Ski bindings are a critical aspect of equipment that often gets overlooked by the average skier. If you want to get the most out of your skis and boots, you need to get high-quality bindings to tie everything together.
My name is Christine, and I started TheSkiGirl.com to provide my fellow skiers with all the resources and information to enjoy their days in the snow. I’ve used many different bindings over the years and know what to look for in the best options.
The Marker Griffon 13 ID is my pick for the best ski bindings of the year. This model has been around for a long time, and the latest version will give you reliable performance that you can use to ski all over the mountain.
I’ll show you all of the best bindings of the year in this post. There are some good choices out there, and every option you see here is recommended. There should be a match for every type of skier here, so take the time to find one that best suits your needs.
Let’s get on with it.
- Who Should Get This
- Top Picks of Best Ski Bindings
- Best Ski Bindings: What to Consider
- Useful Tips & Resources
- Final Verdict
Who Should Get This
If you have skis, you need to get ski bindings. That may seem obvious to experienced skiers, but I’ve seen plenty of newbies stare at an unmounted pair of skis, wondering what’s wrong. Without bindings, you have two skinny sleds.
The options listed here are some of the best on the market but don’t forget that each binding has a different purpose. Alpine skiers will want to get a downhill style binding, while backcountry skiers will want a more touring or tech style binding.
If you’re just learning how to ski, it would be a good idea to talk to the technicians at your local ski shop before purchasing bindings. There are plenty of factors to consider when buying ski bindings.
Do bindings matter on skis?
They sure do. Even though they often get overlooked, ski bindings are one of the most important aspects of your setup. They are just as important as your boots and skis, so it pays to get a good pair.
Do ski bindings make a big difference?
Ski bindings can make a big difference in your experience on the mountain. Bad bindings will impact your performance no matter how you like to ski. Bindings are kind of like the steering wheel on a car. Without them, you’ll struggle to stay in control.
How do I know what kind of ski bindings to get?
Depending on what skiing style you like to do, you should get a pair of bindings that match. Look at the suggestions here for a better idea of matching your skills and abilities with a good set of bindings.
What is the safest ski binding?
This depends on your ability level and preferences. Ski binding safety boils down to how effectively they help to limit the chance of injury. If you are a beginner, you’ll want an option with lower DIN settings because this will be safer.
What is the difference between cheap and expensive ski bindings?
There can be a big difference between cheap and expensive ski bindings. If you want the best performance and lasting durability, spending a little more money can be worth it. There are also more affordable options that are still good quality.
How much should I spend on ski bindings?
Most ski bindings cost anywhere from $150 to $350. There are options on either side of this, but nearly every popular model falls in this range. As a general rule, I wouldn’t spend more on your bindings than you did on your skis.
Top Picks of Best Ski Bindings
Here are my picks for the best ski bindings of the year. All of the options here are recommended, but be sure to choose one that best matches your needs on the mountain.
1. Marker Griffon 13 ID
- Best for: Overall
- Key features: Reliable performance, multiple brake sizes available, excellent power transfer, Inter Pivot 3 heel
- DIN range: 4-13
- Weight: 1018 grams
- Cost: $$
The Marker Griffon 13 ID (review) gets my pick for the best overall ski bindings of the year. Marker makes some of the best bindings in the game, and this model has been a favorite among all types of skiers for years.
This one has all of the qualities you want out of a downhill binding, and they are reliable, effective, and versatile. They have a fairly wide footprint, which is a modern design element that matches the wider trend in skis.
The Griffon 13 has a DIN range from 4-13 and the brand’s SOLE.ID footplate is fully compatible with any alpine ski boot. The bindings come in several brake ranges to fit any type of ski you might use.
They also feature a no-pull-out screw design to keep the bindings safe and secure on your skis and a cross-axis toe spring that makes for a compact mounting profile.
There isn’t much of a downside to mention with the Griffon 13 ID. They do well all over the mountain and come highly recommended.
2. Look Pivot 14
- Best for: All-Mountain
- Key features: Durable, multi-directional release, enhanced safety features, full action toe, wide DIN range
- DIN range: 5-14
- Weight: 1115 grams
- Cost: $$$
For outstanding all-mountain performance, it’s hard to beat the Look Pivot 14. If you want to handle anything that the mountain throws your way, these bindings will have you covered and then some.
