If you are contemplating cheap telemark bindings, you might want to take a look at the binding overviews listed here. You can get a better idea of what’s out there in the less expensive range, plus get the features you are looking for in telemark bindings for skis.
With the type of equipment used in telemark skiing, specialized bindings are part of a ski design that allows for stabilization from the toe of the ski boot, which leaves the heel part of the ski free. Many times the heel is actually attached to the binding’s front area through a cable that allows the ski boot to remain within the binding.
Besides skis and ski boots, affordable telemark bindings are an integral part of the equipment necessary to get involved in this type of skiing. As most telemark enthusiasts will tell you, telemark is a skiing technique used in backcountry travel and downhill skiing, and it is often performed with lunging and free heel turns. So, adequate bindings are necessary to perform the general moves and maneuvers associated with this style of skiing.
Binding systems that are compatible with telemark skiing include 75mm or NTN. Both of these systems are coordinated to match a particular boot model. There are not a lot of differences in the systems but one important aspect to think about is the use of a walk mode that has a free pivot. The walk mode is necessary if skins are used (skis that have attached synthetic fabric that allows for uphill ski travel in backcountry areas).
Another feature of bindings is release capability, as it brings added comfort and safety for telemark skiing enthusiasts. Whatever system you choose, just remember that a good binding is a connection between the boots and skis you are using and is part of the transfer of power and reaction that also relates to the safety aspect.
With the different bindings in mind, here is a rundown of the 10 best cheap telemark bindings currently available:
1. Voile HD Mountaineer 3-Pin Telemark Binding
The Voile HD Binding is made of aluminum and is a 75mm telemark system. This simple and affordable set (2) is lightweight, durable and contains a 3-Pin/3 hole mounting process, which makes it compatible with almost any telemark designed boot. The mounting procedure is uncomplicated and takes minimal effort. The set is designed for touring mode and consists primarily of a toe piece, which frees the heel area from interference. The bindings measure 7 x 5 x 4 inches, weigh 1.1 pounds and are available in one color/one size. A one year manufacturer’s warranty is provided.
2. Voile Hardwire 3-Pin Telemark Ski binding
The Voile HD is a 75mm telemark boot compatible touring mode system that is made of tempered (T6) aluminum. Stainless steel connecting rods enhance edge performance in differing snow conditions. This binding contains a reinforced crossbar that inhibits breakage, and a new and wider platform heel locks to the heel plate, which aids in maneuvering and edging. The durable 3-pin toe box allows for further movement with simple toe attachment, which means limited uphill resistance. Climbing wire is sold separately. It fits into the platform of the heel and provides easy uphill striding. The bindings measure 19 x 7 x 3 inches, weigh 3.9 pounds and carry a one year manufacturer’s warranty.
3. 22 Designs Axl Telemark Binding
The 22 Designs Axl is stable, adjustable and has a free-pivot design. It is a stiff yet dynamic binding that is supported by a 6-point attachment as well as the adjustable pivot points that support a dialing system , which permits adjustment for size, actual boot size and the style of skiing. The cable attachments are literally unbreakable and the toe pieces, which are solid steel, can withstand the rigors of hard mountain use. Spring-loaded climbing bails (HammerHeel) allow for easy manipulation of up and down movement with ski poles. All cables and springs are placed underneath to give ski boots flexibility at the bellows, and the springs deliver increased measurement in travel. The binding measures 15 x 4 x 5 inches and weighs 3.91 pounds.
4. Voile Switchback X2 Telemark Binding
The 75mm telemark Switchback X2 with a closed design and a lightweight nature is known for its ability to aid uphill touring and downhill telemark skiing with ski pole use. Its standard equipment includes climbing heel elevators for varying upward movement, and a toe plate that has been considerably lengthened for increased boot contact. It also helps with repositioning of the hardwire cable pivot area. There is also added strengthening and stiffness for the cartridge springs, which help to enhance and improve the control of skis. The bindings measure 15 x 4 x 5 inches, weigh 3.91 pounds and carry a one year manufacturer’s warranty.
5. Rottefella Super Telemark 3-Pin 75mm Back Ski Bindings
The Rottefella Super Telemark is made of heavy gauge metal with high sidewalls that bring strength and stability to boot soles. The bindings are designed for boot soles that are 12-20 millimeters in thickness. They are a standard 3-pin, 75mm toe binding that accommodates both telemark and mountain country use. A ski boot can remain firm in this durable binding through a flat reinforced steel and lightweight bail, which makes boot entry and exit easy and comfortable, which also helps in reducing boot wear. Mounting is standard process with a 3-hole drilling. They weigh approximately 13 ounces.
6. Black Diamond O1 Telemark Binding
Black Diamond 01 binding is a toe piece made of stainless steel that had a six-hole mounting sequence that allows for more resistance whether for downhill power or touring. The binding has an underneath cable routing and a push button function that allows for changing over to different ski and tour modes. A solid wire heel piece (yoke) is included and there is a cartridge option (three) for adjusting for stiffness that includes an indicator that is color-coded. Climbing wires are included.
7. G3 Enzo R Telemark Binding
G3 Enzo is a 75mm telemark boot compatible binding that is made of stainless steel and nylon that has been fiberglass reinforced. It is recommended for both telemark and ski touring and includes climbing bars. The binding has a spring-loaded heel post that allows for lift, and the climbing wire also raises heel height. A mode switch is included which can be activated with a ski pole through a toggle switch at the front of the binding. This allows for easy back and forth activation. Toe plate locking also eliminates the possibilities of icing up. The binding measures 16 x 5 x 5 inches and weighs 3.92 pounds.
8. Vice Telemark Ski Binding
The Vice Telemark binding is a stable stainless steel, non release binding. The toe piece is in one piece that mounts precisely to the ski. In addition, die springs of chrome supply a travel capacity of over two inches for hard but smooth ski runs, whether for telemark or other ski uses. There are three pivot choices that allow binding adjustment for different skiing styles and snow conditions. Pivot points are placed towards the rear in order to create more resistance. A six-hole pattern for mounting provides for a secure anchor for the bindings. Cables are placed underneath to give greater control and flexing power. Sturdiness, easy adjustment and limited separations with this binding keep a ski boot well aligned with little to any sloppy back and forth movement.
9. The M Equipment Meidjo 2.1 Ski Binding
The M Equipment Meidjo is a lightweight phenomenon in telemark binding. Easy step and easy release, and a free pivot mode make this binding a reliable and tough binding for touring and telemark. A winged heel deflects snow accumulation and the heel wings allow it to be easily lifted with ski poles. A protective plastic covering aids in shielding metal parts beneath the flexor plate and spring box, which helps to eliminate snow build up. Mounting is reinforced through a metal base plate, which administers pressure evenly and keeps screws from dislodging on skis. Instantaneous power with shoe lift and quick adjustment from one edge to the other, and a lightweight nature, make this binding useful and effective.
10. Rottefella Cobra R8 Binding
Backcountry telemark skiing is simplified with this low-flex Cobra binding. It is strong and precise and is designed to fully expand downhill performance as well. A 75mm toe binding further enhances performance, and a sturdy outer structure and a sizable base plate provide superior edge control and power under almost any snow condition. Steel connecting rods diminish sideways movement and enhance control and stability. A heat treated metal toe plate and front bail combination bring over an inch rise above the ski, which increases leverage enough to allow edge to the ski.
Any one of the cheap telemark bindings reviewed here provides options that telemark skiers can take advantage of during ski season. Top quality doesn’t always mean ultra expensive and the choices given here won’t break the bank or a limited budget. Skiing is meant to be fun, enjoyable and safe with the right bindings.