You gotta catch the lift to the top of the mountain, so let’s get to the point.
We have no qualms whatsoever awarding K2 Lien AT Snowboard Bindings the top spot in our ranking of the 10 best snowboard bindings. Like any kind of all-mountain gear, all-mountain bindings need to be versatile, and with precise construction and a highly customizable fit, that’s just what K2 is all about.
Like any winter sport, having good snowboarding gear is important, and snowboard bindings are probably the second most important bit of snowboard gear to check off your list — besides the actual snowboard and, well, maybe some long underwear.
But there’s a lot to know about snowboard bindings. With this ranking, we’ll walk you through the process of choosing bindings, telling you all about the different kinds, and helping you choose the best snowboard bindings for your riding style. We’ll also answer your questions about how to install snowboarding bindings, and how to fit and position them.
In other words, you’ve come to the right spot, a one-click answer for all your snowboard binding needs. Let’s get started. Up next is our ranking of the 10 best snowboard bindings.
The Snowboard Bindings We RAVE About
Best Overall Snowboard Bindings: K2 Lien AT Snowboard Bindings
From canted footbeds to Perfect Fit 2.0 Toe Straps and EZ Feed Ratchets, the Lien AT bindings from K2 have everything you want in snowboard bindings. They are our pick for the overall best snowboard bindings by far.Read Full Review
Best Snowboard Bindings for Women: Flux GS Snowboard Bindings
We reviewed snowboard bindings specifically for female riders as well. The Flux GS snowboard bindings are tapered for smaller feet, with women-specific Ultima Wing Highbacks and beer buckles to get your straps just right — and maybe even open a cold one after a long day at the slopes.Read Full Review
Best Snowboard Bindings for Beginners: Flow Alpha Snowboard Bindings
If you’re a beginner, you need bindings that feature a softer flex and are more forgiving. Our pick for the best bindings for beginners goes to Flow Alpha. In addition to soft flex, there’s a Molded Composite UniBack for easy in and out, as well as EVA pads to help keep your legs fresh.Read Full Review
Different Types of Snowboard Bindings
To decide on a pair of snowboard bindings, it’s important to understand the two basic kinds, each with their own set of pros and cons. Which one is right for you? Here’s what you need to know:
Strap-in bindings are probably the most common snowboard bindings. With this style, an ankle strap wraps around your ankle, and a toe strap either sits on top of or wraps around the front toe of your boot.
- Independent toe and heel pressure adjustment
- Easy to strap in when you’re sitting down
- Slow to strap in, especially compared to speed-entry bindings
- Hard to strap in while standing
- Straps need to be adjusted every time you strap in
With speed-entry bindings — sometimes called rear-entry or step in bindings — there’s only one strap covering both your ankle and toes. A big difference between strap-in and speed-entry bindings is the highback. You can adjust the highback a little bit, but for the most part, it is fixed in place.
Using speed-entry bindings is pretty easy, though — simply stick your boot in, close the highback, and presto, you’re all buckled in and ready to ride.
- Quick and easy to use
- Can strap in while standing
- Adjust them once, and you’re set for the day
- Adjustment of pressure on toe and ankle is not independent
- Tough to strap in while sitting down
- Steeper learning curve to operate
Something else you should know is that there are different bindings for men and for women. If bindings meant for the opposite gender work just fine for you, of course there’s nothing stopping you from using them.
But if you’re having trouble finding just the right size bindings, check if the bindings are intended for male or female riders.
The last thing we need to mention here is binding and board compatibility. Most bindings come with multiple baseplates, so most bindings are compatible with most snowboards — nice and easy.
But some bindings are only compatible with some boards. For example, Burton makes a line of boards that are only compatible with Burton EST bindings.
How to Fit Snowboard Bindings
Okay, you picked out snowboard bindings that are right for you and compatible with your board. Now what? They’re going to need to be fit — sometimes called set or mounted — to your snowboard. You might want to pay a professional to take care of this for you, but if DIY is more your style, here’s a quick how-to:
Tools You’ll Need
Most bindings can be installed with a #3 Phillips screwdriver and a wrench. Keeping a multi-tool on hand for adjustments while you’re on the mountain is also a good idea.
