Snowboarding is awesome! You strap on some snowboarding boots, put on your favorite winter jacket, pack your best board, and head for the nearest snowy mountains. After all, nothing quite gets your blood pumping faster than shredding some fresh powder on a crisp winter morning. However, there is more to snowboarding than just bringing a few pieces of clothes, and a board. Snowboards also require bindings, if you’re new to the sport you might think that these are one size fits all, but they’re actually as varied as the boards themselves.
Finding the right pair can make a huge difference in how your day goes, so you’ll want to find ones that suit your style perfectly. But, since searching everywhere for them can be time consuming, we’ve made it simpler for you with our list!
Top 10 Best Snowboard Bindings 2019
Are you looking for the best snowboard bindings you can already buy? Well we’vebroken it down into the best five options for both men and women! Read further below to see what suits you the best.
Top 5 Snowboard Bindings for Men
1. Union Force [Editor’s Choice Men]
Easily, one of the best snowboard bindings on the market right now, Union’s Forces are a force to be reckoned with. Durable and dependable, these bindings are also extremely comfortable and responsive, meaning you’ll be shredding powder for days without fear of breaking them!
Union’s Force includes numerous key features that make them a joy to use, from a versatile Highback that provides three different flex zones, to a Forward Lean Adjuster that gives you better control and additional leverage when needed.
The Classic Pro Ankle straps are also fantastic, these Ultra Grip straps feature plenty of options designed to keep your toes in place. But, if you’re worried about having to carry tools, don’t even stress yourself. Tool-free straps means you don’t need anything to adjust them other than your hands. Finally, some magnesium ratchets are stronger than aluminum and weigh half as much, taking off some of the stress from your feet.
Finally, if style is more of your concern then worry not as they come in a variety of awesome colors.
- Awesome Features
- Fantastic Warranty
- Paint job scuffs easily
2. K2 Lien AT 2020 [Runner-Up]
We had a hard time choosing between the Force and Lien AT, and for good reason. K2’s Lien ATs are fantastic bindings that offers excellent performance for a decent price.
These binders are comfortable, never feeling overly stiff nor soft. Their medium flex provides excellent versatility, and a great feeling of responsiveness. Adjustability is also no issue thanks to an easily adjustable set of straps that require no additional tools. Although, you’ll still need some in order to adjust the discs.
Landing is also not an issue thanks to their great shock absorption that makes landing an overall pleasant experience.
- Excellent performance
- Hard to adjust the first few times
3. Flow NX2 Hybrid Snowboard Bindings [Best High-End]
If you’re looking to splurge on a high-quality pair of Snowboard Bindings, then look no further than Flow’s NX2 Hybrids. These bindings are awesome and extremely comfortable, making your riding experience a joy, combine them with some comfy snowboard boots, and you’ll be walking on clouds for hours.
Providing excellent shock absorption and bringing a great mixture of adjustability in both bindings and stance, the NX2 offer a fantastic level of versatility. Coupled with a stiff flex and you’ll find yourself going downhill at crazy speeds, while turning on a dime.
However, a lack of a heel loop means they have a bit of a learning curve. Still, since they can be easily removed thanks to their Locking Slap Ratchet, you can simply take them off, go rest, and hit the slopes once you’re good and ready.
- Smooth riding due to N-Gel cushioning
- Excellent Performance
- Some boots are easier to install on these than others
4. Burton Malavita (Leather) [Best Style]
If you’re looking for something stylish and versatile look no further than Burton’s Malavita. These babies are the definition of fancy (especially the ones featuring leather straps). But, just what makes them awesome is not simply aesthetics, just take a look.
A Re:Flex Baseplate gives these bindings, excellent flex, less weight, and feels cushiony enough to tackle those awesome jumps in your path. To put it into percentages, the minimalistic, cored baseplate leads to a reduction in weight of about 20% from the average board bindings. This makes a huge difference when it comes to jumps and riding downhill.
The Highback on the other hand, provides the rider with a playful feel that gives them even more control over their board. Even better, the ergonomic design, means they’ll be feeling comfortable throughout the day.
Couple all of this with the Tool-free adjustable angle on the Highbacks and means less time altering the lean them for sharper turning and more time in the powder. A lifetime warranty seals the deal on Burton’s Malavita!
