Union Bindings 2018
Pushing the limits of design and innovation, Union Bindings is back for the 2018 season with some of the best snowboard bindings in the industry. See what sets them apart from the rest and how they continue to stay on top of the game.
Union Bindings is killing it again. These guys continue to blow us away with tech advancements and design and the 2018 season is no different. The only binding company in the industry that run their own production 100% – with no middle men or 3rd party involvement. From the ideas to the prototypes to the product testing and on to shipment, Union handles their business all by themselves – and that’s exactly how they became the best. With 100% focus on bindings, Union has created a robust lineup with a binding for every type of rider. In this article we will break down their OG’s, new models and all the tech that makes Union stand out the way that they do.
We don’t mean to swear the but the Union Flite Pro is F-ing light. In fact, it’s so F-ing light that’s exactly where the name came from. A staple in the Union lineup and a staple in terrain parks everywhere, the Flite Pro is synonymous with durability and freestyle fun. A ton of bang for your buck, the Flite Pro comes stock with features like Duraflex Nylon that is specifically designed for cold temps offering top notch strength and durability, Ultragrip Straps that guarantee to keep you locked in place at all times and a loose and surfy highback so you can get loose and surfy in the terrain park. The universal 4×4 disc allows you to attach these bindings to any snowboard regardless of brand and the lifetime warranty on the base plate will give you piece of mind in case of any reckless shenanigans. Don’t let your bindings weigh you down this winter, soar to new heights in the Union Flite Pro.
- Insanely light weight
- Ideal for beginners or anyone looking for a softer flexing binding
- Super budget-friendly
- Softer flexing bindings not ideal for big mountain riding or heavier riders who need more support
For the rider who needs a little more support but still doesn’t want to break the bank, the brand new Union STR is an excellent choice. Designed to perform like the Atlas, but on a way better budget, the STR offers Union’s high end Canted Stage 5 Base, TR16 Highback and Bone Out straps. The Canted Base is ideal for riders with a wide stance, helping to better align the ankle and knee joints to alleviate pain while the TR16 Highback features a dual material combination to increase rigidity throughout the parts of the highback that need it most. The overall flex is 5-6/10 making it a perfect all mountain binding that can get the job done in any terrain. And coming in under $180, there are not many other bindings in the industry that can compare to what you are getting with this killer binding. No matter your skill level, if you want a solid, performance binding – that will leave you some leftover cash for lift tickets – then we highly recommend the Union STR.
- All mountain performance
- High end features like a canted base and Bone Out Straps
- None that we have found yet! Feel free to send your feedback on this brand new binding
The name tells you everything you need to know – if you want more Contact with your board, then you need to be riding the Union Contact. With minimal binding-to-board contact points, you get a more true flex and natural board feel, making the ride way more enjoyable. The MD (mini-disc) has a mere 5% binding-to-board contact area which ramps up performance and durability, and is also still compatible with both the Burton Channel and traditional 4×4 binding mounts. The Asymmetrical S2 highback is soft and surfy and perfect for relaxed cruising or park riding. The Scotty Stevens pro model version comes with a new “zero lean” highback while the rest of the color ways come with a traditional adjustable forward lean. Notorious in the binding game for a good reason, the Union Contact will blow the competition away with minimal weight and insane board feel.
- Minimal 5% board-to-binding contact with the MD (mini-disc)
- Soft flexing, surfy feeling binding – ideal for park riding
- “Zero lean” highback option available in Scott Stevens pro version
- Soft flex is less responsive
A legend in it’s own right, the Force continues to stand out as the workhorse of the Union lineup. Dependable, affordable and tough as nails, the Force is the go-to binding for so many riders all over the world. With a sturdy medium-to-stiff flex and higher sitting Duraflex Injected Multizone Force highback, you get a ton of support for charging hard or sending it in the park. The Multi-Density Thermoformed EVA Bushings dampen the ride for chatter reduction and also help soften your landings while the symmetric Sonic Fused ankle straps eliminate any pressure points and keep you locked securely in place at all times. Other features include the Magnesium Ratchets that are 4 times stronger than aluminum ratchets and 1/2 the weight, and the 3D Aluminum Heelcups that add stiffness and response to the entire binding. On top of the binding game for so many years, the Union Force is always a good choice.
- Responsive and supportive
- Extremely strong and druable
- Ideal for riders of any skill level
- The slightly taller highback could be a turn off for shorter riders
Designed and ridden by Union team rider Gigi Ruf, the Contact Pro offers insane board feel, response and is one of the lightest weight bindings in the entire Union lineup. Featuring the CP3 Highback that offers an incredibly light and comfortable yet supportive feeling ride, you get the response you need with the comfort that you want. The Vaporlite full bottom bushing system offers a natural canting, vibration dampening and foot comfort that will help keep you on the mountain longer. The Contact Pro also features Duraflex ST in critical areas of the baseplate for added power, cushioning and support while the Extruded Aluminum Heelcups add a sturdy stiffness to the binding for added support. Finally, the MD (mini-disc) creates a minimal 5% binding-to-board contact in an effort to minimize the materials between you and your board for better board feel and overall response. If guys like Gigi are sending it on the Contact Pro, maybe it’s time for you to give them a try too.
