Expert Review: Salomon S/lab Shift MNC 10 Ski Bindings · 2022
This review is my own honest opinion of the ski bindings, which I bought with my own money in September 2020.
About this Review: This review is my own honest opinion of the ski bindings, which I bought with my own money in September 2020.
The Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC 13 touring bindings are perfect for those looking for a “one-binding quiver” to ski advanced terrain both at the resort and in the backcountry.
About the gear
- Model: 2021 Salomon Shift MNC 13
- Height: 5’7”
- Weight: 135 lbs
- Preferred DIN range: 8-12
- Experience: 29 years of skiing
- When I bought these: September 2020
- Days tested: 30 days
- Boots: Tecnica Zero G Scout
- Boot Size: 25.5
- Skis: LINE Vision 98 and K2 Mindbender 115C Alliance
- Where I’ve used them: Touring in Colorado and the Tetons, as well as inbounds at Aspen, Taos, Jackson Hole, Arapahoe Basin, Winter Park, and more
- Terrain: Moguls, trees, groomers, backcountry couloirs, and open bowls
How they perform
What I was looking for
When I started touring, I learned on a tele setup because that’s what everyone around me patrolling in Maine had. When I moved to Colorado and started going on hut trips and spending more time venturing into tight trees and steep couloirs, I decided to make the move to an AT binding, and wanted something that would allow me to ski like I do in resort and be as reliable and safe as my alpine bindings. Fortunately, Salomon came out with the Shift bindings around the same time as I was looking to make the shift.
Why I chose this gear
I was considering the Marker Kingpins as an option with a real heel release, and then Salomon came out with the Shift with alpine heel-and-toe release for the downhill, and I was sold. Safety and performance are my top priority in the backcountry, and these hit the mark for both of those for me.
What I love about them
- Release reliability: This is one of the reasons I got these bindings. They have a real DIN setting for the toe and heel and provide reliable release when they should. I love that I can feel comfortable skiing them in the backcountry and aggressively inbounds as well.
- Downhill performance: This is the other reason I got the Shift bindings; they perform as well downhill as my other alpine bindings in terms of stability and control.
- Durability: I’ve had great experience with durability in my Shift bindings. I actually have a set from when they were first released that are still going strong as well that I’ve put 80 or so days on. Durability in touring bindings can be a challenge because there are so many more moving parts and things to break compared to alpine bindings, but mine have held up to countless transitions.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Uphill performance: There is only one riser on the Shift bindings. For the majority of skin tracks the single riser works fine for lifting the heel to make the ascent easier, but there are always a few times a season where I feel like I’m working a little harder on steep terrain than some of my ski partners who have multiple height options. These bindings could be greatly improved with a second, higher-level option.
- Weight: The Shift bindings are not the lightest option there is at 1730 grams per pair. They are lighter than frame bindings that can come in at about 2700 grams, but for those looking for something for fast-and-light ascents and descents, there are a variety of options out there that go all the way down to just over 600 grams.
- Power transfer: For those who have different boots for touring and alpine, the Shift bindings may need to be adjusted upon switching boots. When I use my alpine boots, if I forget to adjust the toe piece up to the sole of my boot, it feels loose and some power transfer is lost. However, if I remember to make the adjustment up or down for my boots, they fit snugly and the power transfer is excellent.
- Other: Like most touring bindings, in certain snow conditions the Shifts can get iced up and the mechanical pieces don’t function like they should. One issue has been the toe lever (the part that keeps the pins in the boots) not staying up on ascents. This has only happened to me once or twice, and I’ve been able to use a ski strap to connect it up to my boot and keep it in place.
Favorite moment with this gear
Touring the Grand Teton National Park is where the Shifts really shined for me. These trips involve long approaches and steep, technical skiing. The Shift bindings helped give me the confidence to ski more intense backcountry terrain than I normally would.
Value for the money vs. other options
When it comes to touring bindings, the Salomon Shifts are expensive, but not more so than other comparable options, such as the Marker Duke PT and Marker Kingpin. For me, having the reliable release and performance is worth every penny.
The Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC 13 bindings are a great option for those who are looking for either one pair of bindings to use both in the backcountry and at the resort, or those who want something reliable and high-performing in the backcountry.