Sometimes it can be tough to make decisions, especially if we have too many choices. Let me help you to get an overview of the bindings market and let me point out some of the best snowboard bindings out there.
Best Snowboard Bindings
Personal preference, that´s something I mention in almost every post. Well, it is helpful to know what you like and how you ride. However, it´s alright if you simply get on your board and ride without thinking too much. Actually, I find it pretty cool that way, because that´s what it´s all about – to ride and have fun!
I still want to point out one thing, though: Snowboard bindings have different FLEXibilities. The short version is, they feel and act different depending on the terrain and style you ride. For fast runs on steep slopes, you want something stiff that reacts quickly and gives you a good response and feel. To cope with such speed, you need a lot of pressure on your edges – something a soft binding might not be able to do.
In contrast, soft bindings are forgiving and have more tweak. This is great for beginners as well as freestyle sessions. Here you want to have a comfortable ride and surfy feel. A good way to say that is, you will have a less nervous set up!
You also want gear that matches. I am not saying that you have to buy a whole new set of gear, just because you want to get a new binding. But it doesn’t really make sense to ride a very stiff freeride board with a very soft shoes and bindings, right?
I wrote a whole post about that, so click here for more informations about snowboard binding flex.
In this list I put together 10 of the most famous and best bindings on the market. Once again, beginners and freestylers probably have more fun with a soft set up, freeriders tend to prefer something stiff. However, I believe these bindings can be ridden by anyone out there. High quality gear either in or close to the happy medium all mountain range – check them out.
The Burton Custom might be the most famous binding on the market. It has been around for years, even centuries and constantly evolved ever since. It is a quite soft binding that is comfortable and forgiving but responsive enough for all-mountain performance. I´d always go for a run on Burton Customs and can recommend them to anyone who doesn’t want to look any further.
The soft flex results in a mellow ride that is appreciated by beginners and loved by more advanced riders. The 3D ankle strap nicely wraps around your boots and Burton’s smooth glide buckles crank down super easy. That means less hassle and more fun riding. Burton knowledge in a affordable package.
The Cartel is often called the workhorse by Burton. Is it one of the best selling bindings in their range and actually in the whole market. It is more responsive than the Burton Custom and therefore copes better with higher speeds. If you are more advanced and have the spare dollars, the Cartel brings true all-mountain performance to the table.
The higher prices is the result of more advanced technologies like the AutoCant footbed for instance. This fully cushioned footbed automatically puts your feet and an angle that lines up your hips, legs and ankles. That results in more comfort and less fatigue – especially for people who ride a wide stance.
The 2.0 hammock ankle strap is made of one piece which means no stitches can become loose. It stays soft even in the coldest temperatures to ensure a comfortable and firm fit. The all-mountain binding by Burton.
The Malavita puts one on top. It feels slightly softer than the Cartel but definitely is responsive enough for fast runs. It is designed for freestyle orientated riders and gives you extra support in the heel area. The so called heel hammock is a mash that is built in the highback. It wraps around your heels and locks them in and therefore you can ride with the straps a bit more loose.
The Malavita is the right choice for the full time freestyler and everyone who starts getting into it. It also comes with a winged highback, a special feature on the black/white coloured version which prevents you from overpressing.
Together with stitch-free straps, an extremely comfortable footbed and the best buckles Burton has to offer, this makes the Malavita to one of the most advanced bindings on the market!
Union is the company in the bindings industry. Fully committed to what they do best – build high quality and extremely durable snowboard bindings. Their signature feature is the aluminium heel cup, made for the long haul. Pro´s like Travis Rice trust in Union and they back up their gear with a lifetime warranty on the baseplate and heel cup.
The Atlas is an all-mountain legend with canted footbeds for a more natural and comfortable stance and honeycomb structured ankle straps that erases pressure points on your foot.
The aluminium heel cup acts like a roll cage in a car and gives the binding overall stiffness and stability. Where possible, high strength nylon is used to keep the binding lightweight. The top-shelf bindings by Union like the Atlas also come with Magnesium buckles. Four times the strength of Aluminium but only half the weight. Fully loaded with technology and a bomb-proof design.
Union Contact Pro
The Contact Pro is a little bit more flexible than the Atlas and has not quite the same fancy features. The good news, that results in a more attractive price tag. But don´t get me wrong! You still get the bomb proof aluminium heel cup and the same life time warranty. Even the Magnesium ratchets are on board.
The binding gives you a more surfy ride but does copes with every terrain. It´s also one of the lightest bindings you can find which is an advantage for freestyle sessions. Less weight equals easier spin!
