Gear Review: Fritschi Diamir Eagle 12 Step-in Binding

A satisfying step-in binding that allows fast, on-the-fly switching from ski to hike mode.

Some skiers want the satisfying click and trusted precision turning of a traditional step-in touring binding. And others might want to upgrade bindings but not drop $700 on newfangled boots. For them, there’s the Eagle. It allows fast, on-the-fly switching from ski to hike mode (and back again), all with the flick of a pole tip into a plastic clamp mounted on the rear deck of the binding. This same clamp serves as a four-tier heel lift and shifts through the various heights with the same pole-tip technique. The toepiece’s pivot point provides one of the most natural walking feels of any step-in we’ve tried. And the base plate under the front half of the binding moves with your foot to prevent it from breaking during “knee falls” (sliding downhill and landing with your knee on the ski) while uphill climbing. “It’s my new tried and true,” says a tester who skied the Eagle in Colorado’s Indian Peaks. “I love how secure it feels on the step-in, and the rear and forward stack (plastic pieces that lift the binding off the ski to help provide torque) allow me to turn with a roll of the ankle.”

Nitpicks: You need to clean all of the snow from your boot sole to get a true, positive connection with the binding. And several testers complained about the Eagle making a “clacking noise” during touring.

Bonus: The max DIN setting of 12 (standard on all traditional alpine bindings) allows the most aggressive skiers to tackle steeper, more technical lines without fearing double ejection from their bindings.

$470;

4 lbs. 3 oz. (w/brakes)

fritschi.ch