In my previous gear review, I talked about Black Crows’ Atris Birdie skis. I have set up on them the Marker F12 bindings which have done very well so far.
I wanted the versatility of the bindings and was not sure if I would lose downhill performance if I went with tech bindings. These full frame bindings are not as heavy as I expected and still keep my skis light weight. Together, the bindings weigh 2204g. They come in 90mm and 110mm brakes and fit 265mm to 363mm boot size.
What is exceptionally nice about the F12 is I am able to use my tech boots in them so I do not have to have a lot of different boots. You can also use alpine boots in the skis, though I wouldn’t recommend it for ascents.
They are relatively easy to use with the heel lift coming up to three different angles. One downside to the heel lift is it does click with every step so that can be a bit annoying. They ski exactly like a normal alpine bindings which is nice not having to worry if I take a hard fall. The F12 binding releases as normal. I have had no issues with the release.
The change over can be time consuming. You have to take the entire ski off when taking off skins and to switch from walk mode to ski mode. There is a small tab in the middle of the frame for change over. The other issue I noticed is with ice getting stuck in the frame. If it does, you have to make sure the binding is completely flat against the ski. It does take some force. I have accidentally put it into ski mode without it being fully down. I noticed it before I skied on it, but it is something to keep in mind when changing over.
The company also has a binding called the F10. I did not need the F12, and could have gone with F10. They are the same binding. The only difference is the F12 goes up to a din setting of 12 while the 10s go to 10. Since I have mine set on 8, 10 would have been fine and a bit lighter. At the time F12 were all that was in stock and I needed my bindings then.
I do like the versatility of the bindings and would recommend them to others. For those who plan on doing multiple laps in a day or spend a lot of time in the backcountry, tech bindings might be better. However, for those who do not mind the slower change over, or who spend more days at the resort, these bindings perform very well.
The Marker F12 tour binding is listed at $429.00 on their website. Currently they are out of stock but other companies still carry them. For more information on the skis they are on, check out my Black Crow Atris Birdie ski review.