Salomon / Atomic SHIFT MNC Binding

UPDATE — 3.12.18

Jonathan Ellsworth and I have both spent more time in the Shift MNC, and we’re ready to weigh in with our thoughts. Spark notes version: we are both very impressed.

Sam Shaheen:

I now have about 20 days on the Shift, about half touring and half in the resort (several of my resort days have been using alpine boots). I’ve skied the Shift on two different skis — the 18/19 Atomic Bent Chetler 120 and the 18/19 Salomon QST 106.

  • In my last update, the primary questions I still had were:
  • How similar is it really to an alpine binding in terms of downhill performance?
  • What is the final verdict on ease of transitions?
  • Will durability be an issue?
  • Will we have problems with icing?
  • Are the 2 and 10 degree climbing risers enough?
  • Is the brake lock mechanism going to be an issue?

Let’s dive right in. The biggest and most important question to answer is the first one, how similar does the Shift feel in terms of downhill performance compared to an alpine binding? I’ve now had the Shift in a variety of conditions, with strong alpine boots, hammering inbounds laps, and I can’t say with any certainty that it performs worse than an alpine binding. In fact, I really can’t seem to tell a difference. The Shift’s power transfer is excellent, it has a damp ride, and I haven’t pre-released (and I have released when I needed to). I typically ski a Marker Jester or Griffon, or Tyrolia AAAttack, and I can’t discern a difference in performance between those alpine bindings and the Shift.

I have experienced some annoyance when adjusting the AFD to account for boots with touring vs. alpine soles. When adjusting the AFD to go from touring soles to alpine soles, I tend to get some play and have to bump up the AFD a touch more after a lap or two. But after that, my boot is held in quite securely.

Sam Shaheen and Jonathan Ellsworth review the Salomon / Atomic SHIFT Binding
Sam Shaheen on the Salomon / Atomic SHIFT Binding, Telluride Ski Resort, CO.

When it comes to ease of transitions, I’ve continually had fewer and fewer issues the more I use the Shift. After about 5 touring days, transitions on the Shift became second nature to me. And though I don’t often catch the pins in my inserts when stepping in on the first try, I get them about as often as in a Dynafit Radical 2.0 or G3 ION. I haven’t found transitions with the Shift to be any more finicky or involved than any other touring binding I’ve used.

Though I haven’t had the Shift for a full season of hard use, the 20 or so days I have on the binding so far haven’t caused any undue wear and tear on the binding. The binding works great and looks great. So far at least, there have been no durability concerns — I’ll be sure to update this if that changes though.

When I first got this binding, I was very worried about icing. It seems like a complicated design with many moving parts that could easily ice up. So far though, I haven’t had any issues with either the toe or brake lock mechanism icing up (and that includes many days touring in Japan in heavy, wet snow where my partners were having icing issues with their tech bindings). I’ve been very surprised by the lack of icing on the Shift — so far so good.

One rather contentious topic concerning these bindings is the decision to use only one riser setting at 10° and a “flat” setting of 2°. In my experience, the 2° is fine for flat approaches. I can’t tell the difference between flat setting on the Shift and flat setting on any of the other touring bindings I’ve used.

However, the single 10° riser has caused me a few issues. The design team at Salomon argues that 10° is the ideal pitch for an efficient skin track and therefore it’s the only riser angle you should need. Although I agree that 10° skin tracks are quite efficient, the problem I run into is that most other people in the world have bindings with a lower (~7°) and higher (~13°) riser. As a result, skin tracks that I don’t set on the Shift end up being about 7° or 13°, which means following on the Shift often puts me right in the middle. This hasn’t been a huge deal, but is worth noting as it can be annoying.

Finally, I have continued to have issues with the brakes coming unlocked while skinning. This usually happens on steep, icy, and technical skin tracks when my skis incidentally bump each other and unlock one of the brakes. Salomon has indicated that they are aware of the issue and are planning to tweak the brake lever to address it. We’ll be sure to update this review once we have the details of their planned update.

