Gear Review: Black Diamond 01 Tele Binding

It's unanimous: The best tele binding on the market.

Having tested every tele binding out there over the last several years, our crew concurs that the 01 is the best. “Its underfoot cable routing and supreme tension gave me such amazing control over my skis, I could tackle pretty much anything,” raves one tester. That goes for rock-hard inbound steeps as well as soft, powdery backcountry stashes.

On uphills, a simple green toggle—push it with your pole tip to change from ski to tour mode—releases tension on the cable so you can do a full heel raise without any resistance; in terms of energy savings, it’s the difference between 10 runs and 15. Testers loved how easily the toe plate shed ice in variable spring conditions, and everyone agreed that the weight-to-strength ratio was perfectly balanced.

Some testers complained that the free-spinning cartridges (which control cable tension and come in three stiffness levels, to accommodate differing body weights and ski styles) needed frequent adjusting to ensure tautness. And almost everyone would like to see a second climbing bail that’s higher (and more secure, as the bail tended to pop out of its slot during climbing).

$300

3 lbs. 14 oz. (mid-stiff)

blackdiamondequipment.com