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ATK Raider 12 Touring Binding 2021 – 2022 | Review

The ATK Raider 12 packs a punch in the downhill department while keeping things featherweight

Why we chose the ATK Raider 12: Innovative, safe, high-performance 

Weight per binding: 330g (with brake)
Release Value: 5 – 12
Riser Heights: Flat, +27.5, +30, +44, +49 mm
Brake Sizes: 86, 91, 97, 102, 108 mm
Heel Adjustment: 7.5 mm
Price: £550 / €580 / $700

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We’ve consistently been blown away by the level of craftsmanship, innovative designs and bombproof builds that Italian born and bred touring binding manufacturer ATK have been coming up with. The Freeraider 14 impressed us with its freeride spirit, and now, for 2021 the Raider 12 brings everything from the FR 14, in a lightweight bundle.

The Raider 12 comes packing a release value of 5 – 12, 12 mm of heel elasticity and plenty of metal where you need it.

ATK Raider 12 Features

That 12 mm of heel elasticity is thanks to ATK’s tried and tested Elastic Response System. The ERS system is essentially made up of a big spring in the heel that works to keep a consistent pressure at the back of your boot, ensuring the binding won’t pre-release as you arc your skis into a turn.

This ERS will not only help to keep your boot in the binding exactly when you need it to, but it’ll help to provide an all-round smoother ride, certainly more so than the typically ‘locked in’ feeling of traditional tech bindings that are lacking a heel pressure spring.

The heel brings another interesting innovation in ATK’s Cam Release System. Because the heel pins sit within a teardrop shape, it allows them to move both horizontally and vertically. This means that the Raider 12 is able to offer up consistent release, a boost in smoothening and, most importantly, a safety that you can count on when you need it.

A final note on the heels, and it’s a feature we’ve come to love with ATK bindings, is the precise resistance the Cam Release System gives to the heel spring. This precision means that you’re able to tune the binding to your exact specifications and release value while offering a low amount of force required to step into the binding – making it that bit easier to get into even when you’re standing on tricky terrain.

The toe unit features a bumper that’s built into the toe lever. As seen on many other tech bindings, this toe bumper will help guide your ski boot inserts into the right position as you’re stepping down. And, once you’re stepped into the bindings, you’ve got three different lock off levels, to cater for a wide range of ski boot inserts.

Looking at the underside of the toe unit, it’s also seen a little redesign in an effort to keep any unwanted snow from building up, even after stepping in and out of the binding multiple times.

One final note is ATK’s Freeride Spacer. This spacer, that can be purchased separately, eliminates the usual gap between your boot and the ski, giving you direct energy transfer to the ski, rather than you boot floating in midair (as it does with typical tech bindings). This will go miles in improving the downhill performance of the binding by providing near-instantaneous power transmission.

Who Is The ATK Raider 12 For?

This refined binding comes in at an impressively low weight of 330 grams while packing a safe and consistent release value of 5 – 12 – this is something that might’ve seemed an impossibility just ten years ago.

We found the R12 to be an extremely solid binding for big days in the backcountry; and even some resort bashing. The system is extremely intuitive and incredibly lightweight; if you’re after a binding that can do it all with little compromise, the R12 is a hard one to beat.

What The Is ATK Raider 12 Good At

Safety: 9/10
Weight (Lack Of): 8/10
Performance: 8/10

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