Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC 13 Review

If you’re looking for one of the best alpine touring ski bindings currently around, it’s hard to do better than the Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC 13. The item utilizes unique design features alongside a lightweight-yet-durable build to provide you with the freedom needed to head uphill and the performance to head back down. They work well at the resort too.

Quick Summary

  • Where to buy: Amazon, EVO, REI
  • Best for: Any level of skier looking for a quality touring binding. A great option for those who want the freedom to ski the resort and venture into the backcountry on a single setup.
  • Pros: Awesome versatility for backcountry situations, but can work as a resort setup as well thanks to a DIN certified release. Some of the best touring bindings in the game with excellent pin technology. Compatible with many different boots thanks to MNC design.
  • Cons: Expensive. That’s really the only downside here.
  • Alternatives: Atomic Shift MNC 13, Marker Duke PT 16, Armada Shift MNC 13

Why Trust Me

I’ve been skiing almost as long as I’ve been able to walk. I have skied all over the world and have decades of experience skiing on, testing, and reviewing different skis and skiing equipment. I heavily researched the Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC 13 and looked at what other skiers have said about them. Below is my detailed review.

Detailed Review

The S/Lab Shift MNC 13 was a game-changer in the world of touring ski bindings when it first came out several years ago. The latest version lives up to that storied reputation and delivers excellent performance in alpine touring situations. It has enough versatility to be used at the resort as well. They are expensive, but well worth it because they are the definite best option in the category.

On-Snow Performance

These bindings excel in both getting you uphill and back down when you’re touring. They are heavier than you would expect out of a true touring option, but aside from that, they really excel in touring mode and will get you to wherever you’re headed with ease. The innovative design goes a long wait towards making these great in all sorts of situations.

When it comes to uphill performance, the S/Lab Shift MNC 13 allows for a great range of motion to help you drive up the skin track without holding you back. When switched into walk mode, the toe of your boot will stay stable and secure using traditional toe tech inserts designed to help with this purpose. The bindings offer reliable uphill performance in many types of conditions, but snow can build up and sometimes cause the brakes to release when you’re touring.

In terms of downhill performance, you won’t find a better touring binding than these. They give you a tremendous amount of hold and stability, so much so that they really don’t feel like a touring binding at all when you’re actually skiing. The DIN range goes up to 13, which means you can ski hard without worry of an ejection. They also offer reliable performance across many conditions in the backcountry or at the resort.

Power Transfer and Response

Put simply, these bindings provide everything you would want in terms of power transfer and response. For backcountry skiers, those characteristics are often sacrificed for lighter weight or the ability to tour easily. That’s not the case at all with the S/Lab Shift MNC 13. Once you lock your boots down into ski mode, you’re going to get reliable performance that will stand out even for the most experienced skiers.

Stability is the first piece of the puzzle when it comes to an effective binding. Touring bindings can often feel a little loose. These hold tight and will securely hold your footwear in place from the moment you snap that heel down until you’re out of breath at the bottom of the run. In demanding conditions, you need this stability to keep you in control. These bindings are with you every turn, carve, and jump.

The bindings also have a low height profile, a trait that helps them transfer power easily and effectively from your boots to your skis. Your bindings are the steering wheels, and these have a highly responsive fit and feel to ensure your skis react to your every move. A larger toe piece than other touring bindings ups the power transfer characteristics of these as well.

Versatility

These bindings are extremely versatile. Not too long ago, it was unheard of to expect reliable performance in the backcountry and at the resort out of the same setup. Most touring skiers wouldn’t dream of using their skinning setup inbounds unless they were in a pinch, but the S/Lab Shift MNC 13 has changed all of that. It is one of the most versatile binding options currently available.

The key to that versatility is the fact that the bindings allow you to tour and ski at the resort without missing a beat. All you do is set them to walk or ski mode to match whatever situation you’re in and you’ll be ready to rock. It really is that simple.

Construction

These bindings feature a rugged and reliable construction that can take a beating without sacrificing any performance. With these bindings installed, you’ll have a solid setup you can use for many seasons of tough skiing. This durability is needed when you’re deep in the backcountry, as you want something that will provide consistent performance no matter what comes your way.