Which Foot is Your Lead Foot?
If you’re not sure which foot is your lead foot, try this: Stand still and straight. Have a buddy push you — but not too hard! With which foot did you catch yourself? That’s your lead foot.
If it’s your left foot it means your stance is regular, if it’s your right foot your stance is “goofy.” Determining which binding is for your left foot and which one’s for your right foot is as easy as checking the curve, just like you did when you were learning to put on your shoes.
Stance Width and Offset
Next, you’re going to need to know your stance width and offset.
- Stance Width: Getting the right stance width takes a little trial and error. Try the center-mount screwhole first, and see how that feels. Then adjust until you feel well-balanced.
- Stance Offset: A mounting position that is close to the center of the board more often than not offers the best control and easiest turn initiation. As your skill increases though, and as you develop your own riding style, you might find you prefer what’s called an offset stance. Also called setback stance, it improves flotation in deep powder and more aggressive turning.
There’s a bit more to know about mounting your snowboard bindings, in our FAQ section. But for now, we feel you know what you need to know to start shopping for the best snowboard bindings.
Here at RAVE, we want our ranking process to be as transparent as possible. When we put this article together, we listened to the experts. And by experts, we mean veteran riders, snowboard industry professionals, and manufacturer specifications. We ranked each binding on the following:
In addition, we looked at these characteristics:
- Additional features
We also paid extra attention to good old consumer reviews for what makes each binding great or maybe not-so-great. We read them so you don’t have to. Because after all, it is the end-user that gets beneath all the product specifications and marketing copy.
We’re confident in our ranking, and we’re sure that you will be, too.
The Best Snowboard Bindings
K2 Lien AT Snowboard Bindings
First place in our ranking goes to K2 Lien AT snowboard bindings. What really got our attention about these were the 3 degree canted footbeds and the Tunable TriPod chassis, designed to be the most biomechanically efficient chassis possible.
The Tripod baseplate features power transmission pods that line up with the foot’s three points of contact, closely mimicking the natural flex of the foot. We also love the Sender ankle straps, which are comfortable, low-profile, and optimized for power transfer.
Additionally, the Perfect Fit 2.0 Toe Straps are engineered for maximum adjustability and fit. In addition, there are EZ Feed Ratchets with a wider, tapered ladder opening that allows for the easiest entry and otherwise 100% toolless adjustments.
On the downside, K2 only offers a one-year warranty.
- Tunable TriPod chassis
- Sender ankle straps
- Perfect Fit 2.0 toe straps
- Only a one-year warranty
Flux GS Snowboard Bindings
The next bindings we want to tell you about are the GS Snowboard bindings from Flux, also our pick for the best snowboard bindings for women. With a flex rating of 3, these tapered bindings are better suited than most men’s snowboard bindings to the smaller feet and stature of some female snowboarders.
These bindings also include the Women’s Ultima Wing Highback, which provides more support for leaning into the board nose or tail, while also preventing calf bite. We also liked the newly engineered Beer Buckles to create more leverage, helping you get the buckles as tight as possible with minimal effort.
And there’s also a toolless lever for extra adjustments; an adjustable toe cushion; and a FooTon Footbed designed to prevent snow buildup, create direct board feel, and provide extra cushioning.
The bindings do rank pretty poorly for shock absorption, though. Some find them a bit soft for all-mountain bindings, but a good choice for freestyle bindings.
- Women’s Ultima Wing Highback
- Tapered for small feet/stature
- Beer buckles
- Poor shock absorption
- Too soft for all-mountain
Flow Alpha Snowboard Bindings
Let’s turn now to our third-place pick, the Flow Alpha snowboard bindings. These bindings are also our best snowboard bindings for beginners, due to their soft flex and playful feel. The rockered H-series baseplate with EVA heel cushioning is made from POM composite plastic, durable, forgiving, and easy to get in and out of.
