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22 Designs Axl Telemark Binding


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    51 Reviews


    The legendary performance of the Hammerhead, plus a new level of versatility and durability.

    Snap into the Twenty-Two Designs Axl Bindings and carve with confidence at the resort and in the backcountry. The Axl gives you the legendary stiffness and adjustability of the Hammerhead and adds a free-pivot backcountry touring mode that allows you to tour longer and with less fatigue.
    • 2000-lb test cables, a one-piece molded scratch plate, and one-piece stainless-steel latch mechanism boost durability
    • Flexes at the boot bellows unlike other designs that give you a feeling of tip-toeing
    • Three cable-guide positions allow you adjust how active the binding is for a customized feel
    • Six-hole mounting pattern is wider and longer than a standard four-hole pattern, which transmits power more efficiently and offers extra-secure attachment to the ski
    • 2.4-inches of smooth compression spring travel mean you won't bottom out, even with hefty boots
    • HammerHeel climbing bars are easy flip up and down with ski pole
    • Item #TTD0022

    Tech Specs

    Manufacturer Warranty
    2 years
    Recommended Use
    tele-skiing, freeride touring, backcountry
    Claimed Weight
    (pair) [small] 3 lb 12.8 oz, [large] 4 lb
    Climbing Bars Included
    yes, standard bail
    Stand Height
    28 mm
    stainless steel, aluminum, polycarbonate

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    My dream bindings

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Very few pieces of gear make me happier than these bindings. They are tough, durable, and flex like a dream. I have them mounted on a pair of Icelantic Seekers and I ski with a Scarpa T2 Boot for reference. This gear set makes me feel unstoppable. These were my second pair of telemark bindings, but I see no reason why you couldn't use these as a starter binding.
    They are easy to adjust, once you figure out which set of springs to turn (read the instructions!), and I am so happy that I went with these bindings. They are absolutely worth the extra $$!

    The standard in performance duck-bill

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I've tried all sorts of touring bindings from BD01's, Voile Switchbacks, etc. and these are by far my favorite. They're extremely sturdy, easy to use, and very reliable. The lateral support provides you with more control than any other binding.

    Bomb Proof Binding

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Nimble, versatile, yet robust, there is really nothing else you want in a binding besides what the Axle offers. They offer a phenomenal heel up transition with an easy spring adjust.

    hell yes!

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    Axles are da bomb! Smoothest power transfer and an active setting for everyone's style. The 6 hole mounting pattern keeps everything locked on and tight. All of that with the free pivot ability to get into the backcountry to get the goods. Best part: 22 designs makes these bindings in the good ole USA (in Driggs ID) It's a great company that makes the very best bindings. Period.

    Pretty Bombproof.

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    2 seasons deep and I love these as my resort binding. broken the adjustment coil but they are still functional. One of the best 75 mm bindings you can buy.

    Awesome Bindings

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    These are great bindings. It's nice to easily adjust how active they are, easy to adjust for different boot sizes, and switch from tour to ski mode. They also ski great and are very durable (but I wish the tail throw was made out of metal- I have not broken one, but I am worried about it). I also think these bindings are pretty easy to mount, and the 6 hole mounting pattern is nice for having a solid mount to the ski (haven't had the bindings tear out either).

    With regards to the sizes of bindings, I am a 25.5, and ski both the small and large versions, and I have noticed that the large is more active than the small (but the small is still active enough for me). So if you are in between sizes, go for the small if you want a less active binding, and the large if you it want a more active binding.

    Overall, a great preforming binding, and probably the best binding I have skied. They are also made in the USA, which is great.

    It's eating my T1 duckbill for breakfast

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

    So, after reading all of these reviews, I decided I wanted this bombr binding. I have 30 years of skiing under my belt and decided to start over with a tele career. After one day skiing at Vail, I noticed the duckbill has dents on both boots from the top of the toe mount. Does anyone else have this issue? What can I do to fix this problem?

