Marker Alpinist 9 2019 – 2020 Ski Binding | Review

Lightweight with 4mm of heel elasticity built in, and all at a good price

Weight per binding: 245g (brakeless) or 335g (with brake)
Release Value: 4 – 9
Riser Heights: 0˚, 5˚ & 9˚
Brake Sizes: 90, 105 & 115 mm
Heel Adjustment: 7.5 mm
Price: £275

Why we chose the Marker Alpinist 9: Lightweight, DIN certified heel with elastic travel.


When German binding manufacturer Marker weighed into the touring binding market with their hybrid Kingpin design in 2014 – everyone listened. Now Marker have made their attempt at the lightweight ski mountaineering binding market and, once again, people are listening

Firstly, the Alpinist’s price (or lack of) is impressive in itself. £295 is just short of what you’d expect to pay for entry-level frame touring bindings, or a large coke and popcorn at the cinema. It’s great to see companies looking to cut prices in a market that’s typically saturated with overpriced tech. 

“£295 is just short of what you’d expect to pay for entry-level frame touring bindings”

Along with the missing pricetag, another absence worth noting is the binding’s lack of weight. At 245g, this is the lightest binding in our gear roundup. Whilst it’s not skimo racing level weight, it’s more than adequate to keep all but the professional ski mountaineers happy from day’s beginning to day’s end, or even over the course of multi-day ascents for that matter. This product has a seriously impressive price-to-weight ratio. 


So yeah, as we’ve touched upon already, the price-to-weight ratio here is very impressive but the Alpinist also comes with a few nifty features that it’s worth knowing about; features which make it a great all rounder for touring specific missions on skis up to 115mm in width.

Equally impressive is the fact that the Marker Alpinist range of bindings are built with 4mm of heel elasticity – meaning that as the ski flexes when compressed, the heel section of the binding will slide forward/backwards 4mm to compensate for this compression. Combine this elasticity with adjustable horizontal release (DIN) in the heel and you’ve got yourself a setup that’ll take good care of your knees.

“Equally impressive is the fact that the Marker Alpinist range of bindings are built with 4mm of heel elasticity”

Traditional tech bindings have suffered from having no elastic travel in the heel, forcing the heel pins to hit the back of the foot – pre-releasing the skier.

You’re able to buy an additional brake for the Alpinist range of bindings which’ll improve the versatility of this binding for many.

The Marker Alpinist comes with three different positions of climbing aids, giving you 0, 5, and 9 degrees of heel lift. Slight gripe here is that you have to bend down to rotate the binding in order to change from 0 to  5˚

Looking to strip a little weight from your heavier Kingpin or Shift setup? Or maybe you’re looking to mount some bindings onto a second set of lighter weight, more touring specific, skis? Either way, this binding is certainly one to consider.

The use of two springs as opposed to four has obvious weight saving gains

At an extremely attractive price of £295, it’s a great entry-level binding for those of you who are looking to get into the fast and light side of the ski touring market. Pair the Alpinist 9/12 with a Blizzard Zero G 95 and a pair of Scarpa Alien RS or Atomic Backland Carbon, and you’ve got yourself a killer setup that’ll fly on the ascents yet still hold its own on the descent.

Whilst it may not be able to take as much of a beating as the excellent Plum Pika, the Marker Alpinist is lighter, cheaper, and comes with improved elasticity – making it a great choice for many.

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