Best Snowboard Bindings 2021 (Buyer’s Guide)

Snowboard Bindings

Published: July 14, 2021

Our list of the best snowboard bindings will surely get you buckled up and help you fully optimize your time on the slopes.

Snowboard bindings are just as important as the rest of your equipment, but they are somewhat overlooked. They transfer your energy to the board and return it if need be. They are a direct link to your board and a key component for maximizing control, comfort, and precision. It can be challenging to choose which snowboard binding is best for you and choosing the wrong one can literally ruin your day. So, read on and let us help you decide which snowboard binding best matches your board and your abilities in order to enhance your riding experience.

Best snowboard bindings: Our quick answers

Go to Comparison Table

Best overall

1. Union Atlas

Union Atlas

Click to view on amazon.com.

Flex: Stiff

Binding Style: Strap

Ability Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Best Use: All Mountain-Freeride

The Union Binding Company has been around since 2005 and is dedicated to making bindings for snowboarding with performance, technology, durability, and next-level comfort.

What we like about the Union Atlas snowboard binding is that it is much more damp compared to its older version and almost every part is interchangeable. It weighs just around 2 lbs., which is considered lightweight, and has a softer high back flex, which is good if you get calf bite. The binding integrates with almost any suggested size of boot. Its adjustable gas pedal and heel loop allow almost every boot to fit, as long as it is in the range of the suggested matching size. This is also one of the best options if getting your boot centered in your binding is a priority. It features a high-back rotation, forward lean, and tool-less straps, which are to be expected on a good snowboarding binding. Furthermore, the binding’s new disc has a lot of sliding room so you can turn it sideways and get almost any stance width. Its ankle straps are a little softer and mold to your boot on a forward flex without adding any pressure. The ratchet system on the Atlas is just as smooth as on its older version, and with its damper base plate, it can hold a more aggressive turn. The Union Atla’s full-size disc makes the board feel stiffer underfoot but absorbs an incredible amount of chatter due to its base plate’s rubber-like bottom.

What we do not like about the Union Atlas is that it does not butter that easily and it will require a little more effort to do so. It allows for a smooth turn initiation that is however not as sharp as on the previous version. Overall, this union snowboard binding is very responsive and well-rounded and is one of the best choices, especially for intermediate and advanced riders.


 

Best for Kids

2. 5th Element Stealth

5th Element Stealth

Click to view on amazon.com.

Flex: Very Soft

Binding Style: Strap

Ability Level: Beginner-Intermediate

Best Use:All mountain-Freestyle

The 5th Element Stealth kid’s snowboard binding is a good value option because it is designed to grow with your kid and help them progress.

What we like about the 5th Element Stealth is that it is perfect for kids who are just starting and will help them progress. It is safe and secure due to its convertible toe strap that can fit any boot and a tool-less ankle strap that can be easily adjusted. It also comes with EVA foam padding on the hi-back and footbed to provide pure comfort. This base plate and high back surround the foot comfortably and will allow kids to have a smooth and steady ride while also reducing vibrations and chatter. Its oversized ratchets allow for an easy and quick strap in and out. The Stealth kids snowboard bindings have a soft flex, making them very forgiving and allowing room for error, which is ideal for progression.

What we do not like about the 5th Element Stealth kids snowboard binding is that it is not responsive enough for kids with advanced skills. But overall, this is a good and affordable first binding option, which will help kids learn and progress toward the next level.


 

3. Burton Grom

Burton Grom

Click to view on amazon.com.

Flex: Soft

Binding Style: Strap

Ability Level: Beginner-Intermediate

Best Use: All mountain

The Burton Grom are some of the best kids’ snowboard bindings on the market and are specifically made for little shredders on the mountain.

What we like about the Burton Grom is that it’s a very well-built binding that has a soft flex rating, which is very comfortable and forgiving, thus making it perfect for young riders. It features a single, lightweight, and extremely durable component polycarbonate base plate that will allow for playful and relaxed riding. It can also be easily attached to any board. Its one-piece Grom high back is a nice feature that makes the binding ultra-lightweight. It is equipped with a single strap with Ergo Shaped Easy Entry Ratchet Tongue and oversized, kid-friendly Smack-It Ratchet with Smooth Glide Buckles. These buckles are glove-friendly so your kids can keep their hands warm while strapping in.

