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Monday, October 14, 2019

Dynafit Just Majorly Extended Their Bindings Warranty

In a tough era for the ski industry, Dynafit is extending its tech-binding warranty from two to ten years. (Warranties from other manufacturers range from one to three years.) The brand is calling the new policy a lifetime warranty, referring to the expected decade-long lifetime of the product. It will apply to bindings purchased during or after the 2019–20 season. 

For more than 30 years, Dynafit has tracked how its bindings perform, how often they are warrantied, and how long they are typically used. (The brand was the first to debut pin-style tech bindings, in the 1980s.) It used that data to determine how long to extend the guarantee. Ross Herr, the brand’s sales and marketing manager, says the timing of this decision is a response to improvements in manufacturing that have resulted in increased durability. “We have seen this huge reduction in breakage and warranty over the past several years,” says Herr. “We don’t see problems within the ten-year expected lifespan of the binding.”

The shift comes at a time when other major brands, including L.L.Bean and REI, are reeling over replacement policies. 

“It says a lot to have them go from a two- to a ten-year [warranty], because they’re like, We’re still the best, we’re still what everybody wants to be,” says Nate Protsman, manager and ski tech at the Estes Park Mountain Shop in Colorado. “It says a lot about the confidence they have in their product.” 

Herr explains that it reflects informal practices Dynafit has had in place for a while: the company has serviced its products long after the original two-year window expired, in an effort to keep customers in the backcountry and using their gear. 

Turning that unspoken practice into official policy is a way for the brand to differentiate itself in an increasingly crowded product category. Dynafit is one of only two brands to have had tech bindings on the market for ten years. Until 2005, it held a key patent, preventing competitors from adapting its own pin-style systems. G3 capitalized on the patent’s expiration and debuted its first tech binding, the Onyx, in early 2009. Since then, most major binding brands have come out with their own versions of the tech binding. With the launch of the innovative Shift in 2018, Salomon has pioneered a new kind of touring binding that achieves better downhill performance with minimal weight penalty, further increasing competition in the category. 

The new warranty states that Dynafit will repair or replace any registered bindings that fail due to manufacturer defects during the time frame. With good care and normal use, the company says that skiers can expect their bindings to last through the end of the new warranty. What if your bindings are installed correctly and aren’t misused but break after an off-piste yard sale five years in? “We’ve got you covered,” Herr says. If they fall off your ski rack and get run over by a car? “Bummer, no,” he says. “But we will likely sell you a spare part for a really great price to hopefully ease the pain.”

from Outside Magazine: All

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