Skimo Co
SkyRun

Ski Trab Titan Vario.2 Binding

$469.95

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The original Ski Trab Titan Vario is spoken of in hushed and reverent tones here at Skimo Co, and the fact that many of our employees ski this binding for ~90% of their days each season is evidence of how much we liked the original version. If the original Titan Vario was the first Toy Story movie, then the Titan Vario.2 binding is Toy Story 2-- the rare sequel that lives up to the high standard set by the original. Since one pin can flex partially open without forcing the other side to open, the Titan toe pieces have an amazing retention profile. The heels received the lion's share of the makeover, and the now-gapless units are offered with three different fixed-release levels in the DIN ranges of 5-7, 7-9, or 9-11. The housing rides on a spring which keeps the release consistent, and the track this heel unit rides on is flexible in order to accomodate ski flex. The Vario.2 has a safety and performance profile heretofore unheard of in this category of lightweight bindings. Aside from an updated heel release mechanism, Ski Trab added a third riser that will be welcome on steep skin tracks or in deep snow-- just rotate the heel 180 degrees and voilà, the tall boy is ready to go. Making changes to a product that had such few flaws is a risky game, but in the case of the Ski Trab Titan Vario.2, the gamble paid off big time.

  • A high-strength titanium spring in the toe provides independent clamping on each side, decreasing the chances of pre-release.
  • A short and flexible heel plate keeps the alterations to the flex of the ski at a minimum, preserving safety as well as performance.
  • First heel riser is a race-flap, making it quick to deploy while keeping a higher option available with a simple twist.
  • A fast and simple ski crampon attachment point on the back of the toe unit will feel very familiar to avid backcountry skiers.
  • Gapless heel pin design means the release values remain more consistent throughout the flex of the ski.
  • The titanium spring in the toe piece is durable and simple, with less moving parts than a traditional tech toe piece.
  • Elasticity in both the toe and heel pieces absorbs impact from bumps while offering superior retention characteristics.
  • Optional brakes mounted under the heels feature an innovative anti-friction mechanism that won't interfere with the release.
  • Stepping into the binding is the same as before-- just press down on the toe lever with your pole and step in.
  • The heel plate has a spring inside of it, providing 8mm of elasticity to account for ski flex.
  • Roto-riveted toe pins clean the snow and debris from your boot fittings while you skin.
  • Turn the heel housing 90 degrees for a functional flat mode for those long approaches.
  • With 24mm of heel adjustment along the plate, you can accommodate a quiver of boots.
  • While not adjustable*, three spring strengths are available to accommodate most skiers.

* Contrary to what the listed ranges might imply, this binding does not have adjustable release settings. Uniquely, Ski Trab provides a range of skier chart values that each fixed-spring set is targeting (both the internal lateral springs and the replaceable vertical U-springs vary in tension). The release has been testing towards the high end of the range, so round down if you're on the border (e.g. choose 7-9 if you're a 9).

Specifications
Weight
convert to ounces
254g [7-9]
Weight (pair) 508g [7-9]
Boot Compatibility   Tech
Brakes (mm)   Accessory 78, 85, 94
BSL Adjustment   24mm
Riser Heights   2 + Flat
Vertical Release   5-7, 7-9 or 9-11
Lateral Release   5-7, 7-9 or 9-11
Crampon Ready   Included Option
Specs Verified Yes
Design
Materials   Titanium toe bar, Ergal aluminum frame, steel pins
Skimo Co Says
Usage Ski touring, training, mountaineering
Notes Gapless heel keeps the release consistent while the ski is flexing
Bottom Line Unmatched combo of performance, retention, and weight
Compare to other Lean Bindings

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Questions & Reviews

3/8/2022
Taco (downright abused product)
 
Compelled to write this review in response to the uber niche protest review below (I'd wager $5 that guy's a road cyclist). When my touring buddies and clients ask me about my magical trab bindings I send them the link to skimo.co to read the description and the user reviews. I haven't found a binding that would be a better option than the Titan Varios for the 99% of people who would benefit from a binding in its category. I've thoroughly abused my two pairs and accumulated in excess of 350 miles on all sorts of skin tracks, snow conditions, rocks and drops. They do what they say on the tin, and they do it well.
Comment on this review:

