Fritschi Vipec ReviewJune 22, 2015
- Transitions are really easy
- Release setting on both toe and heel piece
- Finally something not an inch off the ski from Fritschi!
- A lot of plastic parts
- The heel risers feel flexy and breakable
- Difficult to step into
- Pricy compared to competitors
My favorite thing about the Vipec binding is the same thing I like about its predecessors from Fritschi: transitions. The Vipec makes going from ski to tour and back to ski a breeze, without ever stepping out of the binding. However, stepping into the binding with a smaller toed boot is next to impossible. While the binding skis fine on the downhill, it really excelled while touring. My biggest hesitation with this binding is its long term durability—all of the important pieces are made of plastic.
The Vipec performs well in a variety of difficult terrain. In testing, I was initially concerned with the plastic pieces of the binding, however they held up well and remained in one piece. Overall the bindings felt secure and locked in to my every move and after additional testing, they exceeded my expectations for durability. However, other skiers who have used the bindings have reported issues with the heel lifters taking a beating and giving in.
The Vipec’s toe piece is very difficult to get into. Many of Fritschi’s competitors have easy step-in compatibility with their toe pieces, but the Vipec falls short in this area. In testing, I found myself fiddling for several minutes until I finally had to utilize my pole tip (to get my toe inserts lined up) to snap it into place. However, flipping the levers from one level to the next for steeper skinning was easy and on par with the other bindings in this test.
Fritschi’s experienced engineering is clear in the lateral release toe units and the sliding heel piece (used to maintain consistent pressure when the ski flexes). This is the kind of detail we expect from a brand like Fritschi and while the Vipec may not be perfect, it is a good, solid start for Fritschi’s entry into the binding market.
In 2009 Jordan became the youngest and the 5th person to ski from the summit of all 54 of Colorado's 14,000 foot peaks. Jordan is a mountain guide and ski guide for Aspen Alpine Guides, in Aspen Colorado as well as a ski guide for Ski Arpa, Chile.