Best Snowboard Bindings from the Top Brands Reviewed

Just because snowboarding is a winter sport doesn’t mean you can’t do snowboard related activities all year long; like buying updated equipment. Until powder hits the slopes again, you can start shopping for your next season’s gear, and if you are in need of some new bindings, then you’re in the right place. We’ve gone through all the best brands available to find the most highly rated snowboard bindings for purchase. Whether you’re an avid Burton fan (most popular among beginners and experienced snowboarders alike) or are looking to try something new there are plenty of options to choose from.

Featured Recommendations

Burton Mission
  • Burton Mission
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Reactstrap with Flex Slider
  • ZeroLean Hi-Back
Flow NX2
  • Flow NX2
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • ATM.8 Support Panel
  • Aluminum Alloy Rocker Baseplate
System MTN 2018
  • System MTN 2018
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Rear Step-in Style
  • 3D-molded Ankle Strap

If our three recommendations featured above weren’t what you were looking for we suggest you keep scrolling and have a look at the other best bindings. All have been reviewed by some of the most popular sporting magazines, websites and consumers alike so you can get quality bindings to up your game. You’ll find yourself having a difficult time picking just one though since they are all so highly rated!

 

10 Best Snowboard Bindings

 

1. Burton Mission

1. Burton Mission
Although compatible for many Burton boards, this is better equipped with the Burton EST-specific board. These are made with a Canted Living Hinge ZeroLean Hi-Back with DialFLAD and Reactstrap with Flex Slider and Gettagrip Capstrap. In addition, the bindings utilize smooth glide buckles for an easier strap in and the hi-backs feature a zero-forward lean.
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Flex FullBED Cushioning System
Gain more cushioning, in addition to your snowboard boots, with the Flex FullBED Cushioning System. You can land from jumps with a bit more confidence; knowing your impacts are handled well.

Reactstrap with Flex Slider
This system helps you with reaction time; meaning you gain better responsiveness as you carve your way down the mountain's powdery snow or set yourself up for the next trick at the park.

Cost and Value
These are quite expensive. You do, however, gain a top-quality product with excellent responsiveness and performance. Furthermore, as with a lot of sporting gear, you get what you pay for. For serious riders, we do recommend these. At the end of the day, they should last a long time.
Pros

Canted Living Hinge ZeroLean Hi-Back

Reactstrap with Flex Slider

Glide Buckles

Flex FullBED Cushioning System

Cons

Better for Burton EST-specific board

Pricey

2. Flow NX2

2. Flow NX2
This pair is highly adjustable and rather versatile. It does come with the mounting discs and screws and utilizes an ATM.8 support panel. The Hi-back is a glass-filled, nylon Modback where the overall system deploys an aluminum alloy-rocker baseplate. In addition, the two straps are a Fusion Powerstrap and Hybrid Power-Cap Strap. These secure you in place for a more responsive feel with on-hill versatility.
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Construction
Aluminum alloy is what the baseplate is made from and the Hi-back contains a glass-filled nylon Modback. In essence, you gain sturdiness, durability, and responsiveness; all while remaining lightweight.

Strap System
These have a two-strap system. The first is the Fusion Powerstrap and the second is the Hybrid Power-Cap Strap, Together, they give you the perfect balance between security and responsiveness.

Cost and Value
This pair is midrange in cost association. They are an ideal choice for beginners, as they are cheaper than some of the other models and can work well while you increase your skill level prior to purchasing something for professional-level riders.
Pros

ATM.8 Support Panel

Glass-filled, Nylon Modback Hi-Back

Aluminum Alloy Rocker Baseplate

Fusion Powerstrap

Hybrid Power-Cap Strap

Cons

Better for men-only

3. Flow Alpha

3. Flow Alpha
Typically a snowboarder wants gear that’s more responsive to their movements, although beginners usually want more comfort until they become more experienced. The Alpha bindings by Flow are definitely made for comfort rather than their ability to respond to the slightest body movement. Flow has their own “feel rating” scale 1 being extremely soft and 10 for the highest response, the Alpha’s are rated a 3.
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Full EVA
From heel to toe Alpha bindings have a complete set of EVA inserts, meaning they are considerably more clunky but comfy. So if having extreme support is important for you, you’ll definitely want these. They are also more forgiving so if you make a mistake there’s less chance of hurting yourself or your gear.