3/4/2022
Question from Calvin T
 
If I bought the 7-9 release value held piece but later decided I wanted to change the release value, would I be able to change out the heel spring?
3/4/2022
Answer from Tristan M
 
Hi Calvin,

Although not an item that we stock, the U-spring in the Ski Trab Titan Vario.2 can be changed out. However, that will only affect the vertical release value of the binding. In order to change out the lateral release value, you will need to get new heel pieces. You can find Vario.2 heels under our Ski Trab Heel Pieces listing.
Answer this question:

2/22/2022
Ben (used product a few times)
 
1 star? OK yeah thats an exaggeration. But now that you have my attention please hear me out...

Ski Trab makes the best bindings on the market. This is a simple fact due to the lateral elasticity in the heel piece and the unique toe design. But I want to call attention to the absolute tragedy that is the discontinuation of the Vario 1 which is a better binding for most ski tourers. The Vario 1, mounted flat on ski or with an ATK R01 plate offers nearly identical performance with less ramp angle and ~100g less weight per ski. I personally prefer a 5mm binding delta which is achievable by using the Vario 1 with the ATK R01 plate, and cannot be had with the Vario2 without using a heavy toe shim from B&D or by making one yourself. Like Zach, I am unconvinced that the gapless heel design is worth the extra weight and bulk.

Ski Trab - I hope you're reading this. Why are you depriving us of what is essentially the perfect binding? Please make the Vario 1 again!
2/22/2022
Reply from Anthony O
 
While I understand the sentiment and do not disagree, I think it's funny that you think that Italians care about what Americans want. Also, for the Vario 1.0 fans, have any of you pre released out of 5mm steel gara titan? Just saying if you want simplicity with less weight, it's there. If you pre release on that, then just mount it under manufacturers recommended heel gap
2/23/2022
Reply from jbo
 
Hey Anthony, the Italians may not care enough to restart production, but they are listening as their product roadmap develops. It should also be noted that Trab officially recommends skiing the Gara Titan "blocked", at least in anything consequential.
2/23/2022
Reply from Ben
 
Dear Anthony, while I have pre released from the gara titan it was with the 4.5mm steel spring. It was a lateral release so I don't think the spring thickness would have mattered? Also is it too much to ask to get a decent binding where I don't need to set it up under the manufacturer recommended heel gap? Also why are we talking here please respond to my text so I can buy your damn Vario 1's.
Comment on this review:

2/18/2022
Zach W (used product a few times)
 
Sorry folks - I'm not on the hype train. The Trab toe is obviously superior to anything else on the market, but the Vario.2 heel is simply too bulky and not especially functional to be worth the weight. Get a Gara Titan or the Vario 1 if you can find it.

The only benefit I see for the Vario.2 heel is that it is perhaps safer with a consistent release from the gapless setup. Personally, I found the purported "downhill elasticity" to be a mirage, or at the very least well overrated. I didn't detect *any* elasticity benefit on the downhill.

Therefore, you have to determine whether gapless release is worth 130g per binding. Otherwise, get a Gara Titan or the Vario 1 (if you can find it). To me, it's not worthwhile. There are a lot of other features you can add in the 250g range. I already find most of those to be not worth the weight, and the gapless release falls in the same category for me. I'm generally skeptical of tech binding release: whether your purported, non-standard release value is an 8 or a 9, whether your ski flexed x mm instead of y so the torque needed to pop out was a or b, whether your preferred lateral release value is different than your preferred vertical release value. The best strategy seems to be to simply not crash.

And add on other deficiencies with the heel: so much plastic - not confidence inspiring, an oddly high default riser height (51mm vs the typical 35-40mm of most race bindings). It's not worthy of the hype imo.