- Playful and fun
- Lightweight and comfortable
5. Ride Rodeo 2020 [Most Durable, All-Terrain]
Lightweight and high performing, the Ride Rodeo 2020 are a beast that definitely earned a spot on this list. Their biggest call to fame is their extreme durability thanks to its Infinity Chassis baseplate, which is crafted with 6061 aircraft grade aluminum. You read that right, aircraft quality!
Which is perfect for all the air you’re going to be getting as you shred down the slope. But, that’s not all that the Ride Rodeo are good for, as they come with plenty of features that make them the bindings they are.
A Nylon Blend Highback mixes responsiveness and comfortability in a perfect blend of performance and fun. Add to this the ThinGrip Max toe straps, and you get even more grip and comfort in your feet!
- Extremely Durable
- Playful Flex
- Baseplate is hard to adjust at first
Top 5 Snowboard Bindings for Women
1. Union Trilogy 2020 [Editor’s Choice Women]
If you’re serious about your boarding, and looking to get a sweet set of binders that offers excellent performance and great durability, Union’s Trilogy has you covered. You’ll be kicking it to high gear in no time with these babies.
A Duraflex ST baseplate has got you covered with these bindings. Duraflex ST has a higher glass count than the average Duraflex giving you better responsiveness without the additional weight of other materials, and it can handle even the coldest of winters with ease. But, that’s not all, as it is designed Multi-Density Thermoformed EVA and a 3D Aluminum on the Heelcups, these provide weatherproofing and durability.
A classic FLAD Highback let’s you adjust your angle quickly and easily. Couple with the Classic Pro Ankle Straps and the Ultragrip Toe Strap, make these simple to adjust, and perfectly locked into place without the need of tools.
- Great Performance
- High-quality materials
- Limited color schemes
2. Burton Stiletto 2020 [Runner-Up Women’s]
Burton is the go to name when it comes to snowboarding products, and their Stilettos are, yet another example of their excellent quality. But, unlike their high-heeled namesake, these are actually a joy to use even after prolonged periods of wear.
Designed with a medium flex for versatility on all-terrains, these bindings offer plenty of cushioning, and are compatible with a variety of mountings.
A single component construction Highback means they’re extremely responsive, yet adjustable. They’re also mostly tool-less, meaning you can modify them to suit most of your needs by hand. Which is even greater thanks to the patented Reactstrap system making them compatible with almost any boots in the market.
- Cute colors and designs
- Compatible with an exceptional amount of mountings, and boots
- Hard to remove
3. Salomon Vendetta 2020 [Best Budget]
Easy to assemble, stylish, and even easier to use, Salomon’s Vendetta bindings are awesome. Featuring a medium flex for versatility, these bindings are supple, comfortable, and compliant, catering to all your riding needs as you shred some fresh powder down the slopes.
But, it’s not just about comfort, as the Vendettas are also durable, easy to handle and even adjust. Not only will be able to modify the fitting of your straps with ease, but also minimize the fatigue felt on your feet, knees, and joints.
Specifically made with women in mind, thanks to their lower geometry, accounting for the differences in a woman’s legs and feet. This means that you won’t sacrifice any power while making turns, and still fit properly into your bindings without sacrificing comfort.
- Easy to use
- Ergonomic design
- Toe strap can feel slightly flimsy
4. Flow Minx 2019 [Best Balanced]
Featuring a great amount of fun and flexibility, Flow’s Minxes are feature plenty of cushion and customizable options that can be modified to suit your own unique style. They’re essentially built for women who want to jump in and shred the powder to their limits as quickly as possible.
But, that’s not all the Minx are good for, as they’re built to make the most out of their Flex, with their Rockered Molded Composite, which helps minimize the board’s contact area, and helps you direct your power to where it’s needed the most.
Hybrid straps connect your ankle strap to the toe strap, providing you with ample control and flexibility. But, if you’re more concerned with the ease of wear, don’t even worry as their Highback is fully retractable, for an easy entry and removal.