Jonathan Ellsworth:

Sam has already done a really good job of laying out a bunch of information on the Shift, and if anything (and as I noted in our GEAR:30 podcast), I think Sam has been more cautious and reserved in his initial (very positive impressions) than I am tempted to be. Because so far, I have been blown away by this binding. Here’s why:

Ease of Use / Fiddle Factor

Sam did a very good job of really detailing / nitpicking issues of stepping into and out of the binding. But honestly, in my experience so far, I find these bindings really easy to work with. Figuring out how to step into and out of them took 3 seconds, and once you have figured that out (it’s super simple), given that I’m not rando racing, I find everything about the stepping into and out of process to be quite straightforward, and have had no issues transitioning from ski to walk mode. (And I should say that, in general, I have a pretty low tolerance for equipment that comes with a high fiddle factor.)

Sam Shaheen and Jonathan Ellsworth review the Salomon / Atomic SHIFT Binding
Jonathan Ellsworth on the Salomon / Atomic SHIFT Binding, Telluride Ski Resort, CO.

Climbing Risers

So far, I’ve liked operating these. I’d say they’re easier to use than the Marker Kingpin, though they aren’t going to unseat the G3 ION as being my favorite / simplest risers to use. And while I’ve heard a bit of grumbling about a lack of a 3rd riser, I won’t be petitioning for a 3rd. If you are someone who has gotten along okay with the Marker Kingpin risers, I think you’ll be just fine with the Shift’s. But Sam raises some legitimate points above about riser angles, so I trust that most people will be experienced enough to know whether this is a deal breaker for them.

Uphill Performance

Is there anything I don’t like? No. Especially not given what I’m about to say in the “Downhill Performance” section.

And to be clear, I have been on record for being against frame bindings for a long time. They’re heavy as hell, they’re not great to walk in, etc.

Conversely, I don’t mind the weight of the Shift at all (as someone who has been perfectly content with the weight of a Kingpin), I like walking uphill in the Shift, I don’t find them to be a pain in the ass to operate, and I personally have yet to experience any issues with the brakes.

And then…

Downhill Performance

I have skied these inbounds at Telluride in some pretty steep, consequential terrain, and I had no reservations about being in the Shift. I was skiing in my HEAD Raptor 140 boots with Zipfit liners (my current favorite inbounds setup), and the Shift wasn’t a limiting factor at all. In fact, when A/B/C-ed against Marker Jester and Tyrolia AAAttack alpine bindings, I could not detect a difference in performance. Might there be? Maybe. Could I notice any? No.

Sam Shaheen and Jonathan Ellsworth review the Salomon / Atomic SHIFT Binding
Jonathan Ellsworth on the Salomon / Atomic SHIFT Binding, Telluride Ski Resort, CO.

So to be able to go uphill in a binding that I like as much as a Kingpin, then go downhill on a binding that has the same DIN certification and same / similar power transfer as a good alpine binding … this binding is ticking all of the boxes — for me.

Bottom Line (For Now)

I am a very big fan of the SHIFT so far, and look forward to touring on it a whole lot more.

76 comments on “Salomon / Atomic SHIFT MNC Binding”

  1. Great review guys!

    Sounds like the binding a lot of us have been waiting for a long time.

    Quick question about DIN. Do you find the 6-13 range enough for hard charging in variable conditions, drops, etc? Seems like a tad lower than what most of the hard charging freeriders would prefer. Don’t know if Salomon plan on making a higher DIN version.

    Thanks!

    • Hey Valyo,

      DIN setting is definitely a matter of personal preference (and we recommend you let your local shop set it for you), but if the 6-13 range works for Salomon athletes like Cody Townsend and Chris Rubens, then I think the rest of us should be just fine.

