Salomon Guardian ReviewAugust 12, 2012
- Very solid feeling when you click in.
- Lower stack height.
- Tour-ski-tour switch without stepping out.
- The lever for switching modes is a bit sticky.
This is the binding that the heavy duty touring world has been waiting for.
The Guardian is Salomon’s entry into the alpine touring binding market. It is a heavy duty binding meant to be skied as hard as possible, but to also be able to tour to access big lines.
The Guardian’s came to me mounted on a pair of 192 Salomon Rocker 2’s. This was the perfect ski to see if these bindings could do what was promised. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the perfect year to put the skis to the test in Colorado. My first time on these binders in the lower 48 was pond skimming at Snowmass for the end of the year employee party. I didn’t get wet.
Next, I took these guys to Alaska and skied about 20 days on them without any breakage issues of any sort. The bindings were a group favorite amongst our crew. They give you a very confident click into place when you step into them. Of all the bindings I have tested they feel the most secure on the up and the down.
In downhill mode there is little difference from a heavy duty alpine binder. But on the way up these guys are heavy, which is what you expect from a beefy binding.
The Guardian does share the same problem as the original Marker Dukes in that it only has a couple of riser settings. In this case it is up or down. This is a feature that Marker took care of and something I can only guess is in the works for Salomon at some point as well.
In saying that, I can report that I never had any issues with over torqueing the toe mount when side hilling, and I never had the riser bar slap back down—both pluses in my book.
These bindings are big. They are lower to the ski than most AT bindings, and are wide, and heavy, which certainly helps in ski handling. They really are the perfect fit for someone trying to ski like they are in a Matchstick Productions film, but who might have to actually climb to get their prime terrain. They do feature unrelenting control on the downhill, even for someone as big as myself.