Marker Baron ReviewMay 5, 2014
- Good power Transmission to the Ski
- Low Stack Height
- Easy adjustment between AT and Alpine soles
- Super secure feeling upon clicking in
- Transitions are a bit slow
- Tends to ice-up on binders
The Marker Baron binding works well for a lighter-weight aggressive skier who doesn’t have to skin to far to get to their descent. But it’s not so significantly lighter that I was able to significantly cut uphill times. But at 50 bucks cheaper and 3 few DIN settings, the Baron works well for skiers who don’t need the extra beef of the Duke!
The Baron is second in command in the Marker Royal Family. The Baron is the little brother of the Duke and is a tad lighter. Its still burly and heavy, but perhaps made for someone who is a bit lighter weight or more of a recreationalist side-country skier.
The Marker Baron came to me mounted on a pair of 174 cm Voikl Mantras. The Mantras have a lot of metal in them, and that ski combined with the Baron made for a heavy setup. Just like the Marker Duke; stepping into the binding at the top of the gondola gives you a nice resounding click into place. That always makes me happy, and it gives the Baron a very Alpine binding feel for the down.
As is the case with all of Markers touring bindings, switching to touring mode requires stepping out of the binding. This is not really a deal breaker, as this isn’t a binding that’s going to be used for the light and fast missions where transitions really count. Still, this change-over process could be improved.
After switching to touring mode, I immediately noticed the weight of the setup for uphill action. But that’s just it–Marker hopes you will feel as secure as possible in an AT binding for the downhill. After I made a few steps of along the flat, the angle of the slope increased and it was time for me lift the heel riser. This is where I give Marker big props. With virtually any ski pole basket, it was easy to switch heel lifters from flat to medium and medium to high. It took just a quick flick of the pole before I was on my way again. This might be my favorite characteristic of the Baron.
Arriving at the top of my skin, a flick of the wrist and I was back to a flat touring mode. I stepped out of the binding again, cleared the ice from the tracks and switched the big guy back into its favorite mode: downhill. Marker widened their power frame by 28 percent, which allows for a wider, less flimsy attachment to the ski, that made it feel as though there was less play in the binding than previously.