Reclining Hiback
Many snowboarders know the struggle of getting in and out of your bindings considering they are always fairly stiff and your boots don’t have much flex. With Flow they are known for having a reclining hi-back, making it quicker and easier to slip in and out. It also lifts the strap and tightens it back down when the hi-back is closed.

Cost and Value
If there was a price scale on Flow’s website these would more than likely be rated a 7 or 8. Alpha bindings are more than worth it if you look at all the specs involved though. Such as the mini-ratchets, exo-fit strap and molded composite baseplate and hi-back. Comfort and quality do not come cheap.
Pros
  • Combidisk
  • EVA Inserts
  • Rockered Baseplate
  • Glass-filled Nylon
Cons
  • Difficult frontal entry

4. System MTN 2018

4. System MTN 2018
System's MTN 2018 is a powerhouse and it really shows how the company is innovative and always at the cutting edge of change, in order to create a high-performance set of bindings. We love the rear step-in style for convenience and overall stability. You can enter without sitting down; a must-have feature for certain. Additionally, the one-pull quick-lever design means there is only one motion to cinch yourself securely. You will be ready for the downhill run long before your friends and family!
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Ease of In and Out
With the rear step-in entry characteristic, you will be strapped in within seconds. Add to this the ability to cinch yourself securely with a one-pull quick lever, and the days of struggling with your gear are now over.

Burton-compatible
This is designed with Burton boards in mind. The multi-disc rotation allows you to fit most boards. In addition, the 3D-molded ankle strap grants instant response.

Cost and Value
Comparable to others on this list, these are extremely cheap, especially when considering the quality build and the versatility. These are, however, better served with Burton boards.
Pros

Rear Step-in Style

EVA Padded Hi-back

3D-molded Ankle Strap

PU

Burton-compatible

Cons

Doesn't fit all boards

5. 5th Element Stealth 3

Your kids bugging you about having their own snowboarding gear, or just want something for yourself? Aren’t sure what would be best? If looking for forgiving bindings we recommend the Stealth 3’s by 5th Element. Known for their soft flex and one-piece construction they make the perfect beginners bindings. Added bonus that they work great for all over the mountain so once you’re ready to get on the lift and go higher up your bindings will be ready with you.
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Rubberized Toe Cap
Anxious that you’re going to slam into a tree or rock (or another person)? Quell your fears with the new rubberized toe cap on the 3’s, which means you’ll bounce right off of anything you slide into and won’t harm your bindings (because hey, you spent good money on them). It also won’t hurt whatever poor soul you manage to ram into because you forgot how to stop.

Highback
It’s important your bindings conform and hug the backs of your boots so you’re not at risk of injury. The highback feature on the 3’s gives the right amount of support needed to feel comfortable and safe. You can board as reckless as you want knowing that you won’t pull a tendon; although we always recommend to practice safe sports.

Cost and Value
5th Element is a great brand when on a budget, you get great equipment for an even better price. You get all the tech and enhancements, plus the added bonus of a comfortable fit. The value rises higher when you look at the complete adjustable system without needing special tools to do so. This nifty little feature saves even more money since there’s a good chance you don’t have one of those tools.
Pros
  • Soft Flex
  • Redesigned Toe Strap
  • Forward Lean Adjust
  • Reinforced Ankle
Cons
  • Straps loosen easily

6. Union Flite Pro

6. Union Flite Pro
If you look on Union’s website these bindings are labeled as extremely, hence the Flite in their title. They also provide a lifetime warranty for their gear but you won’t be needing it (unless you unluckily get a messed up pair straight from the factory). Their lightweight, flexible and all you have been scouring the depths of the snowboarding world for.
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Rigid Alumiheel Caps
The heel caps on the FLITE Pro’s are made of an extruded aluminum that ensures your bindings won’t cave in on your boots during a particularly rough ride. As Union claims, the design is similar to “a roll cage on a race car”. Meaning that the response rate and strength are unlike any other.

