Review: Rottefella Freedom Binding

When you're ready to ditch those old three-pin paddles and join the 21st century (no judgment; I just barely am myself), you can't do much better than the Rottefella Freedom. This NTN binding is lightweight, extremely well-built, and has a low-resistance walk mode for long tours in the backcountry. I know what you old-timers are thinking: Walk mode? Doesn't that just mean loosened buckles? Fact is, NTN—that audacious acronym for New Telemark Norm—has, in fact, overtaken the cable system, at least with the younger crowd. And for good reason: the larger connection area offers more control for faster, more stable descents. You can step into it (for the most part) and there's less resistance when skinning. The only drawback is the shorter range of motion, which means you have to adjust your technique a bit; but so it goes with every advancement, including ski design (read: parabolics). At least we can count on our poles not changing. Available at Uphill Pursuits and rottefella.com; $480.

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