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Dynafit Radical ST 2.0 Review

Dynafit Radical 2.0
Editors' Choice Award
Price:   $550 List | $384.97 at Backcountry
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Pros:  Durable, solid dependable design, safer than previous models, suffers the least icing problems of any tech binding, heel risers are easy to engage, remains the tech binding that all others compare to
Cons:  Need several different tools to adjust, higher ramp angle than several models, transitioning is marginally harder when compared to a couple other tech bindings
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Dynafit
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor
Tuesday

Our Verdict

The new Radical ST 2.0 is the newest in Dynafit's long line of touring bindings. While the Radical ST 2.0 looks fairly similar to the previous Radical ST, there are several major upgrades. Most of the biggest changes revolve around making the binding safer; this is done by offering a laterally pivoting toe piece, as well as a gapless forward pressure-style design in the heel. These changes (amongst others) allowed the company to get the ISO/DIN certification that is standard among safety and consistency in release values. This new competitor has undergone a few changes to some of the most commonly damaged parts and this already durable binding has been made to be even tougher. All of these upgrades do come at a small weight penalty (5 ounces per pair) and the new pivoting toe takes a little more getting used to.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Bindings for Backcountry Skiing

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The Dynafit Radical 2.0 is slightly harder to use than the previous model but overall it offers enough major advantages for our review team to find it to be a superior binding.
The Dynafit Radical 2.0 is slightly harder to use than the previous model but overall it offers enough major advantages for our review team to find it to be a superior binding.

Ease of Use


While the new Radical 2.0 has many advantages, it certainly has a handful of disadvantages, including that it's slightly more challenging to step into (when compared to its predecessor). The 2.0 features a pivoting toe piece that rotates up to 5mm laterally on either side; this feature creates elasticity in the binding, offering increased safety and a more consistent releasability.
The new Radical ST 2.0 toe piece pivots up to 5mm on either of neutral which allow the binding to have more elasticity  help add consistency to release values  and increases the over-all safety of the binding over previous models.
The new Radical ST 2.0 toe piece pivots up to 5mm on either of neutral which allow the binding to have more elasticity, help add consistency to release values, and increases the over-all safety of the binding over previous models.
What this feature does mean is that you'll need to do a quick backward glance at your heel to make sure your boot's heel holes are more or less lined up correctly with the rear pins on the bindings. If you're not lined up, the binding wont lock your heel down, which is needed to transition to downhill mode. This problem was exacerbated in steep terrain or in deeper snow, and our testers found it useful to briefly lock their toe out, forcing their heel to line up correctly with the pins in the rear of the binding.
The heal piece on the no longer needs to be rotated 360 degrees in-order to engage  or disengage the break. Instead the Radical ST 2.0 uses a pin that is held in place by the heal piece seen here in  the middle of the photo. While long time Dynafit users took a little while to get accustomed to this new design  after a few days of real-world-use our testers This offered several advantages  especially when transition but did take a little bit of time for seasoned backcountry skiers.
The heal piece on the no longer needs to be rotated 360 degrees in-order to engage, or disengage the break. Instead the Radical ST 2.0 uses a pin that is held in place by the heal piece seen here in the middle of the photo. While long time Dynafit users took a little while to get accustomed to this new design, after a few days of real-world-use our testers This offered several advantages, especially when transition but did take a little bit of time for seasoned backcountry skiers.

Touring Performance


Folks used to riding with the older Radical will notice that the brake doesn't automatically lock up into the touring position when you pivot the heel piece; this feature actually offers several advantages when compared to the older version. Our ski didn't slide away when we hadn't yet put the skins on, even when we had turned the heel piece into the tour position. After a short amount of practice, we had an easier time transitioning to touring mode with the new Radical 2.0 when compared to using the older version; we only had to pivot the heel piece a quarter turn instead of one direction all the way around, which can be found when using the Radical, the older version. For those accustomed to using older Dynafit models, it does feel a little strange (at first) to spin the heel of the binding counter-clockwise, though our testers agree this is a much improved design that makes the 2.0 more user-friendly.

The heal lifters on the Dynafit Radical 2.0 are exceptionally easy to engage and disengage as you move through the terrain.
The heal lifters on the Dynafit Radical 2.0 are exceptionally easy to engage and disengage as you move through the terrain.
The 2.0 features the same QSI (quick step in towers) that that original version featured; this will help guide your boot into the correct position. The Marker Kingpin 13 had a very similar design that was comparable to step into. While our testers really liked both of these bindings designs, they weren't quite as easy to step into as the G3 ION 12, but took considerably less focus and coordination than the Fritschi Vipec, which (too) regularly seemed to shut before our boot was in position.

The Radical 2.0 is one of the easier transitioning touring bindings on the market  it resists icing and once you get the pivoting toe figured out (it doesn't take long) it is near as easy as it gets. Descending the Arete du Paine Aiguille du before skiing the world most famous off-piste run down the Vallee Blanche above Chamonix France.
The Radical 2.0 is one of the easier transitioning touring bindings on the market, it resists icing and once you get the pivoting toe figured out (it doesn't take long) it is near as easy as it gets. Descending the Arete du Paine Aiguille du before skiing the world most famous off-piste run down the Vallee Blanche above Chamonix France.

