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G3 Onyx AT Binding


Pros: Easy to enter, Easy to switch modes, improved downhill performance, swappable

Cons: Heavy for a tech binding

In the world of alpine touring weight inevitably becomes an issue. However, for alpine converts downhill performance and convenience take precedence and herein lies the appeal of G3's Onyx, the heaviest tech binding on the market.

The Onyx provides several things missing from the typical tech binding (read: Dynafit). First, they are easier to get in to. True, you do have to hold the toe pins open with a ski pole, but since the pins are closer together when open it is easier to align the pins with the inserts. Secondly, you do not have to exit the binding to switch modes, or figure out the secret Dynafit mojo move. Just lift the red lever at the back of the binding to lock the heel, or press it down to free the heel.

The factor that is less obvious is how G3's Onyx ups the ante with downhill control. Because the toe jaws are normally closed, it has a greater clamping force to hold you in AND it simply can not be made to accidentally pop open if you twist your foot far enough like classic tech bindings. In addition it gets extra support from the ski brake at the back so you aren't suspended between the toe pins and the spring steel heel bars. And finally, it has a low ramp angle for a more neutral stance.

All this creates a new level of downhill performance and confidence unheard of for a tech binding. There are other nice features as well, like the ability to easily swap the binding between multiple skis thanks to a plate mounting system.

The cost of all this extra convenience and confidence? Weight, but still less than four pounds per pair - which is a huge improvement compared to six pound plate bindings like the Duke or Guardian.

More details at earnyourturns.com.


Pros: ease of use, inexpensive, support aggressive lines

Cons: pre-release in some conditions in climbing mode

I've been on these bindings for about a year now and have skied them in the Idaho backcountry, as well as multiple trips to the Tetons.  I am agressive and ski some steep lines.  The initial foray was on the Middle Teton glacier from the top of the couloir at the Dike col.  The snow was very firm and pitches in the upper 40's to low 50's.  No problems.

I don't do a lot of "hucking" anymore, so I can't say how they hold up for you cliff jumpers.

The only problem that I have had is that in free heel mode, even with the binding locked, i have had the toe come out if my knee was very close to the ski.  This can occur in steep uphill climbs.

I have never had them release when skiing downhill

I ski them with a pair of Dynafit boots and they are fully compatible.  My main purchase decsion was the price and I figured that if they didn't work out, I'd pay more for the Dynafits.

G3 Onyx AT Binding

Haul-ass on the uphill, then switch to ski mode in a flash and attack the steeps. The G3 Onyx AT Binding seamlessly transfers boot-to-ski power and makes lightning-fast adjustments, so you can spend your time on-the-move rather than squatting, uselessly prodding, and cursing the binding-gods.

Recommended UseTouring, resort
Weight[With screws] 50oz (1430g)
DIN RatedYes, 5-10
Boot CompatibilityTech
Brakes IncludedNo
Heel ElevatorsYes, low & high
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
Size: One Size1270-2796876129007967