Salomon MTN Binding Review

The MTN is a solid binding that’s incredibly intuitive, well-made, and reliable. Though it only comes with three predetermined release settings, it gives you excellent performance on all slopes.

Quick Summary

  • Where to buy: EVO, Amazon, REI
  • Best for: Touring skiers who actively need to be able to switch between downhill runs and uphill ascents.
  • Pros: These bindings have a lightweight design. They are reliable, easy to use, and offer excellent performance going both up and downhill. The durability is nice too.
  • Cons: No adjustable DIN settings. The bindings can stick to plastic soles, and it’s possible to switch them to ski mode accidentally. Heel pins difficult to access with a pole.
  • Alternatives: S/Lab Shift MNC, Marker Kingpin, G3 ION 12

Why Trust Me

I’ve been hitting the slopes since I was a kid. I enjoy getting out in the snow and have hands-on experience with a wide range of different skiing items. I spent ample time researching these bindings, exploring their traits, and analyzing the general versatility.

Detailed Review

The MTN Bindings are a minimal, lightweight item that does a good job holding up on even the snowiest slopes. While they are prone to snow build up, their different modes are reliable. There’s a good amount of durability and the power transmission is particularly effective. A strong option perfectly focused on blending excellent performance with versatility.

Uphill Performance

The MTN is a light binding that only weighs in at 1 pound, 12 ounces. As such, it does a great job at helping you on the uphills. The binding has a two-pin front piece and multiple climbing aids built directly into the heel. That locks your foot in place and ensures you don’t have any unfortunate releases. A loop then complements that on the toe piece that works with a leash to keep your skis from getting lost.

There are three climbing levels, and each enables you to quickly move flat, medium, and high depending on what type of terrain you’re on. While you’re definitely going to see some snow and ice build up as you move, it’s nothing a few hard hits or a kick can’t fix. For the most part, I found these to provide excellent versatility when going uphill.

Downhill Performance

These bindings also work quite well when it comes to downhill performance. That’s due to a combination of the secure pins, ski proximity, and wide toe mount. All three of those features go a long way in enabling you to ride to the best of your abilities. They do a great job in both heavy and calm conditions.

These are also responsive. That’s one feature I always look for when breaking down bindings, and the MTN does a great job in that regard. Though you’re not going to get as much power as other high-end bindings, the items do a great job of transferring power on both leans and turns. You can mount them to a range of different skis and get excellent results.

An Easy Transition

When it comes to switching between walk and ski mode, the MTN Bindings do a fantastic job. In fact, I consider that to be its stand out feature. That’s because anyone can grasp the system right away. Not only can you leave the heel in ski mode while walking, but you can also move back to ski mode without taking your skis off.

That type of usability is something to be admired, especially if you’re a skier who needs to switch quite a bit. Riders used to carrying out short laps will love the functionality because they won’t need to rotate the heel during every switch. That being said, due to where the brake plate sits, you can accidentally trigger ski mode every now and then. Plastic soles tend to stick to the rear pins as well.

Construction and Design

I’m a big fan of the MTN’s intuitive, streamlined construction. The bindings are quite straight forward and do what they can to make life easy. The toe piece comes with a special step-in aid to help you get in without worrying about the way your toe lines up with the pins. As mentioned, you also get three climbing levels that you can switch through the pole-accessible lifters as well.

You can also release the brake with a ski or your hand, depending on preference. Salomon even took measures to prevent accidental release. The brakes lift back when the lever gets flipped, and they push forward to sit flush with the ski when engaged. As a unique bonus, the bindings work with Plum and Dynafit crampons as well.

Durability

While they’re quite light, the MTN Bindings have what it takes to survive the slopes. This is one area less heavy options tend to skimp on, but that’s the case here. The bindings do a good job of holding up in all types of weather. They can take a lot of use. You’re not going to see a lot of wear and tear, and that’s great for people who want a long-term investment.

Price and Value

As far as strong touring bindings go, the Salomon is not outrageously priced. The bindings are still costly, but the tough construction and well-made features ensure they will stand the test of time. For both of those reasons, I consider them to have good value. You can get similar technology for less, but these items are definitely reliable for their cost.

What I Like

The best part of the MTN is its versatility. When picking up touring bindings, you want them to provide good results when you’re going uphill and coming back down. That is where these excel, and it’s something I appreciate. In addition, the two modes are quite easy to switch between, so you can spend more time hitting the slopes and less time messing with your gear.

Another shining spot for me is the MTN’s weight-to-durability ratio. Most of the time, lighter weight equipment comes at the cost of weaker construction. The MTN breaks that mold. The bindings will not hold you back, but they will hang around a while. It’s a simple design that has enough toughness for backcountry skiers braving just about any slope.

What I Dislike

The MTN Binding is solid, but I do have a few complaints. My biggest is the position of the brake plate. It’s not uncommon to accidentally switch these into ski mode when you want them in walk mode, and that can be both annoying and frustrating at times. Your plastic soles can also stick, which limits your movement and makes it harder to get around. I wish there wasn’t as much snow build-up in the heel piece too, but that’s to be expected when dealing with tech bindings.

The Alternatives

The MTN Bindings are great, but there are some great alternative models out there. If you want different traits at a similar price point, these all get the job done:

  • S/Lab Shift MNC – Another Salomon offering, the Shift MNC’s are solid, if pricey bindings, that incorporate new technology into a tried-and-true design. They get high marks because of how well they mix touring efficiency with alpine freeride capabilities. That makes them a great option for skiers who want to branch out and try something new.
  • Marker Kingpin – This binding is an alpine touring option with some truly unique features. The toes and heel pieces provide you with superior performance, as well as some of the best power transmission on the market. The toe springs are nice, and the included climbing aids work exactly as you would want them to.
  • G3 ION 12 – This binding makes the list because it’s a reliable, sturdy model that pushes the mold. The Ion 12 sticks with a two-pin toe and heel design, but then adds to it through a wide range of interesting features. That includes an adjustable forward-pressure setting and a wide mounting pattern.

FAQs

Do the leashes release?
No. The MTN’s leashes are not made to release.

How much do the bindings weigh?
The MTN is a rather unobtrusive binding, coming in at 1 pound, 12 ounces.

What is the MTN’s release value?
These bindings have a release value of 6-12.

Final Verdict

At the end of the day, the MTN is a reliable binding that comes from one of the better-known companies in the world of ski apparel. Salomon makes great products. These bindings match that standard due to the way they mix a lightweight and simple, stripped-down design with impressive durability. Being easy to use greatly increases their functionality too.

These are a versatile option made for skiers who need options on the slopes. Anyone spending a lot of time zipping downhill and trekking up will love all of the features here. Not every part is perfect, especially when it comes to the adjustable DIN settings, but you’ll rarely be unimpressed with these on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *