< Go to Alpine Touring (AT) Bindings

Hands-on Gear Review

Fritschi Freeride Pro Review

Fritschi Freeride Pro
Price:   $570 List | $349.96 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Solid downhill performance, best pivot point of any frame binding we tested, super easy to use, easier transitions than most frame bindings
Cons:  Heavy, high boot height, burly but not as burly as other frame bindings
Editors' Rating:     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Manufacturer:   Fritschi

Our Verdict

The Frischi Freeride Pro is a slightly more touring focused frame style binding with solid, but not exceptional downhill performance. They feature an extremely efficient pivot point and they are one to two pounds lighter than other frame style binding options, which making touring uphill less tiring; overall, they are one of the easiest bindings to use. This competitor is the ultimate Jack-of-all-trades touring binding, but master of none, meaning it does everything well, but nothing exceptionally well. While these bindings tour far better than the Marker Baron 13 EPF or Duke, they don't perform quite as well on the down and don't tour quite as well as most other tech style-bindings.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Bindings for Backcountry Skiing

select up to 5 products
Score Product Price Weight (pair) Tech or Frame? DIN range
92
$550
Editors' Choice Award
2lbs 9oz Tech 4 to 10
90
$650
Top Pick Award
3lbs 4 oz/ 1460g Tech 5-10 & 6-13
89
$600
2lbs 1oz/ 940g Tech 4 to 12
88
$550
2lbs 9oz/ 1170g Tech 5 to 12
85
$350
Best Buy Award
1lbs 10oz/ 698g Tech 4 to 10
79
$570
4lbs 13 oz/ 2190g Frame 4 to 12
68
$380
5 lb 12oz/2608g Frame 4 to 13
67
$450
Top Pick Award
6lbs 2oz/ 2794g Frame 6 to 16
67
$850
4lbs 2oz/ 1880g Tech 6 to 16

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Ian Nicholson
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Tuesday
March 15, 2016

Share:

Performance Comparison


Fritschi Freeride Pro
Fritschi Freeride Pro

Ease of Use


This model is one of the easiest to use bindings in our review. To step into it is just like stepping into a traditional alpine binding; undoubtedly, this action is easier and takes less overall body coordination to get into than any tech style binding. For lighter users (sub 135 lbs), this model is noticeably easier to step into than the Marker Duke or Marker Baron 13 EPF, where our lighter testers often struggled to generate enough force to get the heel piece to flip over and clamp down.

While touring on this model, it does commonly get icing near the heel of the binding, which can prevent the user from transitioning from a free heel to a locked heel. While the icing itself is somewhat of a common occurrence, our testers agreed that it's very easy to clear out, often just knocking the ice free using a ski pole.

Touring Performance


This competitor features the best touring performance of any frame style binding in our review and the heel risers are much easier to engage than either of the Marker's frame style bindings. It utilizes a more optimal pivot point than the Marker Duke or Salomon Guardian MNC 16; this is because it's over a pound and a half lighter. While this model is a excellent touring option, especially when compared to other frame style bindings, we still prefer any tech style binding (except the Dynafit Beast 16) for an exclusively or mostly touring option, as they are 1.5-2 lbs lighter weight.

Transitions


This contender likely the easiest overall transitioning binding in our review, even easier than any tech style binding we tested. To transition this model, just flip the heel piece up or down to switch between downhill and uphill mode. Transitioning is typically the most hassle-free experience of any touring binding we tested.

Downhill Performance


Overall, this binding has very good downhill performance, though but it isn't quite as good as the Marker Duke or Marker Baron 13 EPF. Both of the Marker bindings offer more surface area within the binding that creates a more positive connection. While hardly a horrible amount, this model does have marginally more play in the binding from the mechanism used to lock down the heel, resulting in less efficient boot to binding, and binding to ski connection.

The difference in stack height (which is the height of the boot above the ski) is marginally higher on this contender (39 mm) than that of the Marker Duke or Marker Baron (which are 36 mm). That said, this difference was pretty negligible, and the additional 3 mm in height shouldn't play a huge factor in your buying decisions.

Durability


While this model is pretty darn durable, it's not quite as tough as the Marker Baron or Duke, though we still know plenty of folks who rip on these bindings in the resorts. Most folks would be fine using them as a day-in day-out primarily in-bounds binding, but they just aren't as burly as Duke's or Baron's.

Weight


At 4 lbs 8 oz, this model is still heavier than all of the tech bindings in our review; this competitor is still over a pound and a half lighter than the 6 lbs 2 oz Duke, or the even heftier 6 lbs 8 oz Saloman Guardian.

Best Applications


This model is best for skiers who own one set up and want to do resort ski and tour close to a 50-50 split, or want to tour more than 50% of the time, but don't own a boot with tech inserts.

Value and the Bottom Line


At $500, this competitor is $50 more than the Maker Duke EPF ($450) and $120 more than the Marker Baron EPF. For the extra money, you do get a binding that's much easier to use and offers superior touring performance than either of the aforementioned bindings; however, it doesn't perform on the down quite as well, nor is it quite as durable.

Conclusion


This model sits a bit in the middle as far as touring bindings go. It tours far better than any of the other frame style bindings in our review, but doesn't perform quite as well on the down; it doesn't tour as well as any of the tech style bindings. For certain people it can be a great binding, but for mostly in-bounds use, we recommend a Marker Baron 13 EPF or Duke; for primarily touring applications, we'd recommend a tech binding. For someone who is truly in between, this model could be the perfect fit.
Ian Nicholson

  • Share this article:
You Might Also Like

Where to Buy?


Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help OutdoorGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above seller links and if you make any purchase, the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states using ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.


OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: March 15, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


Have you used the Fritschi Freeride Pro?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
 
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
Backcountry $349.96  -  39% off!
Amazon $436.05  -  24% off!
MooseJaw $569.95
Compare prices at 3 sellers >

*You help support OutdoorGearLab's product testing and reviews by purchasing from our retail partners.


Follow Us

Other Gear by Fritschi

Unbiased.