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CamembertLeast favorite: any frame binding, they're just stupid.
Favorite from a designers POV: Skitrab TR2, simple, strong and safe. If they made the pins on the heel like Markers Kingpin with those wheels so the TR2 would work with all ski boots they would have owned the market. The only reason I dont own them yet is because I could never order them at retailer prices.
Favorite for now: Plum Guide / Yak. Simple and strong, do what they need to do. No flippy things that can break, you can change modes with your poles, no need to lock the toes while skiing, simple easy strong.. (FYI You can get them with normal brakes now..)
iLLbiLLyNot really... just depends on what your doing.
Most the tours I do are under a couple hours (off a sled or on teton pass). There's really no need for a tech binding and I'd rather have the bomberness and elasticity when dropping any cliff bigger than 25 feet.
I've done as much as 5000 vert on the Salomon guardian and was able to keep up with people on tech setups.
The beast and the kingpin are great but fuck spending that much money on a setup.
For the first stuff you describe I totally agree, for the second bit, yeah, you can do that, I have (except for the keeping up part...) but man, after a week and a half in tech boots and bindings I never want to go back for longer tours. The comfort and speed is just on a totally different level.
I totally agree with your last sentence though, at least for me, for the price I'd rather have the bomber-ness of guardians for short punchy stuff, or the light weight of radicals or Ions for the long slogs. I don't really see a place for the Beast of Kinpin for my type of skiing right now. The one thing I can see them being rad for is like a Japan trip where you can only take one pair of skis and bindings and you're going to be doing a lot of touring and inbounds skiing on the same setup.