What we do not like about the Burton Grom kids snowboard binding is that it is not suitable for young shredders with advanced skills. But overall, the bindings are durably designed, lightweight, and represent one of the top choices for kids.


 

4. Flow Micron Youth

Flow Micron Youth

Click to view on amazon.com.

Flex: Medium

Binding Style: Rear-Entry, Strap

Ability Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Best Use: All mountain

The Flow Micron Youth snowboard binding is another top choice for kids’ bindings that will surely encourage them to improve and enjoy their time on the mountain.

What we like about the Flow Micron Youth is that it provides a good balance of support and comfort, making it versatile for any terrains. Its AXIS-series base plate is rockered glass-filled with an asymmetrical design, which maximizes energy transfer. The base plate is also equipped with a high-tensile steel cable that creates a structural triangle between the base plate and high back for a quick and easy efficient turn. Its high back is lightweight and supportive and provides a perfect fit that molds into the boot and a more forgiving lateral flex. The Flow Micron Youth also features Fusion one-piece power straps that are 3D shaped for a great fit and will cover a large area of the foot to provide more comfort and control. Fusion Exo Frame straps allow the binding to have a direct connection over the ankle and toe areas and hold the boot firmly in place. Furthermore, its Locking Slap Ratchet buckles will allow kids to easily get in and out of the bindings. Whether speed entry or side entry, like a dual strap, they will lock and secure the foot strap tightly.

What we do not like about the Flow Micron Youth snowboard bindings is that it is more suitable for kids who are true beginners rather than kids who already have experience with snowboarding. Overall, the Flow Micron is a good option if you are looking for a comfortable and highly adjustable binding that will help and guide kids as they progress.


 

Best for Women

5. Burton Lexa X

Burton Lexa X

Click to view on amazon.com.

Flex: Stiff

Binding Style: Strap

Ability Level: Advanced-Expert

Best Use: All mountains

The Burton Lexa X is the newest iteration of the Lexa model and is one of the best snowboard bindings and a favorite among women.

What we like about the Burton Lexa X is that it now has stiffer high backs and a Heel Hammock. This sits in line with the heel cup, and the grippy surface hugs the back of your boot with a claw-like grip. It works as a suspension system and eliminates any loss of response as it moves with your boot instead of just rubbing against it. The Lexa X features Burton’s Double Take Buckles in its toe and heel to be able to speed up the tightening process and to ensure that they will still lock in if one side ever ices up. Its straps are lightweight and supple, which causes them to wrap around the boot to avoid any hotspots over the foot. The upgraded Supergrip Capstrap 2.0 also wraps around the front of the boots with a grippy rubber inside to offer extra traction. The bindings offer more support on the medial side due to their ergonomically designed asymmetric high backs that follow the silhouette of your leg. They can also be rotated to match your individual specifications. The B3 gel in the Lexa X bindings makes it withstand repeated impacts without breaking or hardening up in cold temperatures. This Burton snowboard binding will keep experienced riders on their toes and will give back whatever they put into it.

What we do not like about Burton’s Lexa X is that it is not ideal for novice riders because it has a firmer flex that will relay movement easily. With that, it is more suitable for advanced to expert riders and will give them optimum snow performance and deliver a more aggressive ride.


 

6. Union Juliet

Union Juliet

Click to view on amazon.com.

Flex: Medium

Binding Style: Strap

Ability Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Best Use: All mountains

The Union Juliet snowboard binding for women is a good choice for all-mountain riding and combines great features for a more aggressive board.

What we like about the Union Juliet binding is that it is versatile and will let you have fun in all parts of the mountain. It features durable materials in its base plate, which consist of Duraflex that was engineered to have a consistent flex in a wide range of cold temperatures. This feature is also exclusive to Union for its snowsport products. It also has multi-density EVA Thermoformed bushings and extruded 3D Aluminum heel cups that will offer optimum heel hold and minimize drag. Its ExoFrame ankle strap allows for rapid response and its 1.0 Hexgrip toe strap will keep you locked-in and on point. The buckles of the Union Juliet are made of aluminum and have a fast in and out mechanism, which is superior to most binding buckles on the market. Additional features include Grade 8.8 hardware, which is the strongest steel available on the market to deliver a strong and reliable snowboard binding.

What we do not like about the Union Juliet snowboard binding is that its footbed is a bit hard to lift to adjust the bindings and a bit difficult to install. But overall, these Union snowboard bindings will give you a nice, medium response and have good dampness for all-mountain riding. These bindings are adjustable and can fit a variety of snowboarding styles.


