Fritschi Freeride Pro
The perfect binding for alpine skiers who are looking to enter the AT world.
The first pair of AT bindings I ever owned were Fritschis. They are perfect for someone looking to piece together an AT setup without trying to make the whole purchase at once, as you can use them with regular alpine boots if you want, though most people would tell you that skinning any sort of long distances in alpine boots is just miserable.
My favorite thing about these bindings is that it is just a flick of a pole to switch from ski to tour mode, and visa versa. It was the hardest thing to let go of when I made the switch to Tech bindings. This feature alone can save serious time on a long day of flat skinning.
My least favorite thing about these bindings is that they are so high off the ski that it feels like racing lifters with a less solid feel. I have always felt like the Freeride just doesn’t quite provide the downhill comfort that I’m looking for when skiing lines where a fall is the end.
The single bar that runs the length of the binding allows a lot of play while touring, especially with my longer boot. There is just too much leverage on the binding on a side hill and you can sometimes miss the heel lifter.
The Freeride Pro is a solid binding that any new user should consider when deciding between all the options out there. Though the price tag may drive people to consider other options, for skiers just entering the AT market, the learning curve is quite a bit lower with these as compared to any of the other bindings out there.
How We Tested It
I’ve used these bindings on several different skis, but most recently climbing and skiing in Alaska’s Tordrillo Mountains on a pair of Black Diamond Gigawatts.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
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Ease of Entry
Ease of Transition
Gear Institute Rating (Total Score)
- Max DIN: 12