The binding’s Fusion ExoFit Powerstrap is 3D shaped, padded, and form-fitted, interfacing with your boot for a super comfortable feel. There’s also the Locking Slap Ratchet, an innovative design that gives you the option to get in and out of your bindings however you prefer.
Experienced riders will quickly outgrow these bindings, but considering their affordable price point, they are a great place to start. Unfortunately, Flow only offers a one-year warranty.
- Rockered H-series baseplate
- POM composite plastic
- Fusion ExoFit Powerstrap
- Best for beginners
- One-year warranty
Union Force Snowboard Bindings
Union Force snowboard bindings got us hyped for a variety of reasons. What we like most is the baseplate, made from Duraflex ST, multi-density thermoformed EVA, extruded 3D aluminum heel cups, and canted footbeds.
It all works together to deliver the kind of performance and durability for which Union Force is known. Something else that sets Union Force snowboard bindings apart are the buckles. Made from magnesium, and using Union’s bombproof ratchet system, the buckles are light, sleek, and durable.
We also want to be sure to mention that these medium-flex bindings are made from Grade 8.8 hardware, the strongest steel available on the market. Riders say these bindings are excellent for stance adjustability, but only good for shock absorption. On the downside, the bindings don’t get high marks for buttering, and the ankle strap is not adjustable.
- Canted footbeds
- Magnesium buckles
- Grade 8.8 hardware
- So-so shock absorption
- Not great for buttering
- Ankle strap is not adjustable
Salomon Hologram Snowboard Bindings
The medium-flex Hologram bindings from Salomon are fifth in our ranking. What caught our eye about these medium-flex bindings was the Hologram highback with ergonomic design, integrated forward lean, and rotation adjuster creating exceptional connectivity to the board.
We also like the straps, with Micro Map strap adjustments, a locked-up toe strap, and a shadow strap designed for direct energy transmission and a lightweight feel. In addition, this set of bindings comes with Universal Disc, which is compatible with all existing mounting systems currently on the market.
There’s also the Integrated Mounting System, Salomon’s patented technology that keeps your disc screws in place while you adjust your binding angle or swap out boards. Some issues consumers have with Salomon Hologram include a stiff heel loop, straps that can take a while to break in, and pinching in the heels.
- Hologram highback
- Micro Map strap adjustments
- Integrated Mounting System
- Stiffer heel loop
- Straps need time to break in
- May pinch in the heels
Burton Malavita Leather Snowboard Bindings
We now want to tell you about the medium-flex Burton Malavita Leather snowboard bindings. Besides being made from leather — how sick is that? — we like the Zero-Lean canted highback design, including a rubbery heel hammock wrapped around the heel.
Also notable is the exclusive Living Hinge technology, which eliminates hardware and weight, and DialFLAD. With DialFLAD, you can adjust the forward lean angle of your highbacks. There’s also a Leather Reactstrap, the Supergrip Capstrap 2.0, and Burton’s Smooth Glide Buckles.
In addition, the bindings feature B3 gel to dampen and strengthen them enough to handle repeated impacts without breaking down or hardening. And the Re:Flex Binding System is there for more flex, feel, and cushioning than most other traditional disc bindings.
These bindings do get poor marks for boot adjustability, however, with firm boot support, and turn initiation, a lot like Burton Cartel. But if you’re used to Cartel, you should know that the Malavitas are wider.
- B3 gel
- Re:Flex Binding System
- Zero-Lean highback design
- Poor boot adjustability
- Firm boot support
- Wider than Cartel
Rome United Snowboard Bindings
Our seventh best snowboard bindings are from Rome United. We love the AsymUnited Highback, full highback rotation, and the tool-free highback forward lean adjuster, all of which work together for better power transfer, improved customization, and proper edge hold.
Included with every Rome binding, the PivotMount technology is also notable, with at least three strap positions, making it as easy as possible to customize strap support.
