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The Curated Take
If you're looking for one do-it-all binding, then the Atomic/Salomon Shift is the only way to go. No other binding on the market offers the same ease of use and versatility as the Shift. Transitioning from the alpine to touring setting is as simple as flipping a tab on the toe piece and locking down the brake. Once in skinning mode, there are only two level settings. The flat setting and a climbing setting, thanks to one riser (roughly 1.5in) the latter make climbing a bit easier on the legs. Keep in mind that a standard tech binding would have at least two risers - one for moderately steep climbs and another for steeper climbs. That said, the lack of a second riser can make certain pitches more taxing. Secondly, the weight of the Shift binding compared to most tech bindings impacts the uphill performance of the binding. Dedicated backcountry skiers lean towards lighter setups.
All said, if you're the type of skier who wants to dabble in more backcountry and sidecountry adventures, the Shift is a great place to start! Just don't expect it to have the same performance characteristics as either an alpine binding or tech binding will have. But this is a great way to break into backcountry skiing without breaking the bank on a dedicated backcountry setup.
- The best binding for the ultimate one ski quiver
- Skiers who do 80% of their skiing in-bounds
- Amazing functionality as a standard alpine binding
- By touring standards, it's a heavy binding
- Fickle toe height adjustment can lead to pre-release issues
- Only one riser setting when climbing - most AT bindings have two
The Atomic Shift 13 MNC Ski Bindings are designed to give advanced skiers the freedom to explore the resort or the backcountry. This is the original hybrid binding with the ability to transform from a safe and stable downhill binding into a tech toe binding for touring (hiking to earn turns). These bindings have an easy step-in and automatic wing adjustment to securely hold the boot while skiing. The Atomic Shift 13 MNC allows a skier to have the right tool for the job no matter what adventure is planned for the day.
- Dual Mode Toepiece: The MNC (multi norm compatible) toepiece for skiing works with a variety of soles, including alpine, grip walk (GW), walk to ride (WTR), and touring. It requires a boot with tech toe for the hiking/touring mode.
- Freeski Brakes: Self-retracting brakes maintain a close position on the ski, so they don't catch on the snow while skiing.
- Hike and Ride Switch: The lever at the toe switches between hike and ski mode.
- DIN Range: The 6-13 DIN range is recommended for advanced to expert level skiers.