Many of you WildSnowers have told me (both in public and in private) that the deal clincher with the new G3 Onyx binding would be the availability and cost of the swap plates. Presumably so you can run a quiver of backcountry skis and save treasure by not ripping your wallet for multiple bindings. G3 seemed to hold their cards close to the chest on that one…till now. This just in a few minutes ago from G3:
Backcountry skiers: I’m happy to be able to send you some news about the swappable baseplates, and how we’ve responded to the finding from our Onyx beta-program. I’ve attached the news release for you above. Good news about the plates is that I’ve got a price, MSRP $67.95 USD / $69.95 CAD, and they will be available for purchase this season (due to overwhelming positive response).
There are a couple of items that we need to work on communicating better to the public, and perhaps WildSnow might be able to help with that: Step in techniques, heel lift operation — And a very important one, how to properly de-mount the bindings from the swap plates (we’ll have instructions, but like you say…only the engineers will read them). The key bit of information is that BEFORE you remove the heel, it’s very important that you turn down the lateral release/twist setting to zero.
Also, our Beta Program has been a super success. Here is our official take so far:
The final days of the G3 ONYX Beta Program are upon us. The Beta Program is crucial in ensuring that the ONYX binding lives up to our core users’ highest standards and is positioned to become the alpine touring binding of choice.
Over the past 4 months, “A Team” and consumer feedback, both critical and congratulatory, has been heard. We are very happy with the way the ONYX has performed as well as the detailed level of feedback we have received. The following were standout features:
• Easy switch between ski and tour mode.
• High level of binding retention or lack of prerelease (Ability to ski without locking out the toe).
• Plate system for easy boot size adjustment and mounting.
• Combination of lightweight and high ski performance.
The Beta Program was timed so that we could reasonably respond to feedback for this production year and more importantly begin focused design improvements for years to come. With this shared, here are some of the improvements that will be implemented for this year’s production as a result of beta program findings:
• Reduction of force required to open toe jaws to allow for easier toe entry.
• More positive engagement of the heel tour mode lever into ski mode as well as more protection around the lever to eliminate unintentional mode changes.
• Better retention of the high heel lift in the stowed position to reduce unwanted flipping up of the heel lift while backcountry skiing.
• Modified heel cowling shape to increase boot support and ensure proper heel pin alignment.
• All adjustments will be possible with a single Posidrive #3 screwdriver
• Highlighting of the quick yet rewarding education needs to ensure easy step–in and alignment of the toe as well as high and low heel lift operation.
• Refined aesthetic and finish
• Availability of an ONYX mounting plate kit at retail locations
All the best, G3
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.