Snowboard Bindings Under Review

Often neglected, but just as important to your snowboard setup as any other gear, bindings act as an interface between your feet and the board. With the best snowboard bindings, not only will your feet remain stable but you’ll also have better control of your board. Thus, you should strive to find the perfect fit.

However, getting these matching bindings is no small feat. For one, you need to have some basic knowledge about how they work. Two, the bindings you get should be fit for your riding style, the terrain you plan to tackle and your current boots/board.

Taking these and other factors into account, we’ve compared dozens of snowboard bindings to determine which models provide exemplary performance.

Review

The Burton Cartel are our top pick because they perform incredibly well on any terrain. These bindings are well-rounded, and the fact that they have a mid-range price point is just the icing on the cake.

The Cartels feature a single-piece hi-back build. The simplicity of having just one component for the hi-back means they have superb response. Similarly, the whole baseplate is made of just one type of material so as to provide a consistent response and feel.

For maximum comfort and a secure fit, Burton equipped these bindings with hammock straps and smooth-glide buckles. These buckles make it easy to get on and off and they’re reinforced with aluminum levers for strength.

Also worth noting is that these bindings have a high level of shock absorption. With a decent amount of padding on the base, they provide a smooth landing experience.

Specs:
Binding style: Strap
Binding mount pattern: 2×4, 4×4, Channel
Flex: Soft

Things we like:

  • Fitted with quality hammock straps that make getting in and out of them easy
  • Available in a range of sizes
  • Have medium to firm flex, which is great for quick, technical stunts
  • The single-material construction of the baseplate provides consistent response

Things we don’t:

  • Limits users when it comes to adjusting the stance width

Our Runner Up

If you’ve been looking for all-mountain bindings that provide a high level of comfort, your search ends with the Flow Alpha MTN model. These bindings are equipped with several features that make them more comfortable than others. For instance, they have Fusion ExoFit PowerStraps. Put simply; the straps have an exoskeleton support frame, which supports your ankles while also enhancing energy transfer to the snowboard.

Moreover, they come with 1-piece high back made of molded composite. The high back is designed to recline fully, giving you a simple entry/exit system.

These bindings also boast the innovative locking slap ratchets (LSR). These straps give you freedom to get in and out using whichever technique you prefer. Essentially, you can use the side entry or speed entry system.

Specs:
Binding style: Rear entry
Binding mount pattern: 2×4, 4×4, Burton 3D
Flex: Soft

Things we like:

  • The Exofit Power Straps provide a secure fastening and enhance comfort
  • Lightweight design, providing the rider with better control
  • Redesigned LSR ratchets for easy adjustment and fitting
  • Flexible entry system

Things we don’t:

  • Requires patience to get used to the highback structure

Best Snowboard Bindings for Women

The Ride DVA is one of the most recommended binding options for female snowboarders, and for good reasons. These bindings offer a great balance of play and precision, and are designed for beginners and professionals alike.

Weighing in at 5.34 pounds, these bindings are among the lightest options, and yet they provide a flawless performance.

Apart from weight, there are a couple of other features that make these bindings exceptional. The first is the chassis system that comes with an adjustable heel cup. The adjustability of the heel cup increases the versatility of these bindings.

The chassis, itself, is made exclusively from aircraft-grade aluminum alloy; hence guaranteeing durability.

The highback of the DVA is another feature that stands out. It’s made of Ride’s urethane Slimeback, a material known for its vibration dampening attributes. This ensures that you get consistent flex and a smooth riding experience.

Furthermore, the toe strap is equipped with ThinGrip technology to provide a super snug grip on your boots.

Specs:
Binding style: Strap
Binding mount pattern: 2×4, Channel
Flex: Medium to Soft

Things we like:

  • The lightweight, but sturdy frame is perfect for freestyle riders
  • Available in four colors; hence suitable for different consumer tastes
  • Heel cup can be adjusted for any type/size of foot
  • Has a cushy footbed to withstand extensive use

Things we don’t:

  • They’re only available in a small size

Best Snowboard Bindings For Mountain Riding

If you like to go snowboarding on groomed runs, backcountry or park, you need bindings that can handle any terrain. There’s no better pair of bindings suited for this role than Union Force.