    • Hey Valyo,

      To answer your question and respond to Sam’s assertion, I was once skeptical of DIN 13 maximum. Early in the design process of the SHIFT we pushed for up to 16. But as I started to ski more and more on the Warden 13 binding because of it’s MNC and my full-time MTN Lab boot use, I started getting comfortable at DIN 13 and was learning I didn’t need a DIN 16 binding… and this is from a guy that’s 6’2″ 190lbs. From there, I still went into the SHIFT with a skepticism about the DIN 13 max. This season, I ended up filming my entire MSP films segment on the SHIFTs set to 13 and never had one single pre-release or unwanted release. Subsequently, I did have them release on two pretty good tomahawks…one release which I believe saved me from a season ending injury. Anyways, this season I’ve skied high consequence spine lines, jumped a multitude of 40+ and 50+ foot cliffs and skied some pretty chopped up snow and high speeds with no unwanted releases. For proof, check some of my recent instagram posts from BC…all was skied on the SHIFTS. So ultimately to answer you’re question, fuck yeah they’re good for charging.

  2. Hi Sam, Any specific information about the shift combined with the Bent Chetler and more specifically how it performed in Japan? Would it make a good 50/50 ski for the whole season? Thanks

    • Hey Alex, the Bent Chetler / Shift combo is an awesome set up. If you ski mostly pow, then it could make a good 50/50 setup. However, I would generally recommend a skinnier ski for dealing with variable conditions and corn/ice in the spring.

  3. I like that they are lighter than downhill bindings, does this mean the only negative vis aMarker Griffon would be the price?

  4. Do you know of any plan for a lower DIN Shift? With a minimum DIN of 6 this leaves out lightweight and older skiers. It would be good to see a 4-12 or 4-13 DIN model. What’s the rule of thumb regarding setting a binding at it’s minimum DIN?

    • Hey Vincent. We haven’t heard plans for a low DIN Shift model. However, the bindings are tested to TUV standards across the full range of release values. The binding should be just as consistent when releasing at 6 as it is at 13. Skiing at the minimum DIN shouldn’t be an issue.

      • Key word “should”

        Second despite certification, individual combinations of boot and binding don’t ALWAYS work properly.
        Especially at the lower end of the scale, where small differences in friction or boot length matter much more.

        I just tested my daughters binding after adjusting it per instructions: lateral release was ~40 higher than it should be.

        So, no, I wouldn’t buy a binding where you are using the absolute lowest setting. If something is even a bit off, you have no room to adjust it.

        Then there is the fact that many people need an even lower setting than 6. So a lower DIN setting would be very useful. Hopefully sales are big enough, that they can justify a 3-10 version, or such.

  5. Hi Sam,
    Thanks for the review, this binding sounds like a game changer. I contacted to Salomon to find out about the mounting pattern… is it the same as a STH2? They wouldn’t/couldn’t tell me. I am wondering if you could tell me…

  6. Jonathan & Sam,

    As usual, great review. Just curious about the drilling footprint of this binding; in other
    words, how many holes need to be drilled per ski. The fewer the better in my opinion,
    if there’s the need for remounting (I think the Schizo has 9 holes per ski, for example),
    if anything goes wrong with binding performance, durability, etc.

    Also, does the heel piece slide onto a metal or plastic track? I don’t like plastic tracks
    as is the case with the Marker “Royal Family”.

    Thanks.

    • Hey Jane,

      Yes. That was a problem that popped up in the first sample production run that was given out to athletes and testers. It was identified and fixed before they went into the actual production. Quite often tiny little things pop up between the phases of small batch testing and production runs…hence why the do a non-public production run to test before releasing to the greater public. It was a small plastic mold tolerance that was a mm or so off and I have been assured that it has been fixed.

  7. Awesome review! I always enjoy reading your gear reviews, and it’s nice to hear what you have to say about the Shift binding after spending a considerable amount of time on it.
    With that said, Im 6’2” and weigh around 182. I just bought a pair of Moment Wildcat aka Bibby Pro in a 184 length. I plan on using this as a 50/50 ski, and was wondering if the Shift binding would be appropriate for this ski?

