So after a few more days on the Plum Guide I have some quick thoughts.
Skiing. The binding feels totally solid underfoot and while I haven’t noticed a distinct improvement in edge control over my Dynafit FT, the binding clicks into place with authority and heel assembly absolutely feels more robust. But that could be in my head more than reality.
If you lock out the toe, the lock out flip stands high and closer to the toe of your boot. The effect is that IF you came out of the heel, with a locked out toe, odds are very good that your boot will hit the lever and release the lock out mode.
Depending on which side of the fence you are on, that I think is a good thing, as I get my cake and eat it too. I have a lock out on my toe to prevent prerelease but if it hits the fan (e.g. caught in an avalanche), there is still a reasonable chance I can be released from the skis.
Touring. The lack of brakes is an issue for many people. Fact is sometimes you may crash and your ski may release. In these cases if you are on firm or hard snow, you could be in trouble and lose your ski. While the lack of weight is great and with less friction in rotating the heel piece, the binding functions easier. But there is a cost to that easier function…
The 4 positions for your ski pole in the heel volcano work very, very well. I use BD poles and they fit perfectly, i.e. tight into these holes. It makes spinning the heel really easy, much easier than any Dynafit I have used and the extra hole positions insure that regardless of what hand you use or which side you reach around from, you can get the right leverage to spin the heel easily. Note my previous point re: no brake… as that helps a lot too.
Step in. The toe spring is very stiff and with my TLT 5s, they step in easily, no fuss. However with my Quadrants, the way the lugs on the sole works, it just manages to hit the bulge of the toe arms/springs in such a way as to push the boot about 2-3mm further aft then what is ideal for getting the pins lined up. So it has been a bit fussy. I think I will likely develop a better technique but I have been on Dynafits hundreds of days over the years and haven’t fussed like this for some time.
Adjustment track is excellent as I can fit two different boot sizes on the same skis. Although it is a bit fussy to adjust vs one horizontal adjustment screw /track. The advantage is that you get a more solid platform that much less prone to wear and tear and subsequent flex/play.
Summary. So far… so very good. It has a couple of eccentricities in the design, but quality appears to be absolutely first rate, tough as nails, stiff as heck. Looking forward to seeing a brake design.