- Easy entry and exit
- Highly balanced
- Not suitable for everyone
5. Ride Fame [Best Freestyle]
Tough terrain stands no chance when it comes to facing Ride’s Fame Snowboard Bindings. These babies provide you with a direct-contact power transmission that conforms to your boot for maximum comfort. However, with its stiff flex, you’ll find yourself going at maximum speed downhill, shredding some real powder even in the harshest of trails.
Thankfully, they’re awesome at getting you a smooth ride, and eliminating those pesky vibrations, while retaining your control of the board. Still, if you’re afraid of wiping out and wrecking your bindings, fear not as their all-aluminum chassis is tough and durable, also bringing with them a lifetime warranty.
Lightweight and comfortable, they reduce the amount of stress on your feet, meaning you’ll be able to wear them for prolonged periods of time even as you go on the toughest trails.
- Perfect handling on tough terrain
- Not suitable for casual riders
What to Look for When Buying (Buyer’s Guide)
Choosing the best binder fairly challenging at first, but if you understand what you’re looking for, it’s quite easier. Please consider the following factors before making any purchases.
The two primary types of snowboard bindings used these days are:
- Strap-In Bindings: Most commonly used type of binding. Cheaper and versatile.
- Speed Entry Bindings: Easier to put on and remove
The two secondary types of bindings used are:
- Splitboard bindings: Designed for splitboards only
- Step-on bindings: Burton’s step-on are the upgraded version of the step-in bindings. These emulate the way skiers lock into their ski bindings and are the easiest to use.
These are the four basic types of bindings, but let’s break them down even further:
Strap-in Bindings: featuring two straps, one for your ankle and another for your toes. They usually have a Highback and are the most economical alternative for snowboard bindings. As the name implies, the ankle binding sits on top of your ankle. The toe strap alternatively does not sit on top of the toe, but rather wrapped around the front, pushing your foot into the back of the binding.
Their biggest advantage these offer are the ability to adjust each straps pressure individually, this gives the rider more control over how it sits.
Removing them and putting them back on is also simple, you’ll see experienced riders do this while standing, but if you’re new or simply want to feel safe, feel free to sit down. It’s not the quickest method, but it is easy.
This type of binding features a fixed Highback (meaning you can’t move it from place), but its angle can be adjusted forward for a more leaning riding position.
Speed Entry Bindings: a one strap binding system that covers both your toes and ankles. The strap does feature two separate systems that allow you to adjust the pressure on your toes and ankle separately, though it’s still interconnected (this means adjusting one will slightly modify the other).
The Highback on these bindings can be locked or unlocked by the user, this is what allows them to be strapped on quickly, as swinging them fully open will allow you to place your feet inside. From there you can adjust it to your liking, whether it’s leaning forward or sitting upright.
Removing these is also easy, as you can remove your foot by opening it completely towards the back, and then closing them up once the Highback is sitting upright.
Splitboard Binding: Designed exclusively for splitboard snowboards, these bindings allow the rider to turn their board into pseudo skis in order to go (walk) uphill, and then strap them together to back into snowboard/ride mode.
The binding on these feature hinges at the toe portion of the baseplate, allowing the rider to raise their hell in a natural fashion. Alternatively, when it’s time to ride downhill, the heel locks down, functioning in the same manner as the average snowboard binding.
They’re also built for aggressive snowboarding, and you can find multiple adjustments throughout them, helping you perfect your style.
Burton’s Step-On Binding: Designed specifically by Burton, to facilitate the attachment of your boots to your binding. Back in the old days of snowboarding, step-in bindings were the easiest way to strap on to your board, but Burton said they could do better. Thanks to their ingenuity, they designed a lightweight, strapless binding that provides ample support and a tight response.
The way the system works is in conjunction with a specific type of boot that has “hooks” on the sides. These attach to the binding as you “step-on” to them, while still being adjustable enough to give you a secure sensation.
They’re modern, and a bit more expensive, but if you’re serious about snowboarding, you deserve to at least try them once.
2. Riding style
These are typically broken down into three categories:
- All-Mountain: For new riders as well as people whose board is suited for all-mountain ranges, these binders are versatile and typically come with a medium flex for that same reason.
- Freestyle: Lighter and more flexible than the others, these are suited for riders who want to push themselves to the limit; however, as with the boards they’re not the most stable.