Yes, they’re more highly priced than other models. But for the price, you get advanced features that you’ll not find in cheaper options.

For one, they allow you to adjust both the heel loop and toe ramp. This adjustability means that virtually any size of boot can stay centrally placed on the board. To add to this, the high back can be rotated in two different ways to provide an optimal fit for your boot.

The Stage IV Duraflex ST baseplate is another feature that sets the Union bindings from the pack. This duraflex nylon ensures that the baseplate maintains its performance regardless of the temperatures it’s subjected to.

Also, the baseplate comes fitted with an extruded 3D aluminum heel cup. The aluminum construction provides the needed strength without adding too much bulk.

Specs:
Binding style: Strap
Binding mount pattern: 2×4, 4×4, Channel
Flex: Medium stiff

Things we like:

  • Boasts an all-terrain construction for exploring the entire mountain
  • Duraflex nylon is strong and also extremely light
  • Lifetime warranty on all heel cups and baseplates
  • The extruded 3D aluminum heelcups help to minimize drag

Things we don’t:

  • Expensive compared to other snowboard bindings

Best Snowboard Bindings For Freestyle Riding

Looking for snowboard bindings that will add a surfy feel to your ride? The Burton Freestyle are your best bet. These have been designed to allow you to experiment with different stunts with enough room for mistakes- because I’m pretty sure you’ll make a few.

The affordability of these bindings also makes them an attractive choice for beginners or anyone looking to invest in an extra pair.

Feature-wise, the Freestyle has medium flex rating. This means that they’re quite responsive, comfy and perform fairly well on all-terrain. The baseplate is constructed from polycarbonate ReFlex material, which provides a consistent response and feel.

The Freestyle also boast Burton’s proprietary Re-Flex binding system. This binding mechanism makes them compatible with other brand boards. More importantly, they provide better cushioning than the traditional disc bindings.

The highback, which consists of one piece, is equipped with MicroFLAD technology. This enables you to adjust your forward lean without using any equipment.

Specs:
Binding style: Strap
Binding mount pattern: 2×4, 4×4, Burton 3D, Channel
Flex: Plush to Medium

Things we like:

  • Can work with all major mounting systems
  • Excellent price point; hence suitable for beginners
  • Straps have FullBED cushioning system for utmost comfort

Things we don’t:

  • The very soft flex may not work for some people

Best Budget-Friendly Snowboard Bindings

The Stealth 3 by Fifth Element are the ideal bindings to get you out to the mountain without poking a hole in your pocket. This aspect makes them a suitable option for newer or the less skilled snowboarders.

Better yet, 5th Element has managed to keep their pricing low without compromising on performance or features.

One of these features entails the convertible toe straps, which ensure that your feet are locked down in place. This way, you have maximum control over your board. What’s more, these toe straps are designed to work with any shape of boot.

Another component that comes in handy is the padded base plate on each binding. This padding dampens the amount of vibration while also eliminating shock; this in turn, gives novice riders confidence to tackle any terrain.

The performance of these bindings is further enhanced by the smooth gliding ratchets that make entry and exit a breeze.

Specs:
Binding style: Strap
Binding mount pattern: 2×4, 4×4
Flex: Soft

Things we like:

  • Base plate has padding to minimize vibrations
  • Redesigned toe straps conform to any boot shape
  • The one-component highback provides the right amount of support
  • Great value

Things we don’t:

  • Straps can loosen easier than others

Most Durable Snowboard Bindings

Looking for snowboard bindings that will stand the test of time? The Nitro Team Bindings fit that description perfectly.

What makes these bindings so durable are the stainless steel cables integrated in the ratchets and connector straps. These cables prevent unnecessary stretching and breakage.

