Contour “Start Up” Kids Touring Adapters

| March 21, 2016

After many hours of modifying adult touring gear to work for for my kids, I recently found a much better solution; the Contour “Start Up” Touring Adapter. The basic idea is the same as the old BCA “Alpine Trekker” which is a hinged plate that clamps onto your alpine boot and then fits into your alpine bindings. The Alpine Trekker didn’t work very well compared to a full-on touring set up, but for kids the Contour Start Up is brilliant.


One immediate problem I found with modifying adult gear is that boots come in “kids,” “junior” and “adult” sizes, so you can only get a kids boot to fit into an adult binding with lots of jingus shimming. Then, the adult bindings tend to only go down to about DIN 4, and my kids are in the 2.0 range, so the release settings are way off.  All in all, modifying adult touring gear worked, but it wasn’t great.

The Contour “Start Up” Touring Adapters however are very well thought out and so easy to use the kids can get into and out of them all by themselves.  They feature tool free adjustment, but that is assuming you have steel fingers and a vise-like grip.  In reality, I found a screw driver was helpful.  The parts are beautifully molded, have a nice smooth action and fold down to a very small package.

Tool free adjustment – at least in theory.  A screw driver and pair of large pliers helps.

The adapters adjust from a 245mm sole up to a 305mm, so they will last for many years of growth.  While this is not a great system for long tours, I think its real value is that it provides a quick, easy and safe way to introduce kids to the backcountry.  So far our tours have involved about 300′ of climbing (over an hour…) and its nice that the kids can then clip into their own skis for the trip down.  There is a single easy to activate climbing peg.  For the boots, I unbuckle the top and they seem to work fine.  For skins, I used an old pair of straight and skinny skins with rubber-snubber tip loops.

The Start Up adjusts from 245mm to 305mm boots.

In the USA, the Start Ups are available through CAMP USA and I’ve heard you can also order them from Europe.  The suggested retail is $149.50 per pair and due to the unexpected popularity, supplies may be limited.

Help support and bribe those kids uphill with a package of Sport Beans Energizing Jelly Beans  from Click on the photo below.



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Category: Gear Reviews

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber and Mountain Unicycle rider. He and Polly Samuels McLean are the parents of two very loud little girls.

Comments (7)

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  1. brewer says:

    Sorry for the late reply to this one, but if I already have a set of trekkers, do you think these would be worth the $ from a performance perspective? Or just use what I have?

  2. Hi Brewer – The Contour Start Up kit is like a mini set of Alpine Trekkers, which fits kids boots and bindings. They are the same idea as Alpine Trekkers, but I don’t think Alpine Trekkers would work for kids as they are too big.

  3. greenmtnskier says:

    would be great to get some more feedback on these…i had my son use some borrowed alpine trekkers last spring near bridgeport…they are pretty heavy and didnt seem to stay on all that well (could have been an adjustment error)….if these cut down the weight could be a great piece of gear to get them going…thx

  4. We bought six sets of them for ourselves and a close group of friends, and we all highly recommend them. They are a perfect interim solution for getting young kids (8 to 14 years old?) into touring. As a side note, they do not go down small enough for my 7 year old, but that really depends on the boot size.

  5. Kali says:

    Hi, do you think that this adapter can be used not only by children but by their parents as well? As far I can see – it can hold a boot up to 305 mm. Are there any weight limitations?

  6. Hi Kali – I kind of doubt that it could be used by adults. Alpine ski boots come in three sizes – Kids, Junior and Adult. The Contour adapter is sized for a kids boot, which isn’t just fore/aft, but the toe/heel width and height as well. So, I doubt an adult boot would fit into it. Backcountry Access used to make a thing called the Alpine Trekker, which was the adult version.

  7. Oops – the last three had been uploaded and had a URL, but hadn’t been officially published, but now they are. Thanks.

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