We also love the limited lifetime warranty. These bindings are a little softer than most medium-flex bindings though, with medium/slow turn initiation, and only an average ratchet system and shock absorption.
- AsymUnited Highback
- PivotMount technology
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Softer side of medium flex
- Medium/slow turn initiation
- Average ratchet system
GNU Cheeter Snowboard Bindings
Versatility is what all-mountain snowboard gear is all about, and our eighth pick, GNU’s Cheeter snowboard bindings fit the bill.
These medium-flex bindings feature a nylon composite baseplate and EVA foam footbed. There’s also an asym (asymmetrical) reclining highback system for later mobility and increased medial stability when those occasional wipeouts happen.
The asym also carries through to the strap system, with cable redirection, and an auto-open ankle strap. Another nice feature is the mounting type, compatible with 4×4 mounting patterns as well as the Channel mounting pattern from Burton. There’s also a micro buckle on the toe strap for quick and easy adjustments, as well as easy entry and exit.
However, some riders report these bindings are a bit difficult to get into and out of. And while GNU offers a limited lifetime warranty on the baseplate, they only offer a one-year warranty on the rest of the bindings.
- EVA foam footbed
- Auto-open ankle strap
- Micro buckle on toe strap
- Difficult in and out for some
- One-year warranty
- Adjustments ride vs. install
Ride Rodeo Snowboard Bindings
Turning to our ninth pick, the Ride Rodeo snowboard bindings, we love the baseplate on these things. It features stance correct heel cups, a performance micro-disc mounting system, and the Infinity chassis for finely tuned adjustments.
What also caught our attention was the Wedgie footbed, which aligns your ankles and knees to a more ergonomic and comfortable position. If you like to ollie and pop with an extra side stance, these bindings are for you.
There’s also ThinGrip Max Toe Straps, a 3D shaped rubber web for extra grip and comfort no matter what snowboard boot you prefer. On the downside, some riders find the toe strap a bit narrow, there’s only a one-year warranty, and the flex isn’t great for beginners.
- Infinity chassis
- Wedgie footbed
- ThinGrip Max Toe Straps
- Narrow toe strap
- One-year warranty
- Best for intermediate and up
Union Contact Pro Snowboard Bindings
And last in our ranking are the medium-flex Union Contact Pro snowboard bindings. What stood out for us was the CP3 Duraflex material in the baseplate, exclusive to Union Contact and engineered for consistent flex, no matter how cold the temperature gets.
The CP3 Duraflex material also shows up in the highback, and we like the Forma ankle strap’s extra strength, response, fit, and comfort. Something else unique to Union is the aluminum in the buckles. Everything else is made with Grade 8.8 hardware, the strongest steel on the market.
On the downside, some reviewers claim the boot support on these bindings as loose and the bindings adjustability as only good. And, there’s no canted footbed.
- CP3 Duraflex material
- Forma ankle strap
- Union aluminum buckles
- Loose boot support
- Okay binding adjustability
- No canted footbed
Now that you’ve picked out your new bindings, what else do you need to know? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions from both new and experienced snowboarders alike.
How do you install snowboard bindings?
Here’s how to install your snowboard bindings all on your own. Note that these instructions are for a duck stance, or where both feet are angled away from each other at a standard stance width and angle. These steps apply to most bindings, but not all, such as the front binding Burton custom EST bindings.
1) If your stance is regular, pick up the left binding and disc. If you ride “goofy,” pick up the right. Position the binding at your desired angle. Pro tip: Each tick mark on the board is 3 degrees.
2) Loosely screw the binding together with the disc over the center screw hole at the front of the snowboard. Make sure there’s the same amount of board in front of your boot toe as there is behind your boot heel.
Note: To determine which end of the snowboard is the front, look for any writing across the width of the board. Position the board so that you can read the writing. That’s the front.
3) Loosely screw in the remaining screws. Check for proper positioning before you tighten all the screws, and don’t over tighten. It’s also helpful to put a boot in the binding before fine-tuning the positioning.
