The Duke PT’s unique toe piece is a major step forward for the German ski binding manufacturer.

On November 1, 2019, Marker Bindings announced they will be releasing the next generation of the Marker Duke: The Duke PT. The Duke PT—"PT" stands for "Pin Technology"—promises the downhill performance of the Jester but can be modified to provide uphill capabilities with tech-insert compatible toe pieces.

Duke PT Toe

The housing of the toe piece can be removed for uphill mode on the Marker Duke PT.

SKI has not yet tested the binding, but it looks pretty nifty based on the press materials. Most notably: The Duke PT’s toe piece includes a removable upper housing for uphill mode, which means you can take 280-grams off your ski and put it in your pocket or backpack (or leave it on the ski, as pictured above, for shorter ski tours). 

After removing the housing, skiers will be able to click into the binding's built-in touring pins and start skinning. Overall, the system appears to be more similar to a CAST touring system than the SHIFT binding, as the latter has no removable parts.

Read more: Binding Hybrids

Sam Smoothy with Duke PT

Sam Smoothy examines the Marker Duke PT.

In downhill mode, the binding is fully DIN ISO certified for release in the toe and the heel, with a 6 to 16 release range on the Duke PT 16 and a 4 to 12 release range on the Duke PT 12. The binding will feature Marker’s Sole.ID tech, making it compatible with all alpine (ISO 5355), touring/backcountry (ISO 9523), and GripWalk (ISO 9523) ski boot norms. The bindings also have an anti-friction device under the toe, providing alpine binding-level skiing performance and release.

According to Marker, the two models weigh in at 1,280 grams (Duke PT 16) and 1,090 grams (Duke PT 12) in downhill mode, and 280 grams less in uphill mode if the toe housing is removed. The binding’s heel piece looks similar to the KingPin binding but, like the SHIFT, will only offer a 10-degree climbing aid.

We’re stoked to see the Duke family get a next-gen sibling that maintains the 6-16 release range and are anxious to test the binding this winter before it becomes available to consumers in Fall 2020.

Considering big mountain skiers Kye Peterson, Sam Smoothy, and 2019 Freeride World Tour champion Markus Eder were involved in the testing process, it certainly holds promise as a great one-ski, one-binding, one-boot quiver option for skiers who frequent both ski resorts and the backcountry. See the Duke PT in action on Marker's website.

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