Fritschi Freeride Pro ReviewAugust 12, 2012
- Easy in and easy out.
- Very easy to switch between ski and tour modes with no step out.
- High heel lift.
- Very high off the ski.
- As a big guy, I experienced a bit of slop.
- Not as responsive as an alpine binding.
The perfect binding for alpine skiers who are looking to enter the AT world.
The Freeride is the heavy duty version of the step-in binding that has kept Fritschi in the market for so many years.
The first pair of AT bindings I ever owned were Fritschis. They are perfect for someone looking to piece together an AT setup without trying to make the whole purchase at once, as you can use them with regular alpine boots if you want, though most people would tell you that skinning any sort of long distances in alpine boots is just miserable.
My favorite thing about these bindings is that it is just a flick of a pole to switch from ski to tour mode, and visa versa. It was the hardest thing to let go of when I made the switch to Tech bindings. This feature alone can save serious time on a long day of flat skinning.
My least favorite thing about these bindings is that they are so high off the ski that it feels like racing lifters with a less solid feel. I have always felt like the Freeride just doesn’t quite provide the downhill comfort that I’m looking for when skiing lines where a fall is the end.
The single bar that runs the length of the binding allows a lot of play while touring, especially with my longer boot. There is just too much leverage on the binding on a side hill and you can sometimes miss the heel lifter.
The Freeride Pro is a solid binding that any new user should consider when deciding between all the options out there. Though the price tag may drive people to consider other options, for skiers just entering the AT market, the learning curve is quite a bit lower with these as compared to any of the other bindings out there.