Welcome to our best snowboard bindings page of the top rated and most popular bindings for snowboarding. Bindings are the performance link between your boots and your snowboard. Quality bindings are the interface that transfers all your movements down into your ride. If the lines of communication are open everything flows nicely, if they aren’t open bad things can happen.
The first stop on this run is a general discussion about the most important characteristics of a solid set of bindings. We share some basic info about getting the right bindings and how it pays dividends down the road. Following that, you can stop by the types of bindings section to see which best fits your riding style. Check out the selection guide park for the key features to look out for before hitting that buy button. Last but not least, is the review section where you can peruse the best snowboard bindings for both men and women currently available.
The Captain’s Orders: Buy Hassle-Free Snowboard Bindings
Arguably the most important aspect of snowboard bindings is a quality ratcheting system. The last thing you want to be doing is dorking around with your bindings for 15 minutes when your buddies have already took off down the run and left you behind. Sure some people will buy the bindings based on looks alone, then their 3rd trip up to the mountain they break a strap trying to tighten them up. Then they’re out a day plus the cost of a lift ticket while they go buy higher quality bindings that would have saved them all of that trouble in the first place. That’s why experts will say buying expensive bindings are a “cost-effective” investment. You’ll probably want to stay away from cheap snowboard bindings unless you are a greenhorn in which a budget pair of bindings starts to make a lot more sense.
Once you’ve identified a pair of bindings with a quick and easy binding system, you’re ready to get down to the specifics. A big factor that will help narrow things down is selecting the type of bindings you want based on your riding style. If you’re not sure, you may want to go with one of the best all mountain snowboard bindings. These types of bindings are like the jack of all trades, they don’t do one single thing extremely well but they can do it all decently. Truth be told, an experienced rider can make nearly any set of bindings work. However, by perfectly calibrating quality snowboard boots and bindings experienced riders are able to work magic and make their board do their bidding — creating a feeling of oneness with their board. Those who like to tinker with things will enjoy this part of board optimization.
Though we do highly encourage buying quality bindings there is an exception. For those brand new to snowboarding and fairly raw beginners, it doesn’t make sense to drop $300 on a shiny new pair of the latest 2016 snowboard bindings. The hard truth about snowboarding is that a lot of people never make it out of the learning stage. Most people and especially snowboarding gear manufacturers will never tell you that, they love making a killing on selling fancy gear to greenhorns. Snowboarding can be difficult to learn, especially if you don’t dedicate at least a few consecutive days to getting it down. Trusting your edge feels unnatural at first and it takes some time to get the right muscle memory down. The bottom line is falling over and over sucks. When guys on TV and YouTube are making it look easy, newcomers to the sport get quickly discouraged and give up. That is why in most cases, we recommend buying a less expensive beginner pair of bindings if you are new to the sport.
The fact that most bindings use a ratchet system, most sets will work for older kids and women. There are some distinct bindings marketed as “kids snowboard bindings” and “youth snowboard bindings” for young children that are competitive and looking for the best in performance.
9 Best Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
You’ve found the treasure. Here are the best snowboard bindings on the market. Our pages are updated regularly so you’re always viewing the freshest information and latest product selections. Oftentimes you can come across a top snowboard bindings sale from one of our partners, though the newest models probably won’t be discounted for a considerable amount of time. Amazon offers some pretty competitive prices year around but you can always go to a shop near you and do some price research.