EVA Bushings
Formed to fit and created out of a mold design the bushings made of comfortable EVA are thermoformed and of the highest caliber. With also added support in the heel area (where it is usually needed most) you can enjoy your weekend pass at the resort. A smooth ride has always been important to any snowboarder.

Cost and Value
You will be happy to know the top rated in this guide is also on the lower price range. This fact makes them the ideal pair of snowboard bindings no matter if you are the most inexperienced beginner or advanced adrenaline junkie. They’re great bindings for a nice, loose ride to enjoy the moment with.
Pros
  • Duraflex Base
  • CP1 Hiback
  • Symmetric Straps
  • Aluminum Ratchets
Cons
  • Very narrow

7. Flow Fuse

7. Flow Fuse
Love the Flow company but prefer a classic binding design? Their original Fuse bindings have exactly that while having added benefits of new age tech. Upgraded strap technology, sturdy nylon and a nice, stiff response for advanced snowboarders. The perfect pair for you to show off and perform stunts in front of your crush.
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Locking Ratchets
If you’re tired of having to stop and plop in the snow to lock the ratchets on your bindings you’ll be happy to know the ones on the Fuse slap into place, fast and easy. No need to slow down your ride just smack, lock and go. Even better, no tools required. This awesome feature saves time and money, something we’re all looking for in life.

Glass-Filled Nylon
Flow is known and loved for their durable gear that can withstand even the toughest riders. The sturdy nylon is filled with a treated glass that holds its shape while still providing the flexibility needed to ensure they don’t shatter. Although they are not recommended for bumbling beginners because they are not nearly as forgiving as other bindings.

Cost and Value
Always remember that you don’t want to skimp on safety and quality just to save a few bucks. Especially if you want to avoid purchasing a pair of bindings that you hate or that bust on their first time down the slopes. Then you end up spending more of the precious money that you might need in case of an emergency. Let’s face it, everyone has a bad habit of spending what’s left after bills on something we really want. Purchasing the Fuse bindings means you get what you want and save money.
Pros
  • Active Strap
  • ATM.7 Support
  • Fusion Powerstrap
  • Mod-back H-back
Cons
  • Wide stance

8. Burton Cartel

8. Burton Cartel
Everyone that’s a part of the snow sports world knows that Burton is a company they can trust for guaranteed satisfaction. One of their most popular bindings is the Cartel’s, ranging in several different colors and sizes with the coveted cushioning riders want. Whether you’re a beginner not sure where to start or an experienced snowboarder that wore out their old ones the Cartel bindings are the way to go.
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Single-Component Baseplate
What really makes a pair of bindings a fan favorite is when they can handle different kinds of terrain, and with the single-component baseplate, the Cartel’s are really an all-terrain type of binding. The use of only one material gives the perfect amount of response all the way down the mountain.

B3 Gel
If you have a pair of Burton snowboarding boots you know they are fantastic for holding up against the cold. When you’re wearing the same pair constantly, all season they tend to break down quickly when they get cold then warm over and over again. The gel used to cushion these bindings is specifically created to hold its own against the battering cold.

Cost and Value
Definitely one of the most expensive pairs on this list it really is no surprise as to why. Burton has crafted the ultimate snowboard bindings with all their best technologies. The innovative Hammockstrap 2.0 for the right amount of conformity for a snug fit around your boots. Another added bonus is that Burton uses recycled materials so as to protect the environment.
Pros
  • Under Warranty
  • Full Cushion
  • Smooth Buckle
  • Forward Lean Dial
Cons
  • No minidisc

9. Gnu Mutant

9. Gnu Mutant
The Mutant bindings by GNU may not be available for purchase any longer on their website but you can find them other places, although you’re more likely to find them used. They were and still are an extremely popular pair of snowboard bindings among experienced riders thanks to their stiff flex, making them ideal for speed and jumps. They became harder to come by because of inexperienced riders causing injury to themselves with them.
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Aluminum Baseplate
Considering how important going fast is for the daredevil, then the aluminum baseplate is a dream come true. Everyone knows that aluminum is lightweight and not many bindings use aluminum anymore, meaning if that is your preference you’ll definitely be happy with the GNU Mutants.