    It's eating my T1 duckbill for breakfast

    Any beefy metal 75mm binding is going to adjust the plastic toe to it and how much you allow the boot to flex based on your spring adjustment. Tighten down your springs a bit and keep track of the dents ... I bet they max out and stop progressing... Better yet just para-mark and your problem will cease to exist unless you are going uphill....

    The 22Design Axl 5 stars.

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I am 6’3’’, 190 lbs with a 27.5mm boot size and I have been riding the 22Designs Axl for 2 years. It is the best 7mm binding I have skied! It is bullet proof, tough and customizable. The springs hold the heal down firm on the ski when doing airs and on ruff landings. It has great action and holds very stable. The touring function is smooth and easy to pop in and out of. However some ice can build up on the locking mechanism. I suggest rubbing a little wax on it to help minimize ice buildup.

    I have it set up for backcountry and resort because I know it will preform. It is a little heavy on the assents but If downhill performance is your goal and you do a mix of backcountry and resort skiing this is a great binding . I give in 5 stars

    If you are buying an all new setup I would suggest the NTN 22Design Outlaw.

    Please Contact me anytime if you would like to discuss this or any other products. I would be stoked to help you get on a unique setup for your skill, type and style of skiing!

    Phone: (801)-204-4677x2468


    The 22Design Axl 5 stars.

    Much better but different

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

    Got these to replace some older cable G3s that I used for years. Initially they felt really stiff, much more like an alpine set up. On moderate terrain, I really had to force it and be on my game. The steeper stuff and bumps were GREAT! I ski BD Verdicts with T2 boots and while the boots are probably a little soft for this set up, they worked great. By the end of day 1 I was in love.

    Great Binding, Great Company

      I've had these bindings for two years and truly put them thru everything. I tele'd over 70 days this past season in CO at Vail, Beaver Creek, Abasin, Breck, a trip to Jackson, and about 8 days of back country. The touring capability is awesome and a real pleasure to use, it would be nice to have two sizes of climbing bails, however this did not really bother me in use. Secondly, at the end of this season I broke one of the usheredheel bars


      • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

      My husband got these to replace some alpine bindings on his ~100mm underfoot daily-drivers. He had another set of skis mounted tele with some BD O1s, and he said that the switch to the 22 Designs was a night and day difference in control (he is by no means an expert tele skier). The shop mounted them and put the pin in the middle position, and he immediately felt that he had more control of his trailing ski, and a lot more confidence.

      Bomber Bindings

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      Bomber bindings all around. Used these extensively for several seasons in and out of the resort. They're great going up. Plenty of range of motion. Switching between tour and ski mode is easily accomplished with the tip of a ski pole. Ice and snow buildup is not usually an issue unless the snow is unusually clumpy (think a big dump of cold snow and 45 degrees and sunny immediately afterwards).

      Downhill performance, is, as one would expect, fantastic. Super solid feeling and buttery, round, progressive flex. Very solid boot-binding interface. No lateral play and no issues coming out of the binding when things get rough. It is worth noting that these are very active bindings. In the least active position, they're about on the level of a Hammerhead at #3. Very light skiers or folks that are used to more neutral bindings may have a bit of an adjustment to make.

      Manufacturer has great service, too. After a few years of use one of my heel risers sustained a bit of damage and getting a replacement from 22designs was completely painless.

      By far, the best tele bindings I've skied. You won't find a better option for a duckbill binding.

      Thank You Idaho.

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      Ever since being introduced to 22 Designs I have used their telemark bindings almost exclusively. All of my lift-access set-ups, including Rossignol Super 7 pow skis, have Hammerheads but it is the Axl that has impressed me the most. Although a little heavier than other telemark touring bindings, the Axls are the most durable, stable binding out there for backcountry enthusiasts plus they can drive any size ski. I have over 50 days touring and many more side country trips on my pair and they are going strong. Not to mention they are made in Idaho, USA. Strongly recommended and much more affordable than NTN.

      Thank You Idaho.


      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      I used this binding this past winter with no problems. The touring mode works great. I had a couple instances when the boot popped out traveling uphill, but I suspect it had to do with ice and snow that I failed to clean off my boots.