These bindings feature a pivoting heel that has become both common and desirable among many high-level skiers. This design gives a natural flex and twist to the binding to keep the knees safe and prevent early ejections.
The Pivot 14 goes up to a 14 DIN setting, but it is also available in 12 and 18 models for different ability levels. They are also available in four different brake sizes and feature GripWalk soles to be compatible with nearly all alpine boots.
They don’t have much room for adjustment, and once mounted to your skis, you might be stuck with one boot size. These bindings are also some of the coolest-looking options out there.
They are heavier, so they don’t make for a good option for backcountry skiing or touring.
3. Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC 13
- Best for: Powder
- Key features: Versatile, lightweight, innovative design, unique dual-mode toe piece, automatic wing adjustment
- DIN range: 6-13
- Weight: 885 grams
- Cost: $$$$
The Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC 13 (review) will help you seek and destroy powder lines in the resort and backcountry. This is an awesome hybrid model that gives you excellent downhill performance while also allowing for effective ascents.
These bindings are highly versatile and hold their own at a high level in basically any condition you might encounter. This is probably the most capable ski binding out there at both uphill climbs and downhill performance.
They are best suited for advanced and expert skiers. They have a DIN range of 6-13, a weight of 885 grams, and are available in several different brake sizes to accommodate different ski widths.
An innovative toe piece that creates the ability to excel in uphill climbs is another nice touch that will keep your boots stiff and responsive when skiing downhill as well.
The S/Lab Shift MNC 13 is a really expensive binding, but you’ll be more than satisfied if you can afford it.
4. Marker Squire 11
- Best for: Freestyle
- Key features: Affordable, good freestyle performance, wide DIN range, 3-year warranty, strong and durable construction
- DIN range: 3-11
- Weight: 820 grams
- Cost: $$
If you want to focus on freestyle skiing, the Marker Squire 11 will help meet your needs. These have a strong and durable construction that will stand out when you want to hit the park or launch off a natural feature on the mountain.
A Triple Pivot Light 2 toe piece gives you a stable first point for effective power transmission and will also help prevent injuries by allowing for quick releases when needed. The Hollow Linkage 2 heel works with GripWalk boots for added versatility.
They also come with an anti-ice rail that you can use to scrape snow and ice from your boot to make sure you get a solid fit each and every time.
These boots also are lightweight and come with a solid 3-year warranty if you experience any issues.
They don’t have the highest DIN settings, which might be an issue for heavier skiers or non-freestyle situations.
Related: Best Freestyle Ski Bindings
5. Salomon Warden MNC 13
- Best for: Moguls
- Key features: Great in the bumps, progressive transfer pads, reliable performance, well-constructed, affordable
- DIN range: 4-13
- Weight: 1132 grams
- Cost: $$$
The Salomon Warden MNC 13 is a solid option for moguls and will give you reliable performance in the bumps, no matter what ability level of skier you are.
These bindings incorporate design elements such as a low-profile chassis and progressive transfer pads that directly benefit the needs of mogul skiers.
They are solid, reliable, and durable bindings that offer excellent power transfer from boot to ski without being too bulky or heavy. A DIN range of 4-13 gives a broad range to meet the needs of skiers of many ability levels.
The Warden MNC 13 also comes with an AFD screw that allows for easy adjustment and helps keep snow out of the way when you want to step into them.
These are a little oversized, which can bother some skiers, depending on personal preferences.
6. Tyrolia Attack2 13
- Best for: The Money
- Key features: Affordable, versatile performance, quality construction, 3-piece heel design, wide boot compatibility
- DIN range: 4-13
- Weight: 1035
- Cost: $$
The best ski bindings for the money are the Tyrolia Attack2 13. These are an awesome pair that gives you high-quality performance at a budget price.
This is a very versatile option that can work in many different terrains and conditions on the mountain. Whether you want to crush the terrain park or explore all-mountain lines, these will have your back.
They are also compatible with a wide range of ski boots thanks to an FR Pro2 toe piece that works with GripWalk soles and many other models.
A 3-piece heel is another nice touch that increases the effectiveness of the bindings all over the mountain.
