Congratulations. The decision to move on from renting snowboards to buying your own snowboard is a big commitment.
But it’s also not something that you can just do on a whim. There are tons of snowboards out there for you to choose from. Not to mention, you’ll have to buy your own gear as well.
Your own snowboard bindings, in particular, are not something that you should just buy without putting any thought.
Between the right size and fit, as well as style and personal preference, choosing the best snowboard bindings is far from straightforward.
Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up the best snowboard bindings available today.
1. Union Falcor
You know that a pair of snowboard bindings are good is if someone like Travis Rice recommends them.
Used by one of the most influential and popular figures in the snowboarding industry, the Union Falcor is solid and lightweight.
It uses strong materials to add some durability, but at the same time, it is these very same materials that’s responsible for dampening the force and impact of snowboarding to create a pleasurable and comfortable ride.
The most recent model even comes with an improved ankle strap and a denser material for better comfort and fit.
- All-weather magnesium strap buckles
- Carbon fiber baseplate
- Minimal ankle strap adjustment options
2. Burton Step On
Experienced and advanced riders look away — the Burton Step On isn’t for you.
Or, at the very least, not yet anyway.
A relatively new innovation as far as snowboard bindings go, the Step Ons were built for convenience. As the name suggestions, users just literally have to step in and the snowboard binding will lock pretty much on its own. It’s this single-component construction ideology that makes the Step On stand out.
Burton also made sure not to compromise safety and comfort in favor of convenience. The Step On comes with a composite short glass and nylon base plate, as well as a flexible cushioning system for optimal comfort and minimal foot fatigue.
The Step On is the ideal choice for beginners, as well as children alike, and renters who don’t really want to go through a lot of trouble just wearing their snowboard bindings.
- Simple and easy to use
- Flex FullBED cushioning system makes for a comfortable and responsive ride
- Limited compatibility options
3. Now O-Drive
Stiff and strong snowboard bindings typically don’t feel comfortable to ride on. That’s why freestyle riding avoid them at all costs.
But even though their manufacturers gives them a 10/10 in terms of stiffness, the Now O-Drive’s carbon fiber high-back and adjustable ankle straps make it an excellent choice for anyone and everyone.
Speaking of anyone, did you know that the Terminator, Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger, himself has been spotted wearing a pair of these?
It’s evident right from the get-go that the O-Drive is a top of the line product.
In addition to its carbon fiber highback, the O-Drive is also relatively light and comes with multiple bushings for better fine-tuning.
Ultimately, the O-Drive is for those who don’t want to settle for anything less than the best.
- Relatively lightweight for its feel and stiffness
- Multiple bushing choices
- Responsive ride
- Adjustable ankle straps
4. Jones Apollo
In terms of ride and stiffness, the Jones Apollo takes a lot of cues from the excellent NOW O-Drive.
However, it does plenty enough to differentiate itself, including better shock absorption and responsiveness, as well as a more beautiful design.
The high-back, which uses a wood-grain texture, is hard not to appreciate. It’s a thing of beauty, to say the least.
Still, the Apollo is more than just its looks. In addition to its stiffness, it’s equipped with Asym Flax material, a proprietary material from Jones, that works in conjunction with its carbon material construction and pre-rotated configuration for a more planted feel.
The Apollo also uses Jones’ very own Skate Tech. This is a feature that gives it superior foot cushioning, board control, and edge-holding, among other things.
- Superior shock absorption thanks to the thick soft EVA foam and rubber stoppers on the bottom
- Beautiful wood-grain texture high-back
- Lifetime hanger warranty
- Pretty much plug-and-play
- Limited adjustability
5. Union Contact Pro
The Union Contact Pro is widely considered by many as one of the best snowboard bindings on the market, and one of the main reasons for this is that it’s designed by professional Austrian snowboarded, Gigi Ruf.
Known for his unique style and creativity, Gigi Ruf’s personality is evident on the Contact Pro.
Case in point, the minimal base contact results in a more responsive and tighter ride Also, the combination of the DuraFlex Highback and Multi-Density Thermo-Formed EVA Bushings help create an extremely comfortable ride.
But comfort is nothing without durability, and the Contact Pro has that down pat too.
According to the manufacturer, the Contact Pro uses one of the strongest steels on the market in its construction. They say that it’s a Grade 8.8 hardware, which is far better than the Grade 4.6 hardware that the competition uses.
Whether that’s true or not is debatable, but considering that Union is willing to back the heel cup and baseplate with a lifetime warranty suggests that they’re all-in on their product.
- Asymmetrical high backs
- Generous EVA padding
- Thin ankle straps might not be for everybody
6. Flow Alpha
The low price point makes the Flow Alpha the ideal pair of snowboard bindings for beginners. But don’t let its affordable price make you underestimate it, the Alpha punches well above its entry-level weight.
The soft flex and H-series baseplate are perfect for novices and those looking for a more stable platform. The one-piece high-back also comes with a reclining feature and it’s made out of a molded composite material.
The way it’s designed makes the Alpha easy to wear and just as easy to take off.
Speaking of easy to wear, the Fusion Exo Fit Power Strap helps minimize any chances of injury while significantly improving fit and comfort.
If you’re looking to save time and money without making too many compromises, you should give the Alpha a look.