Sorry to the lightweight ski touring community - I am a naysayer. I skied these 5-7 times then sold them.
2/18/2022
Reply from jbo
 
Thanks Zach, all opinions are welcome! I admit to having a stash of Vario 1s and to having a no-crash strategy. I also see the arguments for these features and am happy to have them on one setup. I think gapless benefits are correlated to the skier-size / ski-stiffness ratio.
Comment on this review:

1/29/2022
Question from Håkon
 
How do you lock the stopper to walk with the heel flat?
1/29/2022
Answer from Tristan M
 
Hi Håkon,

The Vario.2 with a stopper installed does not quite have a flat mode. The lowest you can go is resting atop the lever that flips in front of the heel piece when retracting the brake arms. The first riser can be accessed with the pins facing forward, and the higher riser can be accessed by turning the heel 180 degrees. Feel free to reach out to us at help@skimo.co with any further questions!
Answer this question:

1/18/2022
Question from Murph
 
Any plans for a vario.2 brake to fit skis ~106mm underfoot? Or could the widest brakes currently available be bent to fit? Thx.
1/18/2022
Answer from Tristan M
 
Hi Michael,

Unfortunately, Ski Trab does not make a brake wider than 94mm for the Vario.2. Brakes can often be bent to accommodate a wider ski, but bending from 94mm to 106mm would not work. Feel free to reach out to help@skimo.co for other solutions!
Answer this question:

1/14/2022
TZed (used product regularly)
 
Mounted on my Magico.2 ski. They perform amazingly on the descent, are light enough for the ascent and the brakes are well thought out.
I find the toe works better than an ATK toe as far as snow packing issues. However after a long day I find them a bit difficult to remove due to the spring strength.
The heels are great, but if using without the brakes you need an extra piece(spacer) so the adjustment track operates correctly.
I love the brakes and how I can still do a one motion transition with them, unlike the ATK heel brakes. However I do notice some snow packing into the space between the heel and the brakes a few times now which has required some work to remove.
Comment on this review:

12/24/2021
Anthony O (used product regularly)
 
Necessity is the mother of invention...Everyone knows that trab bindings are the best now. They are no longer a secret. I can even get the r values I need now!

But, how can the best improve?
A) it's a little fat on the lean side. I think a lot more weight loss can occur in the heel area while keeping it gapless. Perhaps even lowering the track from 8mm to 4mm like the marker alpinist? Would be curious to see how much travel is used or necessary during intense loading.
B) lotta plastic. More TI plz.
C) high heel ramp. 8.5mm. ouch.
D) would be improved by having independent pins like the freeraider. More durability, release and serviceability options.
E) freeride spacer-SO HAWT RIGHT NOW.
F) I like the brake design, but 94mm as the max???? Fortunately I don't use brakes, but they aren't wide enough for any sidecountry ski I want to take into that terrain even if the binder can easily handle it.


So I took it upon myself to upgrayyyyd the Vario 2.0 into the Vario 2.69420.
The Vario 2.69420 comes complete with freeride spacer for maximum sendage and "for your pleasure" skiing. I also decided that skiing in high heels is ridiculous so I didn't settle for a low heel ramp angle...I gave the Vario 2.69420 a POSITIVE +2, ramp angle for max biomechanical efficiency and a more upright balance point for my long ass femurs and tibias. This involved a jigsaw, Dremel, ABS block of plastic, Christmas story type dad cursing, and about 30 minutes of grinding long screws down to fit into the trabs.

We shall see if trab adopts any of these suggestions for the 3.0. until then the Vario 2.69420 may be the hottest binding of 2040. The future is now.
12/24/2021
Reply from Anthony O
 
Trying for more pics but it won't let me
12/24/2021
Reply from Anthony O
 
There we go. Just gotta type more.
12/24/2021
Reply from Anthony O
 
Ahh forgot G) make a different version for general touring with a wider (but same design) toe piece for more leverage on fat sticks. May do nothing, but it's all about those marginal gains.
12/24/2021
Reply from jbo
 
Great project, meanwhile I keep pushing Adriano to bring back the Vario 1.0.