 

7. K2 Cassette

K2 Cassette

Click to view on amazon.com.

Flex: Soft

Binding Style: Strap

Ability Level: Beginner-Intermediate

Best Use: All mountains

The K2 Cassette are a good choice for those who are just starting out, as well as intermediate riders. This reliable, predictable binding is available at a good price.

What we like about the K2 Cassette snowboard binding is that it offers the perfect combination of comfort and control. It has a soft flex rating. Plus, its polycarbonate base plate consists of A-Line Chassis, which is K2’s female-specific and is made in a one-piece design for a more lightweight performance, power, and comfort. It also comes with tool-less adjustment for a more customized fit. Furthermore, its 3-degree canted footbed will provide more support and reduce fatigue, thus allowing you to ride longer and stronger.

This model also has a polycarbonate all-mountain high back that is equipped with a forward lean adjuster and is shaped asymmetrically. Its Custom Caddi ankle straps feature durable PU laminates, while its Perfect Fit toe straps are designed to fit any boot toe shape and hold well. Finally, the K2 Cassette’s buckles feature a wider and tapered ladder opening that will allow for easier entry.

What we do not like about the K2 Cassette is that it does not offer any high-end feature, which makes it a less ideal binding for riders with advanced skills. However, for those looking for a binding that is flexible, supportive, and that will suit beginners and intermediate, this is a good value option.


 

Best for Men


8. Burton Cartel X

Burton Cartel X

Click to view on amazon.com.

Flex: Stiff

Binding Style: Strap

Ability Level: Advanced-Expert

Best Use: All mountain

The Burton Cartel X is the newest iteration of previous models and is a great choice for riders with advanced to expert skills.

What we like about the Cartel X is that it is more in the medium-stiff flex category, which helps with quick maneuvers at high speed and is great for all-mountain carving, powerful free riding, and charging through the park. It’s got a minimal flex and twist out of its high backs. In terms of adjustability, you can center the boot pretty well with the use of the disc inserts and the adjustable gas pedal. Besides, its high back rotation is exceptional and makes it easier for riders with big calves and even features. It also lines up well with the heel side edge for symmetrical responsiveness. Its straps have a hybrid screw and tool-less adjustability so that you can adjust it either way. The Cartel X feature a super comfortable ankle strap that wraps well around the boots, which makes it a supportive semi-locked-in binding. Its toe strap will also pull you well into the high back. The binding has a smooth continuous response that will enable you to turn a board well. It also does a great job in helping you butter and allows the board to flex easier underfoot. Furthermore, it absorbs shocks very well and is compatible with all major mounting systems.

What we do not like about Burton Cartel X is that it may give potential toe strap ratchet issues and it has no stance width adjustability for non-EST boards. Other than these, the Cartel X are some of Burton’s best bindings. They feel good underfoot and are a great option for those looking for responsive bindings.


 

9. Jones Mercury

Jones Mercury

Click to view on amazon.com.

Flex: Stiff

Binding Style: Strap

Ability Level: Advanced-Expert

Best Use: All mountain-Freestyle

The Jones Mercury also made it to our list of the best snowboard bindings because they are versatile and designed for superior performance.

What we like about the Jones Mercury is that this model’s base plate is well-built with the components of the NOW Skate technology, designed to mimic the function of a skateboard truck. Its Kingpin is made from stainless steel and creates a fulcrum that maximizes energy transfer and board response. The base plate also features Hanger 2.0 that pivots on the Kingpin, allowing for a faster edge-to-edge energy transfer. Plus, its swappable bushings can be switched from surf mode to freeride mode for a customized response and dampening. Besides, its post is made of nylon and recycled carbon, making it super light and durable, and attaches the hanger to the kingpin. The binding’s Control Flex high back is designed for balanced response and flex and has a tool-less forward lean adjustment.

This model features the Flip-It ankle strap technology, which is moderately sized and is built around a core for solid support and foam wrap for even pressure distribution and lateral flexibility. The 3D Auxtech toe straps are low-profile and grippy and will stretch to fit any boot shape. Additionally, its spider web design makes it comfortable and durable. The bindings also feature bombproof buckles made from aircraft-grade, ultra-strong levers, and springs. The triple-action ratchet design helps increase the speed of entry and release. Furthermore, the Jones Mercury are excellently damp and are great to use off-piste or on uneven terrains.