      So far so good

      • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

      I'm limited in my use on these bindings but am crossing my fingers they I will have better luck then those listed below. The bindings are indeed made in the U.S., making warranty's easy to deal with, and they are a bomber design. If your into new school tele skiing, I have not seen a comparable binding on the market. The heavy duty spring kit is a nice option for further adjust-ability as well.

      Major Weakness!!

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      Why would the Empire engineers make a nice round defect just large enough for an X-Wing to blow up the Death Star? Crazy. Just as crazy to me, is that the Axl made it through the prototype stage, full production and release, and is still praised overwhelmingly, despite a massive vulnerability. I know this problem has happened to others, and it seems 22 Designs is aware as well. Got a spanking new T1 here from BC, and the Axl shredded it up. The reason is that the 'flex plate' on this binding is really embarrassing compared to how bomber everything else is. This flimsy red piece of plastic is supposed to protect the cables underneath and keep snow/ice out. All other bindings I know of have a nice FLAT dense piece of clear glass-like plastic screwed in here. But this 'flex plate' is only secured by the metal pin that chooses the activity of the binding; as in position 1-3. Now if you ski with that pin in the front, least active; there is a very good chance that with a lot of deep tele turns this sharp ridge in the front of the flex plate will slice apart the underside of your boot by the 3 pin area near the front. You can see another reviewer below where this happened, I'm sure we're not alone. Furthermore, the whole thing curls up and becomes useless as it is not secured in the back and the black plastic part that is on your heel knocks into it and curls it up. My first T1s lasted 11 years with Targa bindings; no problem. With Axls new T1s were chewed up after being used 3 times!! As always, Back Country was AWESOME and took the boots back under warranty, which is why I will buy gear only from them. Such a shame, as this binding really powers fat skis and the free pivot climbs amazing. Weak engineers must be the conclusion, as this binding is exactly like a great puzzle that comes with one piece missing . A piece of gear can only be judged by its weakest link. Just had a ZEN day on a loaner NTN, lifechanging, so perhaps I should really be thanking 22D

      Hey August, it sounds like whoever mounted your bindings didn't put the flex plate on right. They are supposed to be attached not only by the slic pin, but also the little triangle at the front. I can imagine that if the front wasn't installed, it would stick up and eat into your boots a bit.

      I have to agree with 22designs on their rebuttal, and take the opportunity to sing the praises of this awesome binding.I was on the receiving end of a crappy mount job when I bought my first pair of axls. I gave the guy the directions that came with the bindings, and he still managed to screw up the heel plate so the riser did not work, not to mention he had the skis set up with the pins in two different positions. However, he did manage to install the triangular metal plate under the flex plate. I have skied these bindings for years and never so much as dinged a duckbill. I have been skiing telemark for almose 30 years(!), and have enjoyed going bigger with the gear, but axls with pin up front is as far as this old school girl can go. These bindings are well loved in my gang of aging tele rangers because we don't have to fight the binding to get low, but the lateral stiffness and support are bomber.

      Have to agree with August West. Skied all last season (40+ days in the northeast) on 22D HH with new Scarpa T1 Race. No issues with the boot or binding. Switched to 22D Axl this season and had the mount done by a very respected shop in downtown Burlington VT. With about 15 days into the 2014/15 season, the area between the 3 pin line and the tip of the duckbill is coming apart. I will add this: I'm skiing this binding in the middle position, which is different from August, but with the same result. Very disappointed, and I recommend regular inspection of your boots, especially if you have a deep tele style. Boots are crazy expensive, and the T1 Race is shot after only two (well, one and a half) seasons. I would like to hear something more substantive on this problem other than technician/installation error.

      What year/size were your T1's? I had a 2008-09 model T1 size 29 that was in great shape due to a five year injury break. The vibram was chewed down to the metal within a few hours on the axl and I had to return the setup. 22 designs was helpful with resolving this frustrating problem/anomoly but my reason for asking is to try and see if there is a common factor in the small portion of users that are having this problem. Im 6'5 210 so my long legs have a lot of downward leverage but it was never an issue on my targas. Without getting into too much detail the correctly installed flex plate ate into the sole and pushed/chewed the vibram material as the boot flexed. I would like to give these another shot as they look like the best binding out there for 75mm but wanted to see if there was some common factor that possibly contributed to our shared experience.