How do you rate those Fraction skis? Valid answers are either 69/420 or 420/69 stars.
12/25/2021
Reply from Anthony O
 
Jbo, the Fractions are certainly on the 420/69 side of things. I think there is still a place for the 1.0, mo options mo betta
2/7/2022
Reply from Joshua M
 
Anthony, how thick is your spacer, and how high over your ski are the toe and heel pins with that spacer?
5/4/2022
Reply from Seth B
 
Anthony how do the free ride spacers affect touring when in flat mode?
5/4/2022
Reply from Anthony O
 
Flat mode becomes a few mil less flat. If you are considering a freeride spacer, this probably won't bother you. I also don't really flat skin often or select bindings based on that capability fwiw.
Comment on this review:

12/20/2021
Murph (used product a few times)
 
I have about 10 days on these now - mostly tours, but also a couple half days of lift-served skiing. Full range of PNW conditions from volcano corn to winter Cascade concrete and even some firm and choppy groomers. I'm 175lbs, 5'10", aggressive skier, and went with the 7-9 springs. No regrets. For as light and simple as these are, the downhill performance is amazing. No issues with pre-release. While I haven't crashed on 'em yet where I've wanted to release, I did kick them off while climbing in breakable crust when I *didn't* have them locked in climbing mode. For simple uphill routes I' haven't needed them locked, but will definitely lock them for spicier climbs or breaking trail.
The only *complaint* really isn't one: the toe pieces aren't step in. Recommend practicing before you need to step in on a knife-edge...
These are worth the coin without question.
Comment on this review:

12/7/2021
Question from Luke S
 
Will you get these in 9-11 heel springs in stock any time soon?

Thanks
12/7/2021
Answer from jbo
 
Hi Luke, delays are definitely a thing this season! Yes we are expecting more by the end of the month, and then more again early 2022.
Answer this question:

11/11/2021
Question from Caleb G
 
I love my Titans on my skinny skis and I’m sure the vario 2 is is going to be in my shopping cart for my next binding purchase. Paired with the La Sportiva Skorpius has been nice for the step in option and I have no complaints. I’m doing my best to convert my buddies onto the trab train as I’m convinced these are an amazing innovation in tech toe technology. Curious if there is any talk or coming availability of a wider brake…? would love to see these on a 100 underfoot ski
11/11/2021
Answer from Brett S
 
Thanks for reaching out, Caleb. There's nothing in the pipeline (yet). However, the 94 could be stretched to fit a 100mm underfoot ski! Please let us know if you have any other questions!
Answer this question:

11/8/2021
Question from Anthony O
 
Hey, I'm looking for the taller plate that the toes go on for this binding. Have a ton of trab kit and all my heels are on Hagan race plates but my toes are directly on the ski. Looking for plates or shims to get a better ramp angle because I definitely notice it. I used to think it was just too aggressive forward lean on boots but I think that this is a more likely culprit. I couldn't find the piece under trab parts.
11/9/2021
Answer from jbo
 
Hi Anthony, we have those listed as "Titan Toe Shim/Lock Plates" under Trab parts. I just found a pair and added them to inventory. You can also find them in the "Titan Easy Toe Levers Adjustable" kit on the same page.
Answer this question:

11/4/2021
WasatchMcQuack (used product regularly)
 
Basically the same as my review of the original Trab Titan Vario: I can't say enough how much I like this binding. I've had no pre-release issues. Super easy to use, and has been 100% reliable both for release and hold. I like that the heel piece has some give for elasticity and that this new Vario2 is gapless. The only downside I could say is that it does take a hand/pole to step into (must push to open toe), vs just boot on others, which has potential to be an issue when standing on something dicey, though I haven't had any issues of my own as of yet. I much prefer this toe mechanism over the normal spring style of most tech toes.
Comment on this review:

10/7/2021
Question from ryan a
 
We'd like to pre-order the vario 2 with 94mm brakes, but the 94mm is not in the brakes drop down list. Will these be available?
10/7/2021
Answer from jbo
 
Hi Ryan, yes we have that size coming with all the bindings, expecting arrival in the next week or two. I just placed the brakes up for pre-order.
Answer this question:

10/6/2021
Question from ryan a
 
Hi, I have version 1 of the binding and really like how they ski. I'm thinking of getting version 2 for another pair of skis. Is the adjustment plate essentially any different from the version 1.

In version 1 I have had an issue where the plate moves out throughout the day and eventually I have to re-adjust if I don't come out of the binding first. I tried one warranty replacement but the issue persisted, and has not been resolved. Basically the adjustment screw is finger tight and not tight enough to resist vibrating out.
10/6/2021
Answer from Tristan M
 
Hi Ryan,

The Ski Trab Titan Vario Adjustable and Ski Trab Titan Vario.2 are mounted on the same adjustment track. I ski both the Titan Vario Adjustable, as well as the Titan Vario.2. Huge fan of how these bindings ski as well as their retention characteristics.