  8. Regarding brake widths, I’ve seen reviews indicating the brake arms are quite wide for their stated width. If I’m fitting for a 105mm ski which brake is ideal? Is that design / answer likely to change as Salomon responds to the ‘clicking together’ issue highlighted in the review?

      • It probably matters where you are mounting.

        The waist width is the narrowest part of a ski. If you have a -10cm mounted, and a ski with a lot of sidecut, it could be a lot wider than that stated # at the actual location of the brakes. To allow for that, binding brakes are actually wider than their stated “size”.

        So if you have a fairly straight ski, mounted near center, you can get away with a far “narrower” “listed size of brake” than your ski’s waist width.

  9. Do I understand right that these should be able to be used with a standard alpine boot if needed (obviously in ski mode only)? Seems like the only potential issue would be getting the toe height adjusted low enough, right?

  10. Question about afd adjustment on Salomon shift bindings. When i’am trying to adjust afd to boot with ISO 5355 sole, I can’t get afd that low that afd do not touch boot sole. I turn the screw to the left to the maximum and still afd touches the boot sole. According to Salomon tech manual 2019 it should be 0.5mm gap. Am I doing something wrong?

    • I’m having the same problem. Can’t get the plate low enough to create the .5mm gap. No problems with lupo TI but with my kr2s I can’t get it where it needs to be.

  11. Anyone who has skied it and can compare to the Beast 16? I havent have the Beast pre-release yet in a few seasons but I have been a bit cautious since I dont trust pin bindnings after a few crashes on a radical FT. From the review I can see that you trust the Shift just like a STH or Jester, but would you also trust a Beast or is there a noticeable difference? Im trying to decide if I should “shift” bindings or not…

  12. Hey guys, I bought the shift yesterday at my local ski shop and mounted them to my new skis and got the adjusted to my boot. However, when I got home I realized that after I had clicked into the binding with my boots the toe of the boot can move up and down in the binding. This has lead me to believe that I have to raise the anti friction device on the binding however not sure how its supposed to be with the boot. Does anyone have any tips? Thank you!

    • Hi Axel…….. I have the same issue. Just arrived home after my purchase of the new Shift binding which is mounted on a new pair of skis. The toe of the boot also moves up & down. Let me know if you get any advice or remedial action. Thanks

    • Hi Axel……I found the Salomon Alpine Tech Manual.
      In it …. it states that there should be a 0.5 mm gap between the boot sole and the binding.
      Here is a link to the Manual. Please refer to pages 70/71 which relates to the toe adjustment. Make note that there is a magnifying tool to view it more clearly.

      https://issuu.com/salomonnz/docs/salomon_tm_alp_wtr2019_300dpi

      I’m going to research the gap allowance….as i feel it’s too large.
      I will keep you posted on my findings.

      • Hello, I had exactly the same issue. If you click the link on the installation manual found in this thread there is a very important step that the tech guy mounting the bindings overlooked…and that is “PULLING” the boot up before adjusting AFD. If this step is not followed then the toepiece will have an inch or so of vertical movement leading to pretty disastrous consequences in the backcountry when you apply pressure to the binding.

    • Hi Alex….. Found out from the Ski shop that it must have been an oversight that their Ski Tech failed to check. I was told that there is a toe height adjustment screw on the side of the AFD. A few turns to raise it…is all that’s needed. Hope this helps.

  13. Gday guys
    Getting ready for the season and have a couple of questions about the shift binding before pulling the trigger on them

    1. Have Salomon fixed the issues with the brakes coming unlocked while skinning that Sam describes? …. if not yet, do you have any idea whether the mod could be done to the current binding ?

    2. I’m looking at putting it on a 120mm and a 105mm wide ski with inserts, is it possible to buy the one 120mm binding and a second 110mm brake and switch the brakes when required?