What we do not like about the Jones Mercury snowboard bindings is that they lack binding-to-boot adjustability and stance width adjustability. But overall, they’re pretty smooth and will give you a nice, stable, smooth, straight ride. They also eliminate any accidental micro-adjustments and the dampness will allow you to keep your edge when turning. They may not be bindings for everyone, but some will absolutely love them.


 

10. Burton Malavita

Burton Malavita

Click to view on amazon.com.

Flex: Medium

Binding Style: Strap

Ability Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Best Use: Freestyle

The Burton Malavita are a great investment for a solid, all-rounder type of snowboard bindings. They are high-end freestyle bindings that are also good for using all around the mountain.

What we like about the Burton Malavita is this model’s versatile, all-mountain performance. It can handle speed very well and it is pretty light. It has a stiff high back and is very responsive. Plus, it has an adjustable gas pedal that will help the binding match with your toes or boot. Its high-back rotation helps line up your high back to the heel side edge and reduces calf bite. The binding also offers tool-less adjustability for the toe and ankle strap, as well as for the forward lean. You will also have infinite stance width adjustability if you are using Endeavor’s, Burton’s, or some Signal’s boards. Furthermore, the Malavita provides good boot support with its ankle strap, while allowing for good freedom of movement. It has a very smooth, consistent, medium response and is great for buttering. Plus, it has a very comfortable footbed and it absorbs shock really well.

What we do not like about the Burton Malavita snowboard binding is that it has no stance width adjustability for non-Burton Channel boards, and you may experience some toe strap ratchet issues. But overall, the Malavita is a smooth turning binding that will allow most boards to easily flex underfoot. It will help in easy buttering and provides nice, smooth response.


 

Best for Beginners

11. Union Rosa

Union Rosa

Click to view on amazon.com.

Flex: Medium

Binding Style: Strap

Ability Level: Beginner-Intermediate

Best Use: All mountain

The Union Rosa snowboard bindings are designed to be comfortable, suitable for beginners and intermediate riders, and capable for all-mountain riding.

What we like about the Union Rosa is that this model is a solid entry-level binding that will help you progress and become a more competent rider. Its base plate and high back consist of a Duraflex material engineered to maintain a consistent flex. Its extruded 3D aluminum heel cups are designed for maximum heel hold and minimized drag, while the Thermoformed EVA bushing can absorb shocks pretty well, which will save your heels and promote an even board flex. Besides, its Forma Ankle Strap is comfortable and allows for strength and rapid response on the outside, while the 1.0 Ultragrip toe strap offers multi-positional options and an anti-slip material to lock you in and on point. Furthermore, its aluminum buckles enable a fast in and out mechanism. Plus, this model has a nice soft flex that will offer a more responsive ride and will help you make transitions from edge-to-edge smoother.

What we do not like about the Union Rosa snowboard bindings is that the ankle strap can’t really adjust up or down, unlike other bindings. This might be an issue for some. Other than that, they’re still good bindings, especially for beginners and intermediates. They provide moderate boot support, a nice soft flex, and a really good response.


 

12. Ride C-2

 

Ride C-2

Click to view on amazon.com.

Flex: Soft

Binding Style: Strap

Ability Level: Beginner-Intermediate

Best Use: All mountain-Freestyle

The Ride C-2 have the mellowest flex among Ride’s revamped bindings lineup this year. They are perfect for beginners and riders who just like to take it easy.

What we like about the Ride C-2 snowboard bindings is that they offer easy ride-ability and decent quality. This model has a soft flex rating, and its base plate consists of a lightweight C-Series composite chassis. In addition, it has a C-Series Diecut basepad, a canted footbed, and plastic discs. Its traditional nylon high back offers a predictable combination of response and comfort while being forgiving. The Ride C-2 also features a one-piece ankle strap, a minimalist toe strap, and a Linkage ratchet designed to improve the durability of the ladder and eliminate ratchet wag for a smoother user experience.

What we do not like about the Ride C-2 is that they lack overall adjustability, resulting in a low score regarding ankle support. Overall, these snowboard bindings are adequate enough and will offer a cruise-control power transfer, which is perfect for beginners.


 

13. Union Flite Pro

Union Flite Pro

Click to view on amazon.com.

