The Curated Take
A great binding for those looking to get into alpine touring without sacrificing the ease, comfort, reliability, and safety of a traditional alpine binding. Unlike other frame bindings on the market, this one can transition from uphill/walk mode into downhill/ski mode without having to step out of the binding. This makes transitions much easier and more efficient. The trade-off for downhill performance and traditional release mechanisms is that the metal bars running atop the middle of the ski greatly affect the skis flex pattern. On nearly flat skis and those with minimal camber underfoot, it's not that noticeable especially in variable backcountry terrain. However, on groomed, on-piste resort terrain with a more cambered ski, you'll notice the ski lose some of its personality.
- Can transition from uphill to downhill without having to remove ski and binding
- Reliable release
- no-nonsense downhill performance
- Frame bindings detract from the personality of heavily cambered skis
- Locking mechanism can ice up during long tours
- Heel lifts warp with prolonged use/abuse
Guardian MNC 13 is a powerful, precise freeride binding that gives you options. MNC fits both Alpine and Touring norms, you can release the heel for sidecountry excursions. And it descends like a Salomon.