Gear Review: Rottefella NTN Freedom Binding

The gold standard for New Telemark Norm (NTN) bindings.

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At just 1 pound, 10 ounces per binding, the Freedoms are the new gold standard for skiers who want low weight for touring comfort and high performance for all-conditions skiing. After a season in the Colorado backcountry, our tester says, “I definitely used less energy than when climbing with cable bindings, and the Freedoms gave me more glide with every step.” Credit the secure connection between the binding and the ski, which comes from a plastic “gripper” that attaches to the base of the boot in two places (at the toe and near the instep), and uses oppositional force to hold the binding in place. This gripper also connects more of the boot to the ski, resulting in a more connected, centered feel. Skiing through conditions ranging from boot-top pow to spring slush, she reported that she felt “more powerful in my stance and more centered on my skis.” Added bonus: Unlike cable-style telemark bindings, which require leashes, the Freedoms have alpine-style brakes. $430; 3 lbs. 4 oz.; rottefella.com