      Axl hated Scapa T1's

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      Love the binding but it ate up the vibram rubber sole on my Scarpa T1. From the 3 pin holes forward the rubber was destroyed on both boots by the plastic foot plate underneath........twice!!! 22 Designs not helpful. Aware of the problem but unable(read unwilling) to suggest an answer.

      I'm off to get another binding. Very disappointing.

      Can't use the Axl.

      Right on, see my review above. I was psyched this was made in the USA, but now I'm afraid that the stereotype of superior European engineering will ooze into my brain. Perhaps T1s should have denser plastic on the lowest part of the sole (no reason for otherwise), but it's mostly on the Axl. I suspect there are lots of people with this binding who would be horrified to look on the sole of their boot, and when that layer falls of, there will be poor power transfer as the duckbill won't fit snug. If I were a merchant I couldn't sell this product with a clear conscious, and if I were in the 22 Designs boardroom I would be making my lawyers aware of this.

      What year/size were your T1's? I had a 2008-09 model T1 size 29 that was in great shape due to a five year injury break. The vibram was chewed down to the metal within a few hours on the axl and I had to return the setup. 22 designs was helpful with resolving this frustrating problem/anomoly but my reason for asking is to try and see if there is a common factor in the small portion of users that are having this problem. Im 6'5 210 so my long legs have a lot of downward leverage but it was never an issue on my targas. Without getting into too much detail the correctly installed flex plate ate into the sole and pushed/chewed the vibram material as the boot flexed. I would like to give these another shot as they look like the best binding out there for 75mm but wanted to see if there was some common factor that possibly contributed to our shared experience.

      I'm looking for a solid back country binding...

      I'm looking for a solid back country binding for my tele skis, and I have always heard great things about the axels and always thought they would be my second pair. But reading some of these reviews makes me want to try out the Voile Switchback X2s. I have been riding the 22 degisn bombshells (female hammerheads) for 2 years and love them at the resort but it sucks adjusting them in the backcountry. I'm a female with a super small boot(size 7) and am just curious which binding would be better to go with?

      Hi Jen, the 22 Designs Axl Telemark Binding will be super easy to use in the backcountry. You will be able to switch it back and forth between touring modes hands free and the climbing bars will make uphill skinning a breeze. I like this more than the Voile Switchback X2s, however, that's also because I'm really aggressive. I would prefer the Voile's more if I wanted a softer binding. Bottom line is, both bindings will be super easy to use in the backcountry, the Axl is a higher end binding that will give you the stiffness to rip harder and faster. If you liked the bombshells, then get the Axl's.

      If I want an active free-pivoting binding,...

      If I want an active free-pivoting binding, is this the way to go? Currently skiing the Bombshell but I hate it when skinning up (but I love it on the way down).

      Hi right now I have the BD o3 and just...

      Hi right now I have the BD o3 and just hate them and trying to deside between the NTN freedoms and some 22 designs. Any suggestions.

      Just bought 188 Megawatts, have Scarpa ECO...

      Just bought 188 Megawatts, have Scarpa ECO T2 and was thinking of putting 22 Design AXL onboard.... will they be enough ? Should be for the money !

      Trying to decide on hammerhead v axl for...

      Trying to decide on hammerhead v axl for a new pair of 102mm under foot skis. I must admit, most of my skiing is lift-access. I do some yo-yo out of bounds (typically boot-pack hikes) with roughly 6 days of true touring-for-turns in a season. With daughter age 3, I don't see hut trips in my near future. I will use these bindings on wider skis leaving me a narrow ski & hammerhead for not-so-fluffy days. Worth getting the axl, or stick with the hammerhead?

