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Snowboard bindings gift guide: Our top picks from Burton, Union, Nidecker, and more

Only the best snowboard bindings you can buy, guaranteed

snowboarding turning on mountain
Benjamin Hayward via Unsplash

Snowboard bindings are a conduit between your body and the board. Every time you flex, pop, or lean, bindings transmit that force, helping you rip turns and boost airs. They’re central to a good time on the hill. 

You have abundant options when picking a new set, from mellow, all-around designs to carbon-fueled pedal-to-the-metal setups. And it’s no longer a sit-down and strap-in world — automated versions now let you click in and ride away. That’s next-level convenience.

If you need bindings for your new board or want to surprise a friend with a sweet gift, we’ve selected the best you can get. Each pick in our list has unique attributes, ranging from all-out performance to on-the-hill usability and everything in between. We’ve got you covered. Let’s take a look at the best snowboard bindings for winter 23/24. 

Union Atlas Pro snowboard bindings
Union Binding Company

The best snowboard bindings

The Union Atlas Pro bindings’ spec sheet sounds more like an F1 racecar than snowboard equipment. Forged carbon, extruded aluminum, and magnesium are just some race-ready materials in its focused construction. But that’s essential for riders who push the limits.

It all starts with a Stage 7 Duraflex CB baseplate. It’s the strongest baseplate the company’s ever made, composed of carbon-infused nylon. Offering lightning-quick edge changes and long-haul durability, it helps snowboarders rip harder and pop higher.

For the highback, Union turned to Lamborghini for forged carbon technology. The technique molds carbon under high pressure and heat for unmatched strength and lightness. Compared to conventional plastic, it’s twice as strong and 40% lighter. Wow. 

The company bought its carbon forging press, ensuring handmade quality and long-term durability. That sounds more like a racing outfit than the binding company. How cool is that? 

And Union didn’t stop there. Magnesium ratchets, an extruded aluminum heel cup, and forged carbon gas pedals round out the pedal-to-the-medal build. The Union Atlas Pro bindings are the tool of choice if you like to charge hard and boost higher.

While the Atlas Pro bindings may seem like hyperbole, they’re almost a necessity for top riders. Serious terrain demands serious performance. At the same time, everyday snowboarders still benefit from the binding’s sharp reflexes and lightweight build. That lets everyone push a little harder and keep progressing. 

Burton Step On bindings with boots
Burton Snowboards

Step-in and Step-on snowboard bindings: our top picks

Automated snowboard bindings — that let you click in and ride away — keep gaining popularity. That’s understandable. Getting off the lift, sitting in the snow, and strapping in is a hassle

Step-in and Step-On bindings can lessen fatigue, offer increased response, and save time. By the end of the day, you can eke out another lap or two with the minutes saved strapping in. That’s a welcome benefit. 

Step-in and Step-On bindings are the wave of the future. Here are two of our favorites. 

Burton Step-On Re: Flex

Burton spent five years developing its Step-On bindings. After countless prototypes, testing sessions, and redesigns, the system achieved what many before couldn’t: click-in convenience and high-end performance. Step-On works.

Step-On mimics strap binding dynamics but offers seamless ingress and egress, composed of a three-point attachment mechanism — one on each side of the foot and one on the heel. Just roll off the lift ramp, step on, and ride away. Pull the release lever at the end of a run and pop out. 

How do they ride? Many snowboarders prefer Step-On to conventional bindings. The secure attachments increase response for instant edge-to-edge reactions and locked-in carves. When you want to turn, the board reacts instantly. 

Step-On works only with specifically designed boots, so don’t forget to buy a compatible set. With unique reinforcements and hardware, they’re made to withstand lap after lap of hard riding. 

They also look pretty cool. We like the Ion Step-On boots for their blacked-out styling and Vibram soles. 

Besides that, Step-On makes for a more leisurely day on the hill. Decreasing physical demands lets you ride harder and longer. But perhaps most importantly, you can beat everyone for fresh tracks.

Additionally, Step-On bindings feature a 30% short-glass nylon reinforced baseplate, FullBED cushioning for a damp feel, and Re: Flex mounting that enhances board flex. 

Nidecker Supermatic

The best Step-In snowboard binding: Nidecker Supermatic

Nidecker took a different approach with its Supermatic step-in binding. Seeking to blend strap-in feel with step-in ease, the setup lets traditionalists have their cake and eat it, too. Here’s how it works.

Like a retractable hard top on a sports car, the Supermatic binding highback folds and locks into place. Central to that is Drop In technology. When not used, the triggered highback folds backward, letting the rider’s foot slide under the straps and onto the heel pedal. The highback pops into place when that happens, and you’re ready to ride. After racking up some vert, use the release lever to get free. 

Some snowboarders like strap bindings. For those who’ve ridden the traditional design year after year and enjoy the familiar feeling, Supermatic may be just the ticket. They can still get step-in convenience without losing the riding sensations they’re used to. Besides that, Supermatic bindings work with any boot, and you can also strap in conventionally.

Other notable specs include a mid-flexing nylon/glass baseplate, a multi-disc that mounts to any board, and a Hybrid Exoframe ankle strap that molds to your boot. It’s an all-around build that’ll keep you comfortable run after run. 

The best men’s snowboard bindings: Honorable mentions

Shopping for snowboard bindings is like viewing a color palette. So many choices. There are so many nuances. So many applications. With a selection like that, picking a pair can be a challenge. 

So, while we’ve shared our favorite bindings, many are still worth considering. Snowboarding has been around for a while, and experienced manufacturers know how to make equipment that works. Here are some additional binding picks.

