot has a higher heel elasticity). This allows me to recover from less than ideal landings in consequential terrain without releasing. After almost three years of consistent skiing, I have been very impressed by the consistency of the release. I know when it will and will not release and can ski accordingly.
  • Downhill Performance: I feel very secure on all types of downhill terrain. These bindings are fairly heavy, and the toe piece is fully metal; this lets the binding do some of the work when absorbing vibrations or taking hard landings. These are not my first choice for carving on nice corduroy or icey groomers, but they are a great option for more adventurous skiing.
  • Durability: I have had no durability issues at all after almost three years. The toe pieces look great after being kicked into hundreds of times. The heel lever hasn't been mangled from stomping on it with my ski to release my opposite boot. I have the bright orange colorway, and they are still shiny and bright with no chipping.
  • Weight: These are burly, heavy bindings, and I like that about them. I use these almost exclusively at the resort, so the extra weight is a bonus—especially when the snow gets chopped up and heavy.
  • Other (a note on elasticity): A binding’s elasticity measures how far one’s boot (toe or heel) can rotate before being ejected. This is in contrast to the DIN, which is the amount of force needed to rotate. A higher elasticity prevents small impacts from ejecting my boot, allowing me to recover my balance instead of losing a ski in dangerous terrain. Also, these are super easy to kick into in deep powder. I almost never have to unclog them.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Power Transfer: These bindings are more targeted towards freeride and freestyle skiing. There are better options for carving. That being said, they do a fine job.

Favorite moment with this gear

It's funny that my favorite moment with this gear is a time when I crashed. I was skiing some low-angle powder, cruising through a mellow glade just off the side of the trail in about inches of new snow. Unfortunately, the new snow was just deep enough to obscure a fallen tree, and I had a terrifying moment when one ski continued forward while the other became lodged under the log. I was going just fast enough that I immediately began rotating around the stuck ski drawn by the centripetal force, but not fast enough to generate the force to eject. I knew low-speed twisting is a common vector for knee injuries. To my surprise, though, I felt my boot rotate in the binding and release so smoothly that I spun around and was inadvertently skiing switch with one ski, though not for very long. I came to a stop (fell), felt my knee, and found, in disbelief, that it was fine. I put my ski back on and continued on. That was the last run I took that day.

Value for the money vs. other options

The Salomon STH2 has, in my opinion, the best value for freeride bindings. While the Look Pivot is a favorite of many pro skiers and is an excellent freeride binding, the STH2 is far cheaper and offers almost identical safety. Both bindings have great track records and have been around for a long time, both offer full metal toe pieces (Look offers toe and heel in full metal), and both have increased elasticity (STH2 has higher toe elasticity, while Pivots have higher heel elasticity). I ultimately chose the cheaper of the two, and I don't ever feel like I need anything more from my bindings.

Final verdict

A clear choice for those who want a durable and reliable binding that can handle aggressive freeride/freestyle skiing. The proven safety record and additional safety features make the Salomon STH2 a rival to the Look Pivot, but with a more manageable price tag.

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