It’s a somewhat heavy option, so not great if weight or bulk is a big concern.
7. Look Pivot 18
- Best for: Freeride
- Key features: High DIN settings, rugged construction, reliable performance, multi-directional release
- DIN range: 8-18
- Weight: 1135 grams
- Cost: $$$
The Look Pivot 18 is a terrific option for freeride skiing situations when high performance and reliability are essential.
These come with a DIN range of 8-18, giving you a very high top setting that you can crank up when you want to tackle a very technical line and losing a ski is not an option.
They also come with a 180-degree multi-directional release to ensure that your knees stay intact if you take a bad spill while skiing.
28 mm of vertical elasticity in the heel prevents unwanted releases, which is another feature that comes in very helpful in freeride situations.
These bindings are heavy and definitely not for beginners with a low-end DIN setting of 8.
8. Marker Jester 16 ID
- Best for: Terrain Park
- Key features: Great park performance, excellent power transfer, high DIN settings, very durable
- DIN range: 6-16
- Weight: 1070 grams
- Cost: $$$
If you spend your days in the terrain park, the Marker Jester 16 ID is a solid binding option to pair with your park skis.
These bindings are built for experienced skiers who like to rip and push their gear to the limits. This model is basically an improved and burlier version of the Griffon model.
However, the extra strength and built-in durability can pay off for serious skiers who demand a lot out of their bindings and like ripping through the park. There is extra metal built into these bindings to increase their strength.
High DIN settings let you crank up the number to prevent unwanted releases while allowing you to go big.
The Jester 16 ID is not a good option for beginners and is also pretty heavy.
Related: Best Park Ski Bindings
9. Salomon STH2 WTR 13
- Best for: Carving
- Key features: High-performance, versatile, 2-year warranty, 3D Driver Toe, solid power transmission
- DIN range: 5-13
- Weight: 8 ounces
- Cost: $$
The Salomon STH2 WTR 13 is a carving machine that will help you turn wide or tight on any kind of snow.
These bindings are very popular with advanced skiers because they come from a trusted brand that delivers reliable and long-lasting performance. They are durable and offer excellent power transfer from boot to ski.
Solomon set out to limit the use of plastic with these bindings, which means they are more durable and stronger than previous models. The toe height and wings are also adjustable, giving you a lot of versatility.
This is a somewhat bulky option, which can be an issue if used on narrow skis.
10. Dynafit ST Rotation 14
- Best for: Touring
- Key features: Lightweight, versatile backcountry performance, ST Rotation toe piece, durable, rugged construction
- DIN range: 7-14
- Weight: 605 grams
- Cost: $$$$
The Dynafit ST Rotation 14 is the best ski binding for touring of the year. These will give you excellent performance going uphill and coming back down again.
This is a tech binding option with a sturdy forged aluminum build. They also use Chromoly steel with carbon reinforcements, two materials that make them very strong and lightweight.
The ST Rotation 14 is designed for the backcountry but can also be used for downhill applications when needed and hold up to be responsive under these situations.
They also feature an intuitive transition mode and perform well both on long uphills and full-force descents—an excellent option for those in need of a versatile and reliable backcountry binding.
The downside for this excellent touring performance is their cost. This is the most expensive option on the list.
Best Ski Bindings: What to Consider
This section will provide you with some essential considerations to think about when looking for the best ski bindings. Some bindings options are similar, but they each have subtle differences to keep in mind.
Ski bindings are available in several different styles. Always match yours to the way you ski. While this comes down to personal choice, the three most common ski binding styles are Alpine/Downhill, Tech, and Alpine Touring.
Alpine/Downhill bindings have a classic style that most people have seen before if they’ve spent any time at a ski resort. You use these bindings by inserting the toe of your ski boot in the front binding and then stepping down with your heel to lock your boot into place.
Alpine bindings are usually heavier, which allows them to be both durable and strong.
Tech style bindings are intended more for backcountry and touring skiing styles where you want to limit weight because you’re going to spend a lot of time trekking uphill.
These bindings have a front toe piece that uses two pins to lock your boot in place. The heel piece can be unlocked for uphill ascents as well.
Alpine Touring or AT bindings are a hybrid binding that uses design features that cater to both downhill and touring skiing styles. These bindings are great for people who like to ski in resorts and the backcountry without changing their setup.
