Gear Review

5 5

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

* BD updated their 01 next year with a six hole mounting pattern. Say, doesn't the Axl have a six hole...
* G3 finally came out with an active binding system for next year, and both the pivot and non-pivot have springs under the boot a la the Axl. The touring G3 binding also has 3 different positions. Hmmm...

This is my first full season on these bindings, and I absolutely love them. I skied the standard G3 for years and even skied the T9 on a Silvretta touring adapter because I was scared away from the 01's ripping rumors. As soon as I switched to Axl, I was a better telemarker. There is something to be said for an active binding system, and this is a gross understatement.

I have a great amount of respect for both BD and G3, but 22 Designs deserves some of your attention. The adjustable activity of the binding sets it above the 01 regardless of hole pattern, and the fact that G3 looks like they have a similar design speaks volumes.

I hesitated to give the Axl five stars for two reasons: one, they can probably lighten the design. Two, it would be nice if they revamped their heel piece. Sure it is super easy to snap up and put down (and I really appreciate that), but a second height option would really sweeten the deal.

Finally, these binding are both designed and MADE in the USA: that's a big deal!

PS If you ever read a review and factored your purchase upon it, you should add your two cents.

Responded on

Do these loosen up over time? I skied a friend's last weekend and they seemed really stiff! (I have skid G3 Targa's for the past 7 years though). What do the 3 hole settings adjust?

Responded on

The springs do go through a break in period, but I haven't noticed them softening much.
The three holes adjust tension. Move the pin all the way forward and you'll get closer to the neutral feeling of the Targa.