Best Cheap Snowboard Bindings
Snowboard bindings are the link between the boots and the board. Experts advise choosing snowboard boots first and trying on bindings in the store with the boots before making a purchase. Although the bindings don't have to be the same brand as the boots, not every binding will fit every boot. Frugal riders need bindings that will not only secure their boots comfortably but also reliably translate their movements to the board. Cheap snowboard bindings are available from some of the same names that make the highest-end models, including Burton, Flux, Ride, and Union.
Cheap Snowboard Bindings Buying Guide
Like budget boots and boards, cheap snowboard bindings tend to be soft and flexible and suit freestyle/park riders and beginning to intermediate snowboarders. More expensive bindings are apt to be stiffer, more responsive, and highly adjustable and feature bells and whistles such as vibration reduction.
Basic binding anatomy includes the highback at the rear, the baseplate underfoot, and usually two straps over top that secure the toe and ankle. You may also come across rear-entry or convenience bindings with a highback that drops down to let your foot slide into the straps. A good cheap snowboard binding should be easy to adjust, sturdy, and fairly snug, so the board responds quickly when you shift your weight. Make sure the straps don't hang down too far when you tighten them over your boots.
In our estimation, one of the best cheap snowboard bindings is the Union DLX (starting at $130). This model comes from a company that produces only bindings (no snowboards, boots, or other gear). Snowboard binding reviews by experts and users repeatedly cite the Union DLX for its quality construction and durability. It comes with a lifetime warranty on the baseplate and heel cup. On the website of retailer Evo, intermediate and advanced riders posting snowboard binding reviews find the DLX comfortable, lightweight, and easy to adjust.
Burton offers good cheap snowboard bindings for riders of both genders: the Freestyle for men (starting at $120) and the Citizen for women (also starting at $120). These bindings have similar features, but women's snowboard bindings tend to have shorter highbacks and narrower baseplates for a better fit. Both the Citizen and the Freestyle also come in One-Up versions with one strap instead of two. However, the gear experts at The Good Ride advise opting for the extra support of the regular two-strap models. The Good Ride's snowboard binding reviews single out these Burton bindings as among the best available for beginners; more advanced riders will want to look elsewhere. Users who have posted snowboard binding reviews at board shop Dogfunk.com say the Burton Freestyle feels very secure.
The Flux PR15 also earns an excellent snowboard binding review from The Good Ride and carries a highly regarded brand name. However, feedback from users and other experts was insufficient to earn this model a spot on our list.
The Ride brand enjoys a good reputation in the industry as well, but its cheapest snowboard bindings seem to fall short. The Ride LX for men (starting at $130) and LXh for women (also starting at $130) attract negative comments from snowboarders in binding reviews on retail sites. The LXh bindings seem to be too small and narrow for many boots, judging by snowboard binding reviews at TruSnow, and riders say the straps and buckles seem cheaply made -- they're apt to chip and get stuck. The Good Ride concurs with this assessment of the straps in a snowboard bindings review of the LX, noting that Ride changed the ratchet system on its 2012 line. The site also finds both the LX and the LXh unable to effectively absorb shock.
All the cheap snowboard bindings on our list offer forward lean adjustment, which changes the angle of the highbacks. The highbacks will support you when you lean back toward your heel-side edge but allow for plenty of lateral and medial (side-to-side) movement. The toe straps on all the bindings can be worn either over the top of the foot or over the toe. The former is traditional but can create pressure points and restrict blood flow to the toes, making them cold. Wearing the strap over the toe pushes the boot back into the binding for a more secure feel.