|Burton Cartel Bindings||Highback: Single Component Baseplate. Flex Rating: 7.||Black|
|Burton Stiletto Bindings||High Back: Single Component Baseplate. Flex Rating 2.||Black-White/Purple|
|Flow Fuse GT Bindings||Highback: Aluminum Alloy Modback. Baseplate: Glass-Filled Nylon Rockered.||Black-Aqua|
|Flow Omni Bindings||Highback: Mod-Back. Baseplate: Glass Filled Nylon Rockered. Flex Rating: 6.||Gunmetal|
|K2 Hurrithane Bindings||Highback: Tweekback. Flex Rating: 6.||6 Color Options|
|Flux DS Bindings||Highback: Ultima Wing. Flex Rating: 5.||Over 25 Color Options|
|Salomon District Bindings||Highback: District. Baseplate: ShadowFit.||Army Green/Black-Red|
|Ride Rodeo Bindings||Highback: Stealth. Flex Rating: 5.||6 Color Options|
|Union Contact Pro Men's Snowboard Bindings||Highback: Flex. Flex Rating: 4.||Titanium|
The Burton name is synonymous with snowboarding. Many people think of the Burton snowboard bindings line as the gold standard. Their two main models of bindings (Genesis and Cartel) are extremely popular. The cartels are favored by many as the best all mountain snowboard bindings. They feature a medium stiffness (7/10), with a rock solid strap in ratchet system.
If you are an all mountain rider and enjoy exploring the backcountry as well as hitting the parks these will serve you well. Extra padding helps with impact absorption and the firm straps add to the responsiveness. The Burton Genesis Bindings are another favorite of Burton fans and they keep getting better every year. The Genesis bindings offer a new two-piece hammock style highback that has performed very well on all areas of downhill: air and wall hits, early morning pow slashes, and ripping your favorite cat tracks.
For women, the Lexa and Stiletto bindings from Burton are exceptional. With hardy highbacks and grippy toe straps these are formidable bindings for serious riders. The Malavita bindings have garnered massive popularity lately and are a contender for the best women’s snowboard bindings.
The king of rear entry bindings, Flow is credited for coming up with that design. The Flow Fuse GT is their best rear entry model to date. All you have to do is bend the highback, slip your foot in, and then lock your feet in. The last step is to turn around and laugh at your buddies who are still sitting in the snow ratcheting away. It is pretty convenient, especially when trying to get a bunch of rounds in on shorter runs.
The Flow Fuse GT’s rear entry system is top of the line. You don’t sacrifice much performance and the medium stiff flex performs well in most situations. Definitely one of the best rear entry bindings out there.
Gals out there will enjoy the Flow Omni Bindings that offers more of a freestyle flex. You find the same Active Strap tech that allows for quick entry. The Omnis are easily one of the best women’s snowboard bindings with rear entry available.
The K2 snowboard bindings lineup this season has sold a lot of boarders on their brand. K2 has finally made their way into the picture of the best snowboarding bindings. The K2 Liens are a great middle ground pair of bindings, but we really dig their freestyle bindings for park riding. Both the K2 Lien FS and the K2 Hurrithane offer legit tweakability taking flex to a whole new level. The Hurrithane’s EVA footbed helps take the edge off high impact landings. We like the K2 Hurrithanes and they are arguably the best park bindings available right now.
The Flux DS 2016 Bindings are an awesome middle ground with a 5/10 flex. They’ve got the butterability of a softer flex and a solid response time much like a stiffer set of bindings. These Flux bindings are entirely tool-less (besides the baseplate disc) so you can pretty much adjust anything on the fly. The Ultima Wing highback and honeycomb ankle strap round out this pair of bindings nicely.
Other Popular Options:
9. Union Contact Pro Men’s Snowboard Bindings
Types of Snowboard Bindings
For all intents and purposes there are four main kinds of snowboard bindings. A pair of bindings will usually find a place under one of these umbrella categories:
The steep and deep calls for a stiff pair of bindings that will hold up to extreme speeds and responsive, quick energy transfers. Freeride bindings are built for going fast, deep powder, and challenging terrain. You don’t want to be caught out on an Alaskan mountain face with soft flexing highbacks, good luck making it down in one piece.
Freestyle (Park) Bindings
The ideal match for riders who spend most their time in the terrain park laying down tricks. Freestyle snowboard bindings usually have a very soft flex. This flex is more forgiving of rider error making for easier landings and the ability to tweak grabs and the like. Basically, mounting thick, stiff carbon fiber beasts onto a soft, buttery board isn’t going to be a good match for optimal park riding.
