The Ski Trab Titan Vario is the pinnacle of performance amongst the race-weight, tech-binding crowd. The toe piece and heel piece are each unique and category-leading. When paired together, they offer an incredible binding that’s capable of being skied harder than anybody thought a sub-200g binding could.
A titanium spring joins the toe-wings and allows them to operate independently of one another. This means the opening force applied to one wing isn’t automatically applied to the other wing like in most traditional toe pieces. This increases retention when skiing bumpy, hard snow so you can feel comfortable pushing harder without the need to lock the toes. The lack of coiled springs also shaves weight while thwarting dangerous ice buildup underneath said springs. This means you have time to take in the view, plot your line, or even eat a few calories while your buddies are still working on clearing the ice from their bindings to ensure proper wing-closure.
The heel pieces appear nondescript but hidden underneath the cap is some pretty impressive hardware that allows the heel piece to rotate 21.5° to either side while applying significant return-to-center force. What this means is you’re able to load the skis up that much harder through rough snow and the heels will continue to snap you back to center while other race heels would have let go. For skiers that ski as hard as they climb, the Titan Vario is without a doubt the binding of choice.
- Three lateral and vertical spring options to fine tune your release values, R8, R10, or R12.
- Independent toe-wing operation and lateral-heel elasticity offer the most reliable light-binding retention on the market.
- Titanium toe spring doesn’t ice up underneath and prevent proper closure, meaning safer skiing.
- Easy Lever 2.0 offers superior switching power for changing modes with a distinct click.
- Steel toe pins with grooves offer ice-breaking power to clear boot fittings for consistent performance.
- Generous flat-on-ski mode is accessible by turning the heel piece 90° for long approaches.
- Discrete leash attachment cables on the toe piece are solid and out of the way until you need them.
- Included Dynafit-compatible crampon receptors are optionally mounted under the toe piece.
Update 2016/17: There are now three versions with differing spring-strengths: R08, R10, R12. Also the toe lever has been lengthened for easier jaw opening (2.0).
Update 2018/19: A radical change: it's now called the "Titan Vario" instead of "Titan Release."
|Weight (pair)||292g [R10]|
|Brakes||Optional 65, 78, 85, or 94mm|
|Riser Heights||1 + flat|
|Vertical Release||R8, R10, R12|
|Lateral Release||R8, R10, R12|
|Crampon Ready||Yes, removable|
|Materials||Ergal, titanium, steel, plastic|
|Skimo Co Says|
|Notes||Noticeably better retention vs other minimalist designs|
|Bottom Line||Safer than your average race binding|
|Compare to other Race Bindings|
Questions & Reviews
But, they did not disappoint. What you're paying for is precision engineering and true, brilliant ingenuity. A product like this only comes about when excellent, experienced skiers also happen to be excellent mechanical engineers and they understand physics, materials sciences, and snow.
I have used and abused these things on maybe 50 tours so far. I've broken a ski with them on, then took them off and remounted them on a new pair of skis. True to other reviews, they do feel "surfy" like a heavier binding. On the steeps, you can grab one and place it on your toe with one hand while holding yourself to the side of the mountain with the other. You can lock the toe in to keep them on for tricky ascents, you can attach crampons, you can add brakes, you can add a leash. And, they weigh nothing.
Now, I'm no skimo racer, but I have some friends that do race, and I hate to be the one holding them back on dawn patrol. They say in skiing, for every pound on your feet, it's like 5 more pounds on your back. So I went with a race-type binding and to my surprise, it's sturdy enough for resort skiing, deep powder, tricky early season terrain, icy spring conditions, anything!
There has got to be some downsides... Ok, so there's no heel riser. But if your boots are flexible enough, you get used to it. You can't just step in and "click" like the other brands? There's pro's and con's there, but what you're getting is independent lateral flex allowing for that surfy feel. I have pre-released once, and they've come off a bunch of times in hard falls as intended. I do usually wear leashes since I don't have the brakes on them. Especially when going solo, I always use the leashes so I'm not stranded somewhere without a ski.
We can send you a template if you want to mount yourself. The Toe uses the same mount pattern as the ATK, BD Helios and Hagan bindings. The heel is unique.
I'm also curious about the potential forward pressure provided by the mounting plate, perhaps an even surfier ride?
Are toe pieces available separately?
I am considering these for my next skitouring setup. I weigh 160lbs, 5feet 11inches, intermediate skier. Which R number should I go for?
How is the hole pattern on theese compared to the Dynafit Speed Superlite (the old, red one)?
I want/need a flat mode - is it possible to swap bindings without compromising too much on the mounting point?
Best regards from Erik, Norway.
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