Dynafit TLT Speed

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The Dynafit TLT Speed is the latest incarnation of the classic Toutlite Tech ski touring binding. The Dynafit TLT bindings are favoured for competition use where every gram counts. They are often modified further with titanium and aluminium pieces replacing the original steel parts. The TLT speed weighs 730 grams for a pair of bindings without ski brakes. It should also be remembered that only the toe pivots, meaning that the heel piece does not need to be lifted while climbing.

Dynafit TLT Speed
Dynafit TLT Speed

The bindings are minimalist. A fork mechanism clicks into special hardened steel lugs fitted to the toe-piece of specially adapted boots. The bindings have been in production for some fifteen years and we recently met someone using one of the original bindings so they seem to stand the test of time.

It is not possible to use boots that are not adapted for the binding although there is an increasingly large range of boots available. When the heel is free the boot can pivot for climbing. The heel unit offers three climbing positions, the highest position is on a steel protrusion on the heel piece and this part can be bent if not treated carefully. Some people weld a small brace to reinforce this part.

Crampons and ski brakes are available. The crampons attach to a plastic plate fitted between the ski and toe piece. This plate has been a source of breakages. The brakes mean this binding is practical even for resort use and overcome the problems associated with leashes and avalanches where the ski can act as an anchor dragging the victim into the slide. Brakes need careful setup to work reliably especially on fat skis.

Contrary to popular wisdom these bindings are not just for bearded ski tourers but are becoming increasing popular with the freeride/freerando fraternity, especially with the introduction of the Garmont Mega Ride G-Fit freerando boot. Coupled with a heavy big mountain ski the binding still allows the overall package to remain within acceptable limits for longer climbs. For the skier seeking a really lightweight combination a pair of these mounted on 170cm Atomic R9 skis would tip the scales at a little over 3kg!

The anorexic nature of the binding worries many neophyte tourers more used to chunky alpine bindings. They wonder how it can work and how reliable it can be. The TLT Speed features lateral and vertical release at the heel with DIN settings from 1 – 10. Vertical release is controlled by the sprung U shaped bar that engages in the back of the boot. The toe piece itself can release once the heel is free as the front fork is sprung but is not designed to release of its own accord. This offers slightly less security but Dynafit say this is not a problem for the kind of skiing and conditions encountered off-piste. They do not recommend the bindings for extensive on-piste although this may be manufacturer's caution. The main difficulties for beginners are engaging the toe piece, especially on steep slopes.

The binding is also ueber-reliable and has been used by PisteHors.com collaborators on the volcanoes of Chile, the wastes of Baffin island and at over 7,500 meters in the Chinese Himalayas.

The binding should ideally be fitted with the boots you intend to use for ski touring. The gap between the heel piece and the back of boot needs to be set very precisely (about 4mm) and afterwards the bindings will adjust just 0.5 mondo sizes in either direction. Changing boot, especially if you go up or down even a half mondo size, may mean refitting the bindings to the ski. Not a decision to take lightly.

The front toe piece must be locked down for climbing otherwise the toe of the boot will release. The heel lift can be adjusted with a ski pole by twisting the metal riser lug. It is possible to move from climb to ski without taking the boot out of the binding although this requires a bit of force with both foot and pole. Take care not to damage the binding doing this. It is also possible to fit and remove ski crampons without taking the boot out of the binding. For steep descents where a pre-release could have serious consequences the toe piece can be locked. The boot will still release from the toe if sufficient force is applied but this provides added security with the trade-off that you may blow a knee if you fall. Do not forget to unlock the toe for normal skiing. We know a number of skiers who have blown knees during a season for not following this rule. The plastic toe-lock is another of the bindings weak spots and care should be taken when locking and unlocking the toe-piece.

  • Weight: 730 grammes (pair) including all mounting screws
  • 785 grammes with leashes
  • 950 grammes with ski brakes
  • 249 EUR (MRP), The street price is around 215 € in France.
  • Manufacturer: Dynafit

figures from PisteHors.com digital balance

Dynafit TLT Speed Lite

dynafit tlt speed lite
Dynafit TLT Speed Lite Heel Unit

The Speed Lite model gets rid of the heel riser and boot adjustment and some different materials to reduce the overall weight of the TLT binding to 610 grammes for a pair including all mountain screws. We suggest getting this binding fitted by a specialist using your boots as there is absolutely no adjustment in the heel unit. There are two heel positions, the heel is completely flat when not on the riser. The more expensive Dynafit TLT Vertical Race Ti provides a greater range of heel rise.

  • Manufacturer: Dynafit
  • 299.00 EUR (MRP)

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