Flex: Soft

Binding Style: Strap

Ability Level: Beginner-Intermediate

Best Use: All mountain-Freestyle

The Union Flite Pro snowboard bindings are great for those who are just starting to learn a few tricks and are also suitable for playful freestyle riding.

What we like about the Union Flite Pro is that it is lightweight and provides a pretty good board feel. Its base plate consists of a Duraflex material, extruded 3D aluminum heel cups, and Thermoformed EVA bushings. Its padding is comfortable and helps absorb shock. The binding has 1.0 Ultragrip toe strap that will keep you locked-in and on point. Besides, the Forma ankle strap is a nice upgrade and is designed to produce strength and quick response on the outside. The Union Flite Pro bindings are nice and maneuverable when riding at slow speeds. It also has a tool-less forward lean adjustability. Plus, the gas pedal, the toe strap position and length, and the ankle strap length are also adjustable.

What we do not like about the Union Flite Pro snowboard bindings is that they have no ankle strap position option, and the ankle and toe strap length adjustments are not tool-less. Besides all that, the bindings are nice and maneuverable when riding at slow speeds, which is good for beginners. They also have an adequate amount of padding in the footbed, which is good when you are learning jumps and tricks.


 

Best Budget

14. Union STR

 

Union STR

Click to view on amazon.com.

Flex: Medium

Binding Style: Strap

Ability Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Best Use: All mountain

The Union STR are great for those looking for low-cost bindings with a slightly stiffer flex that provide a lot more than most affordable bindings.

What we like about the Union STR is that it is a quality binding with a pretty good response and performance that you don’t typically get at this price. Its high back flex is pretty adequate, twists well, and is made with a Duraflex material for maintaining a consistent flex in cold temperatures. It has a decent high back rotation and an adjustable heel loop, making it a lot better than some higher-end Union bindings. It also has new washers in its heel loop that don’t come loose, so you wouldn’t have to worry about tightening them every 5 days or so. The bindings will offer you more stance width adjustability due to the big channel that runs all the way through the disc. Plus, they have a very supportive, light ankle strap and a comfortable toe strap that reduces any pressure points. Furthermore, the Union STR is best paired with a board that is easy-turning and easy to butter. Its ratchet system is very smooth and easy to get on and off, and the soft foam in its heel does a great job at absorbing shocks at low speeds.

What we do not like about the Union STR, however, is that the gas pedal is fixed, which means that it is not adjustable. Plus, the bindings lack responsiveness when initiating a turn. All in all, the Union STR are a good value option and are more suitable for those who are not into extreme riding.


 

15. Burton Step On

Burton Step On

Click to view on amazon.com.

Flex: Medium

Binding Style: Step-on

Ability Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Best Use: All mountain

The Burton Step On bindings combine great features for your board that will make your all-mountain styling a lot easier.

What we like about the Burton Step On is that this model is super easy to put on and off, is really responsive, and pretty light. Plus, its high back flex has a really good twist and allows for quicker heel edge turns. Being locked into the high back gives a pretty good locked-in feel and support. Besides, it has no ratchets, which is why it is easier to put on and off by just stepping in and clicking it in place. Then, you can step out by just flipping a lever. When the boot is locked into the high back, it seems to really up the response, allowing for smooth turn initiation and carving. It also helps you butter a lot more easily and is great for absorbing shocks. In terms of construction, the base plate consists of nylon composite for more response and playfulness; the Re:Flex binding system that offers more flex, feel, and cushioning; and the Re:flex FullBED cushioning system that offers comfort underfoot while minimizing fatigue.

What we do not like about the Burton Step On snowboard binding is that it is only compatible with Burton Step On Boots and it takes time to get used to its accessibility, especially when the boot is stuck to the high back. Overall, the Burton Step On is great for those looking for a binding that has the easiest way to get in and out of, and will offer you a smooth, shock-free ride.


 

16. Salomon Spell

Salomon Spell

Click to view on amazon.com.

Binding Style: Strap

Ability Level: Beginner-Intermediate

Best Use: All mountain-Freestyle-Park

The last item on our list of affordable snowboard bindings is the Salomon Spell. It is a perfect entry-level binding that delivers a fantastic ride.

