The G3 Ion LT 12 alpine touring bindings are the same great Ion 12 bindings that we previously reviewed, only without the brakes. The LT 12 binding is ideal for the ski touring minimalist and ski mountaineer alike as it shaves precious weight off an already crazy light binding. A pair of coiled cable leashes are included to ensure that your skis stay with you in the event of a fall, and to comply with resort regulations. These leashes do add some weight to the LT 12s but not nearly as much as a pair of brakes. Should you choose to ski without the leashes, you’ll save 258g per pair, or roughly 22% their weight. Impressive!
The Ion's leash is well designed and doesn't add much weight.
The Ion bindings now come in three flavours: The Ion 10, Ion 12, and Ion LT 12. The number designates the maximum DIN setting and the LT is the light version due to the lack of brakes. Since we’ve previously reviewed the G3 Ion 12's over here, I won’t go into all the features again in this review. Be sure to read that review prior to this one so you’re in the know.
Tech pins keep your boot secure at the heel and toe.
While I am always happy to lose a few grams off my ski touring set-up, you’ll typically pay the price for this benefit in one form or another. With skis, this typically means performance is compromised as a lighter ski simply cannot perform as well in variable snow conditions. The same cannot be said however for the G3 Ion LT 12 alpine touring bindings. Since the LT 12s are identical to the regular Ion 12s in every way except for the lack of brakes, there is no loss in performance. There is however (in my opinion) more fussing around required when using the Ion LT 12s since you must secure the leashes each time you step into, and out of the Ion LT 12s. While this effort is minimal, it still requires time and energy, and I simply prefer the easy step-in / step-out of the regular Ion 12s. No fuss, no muss. If you are a gambler you could ski without the coil leashes and save a full 258g, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Skis pop off with aggressive kick turns, and of course with an unexpected fall. A run-away ski can spell catastrophe in deep powder if you are unable to retrieve it. Limping back shamelessly to the trailhead or resort with only one ski is never fun, and even a few kilometres can take hours. A run-away ski also becomes a very fast and dangerous projectile for anyone below you. Hence the reason why resorts require you wear some sort of retention device on your skis should you choose to ride the lifts to access the goods.
I am a huge fan of the G3 Ion 12s, so much so that they won our Gear of the Year Award last year. The LT version (for this skier at least) just doesn’t have enough benefit to offset dealing with the leashes. For some “light is right”, and in that case these are the bindings for you.
For all other alpine touring binding reviews check out our binding review page here.
Price: $469.95 CAN / $479US
Weight: 912g / 2lb (pair with out leashes)
DIN: 5 -12
Boot Length Adjustment Range: 22 mm
|Ski/hike performance 2/2
Quality / Price 2/2
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