Comprex Strap
Your ankles normally feel the brunt of the impact when performing jumps, tricks, and other insanities. The Mutants use a compression system in their ankle strap to absorb any shock that could cause damage to you. The surface area is also wider than the standard for added support.

Cost and Value
Finding bindings that are at the “expert” level at an affordable price is a daunting task since the higher you get on the experience scale the more you end up spending. The Mutant bindings are at a higher price point but they also won’t put you in the hole. Considering how renowned and amazingly constructed they could very well be more expensive.
Pros
  • Accurate Adjustments
  • Micro Buckle
  • 4-hole Compatibility
  • Performance Padding
Cons
  • Advanced-skill-only

10. Ride EX

Hoping for some bindings that are specific to fresh powder for an all-mountain experience? You have come to the right place then, RIDE Snowboards EX bindings are built to fit that exact wishlist. They are also a favorite among snowboarders that have no love for following “trends”, none of those nonsensical add-ons that are no use for an experienced ‘boarder.
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Wedgie Footbed
Comfort is always high on a person’s must-haves, and many bindings tend to create an uncomfortable stance. EX bindings have a subtle angle so that your legs are positioned in a more natural way, with two different levels that can change your stance for a better ride. Your knee braces can take a break and the stiffness in your joints will be considerably less after switching to the EX.

Thingrip Strap
Toe straps have always been hit and miss, finding ones that aren’t thick and hard can be quite the challenge. RIDE Snowboards reinvented their toe straps so they are lightweight and snug without cramping your feet. Flexibility can make a huge difference in the response of your board and bindings.

Cost and Value
Hold on a second, just because the price is a bit higher than you were planning but wouldn’t you rather spend the money now and not have to worry about spending more down the road? The quality of materials and craftsmanship means longer lasting snowboard bindings. What does that mean then? Less money spent later on.
Pros
  • Aluminum Chassis
  • Lightweight
  • Responsive
  • Lifetime Warranty
Cons
  • Limited adjustability

We’ve taken the time to find the most popular snowboard bindings for the wide target audience that is you. Just starting out? You have multiple choices. A veteran looking for everyday bindings? All of them could work for you, it’s all based on your personal preferences of materials and fit. There is also a pair for every budget, without giving up fantastic quality.

 

Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Snowboard Bindings

Snowboard Compatibility

Obviously, not everyone is going to have the same snowboard or even purchase theirs from the same company. It would be a major problem if you purchased bindings that don’t fit your snowboard, so we tried our hardest to find bindings that are universally compatible. Even though not all are, at least there is a variety that you can choose from to find the right fit or you can purchase a disc that converts from 3 holes to 4 holes and vice versa.

Breakdown
  1. Burton snowboards have a 3-hole pattern for their binding mounting whereas the majority of other brands have a 4-hole pattern.
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  2. Bindings with a different hole pattern than the board you plan on using them with will need a disc converter to make them compatible.
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  3. If you attach your bindings to a non-compatible board without the disc this can ruin your gear, affect your ride and compromise your safety.

Different Skill Levels

There is really only one pair in this guide that is NOT recommended for beginners. The other bindings listed though have a wide range from beginner to intermediate to experienced. Think of it like a video game (we’ll use God of War as a reference since it’s the most played at the moment); Story, experienced, challenge, and God mode. The story is for beginners that need to get their bearings; while experienced is for those with, well, some experience. Then there’s challenge meaning you know what you’re doing and are ready to push yourself. God mode is like the Black Diamond, suicide for anyone who isn’t 100% comfortable with their abilities.

Nylon or Aluminum

Snowboarders know the importance of weight and how it affects the ride and control. If you “gotta go fast” you want the lightest bindings you can find, without giving up precision and safety. This buying guide has exactly that; meaning you get to have extreme speed without worrying that you’ll end up hurting yourself or busting your gear. The extreme bindings are made of the finest aluminum while the rest is made out of durable, quality nylon and even treated glass.