They have a framed design that provides power transfer when headed downhill, but the heels can be unlocked for touring or climbing.
Experienced skiers will be familiar with the DIN setting of their bindings. This setting dictates how much force you need to release your skis when pressure is put on the bindings through a fall or other accident.
DIN settings change for each skier, depending on weight, height, and general experience. Beginner skiers will have a smaller DIN setting, while advanced and expert skiers will want higher settings.
It’s important to know your potential DIN setting because all ski bindings come with a different range.
Some bindings will only go as high as 11, which wouldn’t be enough for an aggressive, experienced skier. Other bindings have DIN settings that start at 8, which would be too high for your average beginner.
DIN setting is a critical safety consideration, so you need to know it when purchasing. Ski techs can help you figure the number out. Never be too shy to ask. It can lead to big problems if you don’t.
Ski binding weight is another factor to consider when making a purchase. If you’re strictly a downhill skier, you can get a heavy, durable binding. Alpine bindings with a higher DIN setting would be standard for experienced skiers, and they can expect a weight of around 5 pounds.
If you’re a backcountry or touring skier, lighter is always better. Superlight bindings will compromise downhill performance. Even so, lightweight models are much easier to ski, hike, and tour in.
Some of these models can weigh under a pound, but it’s more often to see them in the two to three-pound range.
The size of your bindings needs to work with the size of your skis. Most of the bindings listed here are available in various brake sizes to accommodate different ski styles. The binding size is typically referred to as brake width and is measured in millimeters.
You want binding brakes that are wider than your skis in the location where the bindings are mounted. That will enable the brakes to stop your ski from sliding when it’s not attached.
Your ski brakes should be anywhere from four to fifteen millimeters wider than the width of your ski. If you have a 91mm underfoot ski, you want a 93-105 size binding.
You don’t want to go too small because that can cause your brakes to stick to your skis. Going too wide can also make your brakes catch snow when you turn.
Boots and Bindings
Another thing to keep in mind is that you want your bindings to match your boots. If you have alpine-style bindings, you want alpine-style boots. Each ski binding style is compatible with the related ski boot style.
You don’t want to buy a binding that won’t be compatible with the boots you already have.
Just as hybrid bindings work for both alpine and backcountry skiing, there are now hybrid boots made for different disciplines. Many boots have a walk or touring mode that can be turned or clipped on and off to match your style.
These hybrid boot options make pairing your boot with the proper binding less of a worry. Even so, you want to ensure your bindings and boots are compatible with one another.
Useful Tips & Resources
While ski bindings might not seem that important to a beginner skier, those with experience know they will aid your abilities and work to prevent injuries.
The innovations and technology put into modern ski binding design are vital aspects of the sport, and it’s enabled skiers to ski at higher levels and avoid injury.
If you want to learn the basics of ski binding mechanics and how they work to keep you safe, check this out.
Mounting your bindings on your skis isn’t that difficult. However, if you’ve never done it before, you should have a professional mount them for you.
You need to know the proper placement for your skiing style, and you want the right tools to get the job done. Once you know the process, you can do it on your own, as shown in this video.
Another tip is always to buy new bindings. You may be able to find a good deal on some used skis that are still in good condition, but they will often still have bindings from the previous owner mounted on them.
I always recommend putting new bindings on used skis as you don’t know the condition or reliability of used bindings. Bindings are critical when it comes to skier safety and injury protection. It’s important to know what you are using.
On a final note, always be sure to check your bindings for damage before you go skiing. If your bindings aren’t functioning correctly, you risk serious injury and can experience runaway skis.
Either of those issues can quickly end a ski day, which is why it pays to give your bindings a quick examination to make sure nothing is amiss. Also, be sure to double-check your DIN settings if you haven’t in a while to make sure they’re still set to your individual preference.
There are some more good tips for selecting quality ski bindings in the video below.
The Marker Griffon 13 ID is my pick for the best ski bindings of the year. This is a tried and true model from one of the most respected brand names in the industry, and the latest version delivers high-quality performance all over the mountain.
You need high-quality bindings if you want to reach high levels of performance as a skier. All of the best options you’ll find here will help you achieve just that and will give you the reliability and response you count on.