This is a fine binding if you wish to compromise your up efficiency to get a more secure feeling on the down, or if you don't want to get tech boots. But if you want a good run up and have a second pair of boots, buy a tech binding.
The engineering in the freeride puts the pivot point in front of your toes (actually outside of the boot's sole) creating a less efficient lift. Add to that the bar and heel lock mechanism which stick with you and you're lifting more with each step. That means a lot of wasted energy on a five figure ascent day.
The descent feels weird on these because of the high profile. It takes getting used to and is a big adjustment for folks who ski alpine bindings most of the time on flat board skis.
On the plus side: it's super adjustable so you can share with your friends (not always recommended for safety reasons, though). it also has a traditional binding look/feel. Brakes and a good din rating make it a safe option for those tiptoeing into the backcountry.
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