G3 Ion ReviewJune 22, 2015
- Easy to step into
- Clean design
- Easy heel lift transitions
- Kiss mount on the heel
- Step out for ski to tour transition
- Occasional snap back into ski mode
The G3 Ion is a very clean take on a standard tech binding. It offers a few nuances that make it stand out from its competitors and its one of the best looking binders on the market!
One of the best features of the G3 is the metal used in places where most manufacturers use plastic. The pieces are not only more solid but G3 manages to use metal without the weight penalty.
While the Ion offers a similar toe and heel to its competitors, it has a few features that make it stand out from others in this test. G3 added small little black tabs to the Ion that help guide your boot into the binding and trigger the toe spring. The heel lift flip tabs are easier to snag with your pole handle or basket, and a kiss mount in the back negates the need for measuring the pin gap (so many bindings are dealing with this issue). Another great feature is that the brake is not activated by rotating the heel piece—which allows multi directional heel rotation and less resistance when it is spinning. In testing, my only frustration was that sometimes the heel piece would auto rotate and slip back into ski mode while on an uphill.
The toe piece on the Ion has a very strong feel as you step in and out and while testing, I never felt the need to ski it locked out.
The 115 mm version of the G3 has a much tighter-feeling connection to the boot that reduces some of the wobble that was occurring in previous models. This is a huge benefit if you are using a fatter ski.
After multiple tours on this binding, I have yet to expose any major weaknesses in the Ion—with the exception of the lack of transition from ski to tour without stepping out and the occasional auto rotate. G3 has a very clean tech binding in the Ion and with a couple refinements it will be a real contender in the binding market. This is a binding I will continue to use for seasons to come.
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.