An Expert Guide to Salomon, Atomic, and Armada Ski Bindings

Published on 02/17/2024 · 11 min readNavigate the slopes with confidence! Our expert guide to Salomon, Atomic, and Armada ski bindings breaks down their unique features, safety, and performance.
Chandler Bakken, Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Chandler Bakken

Photo courtesy of Armada

TL;DR: When buying ski bindings, prioritize compatibility with your boots and skis. Consider your skiing ability, style, and weight to choose the correct DIN range. Opt for lightweight construction if you're touring, and prioritizing safety features for aggressive skiing. Always consult a professional for proper mounting and adjustments.

Welcome to the expert guide for Salomon, Atomic, and Armada ski bindings. One of the most integral parts of your ski setup is your binding, which provides feedback from your ski to your boot. We will dive into these brands to learn what they are all about and help you choose the correct binding for your skiing style. With 20 years of experience on the mountain and working on ski technology, I am passionate about giving knowledge and expertise to all skiers alike, helping you find the right gear to excel, progress, and, most importantly, have fun on the slopes!

Why Choose Salomon, Atomic, or Armada Ski Bindings?

When looking at ski bindings, you may have noticed that Salomon, Atomic, and Armada have similar designs and technology. That’s no coincidence — they all have the same parent company: Amer Sports.

Amer started in Finland in the 1970s and focused on tobacco, printing, and shipping. Through acquisitions fueled by a passion for sports, Amer acquired major brands such as MacGregor Gold, Wilson, Atomic, and others. With a new focus on the sporting goods industry, Amer dropped the original tobacco business and changed its name to Amer Sports.

In the modern ski world, Amer Sports' biggest brands are Salomon, Atomic, and Armada. Salomon is one of the leaders in ski technology with versatile offerings in every discipline, while Atomic is known for its racing pedigree and high-performance ski equipment. Armada is a big name focusing on freestyle and freeride skiing, beloved by the off-piste rider looking for powder and natural terrain. Although their construction is identical in technology and design, brand loyalty, aesthetics, and correlating ski gear may influence a skier to choose a specific brand over the other while offering the high-end performance and innovation that each brand achieves within the industry.

What to Consider When Buying Salomon, Atomic, and Armada Ski Bindings

Photo by Alois Lackner

Are Salomon, Atomic, and Armada Ski Bindings the Same?

These are all produced by Amer Sports, although subtle differences in offered technology and construction keep these bindings unique. Brand image, design aesthetics, and offered features are the main differences you will see with these brands. Skiers should choose the brand that aligns with their needs or their preference as the technology and performance are equal across the brands.

What Is the Aesthetic Appeal? Are You Brand Loyal?

Commonly, you will see a skier choose bindings that match up with the brand of their skis, creating a seamless aesthetic throughout the setup. Salomon may have more color options while Atomic and Armada favor a minimalist colorway. Keep in mind this preference is purely aesthetic and doesn’t affect compatibility with different brand skis.

What Type of Skiing Will You Be Doing?

Salomon, Atomic, and Armada focus on different types of skiing. What type of skiing are you doing? If you are racing, you may favor Atomic bindings for their high performance, while Salomon is an ideal choice for all-around versatility. If you have a freestyle or freeride skiing style, Armada is known for its off-piste performance and reputation. Understanding the type of skiing you do most will help you narrow down your choice. For free advice on this topic, chat with a Curated Snow Sports Expert!

What Is Your Skiing Ability?

Your skiing ability (beginner, intermediate, or advanced) plays a significant role in choosing the right brand. While the brands offer beginner-friendly to advanced options, you may favor a brand for its specific focus. Salomon bindings are versatile for the beginner, Atomic is known for its racing pedigree that favors advanced skiers, and Armada is your go-to choice for all-mountain skiers who love rough off-piste terrain.

Are the Bindings Compatible With Your Ski Boots and Skis?

Compatibility is key when selecting ski bindings. Ensure your bindings are compatible with both your ski boots (type and sole) and skis (width and brake size). It is a good practice to look at the specifications of your bindings compared to your boots. Bindings can be compatible with standardized boot options such as Alpine (International Standards Organization ISO 5355), GripWalk (ISO 23223), or Touring Boots (ISO 9523), among others.

