G3 Ion LT Review
- Solid & secure toe piece
- Simple mount with no extras
- Good lifter levels
- Ski crampon mount is easy
- Easy lifter mode transition
- Strippable release adjustment screws
- Harder to step into the toe
- Non break away leashes are the only option
The Ion LT is a solid binding for the crowd who wants the security and downhill performance of a heavier setup, but are less concerned with all the extra features such as brakes and step in guides. The Ion LT is a great binding for the experienced tech user looking to lighten their load.
Ease Of Entry
The Ion LT is missing a few of the extras that the regular Ion has, but the experienced tech user will hardly notice. As soon as you are clicked into the toe piece, you know it, with that nice clamping feeling that you have come to expect from G3. The heel is indistinguishable from the regular binding, save for the brakes, and little more needs to be said other than you know when you are in and it feels secure.
Ease of Transition
As with most tech bindings you have to step out to go from ski to skin mode, but that’s where the difficulties stop. The heel rotates in either direction 90 degrees for touring mode and the lifters were easy to flip with a pole basket from flat to mid to high. A quick whack of the pole or hand turn via bending over puts the Ion LT back to ski mode in the standing transition for the down. In the end, we have zero complaints on the transition front.
Lighter than its big brother, the Ion LT saves some of those precious ounces that gram counters find attractive while still maintaining a durable binding. We liked the full array of options for lifter performance that is lacking with other lightweight options. The locked-in toe for uphill was a tight fit and gave full confidence to staying in even on icy sidehills.
The Ion LT is built for uphill and downhill performance. Freeriders may wish that there was an option for a removable brake, but that’s a different class. While the idea of egg beatering down a couloir with leashes attached may seem unattractive, this is a binding designed for ski mountaineering and longer tours, thereby catering to the crowd of skiers who prefer to ski with the mentality of not being allowed to fall. Overall, we had zero issues with pre release, with or without the toe locked out in ski mode. Our tester weighs in at over 200 pounds, and was pleased to find that he could ski the bindings in ski mode with high confidence.
The Ion LT has the same secure step-in that the Ion does and little more needs to be said other than when you click in, you feel secure. Everything from pillowy pow laps to icy jump turns feel secure and reasonable on the Ion LT and they leave little to complain about in the security department.
How We Tested It
The bindings in this test were used over the course of two seasons on two different pairs of skis. Our tester skied in a variety of snow conditions and terrain from mellow pow laps to very steep and technical descents.
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.
About the Author
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