      Best Answer

      Well, for years before the Axl debuted, pinheads looking for performance always toured on their HHs, usually moving their position to 1 or taking the adjusters out completely for easier touring. Combine that with a soft boot and touring isnt that bad.

      But with the Axl, you have the performance of the HH with a free pivot. Even if you dont use the tour function all the time, its not like you are going to give up performance.

      How do the 3 positions of the Axl compare...

      How do the 3 positions of the Axl compare to the 5 of the Hammerhead? I've only ever skied the Hammerhead and liked position 2 for powder / softer boots and position 3 for the firmer stuff. Is slot 2 on the HH analogous to 1 on the Axl? Or do they not compare at all?

      Overall, the Axl feels stiffer than the HH.

      Position 1 of the Axl is close to position 3 of the HH.

      Position 2 of the Axl is close to position 4 of the HH.

      Position 3 of the Axl is close to position 5 of the HH.

      Unanswered Question

      i have skied these for 2 full seasons now...

      i have skied these for 2 full seasons now and i love them. i ski them with scarp a t race boots and k 2 side stash skis. they are the best downhill telemark bindings ever made. they are okay for hiking in and up but they are great for coming down.

      I currently have size 26 boots. But I could...

      I currently have size 26 boots. But I could go (and probably will with my next pair) a size smaller. Is there truly no overlap in boot sizes between small and large bindings? If I would like to use a size 25 boot and a size 26 boot on the same binding, which binding do you recommend (small or large)?

      Best Answer

      You run into a multi-faceted dilema, here. Different boot manufacturers have different boot sole lengths for the same size boot, so you have to consider that, as well as the binding size. It would be much easier if 22 Designs would list BSL instead of mondo size on its sizing guide. I couldn't find any info on 22 Designs' website.

      So, I called some experts. They said that you should be able to use the small for up to a size 26 mondo, especially if you're in a Scarpa boot (which generally run larger in mondo sizing for the same street shoe size some reason).

      Has anyone had any issues with these...

      Has anyone had any issues with these bindings chewing up the toe or releasing, as in your foot twists out during a turn a turn and you almost kill yourself release? I tried adjusting them quite a bit but could never get them just right to meet up with my Scarpa T2X's.

      I ride T1s and have never ran into an issue like yours. Possibly your binders arent the correct size for your boot? The only releasing Ive ever had happened crashing in the park. Never in the middle of a turn.

      I am having the same problem with the T1 and Axl binding. The front of the boots have been torn off. The 22 design guys weren't much help. Binding is set at the stiff setting. Problem is the plastic flex plate doesn't extent towards the front of the boot far enough. Combination of riding a stiff boot, with a stiff binding setting and riding low. Didn't see this problem with T2 boots.

      Does this binding come with climbing bars...

      Does this binding come with climbing bars for touring? In the picture it doesn't look like it.

      Wow, stepping into the Axls from G3s is a...

      Wow, stepping into the Axls from G3s is a world of difference in terms of control and power. The one issue I noticed after my first day out is a lot of heel rub in my boot, which is keeping me from doing as much of a knee bend as I'd like. Seems that, even in the lowest/front setting, I'm not getting enough toe flex and it's forcing my heel to come up in my boot to help make the forward plant. Any thoughts or recommendations on further adjustments I can make here? Maybe it's a boot issue, which are Ener-Gs, and they've just packed out too much?

      Also got similar heel rub issue when I started to ski with my AXLs in 3rd position with my old T1s. But after moving into 2nd position I don't have any problems. I guess it all depends on how well the boot keep your feet fixed while skiing/bending your knees. Can't help you with further binding adjustments though.

      I am having the same problem. I am using brand new T1's and Axl's mounted on Rossignol S3. I am 5'11 145lbs. I have tried all three positions but I definitely like the two tighter ones more. I get the heel rub on both of these positions though but I get more control ... any suggestions?

      Take your liners into to get remolded, and make sure the heel cup is in a good position on your foot. Yes, it does take more force to flex forward, but that is what you want. Stop trying to put your knee down so much, and stay tall. It will improve your form, and give you room to absorb impact.
      If you're a lightweight skier, then you'll want to use those forward pin positions, but if you're bigger, and stronger, then you probably just need to adjust your technique. Be more aggressive, and the Axl will deliver all the power you need, right back to you.

