When looking at getting an alpine touring (AT) setup for your skis, there are a lot of factors to consider. As a short female skier with patellar tendonitis in both of my knees, lightweight gear is by far the most important factor for me.
A pair of Diamir Vipec 12s weighs half as much has their competitors—each binding only weighing in at 587g (1lb 3oz). This weight benefits the skier in many ways. First of all, the lighter setup makes the skinning journey much easier. Especially when backpacking into a hut, every ounce matters. Secondly, a lighter set up means a lighter toll on your body, so for someone with knee or joint problems, a lighter toll is desirable.
An aspect that makes these bindings so lightweight is the fact that there is no connecting piece between the front and back binding, meaning that your toe and your heel click in separately, and there is nothing but ski between them. Vipec bindings are not the only ones that have this lightweight technology, but they are the safest.
All bindings that have this design have a safety feature that causes both your toe and heel to unclick out of the skis if you fall while skiing. However, there was a struggle in the industry to find a way to have the toe unclick independently while skinning. The Diamir Vipec 12 bindings solved this problem, ensuring users the safety of having their skis come off if they fall.
The ski bindings also include many other essential features. They allow the user to easily switch the toe and heel between walk and ski modes. Additionally, they have three levels of elevators, which makes skinning up different slope degrees easier. Also, the toe piece of the binding comes in many different colors, allowing users the ability to customize their bindings.
After reviewing all this information, I decided that these were the right bindings for me. It took a couple of days to get use to the ins and outs of the skis, but once I got use to them, they were perfect. The hardest challenge for me was learning how to accurately click in both my toes and heels separately. It also was difficult to figure out how to unclip my heel for skinning.
The downside of these bindings is that they are pricey. So if your skis and boots are bulky then I wouldn’t spend the extra bucks on a lightweight binding because it wont make too much of a difference. Additionally, you must have alpine touring ski boots to use these bindings. Overall, the Diamir Vipec 12 bindings are perfect for those who want a light, but safe, alpine touring binding.