Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $300
The Duke's little brother didn't live up to the hype.
- Solid feel when skiing
- Easy to operate, even with gloves on
- Poor quality. Parts breaking and becoming loose.
- Toe piece beganeating up my boots when climbing.
The Baron's bigger brother, the Duke, is pretty popular amongst powder addicts who like to earn their turns occasionally. At 155 lbs I reckoned I didn't really need the Duke's DIN 16 so I went for the Barons and mounted them onto a pair of Line SFBs. These were the first Marker product I purchased in a long time and I was keen to see how they would perform.
They felt solid while skiing and the extra height is not an issue. While you should not expect the comfort of a Dynafit while climbing, the ski/climb mode switch and the heel lifter were easy to operate. However, after a few sidecountry ascents I noticed they were beginning to literally eat up the toe pieces of my boots. This only happened in climbing mode though so I did not really mind it that much.
Next, one of the slider plates that's part of the release mechanism on the toe piece of the bindings broke. I had one of the early batches of Barons where the slider is held together via a nut and bolt assembly, so I was able to easily replace it. From what I've been told the newer ones are riveted and not as user-friendly.
So far I was still happy with them. That is, until one of them developed a really annoying play in one of its pivots so that the whole binding would move back and forth about half an inch even in the locked position e.g. when landing. The shop said they would have to send them in to be replaced, but I didn't have the nerve to wait for a month, so I gave the skis to my father-in-law who only uses them once in a blue moon and reverted back to alpine bindings and touring adapters.
Bottom line: based on my experience, I would not recommend them. However, my wife's, which I bought simultaneously, are still going strong. Maybe because she is a mere 112 lbs and not hard on her gear.
Where to Buy
Here's what other sites are saying:
The Marker Baron features the same revolutionary toe and heel design as the Duke, but with a 4-13 DIN range and a lighter weight construction that shaves 150 grams of weight, about 1/3 of a pound less than the Duke. The Baron is suited for lighter-weight big mountain skiers who want the performance of the triple-pivot toe and inter-pivot heel.
A full-on freeriding binding that you can tour with, the Marker Baron AT takes the expectations to a new level. An uphill climbing mode, flick the switch and charge on down.
The Marker Baron is the younger brother to the revolutionary Marker Duke at a lighter weight, lower price and lower DIN settings. The DIN 4-13 range is great for all but the most agro skiers, and the Baron weighs 1/3 of a pound less than the Duke. The Baron carries over the triple pivot toe and iter-pivot heel for smooth and predictable release. Power width design gives maximum power transmission to the ski. Low stack height gives you great ski feel. Connection brackets wrap up and out for the great power transmission. BCT backcountry technology makes uphill hiking easier than ever. Climbing risers bring the heel up 7 or 13 degrees for comfortable and efficient ascending. The binding moves backwards 40 mm for walking mode for better balance, swing weight and easier kick turns. If you want a binding you can ski all day in the resort, but also take into the backcountry from time to time, look no further than the Marker Baron. Sizing: Small = 265-325mm boot sole length, Large = 305-365mm boot sole length. Comes with 110 mm brakes. DIN: 4-13. Min Skier Weight: 80+ lbs. Stack height: 36 mm. Toe system: Triple pivot elite. EPS System. Weight, pair: 2450 gr (2480 with 110 mm brake)
- Tahoe Mountain Sports
Enjoy long tours with the lightweight, compact Baron 13 AT Binding from Marker that fits skis 76 mm and wider. Lighter weight skiers will love trekking through the backcountry with the serious control provided by the Triple Pivot toe, Inter Pivot heel, and Power Width design while the low stack height provides a responsive feel.
- Mountain Gear