2015-2016 Marker Kingpin 13 (& Kingpin 10)
Maximum DIN release value: 13
Available Brake Widths: 75-100 mm; 100-125 mm
Climbing Aids: Flat, 7˚, and 13˚
Toe Stand Height: 21 mm
Stated Weight: 768 grams
Bister’s Measured Weight:
• Toe pieces: 199 & 200 grams (with screws)
• Heel pieces: 363 & 363 grams
• Heel platform with 75-100mm brakes (with screws): 212 grams
• Total Weight per Binding (with 75-100 mm brakes): 774 & 775 grams
MSRP: $649 USD (Kingpin 13); $599 USD (Kingpin 10)
Test Locations: Canterbury, New Zealand, backcountry; Santa Fe & Taos, NM, backcountry
Days Tested: ~35
A few things:
(1) This is our 2nd review of the Marker Kingpin 13. Before reading my review, you should read our 1st review of the Kingpin, by Paul Forward, because I’m not going to rehash all the details Paul talks about.
(2) I’m not interested in trying to talk you out of whatever AT binding you like best or trust most, and I encourage you to use the one you feel most comfortable with.
(3) But—and spoiler alert here—this review is going to explain why the Kingpin is currently the only binding I want to tour in. It’s just not going to argue that you are dumb for using or preferring something else. The Kingpin is still a relatively new product, and I can appreciate why some people are reluctant to be early adopters of new AT equipment—I’m usually one of those people.
But, for now, I feel like the Kingpin is such a significant improvement over the other tech bindings I’ve used that I’m not looking back.
I really like touring in the Kingpin 13 & 10. I’ve used both a bunch with zero issues. I like the risers, I like the way the brakes get out of the way, and I like the weight of the setup. Note: if you are bummed out because you think the Kingpin is too heavy, then you probably shouldn’t care about my Kingpin review, because you and I likely are looking for pretty different things out of an AT binding. Because given how well this binding works (both uphill and downhill), I find the weight of the Kingpin to be a cause for celebration.
I’ll also qualify my comments in this section to say that I don’t think I’ve hated going uphill on any tech binding. The G3 ION is probably the other AT binding that I’ve spent the most time on recently, and I think that binding goes uphill quite well, too. I still prefer the Kingpin to the ION for touring / going up, but for relatively minor reasons. Namely, I’ve found that stepping into the ION can be a bit more finicky than the Kingpin, but I wouldn’t say this is a huge deal.
NEXT: Going Downhill, Caveats, Etc.