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Winter Gear Guide: Boots and Bindings

Kick It: Boots and Bindings

The connection matters—these boots and bindings will up your game.

1. Salomon Quest Max BC 120

Meet the one boot for the typical core Colorado skier. You like to pound the resort when the conditions are good. You hop out the gates when you can. But you come alive touring in the backcountry. With a 120 Flex rating and weighing in at 3,600 grams per pair, this boot can do it all—it’s easy on the uphills and uncompromising on the downhills. Plus, the walk soles, featuring WTR, make it easy to clamber over nasty terrain when you are bootpacking.

2. Dynafit W’s Mercury TF

This is a boot not just for ladies who like to rip, it’s also for those women who hammer the men on the skin trail up. At just 1,490 grams per boot, they will not slow you down. But, clamp down the Ultra Lock System—which is both simple to operate and gives your shin more leeway when you are slogging—and it skis like a far beefier alpine boot. That comfort made it our top female AT boot.

3. Dynafit Beast 16

As AT has moved from a European curiosity to the mainstream at ski resorts across the world, a brand like Dynafit—traditionally known for bindings that excel at fast, efficient touring with surprising support on the ski down—have had to up their game to compete with traditional alpine manufacturers moving into their space. The Beast 16 is Dynafit’s bomber freeride AT binding. The Beast supports aggressive skiers on big, fat boards, alowing them to tour with the pizzaz of tech bindings but imparting far more stability. If you’re looking for the best boots and bindings look no further.

4. TwentyTwo Designs Vice

Welcome to the backlash. With all the energy in the ski industry focused on AT, some have dared to proclaim that telemarking is dead. In fact, knee dropping is starting to see a mini resurgence, thanks to the art and athleticism of the turn. TwentyTwo Designs improved upon its classic Hammerhead design with the resort-focused  Vice, making it even more responsive and sturdy, a necessity when powering big skis on aggressive lines (and blowing by the ATers).

5. Gyst Duffel DBI-14

GYST, which stands for Get Your Stuff Together, began designing transition bags for triathletes. But the concept of creating a mat that folds out of the roomy bag so you can stand on it while you change your shoes makes just as much sense for skiers switching in and out of thier boots in muddy parking lots and garages.

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