Bindings aren’t quite as crucial as a well-fitting pair of boots or an appropriate snowboard, but they can still make a world of difference to your day. It’s really not a corner worth cutting, especially when you consider that a decent pair of binders will last you a while.
Heavy bindings are to be avoided, but fortunately even lower-cost models are relatively light these days – and those at the techier end of the spectrum often impossibly so. Also, the process of getting in and out should always be quick and easy, so you spend less time faffing with buckles and more time riding.
"Serious freeride bindings tend to feature stiffer components, while jib fiends will want one of the flexier options"
Most important of all comfort; you’re going to spend all day strapped into these, remember. Straps should be supportive and well-fitted, and the baseplates should strike the right balance of cushioning and boardfeel. Of course, only you know what works for you, and it’ll depend a lot on what kind of snowboarder you are.
There are plenty of specialist models out there; serious freeride bindings tend to feature stiffer components, while jib fiends will want one of the flexier options. Then there are the all-rounders that can handle everything, some of which allow you to fine-tune their characteristics on the go.
Scroll down to view all snowboard bindings, or skip to a particular brand using the links below
All photographs by Sami Tuoriniemi - click any image to enlarge
Production: Tom Copsey / Andrew Duthie / Tobias Grünwald / Sam Oetiker / Sami Tuoriniemi
Bent Metal Logic Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
Bent Metal is back back back, and here's their model for the jibbers. The urethan highback offers a nice, loose ride, and the overall binding is as light as they come.
Both baseplate and heelcup come with a lifetime warranty, so don't be afraid to thrash these.
Bent Metal Solution Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
At the other end of the spectrum is the Solution. This swaps the urethane out for aerospace-grade carbon, and the forward lean can be cranked with a simple twist of the cube at the back.
There's more carbon in the base plate, making for an ultra-responsive binding.
Bent Metal Transfer Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
In Bent Metal's line-up, this one is the happy medium - designed to take on the entire mountain with zero performance issues.
The ultra-tech Drive Plate not only offers a unique riding experience, it also features artwork by long term BM patron Jamie Lynn.
Burton Cartel Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
The closest thing there is to a celebrity of the binding world. The Cartel's been around for donkey's, but has the strength and performance of a prize-winning mare.
Now with upgraded ankle and toe straps, it's better than ever.
Burton Genesis Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
One of Burton's stiffest and techiest bindings, the Genesis is one for the more serious ricers out there.
With nary a gram of unnecessary bulk, it's a pared back weapon that provides all the support and comfort you could ask for. Screaming down faces at Mach 10 has never been more enjoyable.
Burton Lexa Women's Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
Always eye-catching and never anything less than brilliant, the Burton Lexa is one of the best-known female-specific bindings out there.
Asymmetrical ankle straps provide a customisable ride, making the Lexa even more of an all-terrain vehicle than ever.
Burton Malavita Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
We've yet to meet the man who didn't enjoy a shot on the Malavita, one of the finest freestyle binders around.
Whether you enjoy smashing side hits or boosting down the XL line, as long as you're into tricks then you'll get on famously with this one.
Drake Reload Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
The use of premium materials (leather straps, magnesium ratchets) makes it clear that this freestyle binding is fit for a king.
The baseplate is light, strong and offers more adjustability than you'd ever need, plus it allows your board to flex more naturally.
Flow NX2 GT Hybrid Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
Who said dual-entry bindings were only for beginners? The NX2 GT Hybrid is a super-stiff mother with carbon in the highback and tough aluminium alloy in the baseplate.
It's got heaps of dampening too, so even the gnarliest backcountry line can be tamed with a pair of these. Light weight, heavy duty.
Flow Fuse GT Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
This one is slightly softer, but it's no slouch. There's still more than enough support when you want to charge, although it's less of an unforgiving precision tool.
The uber-comfy straps can be individually controlled, and once you're happy with where they are you can flip the highback down and get in super-quick.
Head NX Five Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
This high-end option from Head comes in a little cheaper than you might expect, but is definitely not short on quality.The dampening system in particular is well worth casting an eye over.
Also, both the straps and the ladders are spring-loaded and fall away from the baseplate when not in use, making the strapping-in process a whole lot less faffy.
K2 Formula Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
Easily adjustable and built to last, the Formula has been a winner for years. By moving the forward lean adjuster to the side of the heelcup, K2 have made this sleeker than normal while ensuring it's performance is undiminished.
A new-look toe strap rounds off the latest take on a perennially popular all-rounder.
K2 Lien FS Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
The more freestyle-friendly version of the Lien (check out the AT if you're more of a freerider), the FS has been one of our favourites since it first appeared.
The 'Tripod' chassis offers a unique binding-to-board sensation, with the option for increased lateral movement. It's comfy as hell, too.
Nitro Poison Women's Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
The Poison is a new high-end freestyle binder for 2016/17, which has already found favour with slopestyle smasher Silje Norendal.
With asymmetric highbacks, stretch-proof ratchets and and an airbag dampening system, these are tough enough for a whole season of park-slaying.
Nitro Zero Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
Another freestyle-focused binding, the Zero has been a favourite for the last few seasons - and always boasts eye-catching designs.