    Cheers
    Paddy

    • Disregard (2.) ….

      I now know I can replace the brakes for the different skis using inserts…

      I ended up getting….
      Line Pescado (124mm)
      Line Sakana (105mm)
      Line Sickday (104mm)

      I want the shift on all 3 with inserts
      From what I’m reading the brakes are wider than the published brake widths…

      Would the 100mm brake fit the sakana/sickday?
      Would the 110mm brake fit the pescado ?

  14. Hi there. I plan to buy these bindings, but i got an information from a store in europe. They said that la sportiva sincro or spectre boot (the one i have) is not compatible with the binding because of its front sole rocker… Is that acurate info because in all their presentation movies salomon sais it will accept any boot… I i really like the binding after reading youre review.

    Ani info will help. Thanks and keep it up!

    Bogdan Vlad
    Bogdan.vlad.mail@gmail.com

  15. Hey guys!
    I have Kingpins in both of my skis (115 & 106 underfoot). I do ski quite a lot in the resort and the only momento where I still have some concerns with the KPs is when I´m skiing fast on groomers, opening big GS turns at high speeds. I havent had any issues, but I still cannot trust them 100%. Besides that and some minor issues (i´m avoiding some jumps or tricks in the BC), I have no complaints. Do you think it worth the effort to move to the shifts? Should I use the KPs a bit more and wait for a second gen of the SHIFTS? Are they really gonna ski as my STH16s?Cheers!

  16. Hi gang,
    I’m a small female skier at 5ft and 107lbs…..looking to put these on a pair of Icelantic nomads. Any thoughts on this binding and my size? I tour on a pair of Nordica La Nina skis with the DIN at 6.5/7.
    Cheers

  17. Thanks for the excellent review. I also have Maestrales. Is there any problem with the quick step inserts interfacing with the Shift binding? Did you bench test the bindings for consistent release? I’m looking to get either the Tectons or the Shifts because I want a safer, better skiing binding than my old radicals. I directly asked Salomon and they just gave me a standard CYA response. At least Fritschi has released tech documents confirming boot compatibility. The more I read, the Shift seems to be the way to go if you really want to ski this in-bounds and will use a flat soled touring boot. The Tecton will be better for a mostly dedicated touring setup and should release just fine with rockered soles and any style dynafit insert. Thanks again, I love this website!

    • From my personal experience with both bindings (I’ve skied them both 20+ days), I would say that regardless of boot choice (as long as it has a normed sole), I would personally feel safer on the Shift than the Tecton. This comes with the HUGE caveat that this is just my personal opinion with no quantitative data to back it up. Binding testing and safety release is a very complex topic that we are always trying to keep up to date on here, but this is just my opinion and not an actual conclusion on the relative safety of either binding in question.

      For me, the pin interface on the Tecton has resulted in a few anecdotal oddities that I haven’t encountered on the Shift. But this is seriously subjective territory.

      It is also important to note that the Tecton and Shift are tested using different testing standards (the Tecton uses a touring bindings specific test while the Shift passes the standard alpine safety testing).

  18. Great thread and a ton of info! I would add a couple of things that I have noticed with these new Shift bindings so far with some early season skiing. I have mine mounted on a pair of DPS Wailer 112RP Alchemist (189) and have done a few days now in Banff National Park (Bow and Cirque), in the side country of Revelstoke and in and around Roger’s Pass. Here is what I experienced:
    – still get the brake fall (unlock), but only when using the risers. It helps a ton to blow out any snow in the brake area during transitions or when getting set up. Seems to happen when they get knocked in a technical section or on a turn.
    – the comments about riser height above are bang on. Unfortunately, the gang around these hills sets a very mean skin track and 10 degrees is simply not up for it. Factor in the rocker on the skis and traction gets tough even with a solid pair of skins. If you get into tree frickery like some of our initial forested climbs, avoiding steep skinning paths is tough if you want to go up.
    – I had some issues getting my Smith Superguide boots to clear in the toe pieces despite having a sole Salomon claims should be compatible. This was a 2 part problem, first securing the .05 clearance underneath but also having the binding expand large enough in touring mode to fit the toe (I have big feet!). Anyone considering Shifts should take a hard look at their boot soles as these bindings do not like some boot rocker. Get the shop to do a test set up first to be absolutely sure your boots are compatible if they have not set those boots up before. They were fine for my Scarpa Freedoms though.
    – they are finicky to get your toe in for touring but so are my Beasts, I am used to it.
    – downhill was a dream! Clipping in ski mode at the hilltop is just a heartwarming experience of confidence. The Shifts skied beautifully on the down with no issues. And for some of us, that is the whole point.
    I would still like to see a higher riser possibility as well as some more work done to fix the brake unlock issue. My wish list for what it’s worth.