How Much Should Ski Bindings Cost?

Depending on the binding design materials, technology, and performance, the price can vary from $150 on the low end to $400 on the high end. The budget-friendly options focus on safety and ease of use for beginner to intermediate riders. If you are looking for more advanced features, high-end materials, and optimal performance, the more expensive bindings may suit your needs better. Although Saloman, Atomic, and Armada bindings are identical in construction, the prices may still vary based on the specific brand. Here at Curated, we will ensure you get the best value for your bindings.

What Are the Different Types of Salomon, Atomic, and Armada Ski Bindings?

Several categories for bindings align with different skiing disciplines and a rider's preferences, allowing the rider to optimize their experience and performance on the slopes.

Salomon

Photo courtesy of Salomon

Salomon ski bindings offer a diverse range to suit different ski styles. The S/Force series is designed to provide power and precision for on-piste skiing. The Shift series, identical to the Atomic Shift bindings, is catered toward backcountry riders looking for a balance of efficiency while touring and downhill performance.

  • S/STH Series: These offer strong and durable construction to facilitate high-performance skiing and are built for intermediate to expert riders.
    • Benefits
      • High durability and strength
      • Suitable for aggressive skiing styles
    • Keep in Mind
      • Heavier than other models, which may not suit all skiers
      • Not the best choice for beginners
  • Warden Series: Salomons “do-it-all” downhill binding. With lighter construction and built-in versatility, these bindings can perform across many skiing disciplines.
    • Benefits
      • Versatile, lighter than the STH series
      • Designed for all types of ski designs
    • Keep in Mind
      • More forgiving than the STH series
      • May not feel as dialed in for aggressive skiers
  • Shift Series: This freeride and backcountry binding features pin technology for the uphill climb and downhill features to perform just like an alpine binding.
    • Benefits
      • Lightweight construction and efficiency make it ideal for the backcountry explorer, whether going up or down the mountain
      • Heel angle adjustment to keep you comfortable when climbing
    • Keep in Mind
      • Complex construction and features make this binding not geared toward beginners
      • Sacrifices downhill performance if you stick to lift access terrain

Atomic

Photo courtesy of Atomic

Atomic is recognized for its racing pedigree, offering the X-Series binding to provide precision and high performance to racers and on-piste skiers. The Shift series (the same as Salomon’s Shift) focuses on versatility and touring performance for the backcountry enthusiast.

  • STH and Shift MNC Series: These series are shared with Salomon and offer similar features and benefits.
  • X Series: The X series is for high performance and racing alike where precision and direct feedback from the binding to the boot is needed.
    • Benefits
      • High performance and reliability, suited for racing
      • Strong feedback from binding to boot for precision skiing
    • Keep in Mind
      • May be too specific for casual or all-mountain skiers
      • Not as beginner-friendly as other bindings offered

Armada

Photo courtesy of Armada

Armada bindings are a middle ground between the touring and racing options from Salomon and Atomic. Focusing on freeride and all-mountain performance, Armada bindings offer versatility and durability for freestyle skiers.

  • Warden MNC Series: These bindings cater to skiers who find themselves on a variety of terrains, offering a blend of performance, comfort, and safety. Similar to Salomon and Atomic's Warden series and built with a focus on freeriding.
    • Benefits
      • Ideal for freeriding and all-mountain skiing
      • High DIN, short for Deutsches Institut für Normung (German Institute for Standardization) range for advanced skiers to keep your boot from releasing too soon, excellent power transmission, and safety features
  • Keep in Mind
    • May not be the first choice for racers or aggressive on-piste skiers
    • Heavier than STH2 Series
  • B. STH2 Series: This series is designed for more aggressive skiers. The STH2 bindings offer excellent power transfer, durability, and a secure fit, making them ideal for demanding skiers who push their gear to the limit.
    • Benefits
      • Strong construction, highly durable
      • Benefits aggressive skiers
    • Keep in Mind
      • Not the best for beginners or lightweight setups
      • More expensive than the Warden Series

