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Bindings

Salomon Highlander 2019-2020 Snowboard Bindings Review

The Salomon Highlander has waltzed into the line in the place of the Defender and has taken up the reins as a high quality, lightweight, all-rounder.

Kitted out with a Shadow Fit heelcup, allowing for more movement down the length of the board and meaning you’re in for a really surfy ride, the extra wiggle room keeps things feeling a bit looser. If you like rock hard binders, then these probably aren’t what you’re looking for.

“The minimalist straps are really pliant and can wrap over the top of your boot without adding pressure points and hotspots”

Two Kevlar strands run through the flexible heelcup, so whilst they’re soft side to side, they’re taut and strong heel to toe. You’ll get the same edge to edge response that you’re used to getting from a traditional binding.

The minimalist straps are really pliant and can wrap over the top of your boot without adding pressure points and hotspots, they also save weight which is always a handy move. They’re easily adjustable so you’re dialled in for the perfect fit no matter your boots.

The highback is cut out strategically to allow for strength where you want it, and flexes more where you need it. Mid-stiff flexing for that predictable all mountain feel, it’s going to have your back from the powder stash to the park lap.

Tester’s Verdict

Rob McCreathWhitelines

“The Highlanders have the look of the CIA Mainframe – black on black, cross-hatching, and a bunch of wires and components here, there and everywhere that you’re not entirely sure what they’re there for, but you better not touch them, just in case.

I rode the Highlanders on two very different boards. The first was the 157 Äsmo – a pure powder surfer. The second was on my old trusty steed – the Salomon Assassin. While these bindings are geared as all-mountain performers, I have to say I think they work better for those looking for a much looser, mobile feeling on the snowboard.

On the Äsmo, riding with the Highlanders felt like surfing on a cloud. I could move across the board with total freedom and feel completely connected to what was happening underfoot. On the Assassin, riding a little harder around the pistes and through the park, they just felt a little too sluggish between the edges for me.

The Kevlar wire running from point to point around the back of the heel cup works well and like nothing else I’ve ridden. There’s loads of lateral flex with them, but you feel the entire binding moving with you and not, as you can sometimes experience, like you’re pulling your foot out of the baseplate.

“On the Äsmo, riding with the Highlanders felt like surfing on a cloud. I could move across the board with total freedom and feel completely connected to what was happening underfoot. On the Assassin, riding a little harder around the pistes and through the park, they just felt a little too damp between the edges for me”

Where they didn’t feel quite as responsive for me was between the edges. Despite that really supportive highback, I never felt the sensation of getting sprung from the heelside edge back to the toes. Maybe that was down to the Kevlar wire, maybe it’s just a softer overall flex than what I’m used to.

One thing worth noting, the heel hoops on these are pretty high up, so you definitely feel fully enclosed in the binding. The downside of this, for me, was that I felt a pressure point on the inside of my ankle for most of the time riding them.

Overall, the Highlanders sit as one of Salomon’s more premium bindings in the line and offer a bunch of support and a unique flex pattern. With the right boots strapped inside, I’d have no doubt they’d be super comfortable too.”

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