- Fusion Exo Fit Power Strap and high-back support helps guarantee a safer and more secure ride
- Construction quality leaves a lot to be desired
7. Burton Malavita
With a long history of delivering quality and high-value snowboard bindings, the Malavita’s quirky name is pretty much synonymous with good snowboard bindings.
Many even go as far as to consider the Burton Malavita one of the best snowboard bindings if not the absolute best.
This is mostly because of a combination of factors. This includes the comfortable Heel Hammock and Hammockstrap, a durable and all-weather nylon baseplate, and double-take buckles, as well as compatibility with pretty much most of the major mounting systems used in the snowboarding industry.
The stylish design, especially the Vape Cloud and its winged hi-backs, also make the Malavita quite the looker.
Whether it’s durability, reliability, and adjustability you’re after, or you simply want one of the more beautiful snowboard bindings around, the Malavita is one of Burton’s finest products and will certainly not disappoint.
- Stylish design
- Full-bed cushioning system
- Stiffness isn’t ideal for beginners and novice riders
How To Choose the Best Snowboard Bindings
There are so many snowboard bindings available on the market. Even if you take a look at our recommendations, you might still find it difficult to choose one. This is especially true if you’re new to snowboarding.
To help you even further, we rounded up the most important factors that go into choosing snowboard bindings, such as:
All-Mountain vs Freeride vs Freestyle
You need to use snowboard bindings that’s meant for where you’re going to ride. Otherwise, the snowboard bindings might not be as responsive and stiff as you would prefer.
Generally, there are three types of riding styles: all-mountain, freeride, and freestyle.
- All-mountain snowboard bindings are arguably the most versatile snowboard bindings. This is because they’re built specifically to handle all kinds of different terrains. This includes parks, powders, and pretty much everything else. Because of this, the flexibility and responsiveness of all-mountain snowboard bindings are often more geared towards versatility, although you can get more responsive rides so long as you are willing to spend more money.
- Freeride snowboard bindings are built for speedier runs. They’re for people who like to ride in steep terrains. As a result, freeride snowboard bindings are stiffer. This makes it easier for the rider to transfer energy and navigate their way through deep terrains even when riding aggressively.
- Freestyle snowboard bindings are best for beginners. They’re purposely designed to have a softer flex, making them more forgiving for users, and more comfortable. This means that, even when you land from somewhere higher than you would like, the impact of your landing won’t be as painful.
Strap-in vs Rear Entry
You’ll also want to consider if whether or not you prefer to have a rear entry snowboard binding, or a strap-in snowboard binding.
- Strap-in snowboard bindings are the more traditional choice. They’re pretty much synonymous with snowboarding these days. If you’ve never been snowboarding before, you probably already know how they work since, as the name implies, you have to strap yourself in to secure yourself to the snowboard. This type of snowboard binding comes with ankle straps, toe straps, and a buckle system.
- Rear entry snowboard bindings are a relatively new invention. Their reinforced reclining high-backs and single strap toes make them easier to wear and yet secure at the same time. The opening, for example, opens up automatically as you slide your foot inside the boot. But because of how they are designed, rear-entry snowboard bindings are typically heavier than strap-in bindings.
The Different Snowboard Binding Components
In order to choose the best snowboard bindings, you also need to know the different components that make up each one. This is because each component, as well as the material quality, plays a crucial role in the ride quality, comfort, and fit of a snowboard binding.
Here are the different components commonly found in snowboard bindings:
The baseplate is the part of the binding that’s responsible for connecting both the snowboard and the binding. Because of that, this is also where much of the cushioning materials of the binding is located.
Generally, the more cushioning material the binding has, the less fatigue and pain you’ll feel during your ride. This is why it’s recommended for freestyle riders to focus on bindings with added cushioning.
However, the cushioning adds weight. This, in turn, makes them less-than-ideal for freeride snowboards who would prefer lightweight snowboard bindings.
The high-back is the prominent plate held vertically that’s part of the snowboard binding.
The high-back is important because of four things: comfort, responsiveness, control, and support. Because of where it’s located, the high-back is responsible for determining the efficiency and accuracy of your turns while snowboarding.
Softer high-backs are typically recommended for beginners for added comfort. Meanwhile, more experienced riders will prefer a high-back with more stiffness for better control and precision, which are crucial qualities that will come extremely handy whenever you’re going downhill at fast speeds.
The straps also play a key role in your comfort and stability.
When choosing straps, it’s always a good idea to go for adjustability and flexibility. You’ll want to use snowboard bindings that you can adjust accordingly until you find a comfortable position. However, keep in mind that straps have changed in recent years.
For example, most modern snowboard bindings now use a top cap strap.
A toe cap strap is better for fit and stability than the traditional toe strap. You can still find snowboard bindings with toe straps these days, albeit they’re mostly limited to cheaper bindings.
In addition to the toe strap, you will also want to take a look at the secure fit of the ankle strap of your bindings. The more secure the fit of the ankle straps, the lower the risk there is of injury, among other things.
Why the Best Snowboard Bindings are Worth the Money
Don’t cheap out on snowboard bindings. They can literally mean life and death.
Even in a more typical and plausible scenario though, a snowboard binding has a huge effect on the quality of your ride. You’ll have more control over your snowboard if you choose the proper snowboard bindings.
So, make sure that you do not take this decision lightly.
Consider the tips and suggestions that we gave above to make sure that you choose the best snowboard bindings.