Transitions


At first our testers found their transitions with the 2.0 took a split second longer, primarily because of the laterally pivoting toe. Even with the pivoting toe, we thought the 2.0 was noticeably easier to transition than our Top Pick, the Marker Kingpin 13, which forced the user to remove their boot and flip a leaver in order to transition back and forth from tour to ski modes. The leaver flip was also much more prone to icing up than the Radical. That said, the 2.0 wasn't quite as easy to transition on as the G3 ION 12 or the Fritschi Vipec.

Almost everything is better with the Radical 2.0  it skis better  its safer  and has many slightly more user friendly features. An exception to this is the pivoting toe which certainly helps with downhill performance and is assists this binding in meeting safety standards. However it does take a little longer to get used to particularly while steeping into the heel of the binding. We did find ourselves getting used to lining up our heals  but in deep snow we often would briefly lock the toe forcing the heel to line up appropriately.
Almost everything is better with the Radical 2.0, it skis better, its safer, and has many slightly more user friendly features. An exception to this is the pivoting toe which certainly helps with downhill performance and is assists this binding in meeting safety standards. However it does take a little longer to get used to particularly while steeping into the heel of the binding. We did find ourselves getting used to lining up our heals, but in deep snow we often would briefly lock the toe forcing the heel to line up appropriately.
Unlike the previous model, we had to pivot the heel tower with the 2.0, which doesn't automatically engage the brakes. It does however, engage a mechanism; when the brake pad is depressed toward the ski, the brakes come up and lock in place. We thought this was actually a small, yet nice feature that helped to keep our skies from running away from us.

The latest and most current Radical design is one of the best downhill preforming tech bindings out there. From steep couloirs to variable snow there is few tech-style bindings we'd prefer to have on our feet.
The latest and most current Radical design is one of the best downhill preforming tech bindings out there. From steep couloirs to variable snow there is few tech-style bindings we'd prefer to have on our feet.

Downhill Performance


The downhill performance of the this model is noticeably better than the older Radical and among the better tech style bindings in or review. The new 2.0, with its pivoting toe piece and forward-pressured heel design, has much better elasticity, resulting in a more alpine binding like feel that doesn't feel as harsh, especially in firmer conditions and at greater speeds. Many of the overall changes that went into the Radical 2.0 revolved around the company trying to obtain the TUV's ISO/DIN certification for safety and consistency in release values. While we don't think the older versions of bindings were dangerous, its hard to argue that the 2.0's aren't just straight up safer, because of both the elasticity of the binding, as well as the binding's ability to appropriately release you in more awkward falls.

The Radical 2.0 is easily one of the best downhill preforming pure tech-style binding. Excellent energy transmission to the ski and added elasticity help these bindings preform as good as we could expect. Dallas Glass drops into the Slot Couloir on Mt. Snoqualmie  Washington.
The Radical 2.0 is easily one of the best downhill preforming pure tech-style binding. Excellent energy transmission to the ski and added elasticity help these bindings preform as good as we could expect. Dallas Glass drops into the Slot Couloir on Mt. Snoqualmie, Washington.

Performing only marginally better on the decent, the Marker Kingpin 13 and the Dynafit Beast 16, the only other tech style bindings, were both significantly heavier when compared to this competitor (the 2.0). In our downhill comparison, the Fritschi Vipec performed very similarly to this model, with both bindings performing slightly better than the G3 ION 12.

Since the Radical 2.0 has been released  we have skied them over 150 days. These days consisted of mostly of touring but at least 25 days were inbound as well. We also spoke with several local backcountry ski shops to see what they have seen breaking. In the end  we think the newest Radical is one of the burliest tech-style bindings oin the market. While it's slightly heavier than the previous model  it is at least more reliable and overall more durable. Photo: Ryan O'Connell skinning towards the Bryan Peak Couloir.
Since the Radical 2.0 has been released, we have skied them over 150 days. These days consisted of mostly of touring but at least 25 days were inbound as well. We also spoke with several local backcountry ski shops to see what they have seen breaking. In the end, we think the newest Radical is one of the burliest tech-style bindings oin the market. While it's slightly heavier than the previous model, it is at least more reliable and overall more durable. Photo: Ryan O'Connell skinning towards the Bryan Peak Couloir.