Arbor Cypress snowboard bindings
Arbor Collective

Arbor

The Arbor Collective mixes performance and sustainability like a few companies. Combining a passion for riding with an earth-friendly attitude, the brand makes responsible products that work. And the Cypress bindings continue that tradition. 

Arbor made the Cypress binding for all-mountain free-riders looking to push the limits. Whether cornice drops or high-G carves, it offers a mix of response and comfort. 

The System X baseplate uses twice the fiberglass for rapid edge-to-edge transitions. At the same time, the X-shaped build improves underfoot flex for a natural on-snow feel. 

The heel and toe straps use petroleum-free, plant-based material that’s better for the planet, lighter, and more robust than conventional plastic. So, you do your part while shredding the mountains.

Beyond that, features like cast aluminum buckles and levers, an EVA footbed, and an extruded aluminum heel cup complete the high-end setup. And no matter your snowboard brand, you’ll be good to go with the 2×4 universal disc. 

We especially like the Cypress for its sculpted highback with a shaped cutout. It’s reminiscent of a flexed muscle with sinewy shapes and chiseled details. The Forest colorway only enhances that. It’s as much art as it is snowboard equipment. Cool. 

Clew
CLEW

CLEW

German-made CLEW bindings are another take on a step-in setup. Though they look promising, they’re extremely hard to come by due to limited manufacturing. So, while they’re favored on social media, we haven’t tested them and must reserve judgment. 

Regarding strap versus step-in bindings, CLEW meets in the middle. You initially strap in and tighten up, but from there, you can click in and out all day long. It’s a simple process.

When not in use, CLEW bindings look mostly like strap-in versions. Highbacks, baseplates, ankle, and toe straps sit front and center. But a red handle on the highbacks hints at their unique function.

CLEW bindings secure the ankle strap and high back to the boot when strapping in. Pulling the rear cable releases the highback/boot/ankle strap combination for a seamless egress before loading the lift. Just pop the combo into place at the top of the hill and ride away. Nice.

You can use CLEW with any boots, making them an easy transition. The location of the release handle is another plus, with its convenient location and easy-to-grab shape. And with a medium flex, they’re suitable for any conditions.

Jones

Jones

Jeremy Jones is a snowboarding icon. From Freeride World Tour wins to harrowing first descents, he’s done it all on a board. So when he signs off on a piece of equipment, you know it’ll work when it gets steep and deep. A good example is the Jones Mercury bindings. 

Mercury bindings bring a mid-stiff flex, comfortable ride, and quick response for the expert snowboarder who rides it all. Central to that is NOW Skate Tech technology. Here’s how it works.

Skate Tech positions a “kingpin” in the middle of the binding, letting the baseplate rock back and forth like a skateboard truck. What does that do? Every input instantly reaches the toe and heel edge for rapid turn initiation and improved edgehold. And that’s not all. With flexible bushings under the toe and heel, Skate Tech dampens out bumped-up snow like no other bindings can. 

A Control Flex highback offers support and flexibility, whether powering through bumps or spinning off features. The asymmetrical shape uses a stiff inner section for response, with flexible edges for freestyle fun. 

A full-length EVA footbed filters out the noise for cushioned landings and all-day comfort. Fluschup technology lets you remove the highback for powder day freedom. A universal mounting disc ensures a secure fit on any snowboard.

And depending on your mood, Jones bindings let you switch between “Freeride” and “Surf” modes. How? Use hard bushings to ramp up response on freeride-focused days. Or, try soft bushings for a loose, surfy experience. 

salomon hologram
Salomon

Salomon 

When it comes to snowboard equipment, Salomon doesn’t make a big show of it. Instead, the company quietly produces some of the best functioning gear year after year. Whether boards, boots, or bindings, the brand knows snowboarding. Its Hologram bindings demonstrate that.

Hologram bindings use various innovative elements, whether the baseplate, highback, or straps. And they aren’t just marketing gimmicks. Each has a purpose, giving you a better day on the mountain. 

A Shadow Fit 3-piece baseplate uses a soft heel cup for a natural feel and improved connection. It is composed of 45% glass/nylon material and provides a robust and reactive platform. 

The baseplate also uses Kevlar Quickwire for rapid reactions on any terrain. Beginning at the toes and triangulating around the heel cup, the Kevlar wire enhances energy transfer for split-second direction changes. 

Integral to the Hologram binding is its asymmetric highback, featuring a balance of response, comfort, and board feel. Want to charge? It can handle that. Want to cruise? No problem.

To smooth out choppy snow and take the bite out of landings, Salomon uses a soft EVA under the heel and an EVA/PE pad under the toes. Just ride and repeat.

Beyond that, the Hologram has a universal mounting disc, aluminum buckle levers, and a precision-fit Power Lite ankle strap. If you want strap bindings, these offer versatility at a reasonable price. 

EVO Seattle store location
EVO

Where to buy snowboard bindings

When it’s time for new gear, our preferred site is EVO. Besides its vast selection, the retailer has excellent customer service and fast shipping, helping you get after it without the wait. And since EVO has multiple brick-and-mortar locations, you can pick up your order or peruse the latest boards. Time for new boots? Whether buying online or in person, you can try on multiple pairs for the perfect fit. 

That gives you the best of both worlds. Are you leaving for an epic trip in one week? Just hit the EVO site, pick some gear, and choose expedited shipping. Or, if you want a classic in-person shopping experience, hit a physical location to get a natural feel for apparel and boards. After all, what beats walking into a snowboard shop, being surrounded by miles of gear, and taking it all in? It’s like being a kid in a candy store. Whichever option you choose, you’ll be ready to rip when the lifts open.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Reif
Mark’s a lifelong snowboarder with a passion for the sport. He lives in Stowe, Vermont, where he also works as a snowboard…
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