The aluminium heelcup can handle anything you throw at it, and can be easily adjusted for the perfect fit. Once you're away, the uber-comfy toe straps keep you locked in while you get to work deepening your trick bag.
The combination of EVA foam and air dampening also means that it'll handle impacts all day long.
NOW Brigade Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
NOW Bindings feature a unique skate-inspired system that lets your bindings 'rock' from edge to edge.
Ride Rodeo Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
This ain't Ride's first Rodeo... A long-standing park rider's favourite, this is built to withstand an absolute bucketload of abuse.
At the same time, if you want to take it easy then the Rodeo's mellow flex will oblige. Whatever your speed, it won't buck you off.
Rome D.O.D. Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
Do Or Die - this is a binder for those who like to take risks.
Thanks to attributes such as a highback with varying flex, this can actually handle mellower stuff just as well. To get the most out of it though, go drop some bombs.
Rome Katana Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
The Katana first appeared a couple of seasons back, aiming to raise the bar for lightness, performance and customisation - and it's safe to say that it doesn't fall down in any of those categories.
Set the straps and highbacks exactly where you want them, then strap in and enjoy the Katana's combination of edge-to-edge response and side-to-side freedom.
Rome Katana Women's Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
With all the same bells and whistles as the men's version, the women's Katana is a fine choice for the female rider that likes to push their limits.
SP Brotherhood Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
With a softer flex, this is SP's most freestyle-friendly binding. You don't have to shy away from bigger tricks, however, as it's got plenty of padding to keep you in one piece.
The canted footbed and minimal, highback are just the job for park rats, and the 3D-moulded ankle strap ensures you're always riding in comfort and security.
SP Multientry Split Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
Minimising faff while splitboarding is all the rage - step-in systems have even made a comeback recently. If you want something quick and easy that still provides the comfort and security of a two-strap binder, check out the SP Multientry Split.
Pop in the back, or crank the straps as normal. Either way, the easy-to-use crampon attachment and supportive highback will make both ascents and descents a breeze
SP sLab.one Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
SP's considerable tech know-how has been poured into this lightweight all-rounder, which won't let you down in any circumstances.
The aluminium chassis is built to last, and there's a gel-cushioned footbed that will eat up vibrations for a smooter ride. Despite weighing far less than the average binding, the sLab.one is supportive enough to really thrash.
Salomon Defender Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
If what you're needing defending from is unsupportive, uncomfortable binders, then Salomon has you covered with this.
The Defender applies the brand's unique Shadowfit tech to a stiffer-than-average number that won't let you down on the bigger stuff, but that isn't exclusively for hard chargers.
Salomon Hologram Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
Bode Merrill's binding of choice is as you might expect; a high-performing all-rounder with a lean towards freestyle.
The Shadowfit system's soft heelcup means that you get the perfect compatibility with any boot, while a super-tough Kevlar wire keeps the shape and improves the response.
Salomon Mirage Women's Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
Yet another example of the awesome Shadowfit system, this time exclusively for the ladies.
Nothing's off the table with this all-rounder, which delivers maximum comfort and performance from the streets to the peaks.
Switchback Fun.Kink Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
Bad news - you can only get this as part of a combo deal with the Bataleon Fun.Kink snowboard.
Good news - it really is a stonkingly good deal, which lands you a great pair of mid-flexing, endlessley customisable bindings that are ideal for all levels of rider.
Switchback Heater Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
Switchback's modular system is what sets it apart, but it makes sense to start with a high-performance freestyle binder and take it from there.
The Heater features a couple of the brand's latest innovations, including an integrated baseplate and lower-profile toe strap.
Technine TM14 Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
We have to doff our caps to Technine for never being satisfied with the standard approach to bindings. The TM14 is the latest in a long line of interesting designs which deliver all the functionality a binding needs, without ever being boring.
You can swap that odd-looking highback out for a stubby number, and go after some surfy turns in the pow.
Union Contact Pro Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
Lightweight and strong, this upgraded version of the Contact is a firm favourite with many a rider, right up to big-mountain style master Gigi Rüf.
The 2016/17 version is lighter than ever, but just as strong as always. It also lets your board flex much more naturally, thanks to the unique design of the baseplate.
Union Force Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
More indestructible than Captain Scarlet, the Union Force is the reason why Dan Brisse doesn't have to go straight to hospital after every urban bomb-drop.
If you're after something with strength and durability that doesn't compromise on comfort, look no further.
Union Rosa Women's Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
Thanks to a pared-back design that still has it where it counts, the Rosa is a fantastic choice for the cash-conscious female rider.
Is all-round performance can't be questioned, and it's a long-standing favourite with those who like to keep things simple.
Union T.Rice Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
A serious binding for a serious rider, this Travis Rice pro model will satisfy the burliest backcountry freerider.
Ever the perfectionist, Trav has fine-tuned this thing for unbeatable performance - whether blasting a park jump or bombing a culoir.
Völkl Choice Alu Snowboard Bindings 2016-2017
We round off this year's list with another dual-entry design, this time from the guys at Völkl.
The Choice Alu is stiffer than average, with a hard-wearing aluminium baseplate, so only confident riders need apply. If you find yourself getting into trouble while on these, their shock-absorbing properties will be a godsend.