Episode Two of the Freeride Alpine Touring Binding War: Marker Duke PT Review.
A year after Salomon (plus Atomic, plus Armada) unveiled the Shift, one of the most hyped-up products ever to hit the ski industry, Marker announced their answer: the Duke PT. Built with tech pins for climbing uphill and a full alpine-style toepiece for descending, the new binding has all the appeal that launched the Shift into massive popularity. Freeride skiers with a bent for backcountry will now have two options for full-on alpine downhill performance in a tech alpine touring package.
Note: Marker is releasing the Duke PT in two versions, a 12 (4-12 DIN range) and a 16 (6-16 DIN range). Initially, the Shift has been offered as a 6-13 binding, but Salomon will roll out a lower-DIN version for 2020-2021.
Shop for the Duke PT
Marker says the Duke PT has been in the works for about three years. Notably, it features the Inter Pivot Heel from Marker’s Jester, Griffon, and Duke bindings, which provides primo elastic travel and power transmission. Much like with the Shift, the heel piece remains in one place for climbing and descending (unlike the last major Marker binding innovation, the Kingpin). Skiers get one climbing aid at 10 degrees, same as the Shift.
For climbing, the alpine toe housing flips forward to reveal the tech pins. Marker says you either leave the toe flipped forward, useful for shorter tours, or remove it completely to save 250 grams per binding (one initial pro tip: don’t lose it!). The difference in toe placement, slightly forward to engage the pins and slightly back to step in for ski mode, allows for no moving parts. This is another similarity to the Shift. When you’re ready to descend, you re-engage the alpine toe piece, which auto-locks with a latch.
While the Duke PT stokes the touring binding fire, it also does a huge service to skiers. More than ever, folks are seeking one ski, one boot, and one binding to do it all, including take them into the backcountry with confidence. We are stoked to put the Duke PT through the wringer!
Compared to the Shift…
Weight (grams per binding)
Shift (6-13): 860 g | Duke PT 12: 850 g without toepiece, 1090 g in downhill mode | Duke PT 16: 1,000 g without toepiece, 1,280 g in downhill mode.
Shift: Salomon MNC technology, compatible with alpine boots, alpine touring soles (ISO 9523), and GripWalk.
Duke PT: Marker Sole.ID technology, compatible with alpine boots, alpine touring soles (ISO 9523), and GripWalk.
Shift: Engage tech pins, stow brakes (step down with heel), lock toe lever (two settings).
Duke PT: Remove toepiece housing (or flip forward), engage tech pins, stow brakes (step down with heel), lock toe lever.
Shift: Stow tech pins, flip heel into “ski” mode, step in.
Duke PT: Re-engage alpine housing, release brakes, step in.
Shift: Salomon Warden 13
Duke PT: Marker Griffon/Jester
Shift: Gliding AFD, elastic travel toe and heel, lateral and vertical release, DIN ISO certified release toe and heel.
Duke PT: Gliding AFD, elastic travel toe and heel, lateral and vertical release, DIN ISO certified release toe and heel.