Durability


In addition to an increase in safety and downhill performance, durability is another of the biggest upgrades seen in this contender. Though this model has only been in production for over a year, we have heard of almost no incidents (that involved breaking) with this pair of bindings. We talked to ski shops and guides, as well as the company's Warranty Department, and were able to conclude that the new 2.0 is one of the more durable tech bindings out there; if you're looking for a potentially tougher tech style binding, the Marker Kingpin can provide (do note that we've heard that the Kingpin bindings have more issues than the Radical ST 2.0).
The new Dynafit Radical ST 2.0 is more durable than the previous version in several ways; most noticeably is the top of the heel piece  which is entirely made of metal. This part of the binding used to be the most commonly catastrophically part of the binding  however since the 2.0 has been released  we haven't seen or heard of any of these issues.
The new Dynafit Radical ST 2.0 is more durable than the previous version in several ways; most noticeably is the top of the heel piece, which is entirely made of metal. This part of the binding used to be the most commonly catastrophically part of the binding, however since the 2.0 has been released, we haven't seen or heard of any of these issues.
The new 2.0 is more durable than the previous model for several reasons. One of the biggest changes that has increased the binding's resistance to breaking is the new metal plate on the top of the heel piece. The older version featured a completely plastic rear housing, which would on occasion crack, rendering the binding almost useless. By making the top of the heel piece metal, Dynafit was able to increase the durability of one of the older version's weakest points.

As a whole, Dynafit bindings are among the most durable and longest lasting AT bindings out there; there are few (if any) bindings that we would rather take to remote corners of the globe. The engineers have done an excellent job designing their bindings, thinking about what materials to use, and knowing where to use them. They make some pieces out of plastic, designed to break first, in order to protect other (more important) pieces that are made out of metal; this is done in an effort to keep the binding from catastrophically failing.
Dynafit Radical ST 2.0 testing in the Vallee Blanche Chamonix  France.
Dynafit Radical ST 2.0 testing in the Vallee Blanche Chamonix, France.

Weight


The new 2.0 weighs 2 lbs 10 oz (1198g) per pair, five ounces heavier than the previous Radical ST. The newest version does pack in many advantages: increased durability and safety, and noticeably better downhill performance for only a five ounce weight penalty (which is still pretty average among tech bindings). The new model weighs the same as the G3 ION 12 and is a half pound lighter than the Marker Kingpin. The equally featured Fritschi Vipec weighs six ounces. If you are looking to shed some serious weight, the much less featured and brakeless Dynafit Speed Turn 2.0 ($350) weighs a minimal 1lbs 10 oz. Another rad binding that is not featured in our review, but still offers an adjustable release value, is the Dynafit TLT Superlite 2.0, weighing only 13 ounces (350 grams) per pair without ski-brakes.

The Dynafit Radical 2.0 is at home for any backcountry ski days: from outings that last a few hours to multi-day endurance adventures.  The Radical is extremely functional  reliable  and light-enough for essentially anywhere you want to go in the backcountry but is still durable enough for occasional resort riding.
The Dynafit Radical 2.0 is at home for any backcountry ski days: from outings that last a few hours to multi-day endurance adventures. The Radical is extremely functional, reliable, and light-enough for essentially anywhere you want to go in the backcountry but is still durable enough for occasional resort riding.

Best Applications


These bindings are fairly light weight, dependable, and very efficient backcountry bindings that are best for skis you will tour with more than half the time. They perform well enough for some resort based use, but if you plan to use your set up extensively for in-bounds skiing, we'd recommend a different binding like the Marker Duke or Baron 13 EPF.

Value and the Bottom Line


The $550 price tag is pretty on par with competing manufacturer's prices; comparable models, such as the G3 ION 12 also cost $550, with the Vipec costing $50 more ($600). While each of these bindings offer small advantages like marginally easier entry, in the case of the ION, or the Vipec's slightly lighter weight and marginally less involved transitions, the 2.0 strikes a pretty darn competitive balance of weight, ease of use, downhill performance, durability, and reliability.

There are many good alpine touring bindings on the market and the newest offerings from G3 and Fritschi are quite good and offer several advantages in their own right. However for our testing team if we could only own one touring setup that we wanted to be pretty versatile we'd mount the Radical 2.0 on them.
There are many good alpine touring bindings on the market and the newest offerings from G3 and Fritschi are quite good and offer several advantages in their own right. However for our testing team if we could only own one touring setup that we wanted to be pretty versatile we'd mount the Radical 2.0 on them.

Conclusion


If you are going to mount these on your set up, you should plan to tour 50% (or more) of the time - you wont be disappointed. While other bindings might offer slight advantages for certain applications, and the 2.0 might not be the absolute best at everything, it does almost anything well.

Other Versions and Accessories


Dyanfit also makes the Radical FT for Freeride Touring which is very similar to the ST; it offers higher DIN release values and more carbon fiber around the base of the bindings; in theory, this provides superior leverage and increased energy transmission.

Dynafit Speed Turn 2.0
Dynafit Speed Turn
  • Cost - $350
  • Claimed weight - 1 lb 10 oz
  • Very lightweight, yet also durable
  • Winner of our Best Buy award

Dynafit Beast 16
Beast 16
  • Cost - $850
  • Claimed weight - 4 lb 2 oz
  • Superior downhill performance

Dynafit Radical FT 2.0
Radical FT 2.0
  • Cost - $650
  • Claimed weight - 2 lb 12 oz
  • Good option for heavier and more aggressive skiers

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Ian Nicholson
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