Features to Look for When Buying Salomon, Atomic, and Armada Ski Bindings

Photo courtesy of Armada

These brands share technology but also have unique features that differ between each model. Here are some features and technology you should look out for when choosing your bindings:

Multi Norm Certified (MNC) Bindings

MNC bindings are constructed to work with a variety of ski boots and sole types. Amer Sports offers bindings that are Multi Norm Certified (MNC), like the Salomon Warden MNC, Atomic Shift MNC, and Armada Warden MNC series. This means you are covered with any boot you may have including GripWalk, Walk to Ride (WTR), or ISO 5355 and 9523 ski boots.

Shift Technology

The Shift technology is found on Atomic and Salomon bindings, offering a hybrid option that can transform between a touring binding and an alpine binding. In “tour mode” a skier is set to hike up the mountain with ease, and when it comes to downhill, “ski mode” has you covered with high-performance power transfer for confidence on the steep descents.

Low Profile Chassis (LPC)

Featured in several Atomic and Salomon bindings, this technology provides a low stand height for increased terrain feedback and enhanced power and lateral transmission.

Automatic Wing and Toe Height Adjustment

This feature ensures your boot and binding are always matched up perfectly, without having to adjust the wings or the toe height to your boots. This adjustable toe height happens automatically each time you click into your binding — just step in and ski!

Progressive Transfer Pads

Available in the Salomon and Atomic Warden and STH series, these pad tech inserts under the heel and toe provide damping to absorb rough terrain. This technology helps smooth things out for an unmatched ride.

Sole Flex

Unique to Atomic, this technology allows the ski to flex naturally under the binding. When skiing, this is reflected in consistent release when your boot needs to detach and gives the ski plank a more natural feel on the terrain.

Oversized Platform

A wider platform constructed for the heel and toe piece increases lateral power transmission. This is particularly beneficial for wider skis. It enhances control and response, a feature I've found incredibly useful on these bindings.

Freeski Brakes

This feature provides a ski brake design that doesn't get in your way when skiing, has no hang-ups, and is constructed to work with modern wide skis.

How to Choose the Right Salomon, Atomic, or Armada Ski Bindings for You

Photo courtesy of Atomic

David

Our skier David needs a specific binding to help him with his touring season. He’s got a lot of ski trips planned to remote backcountry mountains only accessible by foot. He is looking for a binding that has excellent downhill performance and lightweight efficiency to bring him up the mountain. His skiing style is aggressive and progressive.

Features to look for:

  • Convertible from touring to downhill skiing
  • Pin technology
  • Lightweight construction

Products to consider:

Kaia

Needs: Kaia has just found her passion for skiing and is set this season to progress and perfect her technique on the mountain. She is a beginner to intermediate skier looking for a binding that is easy to use, versatile for a variety of terrain, and forgiving when things get rough.

Features to look for:

  • Safety features
  • Damping technology to keep things smooth
  • Durable construction for long-lasting performance

Products to consider:

  • Armada N Stage 10 GW Ski Bindings: The most budget-friendly option, features automatic toe height adjustment for easy use, and an easy step-in threshold for lightweight riders
  • Atomic Strive 12 GW Ski Bindings: Technology that focuses on performance and a natural ski feel, versatile for all conditions and terrain, higher DIN for aggressive skiing
  • Atomic Warden 13 MN Ski Bindings: Ultimate versatility for on-piste and off-piste terrain, lighter weight construction, wide toe piece, and very durable

Find the Right Salomon, Atomic, and Armada Ski Bindings for You

Well, there you have it! Bindings are one of the most important aspects of your ski setup, allowing your power and feel to be transmitted into your ski and into the snow. Be sure to keep important factors in mind such as terrain, ski ability, type of skiing, and your specific needs when choosing the correct binding.

Do you still have questions about the right bindings for you? Chat with a Curated Snow Sports Expert to get expert-level knowledge and help when choosing the bindings for your ski setup. We are more than happy to help get you skiing on the slopes with the right equipment so you can focus on the ride and have fun!

Curated experts can help

Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

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