The Dynafit Speed Turn 2.0 is an award winner because of its solid, basic functionality. The low price is a bonus. This competitor is as durable almost a pound lighter than other bindings in widespread use, though the biggest drawback for most potential buyers considering this model is that fact that it's not compatible with a ski brake. That being said, many of our most experienced testers do not use ski brakes even on their personal skis. Also, a handful of much smaller features make the 2.0 a little less user-friendly. Notably, heel risers and transitions require rotating the entire heel piece, instead of the now more common lever flip.
Dynafit Speed Turn 2.0 Review
Cons: No brake option, heel risers are more of a pain to learn
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This binding, in terms of overall form, hasn't changed in 20 years. We like that. Our testers and others have literally many times more experience with the function and durability of this design than with anything else available. Improvements to the overall tech binding design have come along. Some have stuck, but others have faded away. Of those attributes that other binding designs have improved on, only lighter weight, ski brakes (in some circumstances), and flip-flop style heel lifters improve on what the Speed Turn offers. Other things the Speed Turn doesn't have, like DIN/ISO certification, "forward pressure", and release elasticity are, for most people, "solutions without problems". What has worked for a long time will likely work for you. There are some attributes and features, now, in the Speed Turn that are less than ideal. However, the bargain price easily justifies some compromise.
It is only in recent years that iterative improvements in AT ski bindings have improved on the function of the Dynafit Speed Turn, overall. Our lead test editor, as recently as the winter of 2016-17, was choosing this binding for his personal skis. When you consider the low price of the Speed Turn, you need to think long and hard about whether some small improvements for the "top of the heap" bindings are worth the hundreds of extra dollars. The Speed Turn is an excellent binding, at a reasonable price.
This competitor features the same efficient pivot point that all of the other tech style bindings share. The lighter weight makes touring uphill on these bindings noticeably easier, with their only real pitfall for touring-based adventures being their marginally more challenging to engage heel risers. The risers engage not by flipping forward (which is now more common), but instead, the user rotates the entire heel piece. Otherwise, the pivot freely turns and there is as much range of motion in touring as you will need
Get the heel riser transitions down (and it is possible to learn to do it well enough with your ski pole that it feels easier than the flip style transitions of other bindings. Our lead test editor, who has used Dynafit Speed Turn bindings for 13 years, prefers these transitions to flip style) and the Speed Turn has a touring performance that exceeds that of most of the field. It has more range of motion than the Top Pick Black Diamond Fritschi Tecton.
This binding model features good, but not fantastic downhill performance. It isn't ideal for resort oriented skiing. These bindings are optimized for use by expert backcountry skiers (expert backcountry skiers match their downhill ski energy to conditions, risk allowances, and the equipment they are using) in all conditions. The downhill performance is good enough, provided you address the limitations of the release function and the lack of ski brakes.
Ski brakes are a downhill performance attribute. Of the bindings we tested, the Marker KingPin, Plum Guide, Top Pick Fritschi Tecton, and Editors Choice Atomic Backland Tour have at least the option of ski brakes. Years ago Dynafit made a ski brake for use with a version of this binding, but it was problematic and not worth the weight. Currently, there is no brake option with the Speed Turn. Proceed accordingly, and realize that many very accomplished backcountry skiers do not use ski brakes. This requires planning and care, but saves weight and fiddle factor. In terms of other downhill performance attributes (release function and boot retention security), the newer, more expensive, and much heavier "hybrid" (tech toe, alpine heel) bindings vastly exceed the downhill performance of the Dynafit Speed Turn. Downhill skiing with the Top Pick Fritschi Tecton is much better than with the Speed Turn.
Ease of Use
The Speed Turn 2.0 is a sweet binding that is very functional but is not quite as easy to use as most other tech bindings. Its heel riser, similar to older generations of Dynafit models, requires the user to rotate the heel piece in order to engage either height heel riser. This can be done via a ski pole without bending over, but requires more practice than most other bindings in our review. When practiced to high levels, switching the heel risers of the Dynafit Speed Turn is actually easier than with the flip style change of, say, the Editors Choice Atomic Backland Tour. The most common heel riser changes are (or at least should be) between the lowest and middle risers. Making these change on the Dynafit Speed Turn requires very specific pole moves, but these pole moves require less "precision" than the flips of the more common style on the market now. In other words, there is a longer learning curve with the Speed Turn than with the flip style risers, but the end result is a faster, easier transition.
The toe piece features two short towers that effectively help the user line up the pin holes on the boot with the pins on the bindings. Our testers felt this competitor was much easier to get into than the Plum Guide and marginally easier than the Atomic Backland Tour. For those who want to switch out their boots from time to time, this model offers a little less adjustment range than most other bindings we reviewed. Of course, it includes far more adjustment range than the non-adjustable Plum Tech Race 150.
The Dynafit Speed Turn weighs 1 pound 10 oz for the pair. Again, it has weighed basically this same amount for years and years. A decade ago it was the lightest thing on the market. Even as recently as a couple years ago it was the lightest binding available with the set of features it offers. Technology has moved on, lightening the load, while the Speed Turn holds strong with its design. In the grand scheme, it is lighter than most, but not as svelte as those in the top of this scoring metric.
In absolute terms, three bindings in our review are lighter than the Dynafit Speed Turn. The Top Pick Black Diamond Helio 180 is literally better than half the weight of the Best Buy winner. The cousin Dynafit TLT Speed is a little lighter than the Speed Turn. The BD Helio includes fewer features than the Speed Turn, while the TLT Speed is more closely comparable. The TLT Speed has heel lifters that cover a smaller range of heights and the boot range is also less with the TLT Speed. Neither have ski brakes and both have adjustable release. Upgrade, in terms of weight, to the Plum Guide and you get ski brakes for about half a pound per pair.
Long term testing of this model of binding and of its predecessors indicates great durability. With years of experience with this and its prior versions, we have more faith in the durability of the Speed Turn than with almost any other binding we have tested. In absolute terms, the simple construction is indeed quite durable, but nothing special.
The Dynafit Speed Turn and Plum Guide XS are the only bindings we tested that combine lateral release, ski/tour mode transition, and heel elevation adjustment into one function. This multi-purpose simplicity results in a durable, easy-to-service form. On the other hand, the Top Pick Fritschi Tecton uses three different mechanical functions to perform these same three tasks. We had no durability issues with the Fritschi (and we'll continue to test, for long term durability and performance), but extra moving parts always raise an eyebrow. We like the elegant simplicity of the Dynafit Speed Turn, and our long term experience backs this up.
This binding is best for folks that don't care about having a ski brake and would rather save the money and weight by purchasing this binding. On a budget, seeking simplicity, and valuing low weight (and which backcountry skier doesn't meet this description?), and your choice is clear. The proven design of the Dynafit Speed Turn hits an important mark. Even Dynafit has tried to improve on, and discontinue, the Speed Turn. It keeps coming back, season after season, for good reason.
This product wins our Best Buy award. For hundreds of dollars less than the competition, you make some very minor compromises. Many experienced, patient, and careful backcountry skiers will not notice these issues at all. At any price, the simplicity and proven design of the Dynafit Speed Turn is worth considering.
The Speed Turn 2.0 is a no-frills bindings that tours fine, but without a lot of extras. Its biggest detractors are its lack of a ski-brake option and marginally harder to learn heel lifters. If you can deal with these things, the Speed Turn 2.0 is a very dependable and lightweight binding, at an unbeatable price.
— Jediah Porter & Ian Nicholson