    • I have had the brake unlock on uphill mode too. Definitely have to make sure you are skinning up with feet apart it seems. My Guardians would lock into ski mode on me too while climbing so it seems Salomon touring bindings are never without flaw.

      The 10 degree max riser is kind of a bummer. Skin tracks in B.C. tend to be steep and at times icy so would be good to have a few more degrees to add confidence. I’ve got high traction skins so hopefully I don’t end up in tough situations often.

  19. Hi from the UK everyone,
    Just had these build up onto Black Crows Navis Freebird’s. St Anton in a couple of weeks time for their first outing.
    One thing I noticed when storing them at home is the brakes run parallel rather than at an angle like “conventional” bindings and consequently when you try to put the faces of the skis together to carry them the brakes get caught against one another and make it difficult to get the skis in a good carry package.
    Do you think it’s wise to bend the brakes?

  20. With various tech binders in my quiver (plum, D-radical, vipec, tecton), gotta say, I’m loving the Shifts the most. Had them on glacier granulated, blue ice and “newish” snow in September, then rocking them at on the lifts at Baker since the winter hit. So great I’d really like to have a set for the GF, but at 97 lbs, her recommended a DIN is at about 4. Given that she refuses to ride the “swingsets”, it’s tour or nothing for her. LSS, I’d really like to give her the immeasurable confidence of clicking into the Shift at the top of a dicey avy drop– and bring her out of the tele-binder dark age. Sam, Jonathan, anybody aware of plans or mods to bring the Shift juice to our lower DIN loved ones?

  21. Thanks for another good review! I just got a pair of Shifts mounted on DPS Wailer A112, my touring boot is La Sportiva Synchro. After setting it all up and doing a few tests I have two situations with the setup:

    1. The rocker sole of the Synchro seems a tad too steep for the toe piece as I cannot get the AFD low enough to give the proper clerance of 0.05mm. This may be handled by removing some of the sole from the boot to lower the height
    2. I am not able to fully lock the toe piece in touring mode with the boot in the binding

    I am assuming 1 will be solveable, but i cannot find a way around number 2. Have anyone experienced this problem? The front lever goes up to the first position, but it is not possible to lock into the last position (the lock). It Locks out fine without a boot, when inserting the boot it seems the wings/pins do not close enough to engage the lock. I have tried a friend’s Slab boots in the bindings with no change in the result so I am assuming it is not a fault of my Synchro boots. Can it be something wrong with the binding?

    • Hey KAB, I would recommend taking it into your local shop and having them take a look. I haven’t heard of your 2nd issue in any other Shift bindings.

      • Thanks for the reply Sam, the problem is now resolved. It was a case of a new binding being a little tough for first time use and me being concerned for breaking the lever. The first time it is used the lever requires a bit of force to go into the lock position, more than what may be comfortable on what looks like breakable plastic. Now it works smoothly, so no fault of the binding and the lever is solid

  22. Great review and video. Thanks. I have a pair of the Shift and I really like them. I only have about 5 days use so far but I think they are great. My concern is that on one of the bindings, the toe piece height adjustment screw comes a little loose after each day of skiing. I can feel the movement and while it is not much it is a cause of concern for me. I spoke with two other skiers who also ski on the Shift and they have experienced the same issue. Have you noticed this? Has anyone complained about it.

