ATOMIC SHIFT BINDINGATOMIC
The Shift binding is the next generation of freeride binding – and is the binding that freeriders and all-mountain skiers have been waiting for. It’s the first ever binding that’s a genuine tech binding for touring – but then shift to ski mode and it turns into a genuine freeride binding for the way down, with a TÜV certified Alpine heel and toe that’s compatible with all ISO boots norms on the market. For the first time you don’t need to compromise! No hiking with frames. No skiing with pins. One binding for all your touring and Mountain days.
I have had the opportunity to test this binding both in the Alps and at home in the Cairngorms. I think this will tick a lot of boxes for a lot of tourers who are looking for a single set up to do everything. Before their was always a compromise between weight on the uphill and confidence/ safety on the way down.
When the binding is used in the ski mode, the binding works the same as an standard alpine binding clamping on to the toe and heel Lugs of the boot. This has allowed Atomic/Salomon to build in 47mm of elasticity in the toe (A Salomon STH has about 52mm and a pin binding has very little, if any). The binding feels just like a standard alpine binding on the way down and I quickly forgot that I was not skiing in a "normal" binding.
In uphill Mode the toe piece wings pop up to reveal pins that fit the tech inserts of touring boots. There is a bit more of a ramp angle on the Shift compared to other tech bindings while skinning which would possibly be a bit less comfortable on a long flat section but uphill it was not really an issue. The transition took a bit of fiddling but this like any new toy is just part of the learning curve as we are used to fiddling at the heel rather that the toe.
The Binding weighs about 890 grams each So it is not as light as the most Tech bindings on the market.