      Question for someone who has skied these...

      Question for someone who has skied these bindings -

      I love my Hammerheads for the resort, and today I got to try the Axls for free thanks to Mammoth Mountaineering's Telebration. I skied the Axls in the middle position and they seemed veeeerrrryyyy stiff. I'm 6'1'', 195 LBs and I usually ski the Hammerheads in the second stiffest position. I'm worried that the first position on the Axls will be too soft and the middle position will be too stiff. I was skiing G3 Tonics, which in my opinion were pretty squirrly, so it wasn't the ideal evaluation. Any thoughts about the 3 different settings on the Axls? I want to get these based on how much I love the hammerheads but I'm worried about the range of stiffness for the descent.

      Man up! Position 1 will be fine for you, but the Axl gives more power, and you are big enough to drive them. The Axl is the best tele binding on the market. Try skiing your HH's in Position 3, and get used to a more active flex. It will vastly improve your skiing, since you are a big guy. You've got an inch and forty-five pounds on me, and I ride stiff springs and position 3 (or HH 5). I'm not super strong or anything, but the active flex keeps my style tight and powerful, which is why I ride the HH and Axl. Just try it, and be more aggressive, and I'll bet you'll learn to love them!

      I have skied back country for approx. 30...

      I have skied back country for approx. 30 years. No longer ski aggressivly but do ski mostly California Cascades crude. I have retired from lift served on three pin except for those perfect powder days. Currently using Scarpa T2 boots( broken buckles and can't find replacements). Karhu Catamount Skies with Voile release bindings and Chile cables (broken lots of cables and can't find replacements). All equip. is 10+ years old. I am considering replacing with Garmont Excursion boots. Madshus Eon or Epoch skis ( easy touring skis that can turn) I am considering Voile Switchbacks, G3 Targa Ascent, or Design 22 Axl bindings? Would rather error on too much binding that will not break and last for 10 yrs.! Any suggestions on my selection of boots, skis, and bindings will be appreciated. Thanks! Solo from Redding,Ca.

      If you want something that will last forever, the axle is it. It's also very adjustable in how active it is by simply moving a pin. It weighs a bit more than the others, but you probably won't be able to wear this out or break it if you tried. That said, I think the voile switchbacks would be better than the Targa's if you decide to go that route, but no other binding has so much adjustability or durability.

      See my reply, below, to Tom S. Get Garmont excursions, install Intuition alpine liners and add a Garmont power strap (I pop riveted mine to the top of the boot shell in rear). This creates a tele boot with all the power we old folks need, and mine are lighter than any of my NNN BC boots. I use mine on everything from narrow touring skis (Fischer E99) to BD Kilowatts, and I like them better than my T1s. This brings me to my problem with the Axl: even the most forward pivot point is not light enough for me (132 lbs). I think you will like the performance of the Voile Switchback or the Targa T3 Ascents better than that of the Axl (I do). But get the Voile (see my review of the Targa Ascent, posted elsewhere on this web site today). Before you were skiing back country, I was doing this with wood skis and carried an extra plastic ski tip. Now when I ski with Targas, I have to carry an entire extra binding.

      Unanswered Question

      Can you have two climbing bars on the heel...

      Can you have two climbing bars on the heel piece at the same time & can you have both bars up at the same time when using the taller bar? (standard size & tall size)

      I am looking for a great binding that will...

      I am looking for a great binding that will fit a pair of old school Aslo Extremes...Looking for advice

      How stiff are your boots? they aren't on my list of hefty 4 buckle beasts. The axle is a pretty hefty binding, it wouldn't be paired very well with a soft boot. You would probably be better off going with a binding better matched for your boots. Voile switchbacks or G3 targas/ascents might not be a bad way to go, plus they are significantly cheaper. As long as they have the 75mm duckbill they should fit in just about any binding except Rottefella's NTN