The toe piece features a dual-mode design that allows for easy switching from touring to ski mode, and the MNC compatibility means you can use just about any type of ski boot with these. The toe height is adjustable and there’s also an automatic wing adjustment to match whatever boots you choose to go with. You also get a lateral elasticity of 47mm and a sliding toe pedal up front as well.

The heel construction comes with freestyle brakes that stay out of the way when in touring mode but work well if you lose a ski going down. The low profile chassis advances power transfer and response (as described above) and an oversized platform helps in that regard as well.

Price and Value

These bindings are fairly expensive, but they still have great value due to their versatility and reliable performance. If you want a binding that can literally allow you to go just about anywhere and offer high-end performance the entire way, these are the best of the best. If you don’t go into the backcountry, these may only offer decent value as you can get something cheaper for a strictly resort binding.

What I Like

There’s a lot to like about the S/Lab Shift MNC 13. My favorite thing is the way they combine versatility and performance. They are a top touring binding with excellent downhill performance that rivals some options that don’t have any touring abilities whatsoever. The versatility is hard to beat and definitely makes them leaders in the category.

The wide compatibility offered by the MNC design makes these bindings enticing as well. They don’t work with every single boot out there, but just about. That adds to the versatility because you won’t need to change the binding setup to switch from your touring boots to your resort ones.

The downhill performance is also amazing. You can expect quality performance in any sort of conditions with these on your skis. It doesn’t matter if that’s in the backcountry or on a groomer at the resort, they are built to last. The rugged durability also means that you’ll enjoy the high-end performance season after season.

What I Don’t Like

I don’t find it to be that big of an issue, but some true touring skiers don’t like how much these bindings weigh. They come in at 13 pounds, 14.4 ounces, making them definitely on the heavy side for touring situations. If you really are counting ounces and want an extremely lightweight option, you’re not going to want these underfoot. Most skiers will take the trade-off due to the great performance, but not all will.

The cost is the only other real downside here. The bindings are expensive, and that will keep them out of the budget range of many skiers who don’t have unlimited cash to spend on their setups. If you can afford them, you’re going to be more than pleased. If you’re on a budget, you’re not going to like the price tag.

The Alternatives

If you’re looking for an alternative option to the Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC, check out these other bindings that give you touring capabilities and effective downhill performance:

  • Atomic Shift MNC 13 – These bindings are nearly identical in form and function to the Salomon version. They will give you freedom of movement uphill when touring and great performance attributes when you’re on the way back down. Priced very similarly and with all the same quality and build durability, these are also highly recommended.
  • Marker Duke PT 16 – These are a great option from another one of the top binding brands in the game. They also feature an innovative design that helps you get uphill quickly without sacrificing any downhill performance. A key design feature of these is a toe piece that pops off when you’re touring to shed weight and fits back into place when skiing for increased response and power transfer.
  • Armada Shift MNC 13 – These are another slight variation of the Shift that offer similar attributes in both function and performance. Easy to switch from touring mode into ski mode, these are a versatile and reliable option skiers of all abilities and styles can enjoy.

FAQs

What widths to the Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC 13 come in?

These bindings come in 90mm, 100mm, 110mm, and 120mm options to provide a variety of sizes for various widths of skis.

Are these bindings able to work both as a touring option and at the resort?

It might sound hard to believe for anyone who hasn’t used them yet, but they work very well in both of those situations. They are versatile enough to be used as your only binding both on and off-piste.

How much do the Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC 13 bindings weigh?

These bindings weigh in at 13 pounds, 14.4 ounces. That translates to 885 grams each.

Final Verdict

The Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC 13 is an amazing set of bindings that comes highly recommended for any skier who wants high-end performance in the backcountry. They are built with a truly innovative design that has changed the world of touring skiing. and the versatility they offer is a game-changer across the industry. They do cost quite a bit, but are well-worth it for all they have to offer both seasoned skiers and those just starting to explore the backcountry.

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