Skimo Co

Ski Trab Titan Vario Binding


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 2017/18: Trab now offers optional adjustment plates and brakes that can be mounted under the heel pieces.

Update 2018/19: A radical change: it's now called the "Titan Vario" instead of "Titan Release."

convert to ounces
146g [R10]
Weight (pair) 292g [R10]
Boot Compatibility   Tech
Brakes (mm)   None
BSL Adjustment   Accessory plate
Riser Heights   1 + flat
Vertical Release   R8, R10, R12
Lateral Release   R8, R10, R12
Crampon Ready   Included Option
Specs Verified Yes
Materials   Ergal, titanium, steel, plastic
Skimo Co Says
Usage Racing+
Notes Noticeably better retention vs other minimalist designs
Bottom Line Safer than your average race binding
Compare to other Race Bindings

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Questions & Reviews

Comment from Ben
If you look on TGR forums there are several members trying to reverse-engineer this binding by combining ATK Haute Route and other lightweight heelpieces with Trab toes. The world doesn't want the extra weight and steeper ramp angle of the Vario.2 and people are taking drastic measures to remedy its design flaws. It does not have to be this way!! The original Vario is better than any mishmash we can come up with at this point, and don't tell us to settle for the Vario.2!
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Ben (downright abused product)
Ski Trab - I hope you are reading this - PLEASE MAKE THESE BINDINGS AGAIN. I exclusively ski the R8 version mounted on ATK R01 heel adjustment plates. This is basically the perfect binding setup for all backcountry skiing. I am forced to endlessly scrounge the used market for these, and I nearly lost a friend over a pair of used R8's recently. It doesn't have to be this way!

You may want to tell me, just ski the Gara Titan, its the same thing pretty much? NO ITS NOT THE SAME THING. There is way less heel elasticity in the Gara Titan. I released a ski in a couloir using the Gara Titan, yeah I hit a rock but not that hard and I was in a dangerous situation. I have had similar hits with the Vario 1 with no release, but they still release when they should.
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Question from Ben
Any chance Ski Trab will make more of these bindings in this minimal configuration? Or should I bite the bullet and just go with Gara Titans
Answer from Ian C
Hi Ben, this binding has been discontinued. Moving forward, their race weight offering is the Gara Titan!
Answer from jbo
Hi Ben, we do have a few Vario 1s on adjustment plates, which can be converted to the fixed mount version using the striker plates found in the Easy Toe Lever 2.0 kit.
Answer from Ben
Will they continue to make the Vario 1? I am a lightweight and prefer the R8 version. Luckily I have a pair on my Objectives but I want them on my fatter skis as well.
Answer from jbo
Hi Ben, sadly they were nixed too. Don't worry, I lodge complaints about this quite often ;)
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Question from Tristan N
hi all - i'm trying to decide between these and the Vario 2.
I like this simpler version and also being able to mount without an adjustable plate is appealing - more precise. Why would I go with the heavier more complicated version over these? Spring mountaineering set up, not racing. thank you.
Answer from Tristan M
Hi Tristan,

There are a few considerations when deciding between a fixed mounted binding and an adjustable binding. The fixed-mounted binding is lighter and has fewer moving parts. However, It cannot adjust between boot sole lengths. Also, the Ski Trab Titan Vario.2 is a zero-gapped binding. This means that the adjustment track has elastic travel, which provides greater consistency of release throughout a turn and adds some rebound when exiting a turn.
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Question from slator
Hey there expert Skimo team, can you please explain the difference in functionality, design, and construction between the Titan Vario and the Gara Titan?
Answer from Tristan M
Hi Slator,

The primary difference between bindings lies in the heel. Ski Trab Titan Vario has 43 degrees of lateral elasticity in the heel for greater retention. This return to center force reduces the likelihood of a prerelease. Additionally, the Titan Vario is constructed from slightly heavier materials, hence the 35g heavier weight.
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Ryan S (used product regularly)
This is my first pair of tech bindings. I had always heard (from everyone of my friends) that tech bindings are sketchy, feel awful when you ski, and you just can't ski that hard on them. I am glad these are my first pair because they have shattered all stereotypes about tech bindings (except maybe that they are hard to get into). Icing issues? Gone. Prerelease? Never heard of it. Who needs the extra fiddle factor of risers anyways, flip the lever and lets gooooo! Yes you have to bend down to put them on, but what a teeny price to pay for all that good elasticity. Also, on mellow tours, I usually go unlocked on the uphill and have had zero issues. Something to think about in light of this season.
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Logan D (used product regularly)
To be honest these are my first pair of tech bindings. I relied heavily on the expert knowledge of the staff at SkiMo and, looking at these things, I just wasn't confident they would even work!! I mean, what a joke! They look and weigh, like, nothing! It was a HUUUUGE leap of faith to buy these things.

