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Gear Review | ATK Raider 13 Evo

Super light and solid touring binding

by Lorenzo Rieg • 03/02/2023
For some years now, ATK has had pin bindings with a high Z-value and very low weight in its programme, which are aimed at ambitious ski tourers. This season we were able to test the ATK Raider 13 Evo, which also offers an adjustable DIN setting on the toe piece.

First impression

ATK is now a well-known player in the pin binding market and has a large number of models in its range. They have always impressed with the tried and tested original concept of pin bindings (sometimes enhanced by automatic length compensation on the back jaw, low weight and the stylish anodised aluminium parts. I tested one of the first ATK Raiders many years ago, back then with, to be honest, somewhat impractical stoppers on the toe piece, but a lot has happened since then. This season I have been riding on the Raider 13 Evo. It actually offers everything a ski tourer's heart desires and weighs just 370g (each).

The binding also has some clever features, such as the option to adjust the DIN setting on the toe piece, which is a rarity with pin bindings. You can also adjust the pressure of the locking mechanism on the toe piece, for example to ensure the same holding force in the event of material wear, or the magnetic climbing aids.

Like many of the ATK models, the binding is available in different colours. Next year, more colours will be added to the line-up, which is becoming more diverse anyway. The Raider 13 Evo tested here has a stopper that simply locks after turning the rear jaw the first time you step on it and unlocks the next time you turn it. This eliminates the need to press the "push button" that is familiar from older ATK models. Next year, this feature will also be rolled out to other bindings, which will then be available as "AP" versions.

Testers and test conditions

I am 183cm tall and weigh a good 80kg. I ski a lot, especially on ski tours. The main thing for me is the downhill, so I usually use wide skis and don't pay too much attention to weight. Nevertheless, a lightweight binding is of course welcome and this is where ATK can score points - after all, the core of the brand is to offer classic but lightweight pin bindings with a relatively high Z-value.

Unfortunately, the current winter is not exactly attracting attention with large amounts of snow, but I was still able to test the binding quite well over the last few weeks, both in powder as well as in hard snow and a little on the piste.

The test binding is mounted on a Blizzard Zero G 105, the boots used were a Scarpa Maestrale RS and the new Dynafit Tigard.

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Test report

The binding basically works like a classic pin binding. To switch between downhill and uphill mode, the rear jaw is turned and the stopper engages in uphill mode the first time you step on it. The toe piece is locked in ascent mode to prevent unintentional release of the ski. There are two climbing aids that can be folded into position.

What is striking is how smooth the binding is. Whether it's turning the rear jaw or stepping in, everything runs like a clockwork. No tearing or forceful stepping on the binding is necessary, even after a few days of using the binding I am still surprised. The climbing aids are also very easy to adjust. I've got into the habit of always checking whether the climbing aid is deactivated when I'm changing the binding, as I've activated the climbing aid several times unintentionally and then had to bend down again to get into the binding. In any case, the ease of movement is an advantage when getting into the binding, which is quick and easy. The climbing aids can also be easily moved with the ski pole.

The low weight is of course great on the ascent. Especially in combination with the lightweight Zero Gs as skis, you hardly have any weight on your feet. However, there is a small disadvantage compared to some competitor products on the ascent: you hit the binding with your boot relatively early on hairpin bends and the ski cannot bend as much as usual. There are bindings with which this works less well, but with most of them it works better. It's not really a problem as you have enough freedom of movement and it certainly depends on the boots, but I wanted to mention it. The stoppers work well, they fold in well in touring mode and are therefore out of the way on the ascent.

On the descent, the binding is very solid, the power transmission is direct, as you would expect from traditional pin bindings. I didn't have any false releases, even in rough conditions, so the ski stays on the foot without me having to turn the Z-value to immeasurable heights (I set it to 8.5 to be precise). The adjustable release value on the toe piece is of course not immediately noticeable when skiing downhill, but in my opinion it is a clear advantage. Perhaps a little less for me as a skier with a reasonably average weight, but definitely for both quite light and rather heavy ski tourers. It is of course great to be able to adjust the DIN setting on the toe piece and not have to live with a standard value. There's not really much more to report here, but that's a positive thing for a binding!

Conclusion

Super light binding, practically without disadvantages. It does what it is supposed to do really well and with a very low weight. It would be interesting to see the durability after many years of continuous use, but of course we can't say anything about this after the test - but there were no signs of any problems.

Advantages & disadvantages

+ Very light

+ Great power transmission

+ Very smooth-running

Information on

RRP €599,-

  • Easy Entry System®: A new geometry of the front automat that makes entry with all tech ski boots extremely easy, intuitive and safe, even with worn soles.

  • SNOW PACK PROOF SYSTEM®: avoids the problem of ice build-up and the consequent blocking of the front automat, even with multiple changes of skins, significantly reduces the accumulation of snow on the front automat and thus guarantees optimum low weight in all phases of use.

  • U.H.V.® System (Up-hill Hardness Variator): System that allows to vary the hardness of the blocking of the front automaton in the uphill mode. It compensates for the wear and tear of the front insert of the ski boot over the course of the year, offers each user an appropriate closing force and reduces unnecessary pressure on the locking mechanism.

  • CAM RELEASE SYSTEM®: The patented system that guarantees the best downhill performance, as well as an extremely precise release and the smoothest entry into the automatic heel lock.

  • ELASTIC RESPONSE SYSTEM®: Elastic glide system on the automatic heel that allows the natural flex of the ski (even with large jumps/compressions) and guarantees improved release performance under heavy loads on the system as well as reduced loads on the ski/boot/binding system.

  • An updated version of the Magneto Heel Flaps® system offers 5 different positions.

  • The integrated crampon holder ensures the perfect insertion of all ATK® crampons.

  • The adjustment slide integrated into the automatic heel unit allows quick adjustment when changing ski boots

  • Vertical and horizontal release value from 5 to 13 can be set separately on the rear toe.

  • The ski stopper is equipped with an elasticated slide that guarantees the lateral  release value is maintained.

  • Optinonal FREERIDE SPACERS close the gap between tech bindings and alpine bindings and guarantee precision that is superior to all other models.

Here is the link to the ATK website with further information.

The binding was provided to PowderGuide by the manufacturer free of charge for testing. Find out how we tested it in our test statement.

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This article has been automatically translated by DeepL with subsequent editing. If you notice any spelling or grammatical errors or if the translation has lost its meaning, please write an e-mail to the editors.

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