Skimo Co

ATK Kuluar 12 LT Binding


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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.
convert to ounces
Weight (pair) 432g
Boot Compatibility   Tech
Brakes (mm)   Leashes
BSL Adjustment   20mm
Riser Heights   Flat + 2
Vertical Release   Fixed
Lateral Release   6-12
Crampon Ready   Included option
Specs Verified Yes
Materials   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

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Questions & Reviews

Question from Wu E
Is it possible to mount this binding on a ski 79mm width?
Salomon Summit 79
The ATK website informs that it can be mounted from 80 mm..
Will it fit?
Answer from Carlos M
Hi Wu,

We compared the mounting pattern of this binding to the mounting plate on this particular ski, and our shop tech would feel comfortable mounting it.
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Question from Jake
I just got a pair of these and they didn't come with any instructions on how to adjust the din. I see the screw on the back of the heal tower and am assuming that righty is tighty but I just wanted to make sure as there is no indicator for where the din is set. Thanks!
Answer from Jeff
Jake, There is an indicator with the release numbers. It is above the screw. Above where it says ATK. The numbers are very small.
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Question from Maurizio
Hi, could one add 108mm stoppers to these, given that ATK only seems to offer them with stoppers up to 102mm?
Answer from jbo
Hi Maurizio, yes they will work with any brake width. We didn't bother stocking the braked version since we have full stock of replacement brakes.
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Question from Maude
Are these bindings compatible with ISO 9523?
Answer from Carlos M
Hi Maude,

Yes, ISO 9523 is the touring standard - these will work with any ISO 9523 boot with tech inserts.
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Question from JTD
Do you sell the rear U-springs for the Kuluar 9 so that I could reduce the fixed vertical release on my Kuluar 12 to match that of the Kuluar 9?
Answer from Lrow

We are trying to get them but don't have an exact ETA. If you would like to message and remind us of your interest, we can contact you and set you up on a notification list if we do get that part in!

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Ian C (used product a few times)
No reviews for this binding yet? Okay I'll bite. I invested in these bindings as an inflation-proof commodity last year and while I can't speak to their resale value, I can vouch for their performance on snow. The Kuluar differentiates itself from the other 200g-ish touring bindings via the heel piece, which features a sexy space age stainless steel heel tower and elastic retention. It is hard to say how much benefit is actually provided by this elasticity, but it does seem like a more robust setup than a fully immobile/static race-style heel tower.

My first complaint is that the heel flap is kind of ineffective. Mine seem to want to come loose from the heel pins while walking, allowing my boots to click into the heels. Second complaint is that the heel tower is pretty damn stiff steel, making them hard to rotate. Not that unusual for bindings with high RV and small heel flaps for leverage but noticeably more annoying than say the Dynafit SL 150 or Ski Trab 2.0. Lastly, minor issue but I like using my poles to step out from bindings, but the toe piece on these is pretty tiny and scratches easily. Looking forward to trying these again should it ever decide to snow in New England. Seems far-fetched at the moment
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Question from Julian
How would this binding do when paired with a blizzard zero g 105 and a Fischer transalp? Would you recommend something beefier or would this handle that setup well?
Answer from Tristan M
Hi Julian,

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!
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Question from Boris
What's the approximate fixed value of the U fork that comes with this binding ?
Answer from Jeremy L
Hi Boris. Unfortunately, we haven't had an opportunity to test this particular binding so can't say definitively.
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Question from glen
Do these and the RT12 share the same mounting pattern?
Answer from Ian C
Hi Glen, the RT12 does not exist as far as I know--the RT 10 would share the mounting pattern with the Kuluar, while the R12 (Raider) has a different hole pattern altogether.
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Question from Simon
How is flat touring mode engaged on this binding? 90 deg rotation? If so, easy to do with poles?
Answer from Tristan M
Hi Simon,

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!
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Question from Rick
Also curious about this vs the Haute Route. Best I can tell, the Haute Route is lighter and has adjustable cam release in both directions (which seems like an advantage vs the U spring). Kuluar has the ski flex compensation and goes a bit higher on DINs (but for some of us, RV 10, RV 12, and locking the toe are all about the same…). Why would I pick one vs the other?
Answer from jbo
Hi Rick, you've analyzed it pretty well. The only other functional difference is that the Kuluar has the possibility of adding brakes. It's also easier to adjust BSL which might come into play if you do that a lot. It might be splitting hairs for most.
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Question from Paul
What's the heal/toe delta on these? How much do the optional breaks weigh?

Answer from Ian C
Hi Paul,

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.

Thanks, Ian
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Question from Tristan N
Hi Folks - you describe why I'd choose this version over the Haute Route? Seems it's the toe that is different - is this double spring design stronger (retention) than the new cam version on the Haute. I'm interested in these for a DPS 124 (currently I mostly use Salmon MTN's) Thank you!
Answer from Brett S
Thanks for reaching out, Tristan! Please give us a call and we'd love to chat about toe retention! We tested most bindings this summer and have quite a bit of data about this topic.
Answer from Tristan N
Thank you Brett will do
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Question from Anthony O
Hard question of the day, I have a lot of trab Titan varios, the original lean "elasticity" bindings (imo). I have them on all my skis and love them, and honestly have no complaints. My question is how much more perceivable "dampening" is coming from atks latest crop, from this model even up to the raider. It seems to be the same heel design across the board with different amounts of "elasticity." Will slapping these on, or any of the atks with elasticity, actually have a perceivable dampening benefit? I know that the original Vario is lateral elasticity vs the fore aft of the gapless atks, but given that trabs toe pieces have higher retention/built in lateral elasticity wouldn't it overall provide a smoother feel?

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.
Answer from jbo
Hi Anthony, happy to see you doing this level of analysis! We have thought this through extensively. Interestingly, the ATKs are not gapless...the ERS only activates after the 4mm gap is fully closed. How often does that happen when skiing disgusting snow versus a hard landing? Certainly less. How often does this happen compared to the Vario 1 with a 5mm gap? Likely more, noting the max lateral return-to-center angle is still higher in the Trab.

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.
Answer from Andy
Thanks, Anthony for asking this question, and thanks jbo for the answer. I also love light bindings, and I love damp bindings.

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!
Answer from Ian C
Hi Andy, I saw your comment and felt inspired to weigh in. You can find skimo's writeup on zero-gapped bindings here: zero gap tech bindings

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!
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Question from Mike voth
Is it possible to covert between 9 and 12 release springs?
Answer from Teddy Young
Hey, thanks for reaching out! We're still trying to see if we're able to get these u-springs, but if you fill out our online Binding Finder form, we should be able to point you in the right direction!
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Question from Ryan
These look awesome. I’m curious what your impressions of the toe piece are. I’m used to skiing the Trab gara and Salomon MTN with toes unlocked. I’ve never skied an ATK. Do you think these toe pieces are comparable?
Answer from Zak M
Hey Ryan, thank you for the question. The ATK toe pieces are of the utmost quality and some of the easiest toe pieces to step into and the action of the lever is fantastic. Overall very comparable to the Ski Trab and Salomon toe pieces. Let us know if you have any more questions!
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Question from P G
How much elasticity does the Elastic Response System have?
Does the material in the front of the heel pins act as a "freeride spacer" like in beefier ATKs?
Answer from Cole P
Hey PG, the Kuluar has 10mm of elastic travel. This binding does not have a freeride spacer or anything similar on the heel.
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Model: Kuluar 12 LT UPC: 8051406194420

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