MFD Alltime AT binding ($300)
Remember Alpine Trekkers? Those clunky contraptions that converted your alpine bindings into makeshift touring bindings. Well, fear not. There's a new, streamlined product due out in the fall, the MFD Alltime System, that allows skiers to use their downhill bindings as AT bindings to ski and tour in the backcountry.
WHAT IT IS:
The MFD Alltime System is an innovative binding plate that mounts to your skis and has an integrated, free-pivot walk mode and a pole-activated climbing bar under your heel. There are three different models that interface with Salomon/Atomic bindings, Rossignol/Look bindings and Tyrolia/4FRNT/Head bindings. So you use your own high-din bindings and then thread them directly into the Alltime system. "I created the system because there wasn't a binding I felt comfortable skiing in the resort and in the backcountry," says former pro skier and MFD creator Jason Prigge. "Instead of trying to re-create trusted and dependable alpine bindings, I created a way for skiers to be confident skiing their everyday set-ups all the time."
WHY IT RULES:
The system has the lowest-to-the-ground height of all high-DIN AT bindings (it's lower than the Fritschi Freeride and the Marker Duke), giving you the feel of a normal alpine binding and eliminating that awkward feeling of being too high off your skis. Plus, it has built-in spring-loaded travel, allowing the ski to flex more naturally. Pro skiers Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Chris Benchetler and Daron Rahlves were given prototypes to test out this winter. So take their word for it, not ours. "Until now, there wasn't an AT binding that I could really trust in the backcountry," Cattabriga-Alosa says. "I have been using the MFD Alltime for a year now and my life has changed."
WHERE TO FIND IT:
The Alltime system costs $300 and you can buy additional plates -- if you want to mount them on other skis in your quiver -- for $80. You can find it at freeride and backcountry ski shops starting this fall. You'll also be able to buy direct from MFD and online from sites like Backcountry.com and Evo.com.