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 offer 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).
Since I first saw these on Skimo's wall of bindings, I thought they were really different and I had to try. In this case, different is Very good. Last season I got a few days on some Ski Trab demos with the Titan Vario adjustable. The unique toe piece was not at all difficult to get used to having been used to Dynafit's. My technique is to hold my pole in the middle, place against my knee and depress the toe lever. This holds the ski steady, even most times on ridgetops. If you are really exposed and can't get a flat spot, bending down and using your hand race style is best.
Ski Trab titanium core toe's main advantage is that the jaws open semi Independentely of each other. So when the boot is moving laterally, both jaws do not open and you are less likely to release. Combined with the 43 degrees of lateral movement at the heel, You have a tech binding with a Lot of lateral elasticity. Which smooths out the vibration and shocks, especially in the late spring. My only other Tech binding is the Radical ST 2.0 (Rotation) and I would have to say these ski pretty close. Minus the weight and brakes.
Likes- Personally I can hike without Locking the toe into walk mode. Two fewer times to bend over. As already mentioned, the smoother ride. Risers, I mostly just flip the riser over the pins and go (again, 2 fewer times to bend over). There really isn't anything this light, these features, 30mm of BSL adjustment, as tall of risers and at near this price. Fast and light, general touring, big powder days, this is the (only) binding to consider.
How would it be possible to change from flat mode to 1st grade? My understanding is that i have to bend and use my bare hands to do so? no poles or anything...thats my understanding and i guess i m not wrong. If like that, a serious miss for trab and its usability on tought incline passages.Thanx
I tour 100+ days a winter for work. I wanted a binding that skis well, is easy to use, is lightweight, and has a more consistent/reliable release. For a long time, that meant compromising on one or more of those features. The bindings were either light, too stiff, and have release values that change on every turn or they were heavy and awkward. Then I called the skimo.co crew and they introduced me to the Ski Trab Vario 2. A binding that weighs ~500 g for the set and has a consistent release value and is easy to use. It seemed too good to be true but I am happy to report that it is all it claims to be. On the downhills, it skis like bindings 2x its weight. On the uphills, it is smooth and light. I love the Trab toe pieces. Each wing is independent of the other and it holds my toe in perfectly. It took a little getting used to having to hold the binding open while I step in, but it is super easy to do now. Thank you for introducing me to Ski Trab! Now I just have to figure out how to convert all my skis over to Trab bindings...Maybe I will hold a bake sale.
Can the Titan Vario 2 be used without the adjustment plate, or is that an integrated piece of the binding? Seems like the plate adds a lot of weight, when I compare to the original Titan Vario binding.