What we like about the Salomon Spell is that it is ergonomically shaped, nicely padded, and easy-flexing. Plus, its base plate is durable and easy to fit, as it is made of 30% composite, making it more rigid than most entry-level bindings. Besides, this model has an adjustable toe ramp for the best possible transmission on toe edge, an integrated mounting system for keeping the disc screw in place while you adjust the bindings or when swapping out boards. It also comes with EVA pads that are strategically placed for increased comfort in any conditions, a universal disc that is compatible with all mounting systems, and a free frame high back that is lightweight and ergonomically shaped to give your boots and bindings the best possible fit. Furthermore, it features 3D Prime ankle straps to create an even and seamless contact with your boot, and a lock-in toe strap that grips your boot to secure your set up.

What we do not like about the Salomon Spell is that they are not suitable for extreme riding, but rather for riders who are new to the sport. Overall, it’s a perfect value choice for those who want to develop their riding skills. It’s comfortable, versatile, and user-friendly.


Best snowboard bindings: Comparison table

FotoSnowboard Bindings Flex Binding Style Ability Level Best Use
Union Atlas

1. Union Atlas

StiffStrapIntermediate-AdvancedAll Mountain-Freeride
5th Element Stealth

2. 5th Element Stealth

Very SoftStrapBeginner-IntermediateAll mountain-Freestyle
Burton Grom

3. Burton Grom

SoftStrapBeginner-IntermediateAll mountain
Flow Micron Youth

4. Flow Micron Youth

MediumRear-Entry, StrapIntermediate-AdvancedAll mountain
Burton Lexa X

5. Burton Lexa X

StiffStrapAdvanced-ExpertAll mountains
Union Juliet

6. Union Juliet

MediumStrapIntermediate-AdvancedAll mountains
K2 Cassette

7. K2 Cassette

SoftStrapBeginner-IntermediateAll mountains
Burton Cartel X

8. Burton Cartel X

StiffStrapAdvanced-ExpertAll mountain
Jones Mercury

9. Jones Mercury

StiffStrapAdvanced-ExpertAll mountain-Freestyle
Burton Malavita

10. Burton Malavita

MediumStrapIntermediate-AdvancedFreestyle
Union Rosa

11. Union Rosa

MediumStrapBeginner-IntermediateAll mountain
Ride C-2

12. Ride C-2

SoftStrapBeginner-IntermediateAll mountain-Freestyle
Union Flite Pro

13. Union Flite Pro

SoftStrapBeginner-IntermediateAll mountain-Freestyle
Union STR

14. Union STR

MediumStrapIntermediate-AdvancedAll mountain
Burton Step On

15. Burton Step On

MediumStep-onIntermediate-AdvancedAll mountain
Salomon Spell

16. Salomon Spell

SoftStrapBeginner-IntermediateAll mountain-Freestyle-Park

 

FAQs

Do snowboard bindings matter?

Bindings are just as important as the rest of your equipment. They transfer energy to your board and maximize control, comfort, and precision. Bindings matter because they let you control the board. They securely connect your boots to your board, so that you can control it and make your riding experience better. They may be one of the more overlooked parts of a setup, but they do a pretty important job, especially if they are perfectly matched with your board.

 

How long do snowboard bindings last?

Snowboard bindings should last between 50 and 100 days and can last years if they are well taken care of. To get the most out of your binding, you should add some adhesive solution to its metal screws to prevent them from loosening and corroding. Bindings with plastic, foam, and rubber are more subject to disintegration or daily wear and tear. Thus, it is important that you choose durable bindings with quality construction and materials, and that feature components that can be easily replaced to be able to use them longer.

 

Buying guide

To help you further narrow down your choices, we’ve listed some important factors that you should consider when looking for good snowboard bindings.


Riding style

It is important that you find snowboard bindings that match your riding style. For the best results, you have to make sure that your bindings’ flex closely matches the flex of your boots.

 

Park or freestyle: Best used for laying down tricks, jumps, spins, and for those who spend most of their time in the terrain park. These freestyle bindings have a softer flex that will leave more room for error, will allow easier landings, and will provide the ability to tweak grabs.

All-mountain: Best used for powder, groomed run, the park, and a little of everything. These snowboard bindings come with a medium flex for an all-purpose use.

Freeride: Best for backcountry and sidecountry terrains. They have a stiffer flex to allow for a better response and energy transfer to the board for high speeds and the extreme.

Powder: These bindings are stiffer to allow for greater control, especially on wider, longer boards that are able to float better in deep powder.

