Expert Review: Dynafit Radical Ski Bindings · 2022
This review is my honest opinion of the bindings which I purchased with my own money in January 2022.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the bindings which I purchased with my own money in January 2022.
The Dynafit Radical Ski Bindings are the ticket to a great day in the backcountry. Dynafit has found the perfect balance between lightweight and durable. Great for both the uphill and downhill.
About the gear
- Model: Dynafit Radical Ski Bindings 2022 Blue
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 150 lbs
- Preferred DIN range: 7-10
- Experience: 22 years of skiing
- When I bought these: January 2022
- Days tested: 10
- Boots: Salomon MTN Explore
- Boot Size: 26/26.5
- Skis: Whitedot R 98
- Where I’ve used it: Backcountry in Utah
- Terrain: Powder, windcrust, hardpack
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was looking for a backcountry-specific binding that would allow me to move quickly uphill with a steady feel on the downhill. I also wanted a binding that I could trust to release in certain situations but not prematurely.
Why I chose this gear
I bought this product because this binding is one of the best options that doesn’t compromise on the uphill or the downhill. The binding is very light but still has an adjustable DIN and is reliable for the downhill. The main alternative to this binding is the Dynafit Rotation and Fritschi Vipec Evo. The rotation is similar to the radical but with a rotating toe piece that helps reduce premature release in harsh conditions. I determined that this one extra feature was not worth the additional price. The Vipec Evo is another alternative, but after reading reviews, it seemed to be the less durable and reliable option.
What I love about it
- Release Reliability: I love how I don’t have to worry about releasing early and losing my ski down the mountain compared to other tech bindings. I also don’t have to worry about twisting a knee because the binding always releases on time if I fall hard. However, because a tech binding is more rigid than a downhill binding and will release more often than a downhill binding in similar din settings, I would choose a different binding if I was skiing at the resort.
- Uphill Performance: Stepping into the pins is straightforward, thanks to the step-in towers and ice breaker pins. I haven’t had any real issues with ice building until I couldn’t step in. The pins make for an easy, smooth ascent in the backcountry.
- Durability: The bindings are made of primarily stainless steel and aluminum, so I suspect they will last a good while. I haven’t had any issues after about ten days of use.
- Weight: Dynafit calls the weight of each binding around 520 grams with the 88mm brake. That puts it in the middle of the pack compared to other tech bindings. They felt light and quick compared to all the AT bindings I have used. There are several speed and light tech bindings that shave off up to 250 grams of weight. I personally don’t need a binding that light because I know that comprises the downhill capabilities and the fun that I can have. If I needed to go on only very long tours with mellow descents, I might opt for a more minimalistic binding like the G3 Ion or Atomic Backland Tour.
- Power Transfer: The power transfer is great for powder in the backcountry. The foot sits low to the ground, and the bindings have a wide base which helps with maximum transfer. Suppose the terrain is unforgiving, choppy, and hard. In that case, this binding doesn't have as good of transfer as the Dynafit rotation or a downhill binding because the toe has less support and limited flexibility in the binding. For that reason, they are better suited for soft or forgiving snow which is often found in the backcountry.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Downhill Performance: The downhill performance is great for a tech binding. It may not be as stable as a downhill binding or even the Marker Kingpin, for example, but it makes up for it on the uphill.
Favorite moment with this gear
At the end of the day, after a long tour, my legs would often feel dead with some pain in my hips. After a full day with these new bindings, a tour that would generally exhaust my legs, I felt surprisingly intact and pain-free. The smooth and light uphill performance these bindings gave me was a fantastic way to end the day in Little Cottonwood Canyon near Salt Lake.
Value for the money vs. other options
These bindings are a great value for the money. There is the Dynafit Rotation if the goal is hard gnarlier terrain where that extra rotation technology is helpful. However, the Rotations come in at around $150 more expensive.If the goal is speed ascent, the Marker Alpinist binding, which comes in at about the same price. I think the radicals sit at a great price point for value.
Overall, these bindings unlock a whole world of backcountry skiing. An excellent affordable binding doesn’t compromise on the uphill or the downhill. They are even equipped with brakes for that occasional tour day up the resort.