Ease of Use The biggest problem with tech bindings has always been their finicky step-in: lining up the toepiece with the little holes in your boot. The ION eliminates this with two small, plastic towers that guide your boot into the perfect position, every time. “And to switch modes, I can swivel the binding in either direction (not one, like some other tech bindings),” one tester says. That’s because the heel lift (which relieves calf stress on ascents) is independent from the binding: bright orange bars flick easily up with a pole tip. Another great feature: G3 designed a tunnel beneath the toepiece that channels ice and snow out of the binding, preventing buildup that can lead to half-closure (and unexpected, mid-run release). One tester who has used every tech binding on the market says, “I felt so solid coming down a cruddy slope. I never once felt or noticed energy being lost between my legs and skis—even on fat-waisted boards.”
Downhill A wider mounting plate spreads weight across more of the ski, and addresses a common complaint with tech bindings: the need for better torsional rigidity and edging.
Gripe It’s more than a smidgen heavier than its closest competitor.
$550; 2 lbs. 9 oz.; genuineguidegear.com