Dynafit Beast 14 AT Binding


Setting the binding to Tour mode is quick and easy, and can be done without even bending over.

The toe piece clicks in exactly like a classic Dynafit toe, and the lever can be raised with a ski pole grip just as on other Dynafit bindings. There is, however, a slight additional fidget factor on lining the toe up straight before engaging the lever due to the rotating mechanism.

Setting the heel to Tour mode is similarly very easy. I find it easiest to do by flipping the lower heel riser into place over the AFD on the brake assembly, and just stomping down on it with my heel.

Going from Tour mode back to Ski mode is a little harder on the Beast 14 than with other Dynafit bindings—it requires breaking the heel riser free from the AFD, and takes a fair amount of force.

It’s unclear to me why I could reach down and do it sometimes without removing the ski, while other times, I needed to take the skis off and pull quite hard to separate it.

It may have been related to temperature or snow conditions, or that I was just more tired on my fourth or fifth lap of the day. But it was always a little challenging for me, and I could not find a way to easily do it with my ski pole. I almost always transition without taking my skis off (because it’s faster, easier, keeps the toe inserts in the boots clear of snow & ice, and keeps me from having to post hole into deep snow) and the Beast 14 makes this a bit tougher.


Once you’re skinning up and are engaged in Tour mode, there are two primary differences between the Beast 14 and other Dynafit offerings. The first is the way in which the different heel risers are engaged. I am starting to figure out how to quickly adjust from the middle to high riser with the pole grip of my Black Diamond poles, but I find it a bit trickier than either the classic, rotating Dynafit Vertical or TLT-style heel piece, or the new Radical style. A few times, I’ve had to reach down and pop the high riser up or down with my hand when I just couldn’t hook it with my pole.

The second major difference is the lack of a flat Tour-mode setting. For most of the touring I did in Japan this trip it was not a big issue, and I don’t think it will be a deal breaker for ski touring in Alaska this winter. For long, flat glacier or valley approaches, I could see it getting a bit uncomfortable, however, and it would not be my choice for long traverses.

This limitation can be overcome with a little bit of extra work by rotating the heel piece 90 degrees (same with the Radicals), then using a ski strap or rubber band to hold the brakes up. I’ve played with it on the bench and have had friends do it with the Beast 16, but haven’t yet tried it myself.

Paul Forward reviews the Dynafit Beast 14 for Blister Gear Review
Dynafit Beast 14

One other thing I noticed a few times while skinning in deep snow is the tendency for the little metal ramp, which guides the boot into the binding when engaging in Ski mode, to sometimes slip forward and catch my heel when stepping down. It’s quite minimal and I think it’s unlikely to be an issue for most people, but it was something I noticed occasionally.


Any skier interested in bindings like the Beast 14 or 16 is probably primarily interested in the descent.

After spending the majority of my time skiing the last ten years on Dynafits with the toes locked upward into touring mode, my primary hope was to have a tech binding that I felt comfortable skiing with the toes unlocked, thereby maximizing the chance of a clean, injury-free release if needed.

Paul Forward reviews the Dynafit Beast 14 for Blister Gear Review
Paul Forward on the Dynafit Beast 14.

Especially with fat skis on firm or unpredictable snow, I have suffered more than a few pre-releases when attempting to ski in the proper, unlocked, Ski mode with other Dynafit models, and have been looking forward to a binding with increased retention and elasticity that I could use as intended.

To this end, I clicked into the Beast 14 on my first run and shortly thereafter dropped into a long, steep run covered in light, untracked pow on top, then transitioned to slightly cut up, higher density snow, then a bumpy, tracked-out run out to the bottom through a ravine.

I was immediately impressed by how much more the Beast 14 feels like an alpine binding compared to other Dynafit models I’ve used.

I felt an immediate increase in dampening and a significantly less harsh ride than I am used to, despite being in stiff carbon-cuffed boots (Vulcans) and lightweight, carbon-construction powder skis (Redeemers).

Some of this may be attributable to the construction of the ski (Whitedot claims that the flax they use in the construction of their update Carbonlite series creates significantly more dampening than traditional, lightweight carbon construction—see our upcoming review).

Combined with the lower, more alpine binding-like ramp angle, the increased absorption and dampening create a very different tech-binding feel than I’ve felt before. (I have yet to ski the Fritschi Vipec, G3 Ion, or Marker Kingpin, but hope to have comparisons soon.)

Most of our Japan trip was spent skiing untracked powder, where the dampening and retention traits of a binding are less important. But anytime I was on any kind of tracked or firm snow, I much preferred the feeling of the Beast 14 to the Radical FT12.

