Price: $649.95 (FT) | $549.95 (ST)
Sizes: DIN 5-12 (FT) | 4-10 (ST)
Weight: 630g (FT) | 599 g (ST)
Materials: Forged aluminum 7075, high-strength plastic, CrMo steel, stainless steel, and on the FT only, hexcel carbon.
Features: Rotation toe piece, forward pressure, easy-lock brake system, crampon slot, and on the FT only, carbon powerplates.Buy Here
Unlocked. A notion I finally could be comfortable with on the Dynafit Radical 2. Those familiar with Dynafits and traditional low-tech bindings know that sometimes you may be in a situation where you feel you need to lock the binding from a release, where a kicked shoe can mean serious consequences. However, the Russian Roulette of toying with your ligaments and bones is over with the launch of the Radical 2, a traditional Dynafit low-tech binding with forward pressure and TUV certification. The Radical 2 is something you can ski hard and trust.
The Radical 2 features an identical rotating toe piece like the Beast 14, which is what earned the binding its TUV certification. The patented pivoting toe is similar to the heel on the popular Look Pivot alpine bindings, and allows for lateral impacts and release values set forth by DIN ISO 13992 standards. The Radical 2 heel also has the same forward pressure spring and neutral ramp angle as the Beast 14, however it contains the standard heel piece of two pins. The forward pressure gives the binding the elasticity and responsive feel that most low-tech bindings lacked in the past. The new design and technology on the Radical 2, combined with the FT's version 12 DIN rating, had me skiing without concern in the backcountry and even during a few laps at the resort.
On the skin track, the Radical 2 felt like my Beasts on a diet. The weight, 630 grams, was 200 grams lighter than my Beast 14s and featured the same 10mm of forward pressure—which provides elasticity and dependability for the ski down. The Radical 2 also features aluminum power plates under the toe piece and rear points that increase torsional rigidity compared to previous versions. The combination of shedded pounds (from the larger sized heel piece of the Beasts and slimmer weight of a 12 DIN) with the traditional Dynafit heel piece and a flat position in tour mode gave me a spring in my step.
The toe piece is familiar enough to step into via the side towers and is essentially the same toe piece from the Beast 14s. The four springs in the toe snapped in with a clean acoustic “click” that sounded tighter than previous renditions of the Radical. The toe piece lever flicks up, as do all Dynafit toe pieces, and locks the rotational system in place for the ascent. Then it's a quick rotation of the heel piece housing, and on the first step down the ski brake is disengaged. This is one of the best new features—one that seems minor but can be crucial in certain situations. The heel piece housing no longer disengages the brake upon rotation, so you can prepare for the skin but your ski won't slide away.
Skiing down the west face of Patsy Marley, a nearby backcountry shot at Alta, Utah, the difference in performance was non-existent between my Radical 2s and Beast 14s. Varied turns at high speeds and popping over rolling terrain features, the binding felt rock solid. The subsequent next few days I placed it through a gambit of conditions. Most notably on a long day skiing from Big Cottonwood Canyon to tag Alta's Main Chute and East Castle, then touring home via a north-facing chute down Silver Fork. The binding didn't flinch—be it on groomers, wind effect, and perhaps every damn condition in existence while skiing Alta's East Castle. In short, I have found a new touring binding for all conditions, perfect for traveling.
Of note, the forward-pressure spring allows for increased elasticity, compared to the old Radical and other Dynafits. This means the gap between the heel piece and the boot is smaller—so make sure your ski tech knows this difference. Dynafit recommends a 1-millimeter gap from boot lug to heel piece, and I've found a half-turn tighter from there is the jam.
Skiing Hot: A frameless, touring tech-binding system that you can honestly trust in ski mode and in the air, including the occasional resort day.
Skiing Not: Still not the ideal one-ski setup for those who ski 80 percent inbounds and 20 percent backcountry.