• Marker F12 Tour 2013

      • Review by VD. on Jun 12, 2014 @ 5:54 PM
        • 3
      • Review:

        About Me:
        Height - 6'0"
        Weight - 185lbs/85kg/13 stone 3
        Mounted on: 186 Faction Agent 100s (Mounted at Reccomended)
        Rode DIN at: 11/12
        Days Skied: ~25 (80% BC)
        Locations Skied: Chamonix, Verbier and Scotland

        Binding Specs:
        DIN range: 4-12
        Toe Piece: Triple Pivot Light
        Heel Piece: Hollow Linkage
        Weight: Size L - 2080g, Size S - 2040g
        Stand Height: 36mm
        Climing Aids - 7deg. and 13deg.
        Max Adjustment: Size L - 305 to 365 Size S - 265 to 325

        I picked these up at the begining of the season and mounted them on a pair of Faction Agent 100s at recomended. I had intended to use this set up as a lighter complement to my other touring set up of Caylors w/Barons. In an ideal world I would have thrown a pair of tech bindings on the Agents, but at the time I simply didn't have the funds to do so, so I went for the F12 instead. I actually bought the F12s as a bit of an 'experiment', since I had broken a couple of pairs of Barons in the past, so I thought I'd see if the weight saving led to more durability issues. And infact I found the F12s to be comparatively more durable, something I was really unexpecting, and to be honest am still trying to undestand why. The worst I managed to do in 25 days was snap a climbing aid off on a steep icy side hill, but this would have happened on any marker AT binding, and it was easy enough to relace, so it couldn't really be considered a huge issue.

        The frame of the Tour F12 is the same basic shape as the Duke of Baron, however a number of tweaks have made these significantly lighter than their higher DIN relatives. Marker's hollow frame technology goes a long way to shave weight. Yes, if you're skiiing on F12s, the whole frame of your binding is hollow and gas injected; don't worry this prospect made me a little uneasy at first too. However after ~25 days of skiing in some fairly hairy places my mind has been put to rest. It is also worth noting that the F12 frame has lasted me longer than a Baron frame has; I will say it again, I still find the perplexing.

        In terms of how the binding skied, I found the performance to be more or less comparable to that of a Duke or a Baron. The stack height and mounting pattern of all three bindings are the same, so ski feel is fairly consistent across all three. For those who have not skied a frame AT binder before, if you're coming onto frames on a pair of skis you previously had alpine bindings on there's a good chance you will feel a slight performance drop off. However if you mounting onto a new unskied pair of skis, other possibly feeling a tad higher on than you do on your other rigs, you shouldn't notice much else.

        The main competitor to the F12 is the Fritschi Freeride Pro. Having skied both, I would chose F12s over Freeride Pros any day. Not only are F12s a touch lighter for the uphill, but they also boast a lower stack height and wider mount pattern, allowing for better ski feel and power transmission. The only instances in my opinion where Freeride Pros win out over the F12s, is at the pivot point which makes for a more comfortable skining action and the fact you can switch from walk to ski and back without removing your skis. However the benefits of the F12s far outweigh its shortcomings, and need to remove your ski to switch modes isn't too much of an inconvenience for your regular ski tourer.

        In short the F12 is suitable for lighter weight guys who want to charge inbounds and out, or guys of any size who spend most of their time in the backcountry and are looking for a lighter weight frame AT binding. Like with all touring bindings there are compromises, however I beleive that the tour F12 best bridges the gap between tech bindings and heavier frame bindings like dukes, guardians etc. So whether you're without tech boots, or just too cheap to shell out for tech bindings (like me) then the F12s might just be for you.

        Hope this helps, if you've got any questions or comments then just leave them at the bottom or pm me.

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    • Product Information
    • Name:
    • F12 Tour
    • Manufacturer:
    • Marker
    • Year:
    • 2013
    • Gender:
    • Neutral
    • At A Glance
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      Score: 8