Union Cadet Youth 2017-2018 Kids’ Snowboard Bindings Review

UPDATE: Check out our review of the 2018/2019 Union Cadet here

Kids snowboards continue to improve in leaps and bounds, but a good pair of bindings is just as important for the young ‘uns as it is for adults. That’s why we recruited an intrepid team of hard-shredding groms to put several models through their paces, and of those a clear winner emerged: the Union Cadet Youth binding.

“The nylon baseplate is all but indestructible, as is the extruded aluminium heel cup”

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It may not be quite as space-age in its appearance as Travis Rice’s signature design, the Union Falcor, but it’s not short of tech. The guys at Union pride themselves on not short-changing younger riders, offering them many of the same great characteristics that their adult counterparts enjoy.

For starters, the Union Cadet Youth binding is tough. The nylon baseplate is all but indestructible, as is the extruded aluminium heel cup. The combination is covered with a lifetime warranty, giving you peace of mind – well, as much as you can have while your offspring is getting to grips with the shred.

The ratchets are made with high-grade aluminium too, so it’s less likely that the buckles will fail. The smooth clicking motion is an easy one for your grom to manage by themselves, even while wearing gloves or mitts.

“if your kid likes to rock a bit of forward lean then setting it is quick and easy”

Gone is the spiderweb-like highback from last year, which was similar to that of the Flite, and in its place comes a new, kid-specific design. This too comes with a lifetime guarantee, and is especially designed to meet the needs of smaller, lighter riders. There’s no wasted grams here, it’s super comfy, and if your kid likes to rock a bit of forward lean then setting it is quick and easy.

The Union Cadet Youth is available in two sizes, so every boot size from UK1 to UK6 is covered. It also has an adjustable heel cup, allowing you to fine-tune the binding’s fit as your kid moves up through the boot sizes. If it’s long-lasting performance you’re after, the Union Cadet Youth is the one.

Tester’s Verdict

Pingo – Whitelines Grom Team

“I’m keeping these. I really like the straps.”

Dad’s comments

“Unsurprisingly, these worked really well. They appeared to be pretty much bombproof, and were very easy for the kids to get on and off.

At no stage was I called upon to do them up, undo them, or adjust them. Double thumbs up from me.”

Trade Secrets

Marcy Grassis, Grom Team Rider, Union

The Union Cadet binding is super comfortable and has the perfect flex for park, all-mountain and powder. Unlike some other bindings i’ve ridden, the Cadet’s ankle and toe straps are very easy to open and close, even in the coldest temperatures.

I recommend the Union Cadet to all my fellow snowboarders.

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