For the rider who wants to do a little bit of everything, all mountain snowboard bindings are ideal. Groomed runs, powder, park, etc. these bindings will serve well. The key characteristic of all mountain bindings is that they usually have medium flex for all-purpose use.
Technically this isn’t a category in its own right, but it is an important distinction to make. Beginner bindings usually fall into the multipurpose all-mountain category and are generally more affordable. This helps those new to the sport figure out what they like best whether it be speed or park (or if they can even learn and enjoy boarding in the first place) before they end up dropping a grand on specialized gear.
Selection Guide: What to Look for in the Right Bindings for You
Follow these general tips and you’ll be sure to get off on the right foot when making a selection. For install tips, check out REI.com’s page.
- Flex: Many manufacturers will give their bindings a flex rating. The score ranges from 1 to 10, 10 being the stiffest and 1 being the softest. Though flex and feel will ultimately vary from binding to binding this is a good approximate number to go by. Mellow park riders will enjoy the feel and tweak of softer flexes while those chasing pro lines or riding icy superpipes will desire the instant response from stiffer bindings.
- Baseplate: Hand-in-hand with flex is the baseplate which is the main connecting part between the binding and the snowboard. Baseplates are constructed using a variety of materials offering different strength to flex ratios.
- Butter: A board’s butter ability is basically how much flex it allows. This enables the boarder to do flatland snowboarding tricks. A butter is toe presses or heel presses followed by spinning. If you’re trying to do these tricks you want soft flex bindings to match that buttery board.
- Materials: More advanced materials generally are lighter-weight and lead to enhanced performance. Lower priced bindings will get the job done, but the highback and baseplate probably won’t be as responsive and long term durability may be compromised. Always look for quality straps and ratchets, if there’s complaints about them breaking easily you don’t want to touch them with a 10 foot pole.
- Easy Entry: In the next section we talk about some of the quick entry bindings and how they work. The most popular design is rear entry bindings where you slip your feet in, fold up the highback and then you’re good for takeoff.
- Boot Support & Padding: Generous cushioning and robust support straps equates to reduced vibration and a smoother ride. Especially if you like to chase big booters, the right amount of padding and boot combination will help reduce impact to your joints.
Strap-In Bindings vs. Rear Entry Snowboard Bindings vs. Step in Snowboard Bindings
Strap in bindings are the traditional snowboard binding and the most common type. They typically feature two straps with one across the ankle and one above or across the toe. There are boarders who prefer a strap across the toe (toe strap bindings) while others prefer over the toe. In the end, there isn’t a notable performance difference in these toe strap designs. Some pro’s won’t use anything but strap ins because they argue they these traditional bindings offer the best in support and security. They certainly anchor your feet to your snowboard. The downside is that oftentimes you’ll have to sit down in the snow before each run and ratchet them tight.
Rear entry bindings are also known as speed entry bindings. Flow was the first manufacturer to come up with this design so that’s why a lot of the time you’ll see people toss around Flow bindings in a discuss about rear entry bindings. However, now there are other companies that manufacturer these types of bindings not just Flow. Basically these bindings feature hinged highbacks that drop down much like a drawbridge. Then you can step into the binding for quick access in and out. These types of bindings get points for quick access, no more making skiier friends wait on you. The downside is that you may sacrifice a little performance for the convenience. Rear entry snowboard bindings also have been plagued by issues with poor design such as things breaking often, being a pain in the ass to set up or adjust, and latches coming undone and falling off too easy. That being said, over the last couple years designs have got much better.
Step in bindings aka clickers were a short lived alternative to traditional bindings. A lot of people get step in snowboard bindings confused with rear entry bindings but they are not the same. Snowboard step in bindings are matched with step in boots which have a locking mechanism on their sole that is compatible with that particular step in binding. You step in and the boot locks into place with a click and you’re off. That clicking sound is why many mountain goers took to calling them clickers.