Best part is, this is not the only characteristic that makes these bindings outstanding. The Team also boast one of the lightest shock-absorbing technologies. This tech enables you to make hard landings with the least impact on your heels.

The bindings also sport 3-degree canted EVA footbeds, which place your knees and body in the most natural position. This way, you don’t get fatigued quickly even if you snowboard for hours.

And to provide the perfect combination of comfort and response, the Nitro bindings are equipped with 3D thermofoam padding.

You’ll also be pleased with the new Ubergrip toe straps that Nitro designed in conjunction with Vibram. Essentially, this fastening system blends Nitro’s concept of convertible toe straps with Vibram’s XSTrek rubber. The result are toe straps that conform seamlessly to any boot design.

Specs:
Binding style: Strap
Binding mount pattern: 2×4
Flex: Stiff

Things we like:

  • Compatible with a variety of snowboard brands other than Nitro
  • Cable-reinforced ratchets and connectors provide maximum durability
  • 3° canting facilitates an ergonomic positioning to reduce fatigue during long rides
  • Uniquely-designed ankle straps guarantee premium comfort

Things we don’t:

  • Perhaps not the best choice for beginners

Best Snowboard Bindings For Beginners

If you’ve just started learning the art of snowboarding, the Flite Pros will make an excellent companion and more so if you prefer a freestyle riding style.

One attribute that makes them suitable for novice players entails their high level of adjustability. More specifically, these bindings allow you to adjust the forward lean, toe strap position, gas pedal, heel cup, ankle strap length and toe strap length.

Besides, the Pros come fitted with a decent amount of padding for shock absorption capability. This is an important factor given that you’ll be practising for hours before you can finally master the skill.

The only area where these bindings fall short is in response. These aren’t the best choice when it comes to support and responsiveness. But for the price, you get a reasonable number of features to work with.

Specs:
Binding style: Strap
Binding mount pattern: 2×4, 4×4, Channel
Flex: Soft to Medium

Things we like:

  • Has a stylish design
  • Comes with lifetime limited warranty on the heel cups and baseplate
  • The duraflex nylon construction provides strength and durability

Things we don’t:

  • Lacks a good response

Essential Features to Consider When Choosing Snowboard Bindings

Before deciding which snowboard bindings to buy, there are a couple of things that you should evaluate:

  • Riding Style
  • Entry System
  • Fit and Compatibility with Snowboard Boots

Riding Style

The first thing you need to do is determine your snowboarding technique. This way, you can get bindings that conform to and enhance your riding style.

  • Freestyle – the most suitable bindings for freestylers are those that have a soft flex. This is because such bindings provide a great deal of flexibility.
  • All Mountain – this category includes snowboarders who venture into a little bit of everything: groomed runs, park among others. If this is your preferred technique, you’ll want to go for bindings with medium flex as they’re great for all-purpose use
  • Freeride – for this riding style, we recommend bindings with a much stiffer flex. The advantage of this is that provides better response. Also, it transfers energy from your feet to the snowboard efficiently, enabling you to ride even faster.

Entry System

Strap Bindings

Strap bindings are the most prevalent type on the market. This is probably because they use a very reliable technique of securing your feet to the board. To be more specific, they use two straps: one for securing your ankle and the other for securing your toes.

The flipside to strap bindings is that they don’t provide easy access. Depending on the model you buy, you might find it difficult and time-consuming to keep fastening the straps. However, this is not the case with all strap-ins. Some buckles open quite easily.

Step In Bindings

The step-ins rank second in terms of popularity. This system involves a stiff boot equipped with some kind of pin or metal piece on the rear. This metallic piece is the component that “clicks” or attaches to the binding.

While the step-in bindings seem a little less reliable, they are very popular among snowboarders who want bindings with easy entry and exit mechanisms.

Compatibility

If you’ve been shopping for snowboard bindings, you’ve probably noticed that they come in different sizes. The size charts are given to help you determine whether they’re compatible with your size of snowboard boots.