  • Nylon – When you hear the word ‘nylon’ you might think of tights and stockings because they are commonly referred to as “nylons”. That isn’t all this polymer is used for though! Nylon can be manipulated into all kinds of different shapes using a melt and press method to change its form. It’s known for being lightweight which makes it an ideal material for several different uses, like making snowboard bindings.
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  • Aluminum – It is pretty common knowledge that aluminum is popular among manufacturers of things like cars, everyday household items and so forth. This is because it is strong without the heft of other metals and also has more flex than others as well. Why is it found in certain snowboard bindings? Because it can resist the effects of corrosion due to moisture and wear and tear.

Easy Entry and Quick Adjustability

Not everyone wants to spend ten minutes trying to strap onto their board and an added fifteen minutes trying to adjust them to their needs. All of the above snowboard bindings have been reviewed to be the best when it comes to entry and adjustability. What else is great is that you don’t need to spend money on special tools to make your adjustments. Nowadays bindings have dials on the back to adjust forward lean to make it easier and faster than ever before.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q. How to choose the right size snowboard bindings?

A. Well, it’s important for your snowboard bindings to be compatible with your boots and your snowboard, otherwise, you can end up wasting energy and even hurting yourself or your equipment. Normally when purchasing bindings you’ll notice they’re available in Small through Large sizing, and that doesn’t say much since we go by shoe size. Each company has their own sizing charts that will tell you which matches your shoe size so you get the correct fit.

Q. How should bindings fit?

A. When getting your bindings you want to double check the fit is right, with your boots and snowboard. If they don’t fit right your performance will be jeopardized and you’ll need to soak your feet in ice water after a day on the mountain. They need to be snug without being too tight and hold you securely in place.

Q. What angle should I set my snowboard bindings to?

A. Your settings are always going to be your individual preference but if you aren’t sure where to start at or are completely lost then it’s generally recommended that you need to start with your stance; shoulder width. Then adjust for a 15-degree forward angle and 0 rear, this is a pretty good starting point that you can use to figure out what is best for you.

Q. What difference do bindings make?

A. Well if you noticed while perusing the ten bindings above, they’re all rated at different levels of comfort, support, and stiffness. The more cushion and flex, the more relaxed the ride. If extremely stiff with little to no flex and minimum padding the more sensitive and precise your board will be to your every move.

Q. Which hill should I take as a beginner to snowboarding?

A. As a beginner to the sport, you may be wondering what kind of hill you should take. You have a new board, bought your bindings, and are ready to sport a fantastic pair of snowboard boots. After all, the whole point is to enjoy the hill, as it were.

As a general rule of thumb, ski resorts will utilize some sort of color coding to help you identify which trails to hit. In North America (and many other places around the world), green is the color most generally associated with a beginner’s hill run. The trails will be wider with a slope gradient of no more than 25% – usually, less.

So, you arrive at your first ski resort and spot a green sign. Do not assume it is a beginner trail; albeit, it should be. Always ask an instructor or an employee of the ski resort which is the easiest run for a beginner. In this, you will be safer and can enjoy the freedom of the powdery glide while you begin racking up those miles and increasing your skill level for another color of difficulty. At the end of the day, it is all about building confidence while enjoying the sport.

 

Sources

  1. Salomon, Salomon Rhythm,
  2. The Good Ride, Salomon Rhythm Review,
  3. Burton, Custom Bindings,
  4. Wikipedia, Polycarbonate,
  5. K2, Hurrithane,
  6. The House, What is forward lean,
  7. Flow, Alpha,
  8. Ride, All Mountain EX,
  9. The Good Ride, EX Review,
  10. Flow, Fuse,
  11. Burton, Cartel,
  12. Evo Outlet, Gnu Mutant,
  13. Union, FLite,
  14. The Good Ride, Flite Pro,
  15. Snowboarding Profiles, How To Choose,
  16. Transworld, How to Set up,
  17. trails.com, Ski Run Difficulty Ratings, article,


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