It’s difficult to compare the Beast 14 directly to my most often-used alpine bindings, the Marker Jester and Salomon STH2 916, because of the dramatically different skis and boots that I’m using with those bindings. But I can certainly say that the Beast 14 is definitely a lot closer to skiing an alpine binding than other Dynafits.

Binding Retention & Release

To me, these characteristics are at least as important as the feel of the binding while skiing down. I did my best to fully evaluate these areas, and came away impressed.

My first three days on the bindings, I never had a ski come off. I gave the bindings little thought when taking air, skiing fast, or absorbing compressions, and came to trust that I wouldn’t lose a ski unless I was supposed to, even at a weight of over 220 lbs. once you include boots, clothing and pack.

Paul Forward reviews the Dynafit Beast 14 for Blister Gear Review
Paul Forward on the Dynafit Beast 14.

On my 4th day skiing, I came off of a small pillow line with the final drop of about 15 feet, and found my skis punching through a rain crust that was about 70-80cm under the light pow we had been enjoying all day. I got high-sided on my skis, and took a tumbling fall right next to a couple of small trees. One of my ski tips clipped the tree and resulted in an immediate release of that ski.

I don’t think an alpine binding would have come off as easily, and it took the help of a good friend and quite a bit of deep-snow fishing to locate the ski, but it’s hard to complain when the only release I experienced was related to a big fall and a ski hitting a tree.

Later in the trip, I spent most of a day riding lifts in an area that offered a lot of small cliffs and pillow zones. I skied with the toes unlocked all day, and did not have any release issues. This includes a time when I misjudged the upcoming cat track and fell 5 feet to flat at relatively high speed. My back was a little sore, but the bindings stayed on.

Then at the end of that day, I completely miscalculated a triple pillow drop and came in way too fast off the second pillow, completely missing the third pillow and resulting in hitting a flat, almost uphill landing from 20-25 feet. Thankfully, the landing was soft, but there was a hard crust that was still quite palpable on impact. Both skis stayed on despite landing way too far forward on my skis and somersaulting out of the hit. There’s no way to know for sure, but based on many days in tech bindings, it’s hard to imagine that any that I’ve used so far would have stayed on during that crash.

Bottom Line

The Dynafit Beast 14 was the perfect binding for my trip to Japan. I felt like I could ski hard inbounds; take air and ski with relative confidence that I would not pre-release; and that I could finally ski a tech binding with the toes unlocked for a more reliable release, when needed.

The extra weight, slightly increased difficulty transitioning to ski mode, and the lack of a convenient flat touring-mode setting might prevent me from using them for a big traverse, mountaineering objectives or super big vert days, but overall, these are the most versatile and functional bindings I’ve clicked into for all around use.

While I still see a place for frame-style bindings such as the Guardian and Duke, with bindings like the Beast series available, I doubt that a pair of them will accompany me on any future ski trips.


24 comments on “Dynafit Beast 14 AT Binding”

  1. Nice review. Sounds like a great trip.

    I’m curious, since the toe piece will be used on the 2.0 radicals, did you weigh the toe piece separately from the heel? What was the weight?


    • Hi Justin, I was in a hurry to get them mounted up before I had to be at the airport and did not weigh the toes separately. If I pull them off the Whitedot’s I’ll weigh them and update here.

  2. I’ve had the same thing happen in a forward fall – shearing off the two front screws on the top plate. But I didn’t have the beast fittings, just regular old style fittings. I’ve been told this is a somewhat common problem with radical bindings, so they changed the screws. If the bindings are black, they are the weak originals. Later models have gray screws that are supposedly stronger. I’ve actually had this fail three times, before i was made aware of the changed screws. Since I’ve reassembled quite few heel pieces, I’ve held both types of screws in my hands, and the gray ones look and feels stronger. So which color are yours, Paul?

    • Very interesting! This is not something I had heard about, but I happened to tell my story to one of my fellow guides at CPG today who told me he had the same thing happen to his older Radical’s earlier this season as well, also using the standard fittings. The screws themselves on my Radicals are black in color. We’ll check in with Dynafit to see what they have to say and update here. Thanks for the comment!