Like boots, most bindings come in three sizes: Small, Medium and Large. Thus, you should always check the size of your boots first, then purchase matching bindings.

But even after checking the size chart, you should test the bindings whenever possible. Do this by placing your boots in the bindings. If the heels fit snugly, then they’re the right fit. A good binding should also provide enough room to flex your boot.

Best Snowboard Binding Brands

Like with any other product, getting the “best” bindings is a matter of personal preference and tastes. If you were to ask a group of snowboarders which bindings they prefer, you’d probably get a dozen different answers. However, there are a few tried-and-true brands that never disappoint:

Burton

Founded in 1977, Burton is a U.S-based company that specializes in making snowboards and snowboarding accessories. This firm manufactures bindings for consumers across all ages; including kids.

Perhaps one of the things that makes Burton a leader in this space is their extensive investment in research and development. Each year, they invest a huge chunk of their profits in this sector, resulting in some of the most advanced snowboard bindings.

Flow

Flow was established in 1992. Though it started out as a binding manufacturing company, it now makes a variety of snowboards, boots and other essential riding gear.

This company provides long warranties- a factor that shows they’re confident about the quality of their products. As an example, Flow offers a 4-year performance warranty on their snowboards.

Ride Snowboards

This corporation was formed in Redmond, WA back in 1992. In the spirit of expansion, Ride’s founders decided to acquire the prominent Thermal Snowboards Inc. just three years after its creation.

Currently, the company has another manufacturing facility in Asia. It’s also managed to invent and incorporate a ton of technologies into their snowboarding equipment.

Nitro

Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Nitro is another reputable brand that makes snowboard bindings. This company was created in 1989 by snowboard enthusiasts: Sepp Ardelt and Tommy Delago. To date, the two help manage the firm, which has satellite offices in five other locations worldwide.

Nitro makes a wide range of snowboards and bindings. An exciting feature about this firm is that it caters to riders of all ages, abilities and snowboarding styles.

Fifth Element

Established over a decade ago, this snowboard binding brand was born out of a need to provide low-cost sports equipment. 5th Element’s first ever product was a twin tip ski for toddlers. This gadget quickly gained popularity because of the immense value it offered at such a low price.

Since then, the company has diversified its operations in the sports industry. It now manufactures an array of outdoor gear ranging from inline skates to goggles and snowboard bindings.

FAQ

What is the best angle for setting up your snowboard bindings?

To find the right degree for your setup, first establish what snowboard stance works for you. Stance is simply the distance between your binding discs starting from the center of each one of them.

The rule of thumb is that your stance should be about the same size as your shoulder width. The standard stance angles are approximately 15 degrees at the front and zero degrees in the back binding.

Can snowboard bindings be used on any board?

No, they cannot. It all depends on the brand of bindings you purchase. For instance, the Burton snowboard bindings are compatible with a wide range of boards. If you’re buying from another brand, check their compatibility to your current boards.

What is forward lean on snowboard bindings?

This is an adjustable configuration that allows you to set your preferred “forward angle” of the highback. The degree to which you adjust this forward lean depends on how comfortable you feel.

When making this adjustment, do it in small chunks so that you find the ideal position that works for you. If you feel unstable or uncomfortable, continue modifying the angle.

Wrap Up

If you’re looking to purchase a new pair of bindings, the Burton line of snowboarding gear is a reliable option. In particular, the Burton Cartel provides a stellar performance and comes with a mid-range price tag. It offers adjustable forward lean, functional and comfortable straps alongside a medium-firm flex.

Of course, if there are other factors that you consider more important- such as price, comfort and longevity- you can consider different options. For instance, the Union Flite Pro is a better option for beginners while the Stealth 3 by 5th Element saves you a ton of money.

Best Snowboard Bindings
KINGS OF ADVENTURE COLOUR LOGO
Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Stay up-to-date and get notified when new articles go live