Sizes: RV 4-10
Weight: 370 grams/single
Materials: Forged aluminum, chromoly, high-strength plastic, stainless steel
Features: Updated mounting pattern has 4 holes instead of 5; rotating heel piece; lock-out on toe; adjustable length up to 12.5 milimetersBuy Here
In the last five years, skiing's greatest innovations have come in the touring category. The list includes lightweight fat skis, walk-friendly boots, digital avalanche transceivers with multiple antennae, and airbag backpacks that inflate with batteries. But some of the greatest improvements have come in tech bindings. The Marker Kingpin and Dynafit Beast 14 are both lightweight (1460 grams on the former vs. 1760 grams on the latter) and DIN-certified, meaning we're getting ever closer to a system that works inbounds and out.
But despite all those advancements, there are some tried-and-true products that will never go out of style. The Dynafit Speed Turn 2.0 falls in that category, and is among the more ideal bindings if all you dream about is earning your turns. Long walks in the woods, bagging peaks, or multi-day hut trips are all game for this piece of German engineering. Plus, you could buy two of these, at $349, for one Beast 14, at $750. The Speed Turn also weighs in at just 740 grams per pair.
Against its more flashy counterparts, the Speed Turn is refreshingly simple. It includes the rotating heel with the "volcano tower"—as your climbing lifts—all backcountry skiers can recognize. The toe-piece is classic Dynafit: twin points of contact with a lockout lever, and it shares the same four-point hole pattern as the newer Radical. The only complicated matter is learning the trick to rotate the heel on the ascent. It's certainly not as easy as the new flip levers on the Beast or Radical, but I figured it out on my own and I can be pretty dense sometimes. (Tip: Forget the deep yoga stretch with your hand; just use your pole grip as an inside-out lever against your boot.)
I mounted the Speed Turn to a pair of 179-centimeter Ramp Peace Pipes, which is a rather burly ski for this tiny binding. Through an entire season of touring, the Speed Turn, having a “release value” of 4-10, never felt outmatched by such a stout ski. However, I imagine it would be even better suited on a touring ski such as the Voile V8 or La Sportiva Hang5.
The bottom line is that, while there are certainly flashier touring bindings available, it's harder to find a better touring companion than the Speed Turn 2.0, especially if all you need out of your backcountry excursions is simplicity.
Skiing Hot: Lightweight, reliable, and affordable, the Speed Turn 2.0 is an excellent touring option.
Skiing Not: You won’t win any cool-guy awards at the trailhead, as it lacks modern features.