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.
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Question from Martin M
Any chance you are/can get these in R8 this season?
Answer from jbo
Hi Martin, sadly not in the fixed mount version. However you can grab one of the remaining adjustables and mount it without the plate.
Answer from jbo
Oh, and you'd also want a set of the striker plates that come with the Easy Lever 2.0 kits so you don't have negative ramp.
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Question from Patrick
Will you be getting R10 bindings back in stock this season?
Answer from jbo
Hi Patrick, the Vario is being replaced by the Vario.2 going forward.
Answer from Patrick
But why? Why 50g more?
Answer from jbo
Hi Patrick, for the Vario.2, Trab moved to a gapless design which requires a spring loaded heel plate. Similar to the Rotations, IONs, Alpinists, etc, the zero gap helps keep the release consistent throughout the flex of the ski. They also added an extra riser. Extra weight is the unfortunate trade off. You can look at the Gara Titan for a lighter option.
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Question from Brian Stevenson
Good Morning, I am checking out the Ski Trab Titan/Gara bindings for a rec race set up with some light touring/training. I have skis here in CO. What options are there to self mount these? I've mounted several skis in the past but not Ski Trab bindings. Do they come with a paper template? Does the mounting pattern match up with any other binding company (G3, Dynafit, etc...)? Also, do you think the vario plates are worth the weight? My current boots are both 297mm but it doesn't sound like there is any adjustment without the plate. Correct?

Answer from Jeff
Brian, this is a great binding for your intended purpose and the Vario would be better for light touring. If you only will use one boot, the plates would not be necessary, but will make mounting a bit easier without a jig.
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.
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Pete (used product a few times)
I've been running race bindings on all my skis for a few years now. Plum race 150, ATK, Dyanfit low tech, etc. I've accepted the rigid attachment as opposed to the "surfy" feel of alpine oriented bindings. I was critical of these at first, the weight, size, and look is similar to that of bindings like the trofeo and race 150, but I was pleasantly surprised. The lateral elasticity is noticeable. It provides a different, better feel skiing, one more akin to larger and heavier bindings. While I haven't skied these enough to know for certain, I believe the individual movement of the toe pins should help with pre-release problems.

I'm also curious about the potential forward pressure provided by the mounting plate, perhaps an even surfier ride?
Comment on this review:

Chad M (used product a few times)
Are you kidding me? These things weight about the same as a pack of gum, and they hold, release, and transition the same or better than any of the dynafit bindings I've been skiing on for the last 15 years. I have two resort days and one touring session with them since I mounted them a week ago. Touring in 6" of fresh, resort powder day, and a resort ice day. Touring they were dreamy, and resort powder they were dreamy. On the ice day I did charge far too fast into steep moguls and ejected, but I suspect that needed to happen to save my legs. I then did the same run a few more times to see if the release was premature, but they held like a dream as I hacked my way down the steepest ice I could find. Confidence restored! I'm excited to ski these bindings year round. Go get a pair! (they were tricky to mount on my own - small hole pattern means little to no room for error)
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Question from Ted Dean
Do you think this toe piece has enough retention to work as a meadowskipping telemark tech system?
Are toe pieces available separately?
Answer from Trace Leches
Hey Ted. These toe pieces are amazing, we have all grown to really enjoy them. That being said, none of these toe pieces were really designed to be telemarked on so it's tough to provide any clear guidance with personal confidence. Short answer: I'd ski it! Toe pieces are available here.
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Question from Stephan Szöllös
Dear Skimo!

I am considering these for my next skitouring setup. I weigh 160lbs, 5feet 11inches, intermediate skier. Which R number should I go for?

Best regards,

Answer from Trace Leches
Hey Stephan, thanks for reaching out! We're missing a few pieces of info so I would recommend filling out our Binding Finder to get a personalized selection. Fill out the specs and select the spring that closely resembles your release value, rounding up.
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Question from Erik
Dear Skimo!
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.
Answer from jbo
Hi Erik, the toe will be no problem, you can re-use the rear holes and drill new for the front. The heel will be a problem, the front holes are overlapping with the Superlite 1.0. You can mount the heel on an adjustment plate or get the Adjustable version.
Answer from MERCE C
Hello Everyone,

I have a pair of Skitrab Vario, R12 version. R12 seems to me being of a too high setting for release, i have just below 70kg weight, i had a crash and it really pulled much on my knees specially for the vertical release. Having this in mind i am planning to decrease the release values. For vertical release i can easily change the U springs, but for the lateral release, it seems that they have implemented inside some type of elastic convex washers which regulates those forces. I was asking myself how do they actually make to lower release ones, R8 or R10. Are the washers of different in thickness, or maybe how convex they are.

I tried to get some info directly from Skitrab, but they do not really seem to care about explaining anything more than advising to by the new ones. Any help in this direction would help, as i also would want to keep those and not change them with the new Vario2 version.

Thank you in advance!
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Model: Gara Titan Release

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