I am sorry to hear that you have had issues with the adjustment track on your Ski Trab Titan Vario Adjustable Bindings. If you need to help brainstorming any other solutions, please reach out to us at help@skimo.co.
10/6/2021
Answer from Jeff
 
Ryan, there was an issue with the heel moving while hiking on the riser. Ski Trab made a modification and the new bindings come with that. I am not sure if that is what you got on warranty.
10/6/2021
Answer from ryan a
 
That sounds good. My warranty pair looked and worked exactly the same as the old ones and the issue was exactly the same.
Answer this question:

9/30/2021
Question from Kyle S
 
Will you guys be getting the 7-9 spring in soon?
9/30/2021
Answer from jbo
 
Hi Kyle, they are en route and we are expecting them in a couple weeks. I just put them up for pre-order if you want to grab a set.
Answer this question:

9/24/2021
Question from Zach W
 
I was pretty sold on getting these, but I now see that a brakeless ATK crest is pretty comparable. Can you compare?

I want to put them on Ski Trab Maximos with the intent of using the ski for 60% of Wasatch days (other skis are race, mountaineering, and deep pow).

One worry with the Crest is that my ski partner has Crests and the heel pieces and risers are pretty fiddly. We stop on the skintrack most tours because the heels have rotated or the riser is doing something weird. I won't call him out by name because he'll probably see this question anyways :)
9/24/2021
Answer from jbo
 
Hi Zach, thanks for the question! These two bindings just happen to be in the photo at the top of our article on zero gap bindings (albeit with the Hagan flavor of Crest). In my mind, the decision comes down to whether you prefer the elasticity and consistency of a zero gap binding (Vario 2) versus the ability to fully adjust your release values (Crest). The latter may have a slightly higher riser option as well, but not an issue with boots that walk well. I went with the Trabs on my Pagoda 87s for what it's worth.
9/24/2021
Answer from Zach W
 
I prefer the former and will go with the Trabs. Thanks for the help.
Answer this question:

8/13/2021
Edward M (used product a few times)
 
So far I really like them. The only issue I've found is that the toe lever can be hyperextended when pulling up on the them to put into walk mode. If this happens it is very difficult to get the lever back in position. Don't pull up too hard! Has anyone else had this problem?
8/13/2021
Reply from jbo
 
Hi Edward! Technically that is a feature, so if you collide with something the lever over extends instead of breaking. Forcing it straight back over is the way to go, noting it's possible to still use the binding safely in this state if you're unable to flip it in the field. It shouldn't be that easy to do when you're just locking your toes; there are some tricks to tweak that resistance.
Comment on this review:

4/22/2021
Comment from Brent
 
I just received these bindings from Skimo.co and they look great. I'll post a review after I get to use them extensively. For those interested in using these with inserts, my measurements show the following screw requirements:

Toe unit: 18mm flathead M5, with the heads ground to 7mm diameter
Heel unit: 12mm lowhead M5, no mods needed

I'm working on my set of 18mm flatheads ground to 7mm right now and I'll post back after a lot of testing. I did something similar with G3 Zed toes that needed 10mm flatheads ground to 8mm diameter heads and it worked great.

** I'm not an expert at this, just an avid hobbyist. Always defer to what skimo.co techs say.
Reply to this comment:

3/22/2021
Pondsy (used product a few times)
 
Bought these bindings last summer and I'm putting them through the ringer now. So far they've been absolutely bomber. No problems at all up and down travel though all terrain and conditions. The heel lift is great on the steepest uphills, breaking trail in deep powder. And while transitioning I fell standing still into a cliff well (is that a thing?) anyway, the right foot released just as advertised.

The way to connect and disconnect to the toepiece is unique and takes some getting used to, especially in technical terrain. That's the reason I fell into the rocks. I want to take some more time to get used to it before saying it's a bad thing. It's just different.
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Model: Ski Trab Titan Vario.2 MPN: 40278

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