Once in a great while technology comes along that changes the way we feel about something. Marker with their new AT line has really stepped up to the plate and delivered a really well thought out series of bindings called the Royal Family. Today our focus is going to be on the Marker Duke which will under go a color change for the 2010 season. Since 2008 the Marker Duke has been the best selling AT binding on the market thanks to the ease of use for Slack Country skiers and the affordable nature of a high DIN backcountry binding. Below is a testimonial from Gregg Wardle who skis 200+ days a year between the northern and southern hemisphere. He is hard on equipment and this is what he has to say about the Marker Duke Bindings.
“Having used rondo gear for over 30 years now I have to say for side-country skiing and in particular for Las Lenas the Marker Duke is truly impressive, first it feels and sounds like a Marker (solid) and where I have been using Fritchis for years I always worried about coming out (and have) now I have a little better margin going to 16 din most of my skis are at least at 18-20 din depending what I am doing and where I am skiing. The biggest difference is the solid contact feel with the Duke on my Gotamas vs the soft feel of the Fritchis mainly due to the wider mount etc. For skinning they work very well and after becoming familiar with adjusting the climbing bracket and the fact you have to remove the ski to change from locked or free-heel, it is also an advantage to have the binding move back when in free-heel mode especially in soft snow and kick turns. I now have about 100 days on these and can honestly say they rule and no going back to Fritchis. The pair I received were prototypes and I had a problem with the brake but after I remedied a minor design flaw they have worked super. The Mantra or Gotama with the Marker Duke is a perfect combo for the backcountry access and designed with the big mountain skier in mind. I live in a world where if my equipment fails I can die almost everyday so it is great to have tools that are designed for my needs. Marker Duke skis like an alpine binding and works well for rondonee it may be a few grams more than the Fritchis but the transmission to the fatter skis is impressive. Needless to say I like them!”