This season I got a few heavier skis and decided it was an excellent opportunity to test out the Guide 12 model from Plum. I received one Guide 12 free from Plum and purchased two others at a discount. The Guide binding is their best-selling lightweight freeride binding. It was a perfect choice for the setups I was about to mount, and I was not disappointed.
Solid Construction, Light Weight
The first thing I always look at for a binding is weight. It’s hard to escape that first thought. The Guide 12 is not as light as the Pika or Oazo, but it’s still reasonably light at 345g per foot. The construction is noticeably thicker than the lighter Plum options – the screw holes have a lot more thickness, as does the toe lever. I’ve gotten used to the thin construction on ultralight bindings, so when I look at the Guide 12, it looks and feels super solid.
Release & Adjustment Options
The Guide 12 has an adjustable lateral and frontal release of 5.5 to 12. Generally, I put my bindings around 8 for backcountry and sometimes 9 for inbounds. Since I planned to put this binding on at least one resort/backcountry crossover setup, this worked great for my needs. The other requirement I was looking for was a wide amount of heel adjustment as I planned to mount three different-length boots to the setups. The Guide 12 has 30mm of heel movement, and I could easily accommodate all the boots.
Often when ducking the boundary rope at the resort, I set a steeper uptrack than I usually do to get back. Doing this with the 84mm riser on the Guide made it easy. Of course, the model has a more sane riser at 59mm and can also run flat. I didn’t miss a lower riser that most race-inspired bindings have (usually around 40mm). You can also easily turn the riser with your pole without bending down and using your hand.
The Guide 12 has a ski crampon slot, which I always want in a binding. For those looking to use this at the resort more often, you can get the Guide Heel Pads which allow better transmission from boot to ski while reducing stress on the heel pins. I still need to test the Heel Pads but hope to in the future, in which case I’ll update this section with thoughts. The binding does not have a break option, so if you need breaks, this isn’t going to work for you.
Guide 12 Is An Easy Choice For Most Setups
The Guide 12 is a solid, easy-to-use, no-gimmick binding that can be used in any terrain. I skied these bindings on hard-pack inbounds and chest-deep in the backcountry, all while pushing to the max of my skiing ability. They are light enough to cruise uphill and won’t have you second-guessing on the way down. The heel has a ton of room to fit multiple boots, and the risers will have you skinning that gnarly steep skin track at Kootenay Pass that you would normally curse.
For more information on the Guide 12 binding please visit https://www.fixation-plum.com/en/our-bindings/3000-guide-12.html
If in the Bow Valley you can check them out in person at Ski Uphill in Canmore, https://skiuphill.ca/collections/bindings-1/products/plum-guide-12-binding