- Top notch board feel and response
- Vaporlite bushing system offers dampening and all-day comfort
- Mini-Disc features minimal 5% binding-to-board contact
- A softer flexing binding that is more ideal for park and freestyle
- Heavier weight riders may find these don’t offer enough support
If you like the idea of the Contact Pro but are looking for more stiffness and support then you should be checking out the Union Ultra. With the same goal of ultimate board feel and true board flex – but with a way more supportive highback for better response, the Ultra is the perfect happy medium for that rider that wants it all. The Vaporlite 2.0 Footbed offers superior dampening – regardless of temperate – creating an all-day comfort that also reduces chatter to help avoid fatigue. The Forged Carbon highbacks reduce weight while creating a rigid and responsive backing that offers support in the most extreme riding conditions while the brand new Exoframe/Air Ankle straps produce strength and rapid response on the outside and cushy comfort on the inside. The Ultra’s also include the 3D Aluminum Heelcups, Magnesium Ratchets and the MD (mini-disc) base. For the ultimate in board feel mixed with the ultimate in responsiveness, there is no better choice than the Union Ultra.
- Mini-Disc base offers top notch board feel
- Forged carbon highback creates extremely responsive ride
- Vaporlite 2.0 footbed dampens and adds major comfort
- Price point jumps up due to tech
- Forged Carbon highback is extremely rigid feeling
The top dawg, big boss of the Union binding collection is the Ultra FC. Loading this binding up with forged carbon creates one of the most responsive, lightweight bindings in the snowboard industry. One of the first to experiment with this much carbon, Union has perfected this model for the ’17-’18 season and is the ideal binding for the experienced freeride enthusiast that needs a stiff, powerful binding. First, the X-Carb Mini Disc Base provides a lightweight and responsive ride with minimal binding-to-board contact. Next, the Forged Carbon Heelcups add rigidity and strength which stiffens the entire chassis. Finally, the Forged Carbon Highbacks offer insane support and response so you can ride with confidence in the fastest, steepest, gnarliest conditions that you can find. Strictly intended for charging hard and riding fast, the Union Ultra FC is one of the best snowboard bindings that money can buy.
- Nearly full carbon construction reduces weight and creates insane response
- Mini-Disc base offers better board feel and true board flex
- Lifetime guarantee means these bindings are built to last
- Extremely stiff
- High price due to tech
Perfect for riders of any skill level that are looking for a reasonably priced, soft flexing women’s binding, is the one and only Union Rosa. Equipped with the Flite Lady Base which offers a lightweight, performance driven and comfortable ride, Thermoformed EVA Bushings with focused reinforcement in the heel and Extruded 3D Aluminum *Adjustable* heel cups for a supportive and customizable ride. The Rosa is perfect for all-mountain cruising or a few laps in the terrain park, and thanks to the forgiving flex and comfortable fit, you will be able to ride all day with no discomfort. First timers to seasoned rippers all love the Union Rosa.
- Soft flexing, forgiving binding
- All mountain capability
- Added dampening in the heel for all-day comfort
- Softer binding and not intended for more aggressive riders
- Heavier weight riders may desire more response
For the ladies that are lapping the park or just looking for a surfy, freestyle forward binding, check out the Union Milan. Similar to the Contact in the mens lineup, the Milan comes with the Duraflex Mini-Disc (MD) base, creating a super soft and cushy base with top of the line board feel thanks to the minimal binding-to-board contact area. The Asym S2 Lady highbacks have a durable and responsive design that are ideal for freestyle and urban riders since they are slightly tweaked to the outside which compliments the naturally canted footbed. (*also ideal for riders with a wide stance!) Finally, the Multi-Density EVA bushings create a damp, shock absorbing base for stomping big tricks or just reducing chatter on hard pack conditions. Super comfy, loose and a blast to ride, all female freestyle rippers need to give the Union Milan a try.
- Cushy, surfy, freestyle feel
- Mini-Disc base for better board feel
- Asym highbacks for better freestyle performance
- Less ideal for freeride due to the soft flex
The female version of the Union Force, the women’s Trilogy binding is dependable, responsive and majorly durable. With a medium flex and tough construction, the Trilogy is perfect for that all-mountain riding lady that wants to charge a little harder and go a little faster. The Trilogy Highback has a slight taper towards the top creating a flex where you need it and response and durability everywhere else. The Duraflex ST Trilogy base won’t be compromised under extreme weather conditions, the Multi-Density Thermoformed EVA bushings keep their shape over the years for dependable comfort and dampening while the Magnesium Ratchets offer 4 times the strength of aluminum at 1/2 the weight for a smooth buckle every single time. Upgraded features mixed with reliable tech makes the Union Trilogy an absolute no-brainer.
- Durable and responsive construction
- Upgraded tech like magnesium buckles and Duraflex base
- Tapered highback for flex and support where you need it
- Upgraded tech moves you to a higher price point
- Taller highback creates a stiffer feel
Ladies, if high performance is what you are after, look no further than the Union Legacy. Designed to push progression in women’s snowboarding, the Legacy is one of the lightest weight, most responsive women’s bindings on the market. Equipped with features like a Duraflex ST Blended Nylon base and Integrated Vaporlite bushings, the Legacy weighs in at a shocking 699 grams. The Asym/Symmetric Legacy Highbacks are female specific and built with strategic support to offer both comfort and responsiveness. The Vaporlite Bushings have a natural canting and offer vibration reduction and major comfort for long days on the slopes and the 3D Sonic Fused Ankle Straps evenly distribute pressure for a secure and comfortable strap in every time. For the ladies that are pushing the limits, you need a binding that is doing the same. Minimal weight and maximum performance is exactly what you will get from the Union Legacy.
- Female specific high performance binding
- Major upgrades create all-day comfort
- One of the lightest weight women’s bindings ever produced
- High price point
- Stiff flex that may be too aggressive for beginners