The footbed is cushioned with Union’s vaporlight bushings, a material that stays soft in the coldest temperatures to reduce impacts for more comfort. It also allows your foot to position itself at an angle – similar, but not quite as good as the Atlas. Similar technologies but a more surfy ride, the happy medium in Unions bindings range.
UNION FLITE Pro
F*CKING light, that´s what this binding is about. For a very affordable price you get a basic binding that is along with the contact pro one of the lightest bindings you can find.
It has a quite soft response, therefore perfect for beginners and mellow riders. However, Union believes that there is no such thing as “entry level gear”. As long as you are happy with a flexible set up the Union FLITE Pro is definitely a binding to consider – especially if your budget is limited.
It has the same bomb proof design and materials like the more expensive ones – aluminium heel cup, Union’s duraflex nylon baseplate and durable straps but “only” aluminium ratchets instead of Magnesium.
The FLITE Pro is also a great choice as your second binding that goes on your park board if you have one! Lightweight and playful for lots of fun!
The NOW IPO gives you lots of freedom. It comes with several features that let you personalise the binding to your liking. One thing that is unique to NOW bindings is the SkateTech technology.
It mimics they way how trucks on skateboards work and deliver your movements through rubber bushing to the board. These bushings come in three different versions, from soft to hard. That´s just one way how you can adjust the flexibility to your liking.
You can also ride the NOW IPO without highback. The way the binding is designed gives you the option to simply ride it only with the heel cup and this again results in lots of freedom for the terrain park! Back on the slopes, chuck on the highback again and you´re all set up for carving. Lot´s of ways to personalise it paired with a very attractive price tag.
Yep, a backdoor binding made it into the list. I personally believe their reputation is quite bad for no reason! Well, at least that´s true for FLOW bindings.
FLOW bindings tend to be more comfortable than strap bindings because they distribute pressure more even over your foot. They do have downsides but FLOW is doing everything to get rid of them.
One for instance is the ActiveStrap technology. When you lower the highback on the FLOW FUSE, the strap gets lifted up a little bit. That makes it easier to get out, back in and it ensures you get the same firm fit on every run.
If you ever feel like the strap has not the correct fit, simply crank it a little further down with the LSR ratchets – very similar to ones on traditional strap bindings.
The FUSE has a medium flexibility for all-mountain performance and the rockered baseplate minimizes the contact area between binding and board. This let´s the board fully flex from tip to toe!
Backdoor bindings are comfortable, easy to use and the struggle to get buckled after lifting is over! Boot in, highback up and you´re good to go!
Bent Metal Transfer
Bent Metal is getting a lot of attention for their new binding range. The playful Logic, the all mountain Transfer and the high performance Solution all share one invention: The exchangeable Drive Plate.
This piece of mixed materials comes in three different versions, from medium/soft and medium to stiff. That gives you the possibility to ride the Logic with it´s overall soft and tweak able design with the stiff Drive Plate from the Solution for instance.
Your preferred binding can now be playful and 30 seconds later firm and responsive – it really is that easy and quick.
The Transfer made it into this list because it has the medium flex which is most suitable for the average snowboarder. However, all three bindings can be considered, depending on your own style.
What you always get is features like aluminium buckles, lightweight and comfortable straps as well as the most advanced and easiest to use forward lean adjustment. Get your preferred binding and change it´s performance whenever you need it!
The Team binding is designed to meet the demands of pro snowboarders all around the globe without sacrificing the comfort we need. It has been around for a long time now and evolved over the years through input and critics from riders out there.
The Team binding comes with stainless steel cables built into the ratchets and connectors what makes them extremely durable. Nitro cut down they weight as much as they could with the Airframe baseplate. It´s paired with an aluminium heel cup and the lightest heel dampening pad available – literally filled with air.
The 3° canted baseplate aligns your ankles, hips and feet for a more natural stance and comfort. This is all wrapped up together with comfortable straps and asymmetrical highbacks in a highly adjustable binding – loved by many pro´s as well as non pro riders out there.
10 bindings – 10 choices
This list is filled with different bindings with very different prices as well. I wanted to make sure to cover a wide range and not only top shelf gear – because such gear tends to come with top shelf price tags, too. 😉
For some of the bindings I already made a full review. You can find the link after each paragraph. The missing ones are coming soon but feel free to ask me any questions about them in the comments.
Every binding you find in this list, or better on this website, stands for quality. Different features and materials result in different performances and prices. What you ultimately choose is up to you! Please feel free to leave any questions you have in the comments below, I will get back to you.
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