      • Seems like the screws weaken over time, before a sudden fall totally breaks them. Another problem with this is that if a screw breaks, it can be a pain in the ass to get the sheared off screw removed. If it breaks too far down, you have to change the whole black plastic housing. Hopefully with the new gray screws, my days of breaking radical heels are over. An in the field fix is a long (or two shorter) voilestrap around the heel housing and around your ankle. This fix worked so well that I managed to get two more 1500′ laps out of the deepest day last year, even though my foot was bouncing a little bit. Had to do the same fix on boilerplate this year, still worked to survival ski back to the car…

        • To clarify, the screws did not break on my FT12’s. Rather, the plastic housing of the heel piece broke apart. I need to get them back to Dynafit but have been too busy skiing lately. Any yes, never ski tour without at least one 24″ voile strap in your kit! I’ve done that fix a couple of times now!

  3. So what’s the final verdict on using a boot with the beast heelpiece in alpine bindings or frame-AT-binding? Looking at the picture above the increase in heel-depth seems marginal so it shouldn’t be a problem, but I’ve heard Dynafit advices against it? This would be a major dealbreaker for me.

    • I’d like to hear the final result about using the horseshoe heel piece on dynafit radicals. I hastily mounted some new skis with radicals with the hope i could go from one ski with beasts to the other with radicals. I used the dynafit forward pressure tool to adjust my boots, with the heel piece on. I came out of the heels twice in one day when I should not have. Any advice? I’d like to avoid swapping the heel piece on and off.

  4. For what it’s worth, I have a friend that is running the beast heel fitting with his factor mx boots. He says it took a little careful modifying but it can be done. He has had no issues that I know of. Dude skis hard too.

  5. Regarding compatibility of Scarpa Freedom boots: I use my Scarpa Freedom SL with the Beast 16 and have no problems whatsoever. However I got my heel-inserts installed by my local shop and don’t know about their pitfalls in the mounting process…

    • The 105mm brakes that came with my Beasts is not ideal of for my 128mm skis. I was able to get them to engage past the ski edge but it’s a sub-optimal solution and I don’t think they would be super effective at stopping a runaway ski. I would definitely recommend wider brakes for skis of this width.

    • Check out our review of the Beast 16 and the Dynafit site for more details about the difference between the Beast 14 and Beast 16 toe pieces. The 16 is substantially heavier and has different design features intended for increased alpine performance.

  6. Skied these all winter till I broke my Tib Fib when i hit a rock and they didn’t release. 90% of the time had zero problems but sometimes they wouldn’t release. On the day I broke my leg there was 0 release from either part of the binding, still fully locked in but not mechanically locked in via the mechanism. I had the dins at 12 ( I weigh close to 250lbs with all my gear) same day weirdly prior to this they kept releasing for fun on the leg in question. I had the bindings looked over and they couldn’t see anything wrong with them and can only assume it was the fact I didn’t have a Dynafit boot on (Sollie Quest Max) and were possibly frozen. Either way still an amazing binding just make sure you have the right boot as the conversion may not work when you need it to.

  7. Thanks for such a high quality review.

    I’m considering going with the Beast 14 or the Marker Kingpin 13 – have you had a chance to compare?

    I’ve heard that the Kingpin can be skied quite aggressively and can handle landing jumps (10 or so meters), is this the case with the Beast?

  8. FWIW I haven’t had any issues with the beast heel fittings on Scarpa Freedom SL boots. Installed the fittings myself. All of the screws seem solid. I was careful not to strip any threads and it went smoothly. I did place a dab of epoxy in each of the 3 holes just to be sure.

  9. Kia ora Paul

    A question for you: Having skied the Canterbury club fields (with all their glorious Kiwi Variable conditions), would you consider the Beast 14 as your only binding there?

    For those of you who haven’t been, but would like to chime in, typical skiing here is along the lines of: Ride rope tow to ridge; hike/scramble/traverse/climb/skin to chosen bowl/couloir/basin; ski steep, variable couloir/bowl (40-45dgs) as fast as possible, then come howling out on flatter apron (~35dgs) and haul to the bottom. Any and all snow conditions likely to be encountered, except for moguls. Often smooth and fast, rarely deep blower.


  10. I contacted Dynafit in order to sort out if I could use the Beast Power Inserts with my Speed Radicals and this was theri answer:

    “No unfortunately you will have to remove them in order to use them with all the other bindings”

    • That is a load of crap, I’ve been using the power insert with speed radicals for almost 2 full seasons now, no issues to report.

  11. Anyone skied both Beast 14 and 16? How big is the safety and alpine feel feeling between those two?

    Or if anyone has done independent measurement of those two models regarding lateral release and elasticity?

    Is 240g per pair worth going to Beast 14 instead of 16 (I do not need 16 DIN setting anyway)?

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