- Freeride: A freestyling rider knows that ungroomed terrain equals more fun, these are stiffer binders, suited for more stability than any of the others, they’re strongest point is that they can handle rough snow with ease.
Knowing what type of terrain you’ll be tackling will make choosing these easier, but if you’re a beginner looking to learn, you’re better off going for the all-mountain bindings as they offer the highest level of versatility out of all of them. Leaving ample amounts of time to decide what type of boarder you’ll become.
3. Binding Compatibility
Now, not every binding is compatible with your snowboarding boots. Bindings can vary in sizes, and even fittings, and if you’re not careful, you’ll end up with improperly fitted ones. If your bindings are too small, they won’t secure properly. Too big, and they will adversely influence the overall responsiveness of the board. You need to find ones that match your boot sizes evenly, in order to make the most out of your day. One thing we always recommend is calling the manufacturer and providing them with information on your boot size, type, and board, with that, they’ll be able to give you all the advice you need on compatibility.
Sizing however, is not your only concern, as your board also features a mounting interface that might not be compatible with your binding.
These are as follows:
- Burton 3D: designed to work with burton boards, it features three circles in the shape of a triangle.
- Standard: The regular 4X4 or 2×4 mounting systems.
- Splitboard: The system used by splitboards.
- Channel: Versatile and customizable, can be used to fit any type of system, you also have the most variability and can easily be adjusted on the go.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do snowboard bindings come in children sizes?
Absolutely, they come in multiple sizes for both children and adults.
2. Why are there so many different types of bindings?
Similar to how boards have different flexes, cambers, and types for a variety of locations/parks so do snowboard binders. These work in conjunction with your personal style making it easier to enjoy your day.
3. Are snowboard bindings one size fit all?
No, you should definitely consult the manufacturer before making a purchase, and ask them about the bindings and their compatibility with your particular board and boot sizes.
4. What are the different types of mountings for bindings?
You have standard, Channel, and Burton 3-D. Knowing the differences between these will help you pick the correct binding for you. There is a particular type that is used for splitboards, but we only briefly touched upon them in our buyer’s guide.
5. Do bindings all work the same way?
Yes and no, while all bindings will essentially strap you to your board, they do have four different styles. Step-on snowboard bindings, which is the evolution of the step-in ones used by early skiers. The second is the Rear Entry Bindings, which are self-explanatory. Third, you’ll find the splitboard bindings. Lastly, you’ll have the strap snowboard bindings, the most commonly found type of bindings available. These are covered in our buyers guide.
6. Are bindings necessary?
Yes, yes they are. You cannot snowboard without them. Additionally, not only are they necessary, but having the right pair makes a huge difference. Your bindings will have an overall impact how you ride.
7. Are binders easy to install?
Early on, you’ll have a hard time figuring out what’s the most comfortable position for your feet as well as the distance and angles of their set-up. In fact, It’s said that installing bindings is a form of art because of how much effort it takes. But, once you’ve figured out your preference it will not be an issue, and you’ll understand perfectly how to set them up for yourself.
8. How Do I adjust and fit my bindings?
Properly adjusting your bindings is important. While different bindings can accommodate a substantial range of boot sizes, you’ll still need to modify them slightly in order to properly compensate for the differences in these. Thankfully, bindings usually bring their own set of tools, but if they don’t make sure you get one before heading out.
The biggest areas of concern are always the straps located on the toes and ankle. Ensure that these are centered over your boot in order to get equal pressure on both sides of the foot (i.e. the left side of the foot has the same as the right). This equalizes the energy distribution in your legs, and provides better response from your movements. Additionally, you’ll get less tired as your body will not have to compensate as much.
Normally, factory setting will not be enough to use them, and you’ll have to either lengthen or shorten them into a proper fit.
Strapping yourself properly to your board is not only a matter of safety, but also one of practicality. Certainly, any old pair of bindings will keep your snowboard attached to your feet, but snowboarding is more than staying close to your ride. It’s about catching air, speeding downhill, and feeling the rush of adrenaline as your shred the fresh powder.
Buying the right pair of snowboard bindings will ensure you can do all this and make the most out of your day. After all, they’re designed to match your style of riding. However, now that you’ve found the pair that’s most suited for you, it’s time to go out there and go have some fun.