[Editor’s Note: Dynafit has since released their accompanying Ridge boots, which you can learn about here.]
Dynafit has long been one of the biggest names in the ski-touring world, especially when it comes to bindings.
Today, they announced their newest binding, the Ridge. Dynafit’s headline for the Ridge calls it “the most comfortable ski touring binding on the market.” So, what exactly do they mean?
The main focus seems to be put on ease of use. For starters, rather than having to manually rotate the heel in order to transition between ski and walk mode, the Ridge has a lever on the side of its heel tower that will apparently rotate the heel with a simple pull. This is pretty different from the vast majority of tech / pin bindings out there, including most Dynafit bindings, so I’m curious to see how it works in person once we have a pair.
Dynafit also claims that you can step into the Ridge binding’s toe piece “with your eyes closed,” thanks to its wide “tension fork,” “Step-In Side Towers,” and extra wide foot plate. That tension fork also has a pin that’s meant to dislodge / clear snow and ice that may have packed underneath the toe of one’s ski boot. Dynafit also says that the Ridge’s toe lever is designed to be easily locked and unlocked using the grip of your ski pole, to avoid needing to grab it with your hand. I am quite skeptical of the eyes-closed claims, but I look forward to blindly trying to jam my boots into these bindings very soon. Keep an eye out for a video…
Lastly, Dynafit has redesigned the Ridge’s two climbing risers to be easier to actuate, thanks to “guidance grooves,” as well as how they’re linked together (e.g., raising the lower riser automatically brings the higher riser up so it’s easier to grab when you need it). The Ridge also features a tweaked crampon slot for Dynafit’s “Quick-In Bar,” which allows the ski crampons to be attached from either the side or top of the ski.
For reference, here are some of the basic specs of the Ridge binding:
- Stated Weight: 410 grams
- Release Value range: 4-12
- Brake sizes: 75-94 mm / 95-108 mm / 109-125 mm
- BSL Adjustment range: 25 mm
- Forward Pressure compensation: 7 mm
- MSRP: $600
The Ridge binding will see a full release in advance of the 2024-2025 season, but right now, Dynafit is doing a limited release in a special Oil Slick colorway. The Ridge binding is part of a broader Ridge collection, which includes the 1250-gram Ridge Pro ski boot, a ski (no details yet), and a collection of apparel that’s reportedly focused on “light, fast climbs, and steep descents.”
We’ll be testing the Ridge binding in the near future, so stay tuned for more info and images once we get our hands on a pair.
In the meantime, below is the full press release from Dynafit:
PRESS RELEASE from Dynafit:
For the first time, all the expertise of the DYNAFIT development think tank comes together in one binding: the Ridge, which sets a new standard for the pin bindings with its ease of handling and strong downhill performance. The Ridge Binding’s patented features and intelligent construction make binding entry as well as transitions between walk and ski mode completely effortless. On the descent, this premium binding boasts impressive and ideal power transfer to the ski and absolute reliability. Bottom line: This is the ideal companion for every committed ski tourer who the same mantra on both the uphill and the downhill: #SPEEDUP!
Built on the experience gained from designing pin bindings for 40 years, the Ridge solves a common problem encountered by ski touring enthusiasts. Ultimately, you should focus fully on your tour, not on your gear. To that end, the Ridge binding expertly combines the world of speed mountaineering with the downhill artistry of free touring. It offers impressive performance on alpine terrain as a light, comfortable climber with a weight of just 410 grams. On the descent, on the other hand, it guarantees top performance and full power transfer to the ski. Of course, safety and reliability still have top priority: Lateral and vertical release values can be adjusted from DIN 4 to 12. A forward pressure of 7 millimeters ensures that the release value remains constant and precise even with ski deflection. When it comes to comfort and efficiency, intelligently engineered features make the decisive difference compared to other pin bindings.
To transition while in downhill mode, the heel unit in previous DYNAFIT pin bindings had to be rotated. That demanded a lot of energy, especially with a high release value. The Ridge binding features the patented Easy Turn Tech heel unit that deals an entirely new hand: Just lifting the side lever, distinguished by its color, rotates the heel unit without any effort whatsoever. This decoupling of release force and torque is unique on the binding market and gives the Ridge an eye-catching trait that will delight many ski tourers.
On steeper slopes, stepping into a pin binding is a real challenge for many ski touring enthusiasts. With the new Ridge binding, that can even be done with your eyes closed thanks to the combination of three new features on the toe piece: With the wide tension fork. its Step-In Side Towers, and an extra-wide foot plate, athletes can step into the binding with precision. The front toe bumper stops the boot at the height of the pins and thus puts it in an ideal position to fasten the binding. DYNAFIT’s time-tested Ice Breaker Pins keep snow and ice out of the inserts. In addition, the tension fork has a pin underneath that pushes firmly packed snow or small ice clumps from the binding. This design guarantees that nothing is in the way upon entry, and the binding closes securely. The toe lever is also designed to be secured with the grip of the ski pole and be released with the pole tip. This allows ski tourers to get ready to go in seconds without bending over.
AUTOMATIC BRAKES, AUTOMATIC SAFETY.
Press the ski brakes, rotate the heel unit – with the Ridge binding this often frustrating sequence is history. The patented brake has been designed so it will never engage mistakenly. Brakes are activated automatically in downhill mode and are locked up in climbing mode with your first step into the binding. Simple entry and #SPEEDUP.
RE-ENGINEERED RISERS AND SKI CRAMPON ATTACHMENT.
In steep terrain, risers ensure a comfortable climbing position. But deploying them is, with many bindings, less than comfortable. DYNAFIT engineers tackled this problem in developing the Ridge binding: Both riser heights can be easily deployed and adjusted thanks to a handy guidance groove. The second level puts itself automatically into position as soon as the first is folded down. For hard-packed, icy conditions, the Ridge binding can be used with ski crampons. Here, too, developers could add more comfort. The new ski crampons with the Quick-in Bar can be mounted both from the side as well as from the top without all that annoying messing around. Especially on challenging terrain, mounting them from the top works both more quickly and more easily.
As with all DYNAFIT ski touring bindings, the Ridge was developed in Germany and is made in Europe. It will be available at retail for winter 2024-25. As a limited-edition run in the stylish “oil slick” color, it will also be available starting in November 2023 at select retailers.
RIDGE SYSTEM: READY TO TAKE OFF!
The Ridge binding is part of the all-new Ridge System. This premium setup is aimed at advanced, ambitious ski tourers and mountaineers. In addition to hardware that includes a boot, binding and ski, the Ridge System offers a complete apparel collection with the focus on light, fast climbs, and steep descents.
Weight 410 grams
Z (DIN) Release Value DIN 4 – 12
Brake sizes 75 – 94 / 95 – 108 / 109 – 125 mm
Adjustment range 25 mm
MSRP EUR 550
Lifetime Guarantee: The DYNAFIT product promise
The most sustainable product is the one you already own. As of Oct. 1, 2023, DYNAFIT offers the DYNAFIT Lifetime Guarantee on the majority of its products. After expiration of the legally required guarantee of two years, customers receive an additional eight-year guarantee, including Care & Repair service. More information on this can be found at https://www.dynafit.com/lifetime-guarantee