Union Rover and Expedition Pack 2021-2022 Backcountry Equipment Review

Tested and selected for our top 100 snowboard products of the year: the Union Rover and Expedition Pack

  • Price Skis: €399 / $399
  • Price Backpack: €139 / $129
  • Category: Backcountry
  • Ski Length: 100cm
  • Skins: Integrated (65% Mohair / 35% Nylon)
  • Compatibility: Voile Standard / All Split Bindings
  • Backpack Volume: 24 Litres

Why we chose the Union Rover and Expedition Pack Backcountry Equipment: Because you’ve already got your dream powder board and you want to ride it in the best conditions possible. Why drop the cash on a splitboard?

Approach skis. They’ve often been met with a healthy dose of scepticism from the splitboarding purists and the backcountry cynics. But what happens when the world’s leading binding manufacturer leans on the support of their friends in the CAPiTA mothership to produce a brand new approach ski and carrying system to get you earning your turns without the hassle of mastering your kick turns (not to mention giving you the freedom to ride any one of your solid snowboards for the way back down)? We’re listening…

“Designed for riders who still want to venture beyond the resort boundaries, but enjoy the descent on their ol’ reliable steed”


Who Is The Union Rover and Expedition Pack For?

Splitboarding is enjoying record levels of popularity – thought that’s not altogether surprising given the last 18 months we’ve all had. But there’s no denying it’s a pretty hefty investment. Even more so if you’ve already got your dream powder setup and don’t much fancy dropping north of £1,000 of a new setup. Enter the all-new Union Rover Approach Skis and Expedition Pack. Designed for riders who still want to venture beyond the resort boundaries, but enjoy the descent on their ol’ reliable steed. Minimal faff, maximum stoke.

Materials and Construction

Coming in at a stumpy 100cm, only 152.5mm across the waist, and just under the 2kg mark, the Union Rover Approach Skis make an ideal solution for those who want to explore beyond the pistes with a low hassle setup that’s incredibly easy to get to grips with.

Speaking of grip, the underside is fitted with an integrated climbing skin comprised of 65% mohair and 35% nylon – a combination of materials that’s often found in touring skins as they offer the best balance of traction on the climbs and low resistance for gliding on more gentle gradients, while still avoiding saturating in warmer snow conditions.

There’s a decent amount of camber running through the skis, as well as recycled steel edges, so finding grip on an icy traverse ascent should be quite straightforward, but they’re compatible with Union’s specific Expedition Crampons.

In terms of binding compatibility, the skis are configured with a Vile standard hole pattern, meaning they’ll work with virtually every splitboard binding interface. Although, if you’re investing in these, there’s a good chance you’ve already got Union’s Explorer bindings on your radar.

“Minimal faff, maximum stoke”


Although the Expedition Pack is sold separately, it might make sense for many riders to buy these as a set. Not least of all because of the various carrying systems for both the Rover Skis and your solid snowboard. You can take advantage of horizontal and vertical snowboard carry and three different carry options for the skis.

Don’t forget too, the pack isn’t solely designed for the Rover system, it makes a great backcountry accessory for inbounds days, splitboarding, or simply when you’re bootpacking. There’s an avalanche accessory compartment for stowing your shovel and probe, a fleece lined goggle pocket, and an insulated shoulder strap for hydra-pack integration. Rounding that off is a highly drable 60D recylced polyester construction.

“Although the Expedition Pack is sold separately, it might make sense for many riders to buy these as a set”


There will undoubtedly be countless splitbaorders out there who cry sacrildge at the idea of this new system on the skin track. But frankly, those are the kind of people who wash their base layers once a season and consider a Cliff Bar 1 of their 5 a day. Ignore them. This is the best approach ski system we’ve come across to date, and it does something that splitbaording hasn’t managed to do yet – open the backcountry up to more people on smaller budget, and riders who want to take their favourite powder shapes beyond the resort boundaries. Well played, Union. Well played.

Trade Secrets

Riley Goodwin – Global Marketing Manager, Union Bindings

“Union Rover is made in Austria at CAPiTA MFG using 100% clean energy and the Union Expedition Backpack was an instant Union team favourite.”

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