To mount the back bindings, follow the same steps outlined above. Just make sure to set the angle for mounting the front binding, but set the angle at -6 degrees, or in other words, pointed backwards.
What does snowboard binding flex mean?
Just like the flex of your snowboard, the flex rating of your new set of snowboard bindings is also important, and the right flex rating for you has a lot to do with your riding style. The flex of your binding is rated on a scale of 1-10, 1 being the softest, and 10 the stiffest.
Here’s how to pick a good flex rating for you based on how you like to snowboard:
Park or Freestyle
Park or freestyle riders spend most of their time in the terrain park laying down tricks. If that’s you, get softer flex freestyle snowboard bindings for easier landings, the ability to tweak grabs, and to leave more room for error.
All-mountain riders do a little bit of everything, from powder to groomed runs. Mountain riders should look for medium flex bindings that are ready for anything.
Freeriders seek the most challenging terrain in the backcountry for high speeds and epic tricks. If freeriding is your style, choose stiff flex freeride bindings for improved response and better energy transfer.
Lastly, the flex of your snowboard bindings should match the flex of your snowboard boots as closely as possible.
What should I bring while snowboarding?
A snowboard, a new pair of bindings, and snowboard boots. What else do you need? Whether you’re in the park or the backcountry, you’ll be in cold weather and should be prepared. Here’s what to pack for your next snowboarding trip:
Synthetic, moisture-wicking socks that are not too thick, not too thin, and tall enough to prevent any rub from your snowboard boots are an important part of your snowboard gear.
Because your brain is the most important organ in your body, even an advanced rider needs a helmet. Don’t have one? Rent one from the resort.
Snowboard Pants and Jacket
A good snowboard jacket is breathable, with a wind- and waterproof outer shell. Your snowboard pants should also be weatherproof and breathable.
Snowboard Gloves and Goggles
You’ll also want insulated and waterproof snowboard gloves in your snowboard gear, as well as high-quality goggles to battle glare and protect your eyes from the elements.
Base and Mid Layers
And lastly, bring some good base and mid layers as part of your snowboard gear. For base layers, stay away from cotton and choose synthetic or wool instead. For mid layers on an extra cold day, go with fleeces, sweaters, or sweatshirts — many of which you probably have in your closet already.
What are the best snowboard bindings?
Whether you’re an experienced rider, just starting out, or a female snowboarder looking for bindings to fit your smaller feet, you’ve come to the right place.
After all the head-scratching and careful deliberation, we settled on K2 Lien AT Snowboard Bindings as our number one pick for the best overall snowboard bindings. All-mountain = ready for anything, and with K2 Lien AT bindings, you’ll be ready no matter the conditions or whatever your riding style happens to be.
And if you’re a beginner, you need bindings that let you make some mistakes. For riders that are just starting out, we present the Flow Alpha Snowboard Bindings as our best snowboard bindings for beginners. Why? They’re designed to be versatile, forgiving, and durable.
Are you a female rider tired of gear made for men? We can help you here as well. With special features specifically designed for female snowboarders, the Flux GS Snowboard Bindings are our choice for best snowboard bindings for women. Besides being a killer product from a solid brand, these bindings have a tapered fit for the smaller feet and stature common in many women.
With these five items, you’ll have everything you need for this snowboard season. Don’t get caught at the park without them.
- Shred Soles Shred Sox: Keep your feet warm on the mountain with these warm, moisture-wicking, comfortable, and padded snowboarding socks with Thermolite.
- EnergeticSky Waterproof Winter Gloves: Don’t go snowboarding without these 3M Thinsulate ski and snowboard touchscreen gloves.
- Wantdo Women’s 3-in-1 Waterproof Ski Jacket: With this insulated short parka, you’ll be ready for the conditions on the mountain.
- Veadoorn Over Glasses Goggles: These over-glasses goggles have spherical, detachable lenses with UV protection.
- MONATA Snowboard Helmet: Safety first! Protect your most valuable asset with this snowboard helmet made from EPS foam and impact-resistant APS shell.