It took me a long time to become convinced of the merits of Dynafit bindings. They might be ok for weight weenies puttering about on easy angled terrain, guides or intermediates, but how could such an insubstantial device withstand the hard use of backcountry skiing in the Kootenays. I finally bought a pair of Dynafit Comforts during last winter, and I’ve put about 100 days of powder skiing and traversing on them since. I appreciate their lightness, and love the touring action. It was on the advice of websites such as http://www.wildsnow.com and my previous experience (I’d used them on the Bugaboo to Rogers pass traverse last year) that I accepted their improbable durability (though I had broken the crampon attachments, which were replaced on warranty), and headed off on the Northern Selkirks traverse without any spare parts. I broke off one of the plastic heel-risers (a screw broke) on day two, not a critical issue, but an inconvenience on the multiple long steep climbs. I would have carried a spare but that they were not readily available locally. On day seven, part way through a long climb, I noticed that one of my heel-pieces had an unusual amount of play. and on closer inspection I discovered that the heel-post had seperated completely from it’s metal base-plate. The only thing holding it the whole heel unit together was a very tenous purchase that the post still had on the boot length adjustment screw.
I was still able to utilize the middle heel rise position for climbing, and could click in to skiing mode, though the binding would release at the slightest forward leverage. I locked my toe piece on the descents and modified my technique so that I could still ski in a delicate and precise fashion for the last three days. On finishing the trip I checked out the other heel piece, and found it was cracking at the same location, and would surely have broken in short time.
I freely admit to being an aggressive skier, ripping hard in all conditions but always in control (I don’t fall).These bindings were not used for any lift serviced skiing and I’m not into big air or hard impacts. I had them set on a DIN of 10, the heel spacing was set using the gauge, and I only rarely locked the toe-piece for skiiing. The bindings come with a two year warranty, so it’ll be interesting to see how Salewa North America respond when I return them. Until I know more, I’m saying that the practical life of these bindings is approximately 100 days of hard skiing.