Sep 18 2011

Review: 7tm Tour (2005-06)


Coul Archive: This review was first published in
Couloir XVIII-4, Dec.’05

We asked for it, and 7tm delivered it. The 7tm Tour is a telemark binding with safety release and a way to switch off tension on our heels for touring like our randonnée brothers and sisters. A simple latch beneath the toe plate allows the 7tm Tour to simply swing on a hinge with not even a squeak of resistance to uphill skinning. Ah, free at last.

While the binding may seem heavier than simpler, non-release bindings, the elimination of over 10-plus pounds of flex resistance every uphill step of the way more than makes up for a few extra ounces that deliver safety and convenience. The latch to switch between touring and downhill modes does require bending over, but what telemark binding doesn’t involve bending over?

Our only gripe is the lack of power in downhill mode. Could a 7tm Power Tour be coming soon? Pretty please with a cherry on top?

© 2005

Review of 7tm Power Tour from Couloir Online Dec. 2006
Review of 7tm Tour 2004-05, from Couloir XVII-3, Dec. ’04


  • bob

    what’s with all the super old info and posts?

  • https://www.earnyourturns.com Dostie

    I’m putting up Couloir archive material for it’s historical perspective. If someone is considering buying some used gear this will allow them to find info on older, outdated products. It will also allow someone to see how perception of the product changed over time.

    F’rinstance, the 7tm Tour was the first tele binding to offer a free-pivot. It is why it garnered praise when first released. How does it stack up when every other tele binding now has a free-pivot version? My view on that to be forthcoming.

    The main reason for the old stuff though is so this site can be used as a more complete resource of information on backcountry skiing. Right now, the information – especially for tele – is hard to find.

  • snowy

    I bought one. I suffered a lot of remarks from Friends before there were free pivots. I think it would have been a bigger hit if they could have figured out three things:

    1) The switching lever was really hard to access. I think I had to bend it out a bit to make it so I could access it by hand which was still awkward. I emailed 7TM and they said the release mechanism was not compatible with a simple pole activated switch such as those now common on the Switchback and G3 model. When I picked up a switchback and saw the ease of switch in modes I was hooked. 7Tms came off soon after.

    2) The heel throw mechanism was a bit ridiculous. There was so much new going on in the front half of the binding that changing the rear too was too much. The risers worked with effort but they should have used a standard heel system. I think a lot skiers looked at it and thought “Man there is a lot of new stuff to trust here, maybe I should wait til its proven.” I think they did wait and then bought switchbacks and other rigs.

    3) It was really heavy. I honestly think what the free pivot gave the weight took away. After a lot of use I rented some skis with more float for a trip. I really felt the lightness and shorter stride was better than heavy with a free stride. For all the talk about losing the force to bend the bellows few folks talked about taking a big step and having to haul that heavy and rig up past your leading foot. That effort added up over a 1000m/3000ft day.

    That said the release worked perfectly over a couple years of used. It was easy to get in and out of and once dialed never released too early or clung on during a bad tumble. I missed that release function on the Switchbacks.

    So good effort 7tm. You charged ahead and created the category in some ways(Now the NTN is trying to kill it and tele altogether.)

  • bob


    Actually silvretta’s touring adapter (designed by Martin Eckart) was the first “modern” free pivoting telebinding commercially available (although everyone gives credit to others). Going back further in time, the silvretta saas-fee did this in the 1960s..

  • https://www.earnyourturns.com Dostie


    Ah yes, you are correct. I distinguish that as an adapter though, not a full fledged binding. But yes, they were the first to provide a product that allowed telemarkers to have a free-pivot for touring. I used one for about a year and was very impressed with the performance. My concern was that the carbon-fiber rods would break with the repeated stress of telemarking. They never did.

    Am not familiar with the Saas-Fee you refer to. At that time I was more concerned with baseball and hockey.

  • bob


    not specifically a tele binding, but in soft boots it worked! nothing new under the sun…

  • Pingback: Backcountry binding review: 7tm Power Tour (2011) | EarnYourTurns

  • Pingback: Review: 7tm Power Tour | EarnYourTurns