The middle ground. This oft-forgotten principle takes the good from the extremes and combines them into a solution that is often better for all involved. Imagine that! It was with this thoughtful approach that ATK created the Kuluar 12 LT. Turns out, the middle ground between race and touring bindings is a winner. By combining lightweight reliable U-Springs, adjustable lateral release, and elasticity in the heel, ATK has created a binding that can calmly handle whatever the day brings yet remain light as a feather(ish). Keeping with our theme, the ample boot-sole adjustment helps accommodate all your boots (so long as they are within 20mm of each other). Take the stress out of binding shopping and bring home the ATK Kuluar 12 LT - a binding that everyone around the holiday dinner table can agree on.
- Alu 7075, Stainless Steel, and POM round out a hardy construction.
- 20mm of BSL adjustment so you can spring for those new boots.
- Three different walking modes give plenty of options to find that perfect middle-ground.
- Included ski leashes and crampon receptors because choices are nice.
- Elastic Response System compensates for ski-overflex.
- Easy Entry System helps with easy toe entry. Wow!
- Available in a softer 9 release value.
||Flat + 2|
||7075 aluminum, stainless steel, POM|
|Skimo Co Says|
|Usage||Everyday touring, quickly|
|Notes||Similar to the Trofeo race binding with more features|
|Bottom Line||More ATK brilliance|
|Compare to other Lean Bindings|
Questions & Reviews
Thanks for reaching out! The Kuluar is a great binding. Packed with features at a light weight. I see no issue pairing this binding with a Zero G 105. Plenty of folks go as far as pairing skimo race bindings with really wide powder planks.
Important considerations are application and desired features. If you plan to ride any lifts with this setup, I would consider a burlier binding. However, if this will be a pure backcountry setup, the Kuluar will be great!
As for desired features, race plus bindings will generally be more feature sparse than something on the heavier end of the spectrum. If that trade off works for you, than you are on the right track!
Flat touring mode is achieve by simply rotating 90 degrees. I would recommend using your hand to do so.
You may be able to rotate your heel using a pole via wedging your ferrule between the pins. However, that is a recipe for a broken pole!
We haven't received these bindings for the fall yet, so I can't tell you the exact pin height measurements. For what it's worth, ATK bindings hover around a delta of +11mm heel over toe, but we will update our Reference Article when we get a measurement on the Kuluar 12s.
For the brakes, ATK lists the bindings with brakes as 250 grams as compared to 200 grams without the brakes. Again, once we get these in the shop we can provide more precise numbers on our ATK Touring Brakes page.
TLDR, I want a 300g ish or less binding that is as damp as possible. Worth replacing my trabs or "inconclusive?" The dampening I want is not dampening from hucking myself off things, but damping when the snow is disgusting and chattery.
The meat of your question may be about the frequency of longitudinal elasticity engagement of the ATKs compared to the Trab Vario.2, Marker Alpinist, or brakeless Fritschi Xenic (all gapless < 300g)? This is certainly less.
If I am reading it correctly, the summary would be that a gapless binding will provide better vibration dampening on chattery variable snow. Of the three you mentioned (Vario 2, Marker Alpinist, and Xenic), which one provides the best dampening do you think? Would the G3 Zed be better or is it about the same?
A second follow-up question: Why do the gapless binding provide better dampening? It seems like the boot would slide along the U-springs in a gapped binding easier than the binding would move in a gapless binding? Or does it take more force to move the boot along the U-spring when the ski is flexed thereby pinching the boot to the U-spring?
Thanks for all the info!
An excerpt reads: "No gap between the boot heel insert and binding housing adds that spring's resistance to the flex of the ski. The boot heel insert does not move nearly as much on the binding pins, which results in a more consistent release value throughout the flex of the ski. An added benefit is that the spring in the track adds rebound to your ski, providing energy as you come out of a turn."
Another factor contributing to a binding's overall dampness is lateral toe elasticity (claimed by the Ski Trab and Xenic), which returns your boot toe to center when subjected to impact or chatter. Finally, the overall magnitude of elastic travel differs between these bindings and should appear in the product descriptions listed in mm.
For what it's worth, I mounted some Kuluar bindings yesterday and skied some jaw-chattering windboard confidently with them this morning!
Does the material in the front of the heel pins act as a "freeride spacer" like in beefier ATKs?
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