Flex rating

A rating that ranges from 1-10 is usually used by most manufacturers. 1 is the softest, while 10 is the stiffest. A 1-2 rating corresponds to a soft flex, 3-5 to a medium, 6-8 rating to a stiff, and a 9-10 rating corresponds to a very stiff flex. These flex ratings and feel may vary from binding to binding.

Types of snowboard bindings

Strap bindings: These are the most usual type of snowboard bindings and feature straps that ratchet down to secure your boots in place and provide multiple adjustment options, but the high backs don’t move. They are easy to use, responsive, and secure, and have been the standard for many years.

Rear-entry bindings: These bindings have a reinforced high back and a single strap at the toe. They also have a reclining high back to allow for a quick and easy in-and-out. These bindings are often heavier than strap bindings and are suitable for soft and firm-flexing boots.

Step-on bindings: They’re manufactured by the Burton Snowboarding Company to allow for the quickest in and out of the boots by just sliding in and clicking your heel into place. They only suit for Burton Step-On boots.

Snowboard bindings’ components

Buckles: The buckles are for securely closing your binding. Buckles are super handy and easy to use thanks to a ratchet system on a ladder strap. Mostly, you just need a few clicks to get a secure fit on your boots. Buckles are made from different materials and may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Low-end bindings are usually made with plastic buckles, which are lightweight, while high-end buckles consist of aluminum or even magnesium buckles to offer the best strength-to-weight ratio.

High back: This is the vertical plate just behind your lower calf. It provides support throughout the turns and transfers your energy to the board. This part is available in different materials, and you’ll find a variety of heights, flexes, and shapes as well. Generally, shorter and/or softer high backs suit freestylers or beginners best because they offer more mobility and make the ride more playful and forgiving. Meanwhile, taller and stiffer high backs best suit freeriders or advanced riders because they deliver more control, precision, and reactivity. You can always choose the feature that you prefer.

Heel cup: These are the metal or plastic loops at the base of the high back, but are not connected to it. On some bindings, heel cups come as an extension of the chassis. On others, the heel cup is an actual component that can be adjusted forward and backward for a more customized fit. It is best that the heel of your boot fits in nice and snug.

Chassis: This may be regarded as the soul of your binding, the main piece, and what establishes a direct connection with the board. This is also what we call “base plates”. They come in a variety of materials, like regular plastic, or aluminum and other alloys. Their major function is to transfer power to the board with speed and accuracy. Plus, they can also absorb impacts, shocks, and vibrations caused by landings, terrain changes, or higher speed. They can alter the board’s flex a little and are strong enough to withstand a lot of stress all day.

Footbed: This is a part of the chassis. This is where your foot lies. It is usually padded with EVA foam but you can always find other dampening systems, like air cushioning. Some bindings have a footbed and are canted, which means that they are slightly tilted inward to create a better ankle-knee-hip alignment. It helps reduce stress on your joints and minimize fatigue. Footbeds also increase comfort and feel.

Straps: In most cases, a snowboard binding features two straps, the toe strap and the ankle strap. Ankle straps loop around your ankle to maintain your boot in position and transfer the energy of your movement to the chassis. High-end straps are usually padded and designed to reduce pressure points and possible foot pain. However, toe straps may differ from manufacturer to manufacturer.

traditional toe strap goes over your toes and secures your boot on the footbed. Toe straps are pretty basic and are less used by riders nowadays.

cap strap offers a more secure grip on the boot. It wraps the toe box in front of the boot, and then pushes it against the heel cup.

Some bindings only feature one massive strap instead of two. They cover the boot and offer a snug and strong hold. This feature is usually found on rear-entry bindings.

Finally, a hybrid toe strap is a mix of both and can be used as a traditional toe strap or as a cap strap. It is also called convertible strap.

Snowboard boot and binding compatibility

Bindings come in different, but generic sizes — from small to large. It is important to have the right size of bindings for your boots, which is why you always have to check the manufacturer’s size chart to see what bindings suit your needs.

Your boots shouldn’t hang overly off the bindings, but the straps should not be painfully tightened or have leftover slack.

A properly fitting binding should be allow the boot to flex and not sway. If you have comfortable boots and have bindings that securely grip to it with no extra play, then you have found a good match.

Snowboard bindings also come with different mounting options and hole patterns on snowboards. Most of these patterns are compatible but it is always best to make sure. Most brands these days have universal discs and make multiple discs to match different types of mounting holes. So, the best thing to do is check with the manufacturer.

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