  23. Thanks for the great review. As far as safety is concerned…how much safer would you rate the Shift compared to the Tecton/Vipec? Sorry: After two decades of snowboarding I started skiing again (mainly backcountry touring) and have only used Dynafit Radicals and Vipes. I have no experience with alpine bindings. If I understand it correctly: the Shift has more lateral travel at the front which makes it safer – a lot safer?

    • From my personal experience with both bindings (I’ve skied them both 20+ days), I would say that regardless of boot choice (as long as it has a normed sole), I would personally feel safer on the Shift than the Tecton. This comes with the HUGE caveat that this is just my personal opinion with no quantitative data to back it up. Binding testing and safety release is a very complex topic that we are always trying to keep up to date on here, but this is just my opinion and not an actual conclusion on the relative safety of either binding in question.

      For me, the pin interface on the Tecton has resulted in a few anecdotal oddities that I haven’t encountered on the Shift. But this is seriously subjective territory.

      It is also important to note that the Tecton and Shift are tested using different testing standards (the Tecton uses a touring bindings specific test while the Shift passes the more rigorous standard alpine safety testing).

  24. I am looking for a resort/touring binding, but I normally ride around 5/5.5 din so I’m slightly worried about the min 6 din. Are they planning to make a lower din version ?

  25. Do you know if there is any sole length adjustment on the shift? My touring boot and alpine boot are different sizes, but would like to use the binding for touring and resort skiing with each respective boot. Thanks!

    • Hey Mike, the Shift has 30 mm of adjustment in the heel track (15 mm forward and 15 mm back when mounted) so it should be able to accommodate your resort and touring boots.

  26. Is Salomon addressing the brake release in the 2020 version of the Shift? Is that something that can be done on this year’s binding?

    • We’ve been told that this year (18/19 season) Salomon made some tweaks to the brakes to reduce the accidental release issue. We should be getting on a new pair soon to confirm.

        • Salomon says that any pairs purchased this year should reportedly have the updated brake mechanism. They said that our pair was part of a pre-production batch. But again, we’re hoping to confirm this for ourselves.

          • This problem is frustrating the hell out of me. I have started zip tieing them in the lock position when touring. Anyone have a better solution? I bought them in December….

  27. I bought these bindings hoping for a touring binding that had the security of a alpine binding. However, in all honesty I’ve not been that impressed with them, and while the idea is great, there are a few kinks that need to be worked out in my opinion.

    1. The brake. The brake continually engages when skinning.
    2. The risers. There is only one riser height, when it seems like a second riser height could have easily been engineered into the design.
    3. The biggest issue: the heel releases early. I learned this the hard way, and lost a ski as a result (skied out of the back-country on one of the deepest days of my life on one ski…it wasn’t pretty). The binding released for no reason after landing a cliff. Wish I would have cranked up the din on the heel a little more. Since my incident, I’ve talked to several others who have had similar early releases. I’ve never come out early from my kingpins…just saying.

  28. I also put a pair of Shifts on QST 106s for a 50/50 ski. I’ve toured in it a handful of times now and used them in resort/sidecountry many times as well. The things I’ve noticed:

    1. I also get brake releases in touring mode like everyone else. It happens with the risers being engaged. I’ve have tried to skin with my skis further apart but I get at least 1 or 2 releases per skin up. A quick stop to flip the riser down and a stomp into the heel usually does the trick but it’s annoying all the same.

    2. The early release issue that I’ve had seems to be due to snow/ice build-up in the heel. When getting my bearings with them, I had early releases that made no sense and when I started investigating, there was a large snow/ice build-up in the heel which was causing me to not fully stomp in. I make a point to try and clear the heel out during transitions or when before I get back in after a break.

