Transitioning to ski mode mid-slope shouldn’t be a perilous undertaking—but with brakeless bindings it is. Without the prongs that claw into the snow, your ski is about as elusive as a whack-a-mole, slipping away from your boot at the slightest touch. On the other hand, going brakeless is so light! Which is why we love G3’s Ion LT 12, a brakeless addition to the Ion family that let us shed 10 ounces from our rigs without making us reconsider our life choices mid-mountain.
Why? Two small towers on each toe piece guide your boot into the binding. The formula is a winner: “Wave your boot anywhere near the pins and boom, they lock into your boot,” our tester says. “There’s no hovering over your binding in a spicy spot trying to lock in and wondering, Am I actually in?”
And there’s more to like: The toe piece is wider than other pin-tech bindings (so the pins squeeze your ski boot with more power) and higher (so snow and ice don’t build up as easily). Forward heel pressure keeps you secure on the downhill. Bonus for mountaineers: The G3 Ski Crampons interface with the Ions better than any other ski crampon-binding pairing on the market. You can actually attach and detach them without clicking out of the Ion—another luxury during tricky transitions.