    3. Transitions are much slower for me with these bindings. Mostly when transitioning to ski mode. Tour mode you can do with boot kicks/stomps and poles. I haven’t got the transition to ski mode figured out as smoothly. Having to do the toe and the heel makes things a bit more awkward and time consuming. I’m still working on it though.

  29. Great review, thank you! Quick question; I currently have Kingpins on my skis but have bough a pair of Shifts. Having heard all of the reports of breaks releasing mid skin, only having the 10 degree riser option, icing etc… I was thinking of replacing the Marker toe piece with the Shift and leaving the Marker heel in place. Do you think this would be viable?

    Thanks!

    Will

  30. I own two pair of Shifts on QST106 and on Bent Chetler 120 . I have done a total of 10 days touring on both, with some steep and technical terrains . I have not faced any issues with insufficient riser option so far, so do not think it is worth the hassle to combine .

  31. Couple comments with my Shift experience. I looked to use this binding as a 90/10 area/sidecountry setup. I mounted up a pair of 180 Bonafides, and they initially met all expectations. On about day 5 the adjustment height on the AFD suddenly went from Alpine DIN to about ISO 9523. I had just unloaded at the top of Copper Bowl so went to inquire with patrol at PHQ if they would loan me a screwdriver to readjust. As I took my ski off the brake froze up (went from wet south to cold north), and before I could grab the ski it shot off about 300 ft into the bowl and stopped in a small grove of subalpine fir. I’m thinking lucky me, and skied down on one ski, only to find the heel piece gone. Turns out the heel took a pretty good wack going backwards and the metal nut that allows adjustment of the BSL failed. Interesting that the plastic that retains the metal nut was fine. +1 for plastic! Anyone else had the AFD height suddenly change?

    Also while doing a one week backcountry trip, another guy was on Shifts, and the last several days one of his toes would not stay latched up in tour mode. He was still able to tour without releasing, but the latch would not stay put.

    I’m hoping these were both one-off issues, and will try the binding again.

  32. I’d love to buy a pair of these for some new Volkl Secrets that I plan to use at the resort and on the resort shoulders. However, I need a DIN of 5-6. I’m just lighter and older. I’m concerned about trying to use the lowest possible DIN. Is there any hint that there will be a new version next year with a lower DIN range? How do the Shift bindings compare to the Fritschi Evo or Tecton? At least Fritschi has a 5 DIN rating, though it is the low end.

  33. Jane – these are certified at DIN 6, and it is not a problem to use at 6. I have skied both the Shift and the Tecton quite a lot, and for your proposed use, I would go with the Shift over the Fritschi.

  34. I have been on the shift binding and bent chetler 120’s for 50 days this season both inbounds and back country. No brake release while skinning. Yes agree you need to modify your approach angle to account for the heel riser but actually made the approaches simplier. Varied conditions from waist-knee deep pow to spring slush and everything in between. I now use this set up as my daily driver and dont see myself changing anytime soon.

  35. Unfortunately I bought the Salomon shift. For me one major issue is, that for 110mm bindings there is only the 120mm crampons available. But at the moment, Salomon even doesn’t have those crampons on stock, without having no idea when there are available again.
    It’s a joke, to construct a touring binding without selling suitable crampons.
    That’s the major reason why I should have rather bought the Fritschi Tecton.

  36. Awesome review and comments everyone. Apologies but here comes a very stupid question…can I use my regular alpine boots to skin relatively short distances with these bindings or do I need to buy touring boots?

    Thanks!

    • Hey Davyn, if your alpine boots have tech toe inserts (small, recessed, metal inserts on each side of the toe lug), then you’ll be able to use them with the Shift in tour mode — most dedicated alpine boots don’t have inserts.

      For short tours, alpine boots should be ok, but they are heavier and have a far reduced range of motion over touring boots which will make walking uphill a bit more difficult.

      Hope that helps!
      Sam

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