Union Ultra 2022-2023 Snowboard Bindings Review

Tested and selected for our top 100 snowboard products of the year: the Union Ultra

  • Price: £270 / €290 / $325
  • Sizes: S, M, L
  • Flex: 6/10
  • Entry System: Classic

Why We Chose The Union Ultra: Don’t call it a comeback – but do call it ace.

The Union Ultra bindings have returned to the line after a few years’ absence, with a complete revamp for 2022/23. While the name may be the same, it looks like we have a different beast on our hands now. Not only is the personality very different, most of the tech on display hasn’t been seen anywhere in the Union line before now.

“Most of the tech on display hasn’t been seen anywhere in the Union line before now”

Who Is The Union Ultra For?

Don’t be put off by the name; unlike elsewhere in the snowboardsphere, here ‘Ultra’ doesn’t mean ‘stiffer than Liz Truss attempting light-hearted banter’. This is actually aimed squarely at freestyle fans rather than hell-for-leather (or should that be carbon?) freeriders. There are versions for both men and women, featuring identical tech, so the potential customer base for this one is massive.




Union has garnered a reputation for making bindings that are next to indestructible. That certainly seems to be the case with the Ultra, and yet it still ranks as one of the lightest models in the range (which is great news for freestylers).

The chassis is not only light and strong, it’ll also bend and flex with your every tweak. Union’s signature extruded aluminium heelcup remains in force, and now features a redesigned washer that provides extra security for the screw that fixes the ankle strap to the cup (OK, no-one’s expecting you to get excited about a washer of all things, but it’s still good to see).

What Union are most stoked about is the new Molecular Bushing that sits directly underneath your boot. As well as being considerably lighter than Union’s usual fare, it’s also reactive to your movements, delivering a ‘spring-loaded’ feel upon take-off and some extra cushioning when you land. Underneath that is a layer of thermoplastic material that provides extra dampening, which is useful both during touchdown and when blasting across uneven terrain. For now, at least, you’ll only find all this on the Ultra.

“Union has garnered a reputation for making bindings that are next to indestructible”

Straps and Highbacks

That molecular bushing has also been applied to the inside of the new 15 Ultra Duraflex ST highback (again, exclusive to the Ultra). The malleability of the material will facilitate any pressing and poking you get up to in the park, while also aiding edge changes.

The ankle strap on the Union Ultra is also touted as ‘new’, but in reality is a hitherto-unseen combination of two existing designs: Union’s ubiquitous ‘exoframe’, which applies a smaller, thinner strap across the front of the ankle strap to provide extra response, and the mega-comfy ‘Forma’ option. For someone who wants to smash the jump line all day without having to soak their feet all evening, these are ideal. The toe strap, meanwhile, is as minimalist as they come, and shaped to stay put on any boot you put in it.

“The level of detail is catnip for gear nerds, but the Ultra’s real appeal is in how it feels to ride””


With its ideation-to-production process all housed under one roof (‘The Box’ facility in Italy), Union constantly looks for ways to refine what is already a seriously impressive line of binders. The return of the Ultra signals a new high-watermark for its freestyle range, with new features that we expect to see rolled out elsewhere in the range before long.

The level of detail (including the published weight in grams) is catnip for gear nerds, but the Ultra’s real appeal is in how it feels to ride, be it in the park or elsewhere.


  • Plenty of bleeding-edge tech on display, and none of it gimmicky
  • Durability, thy name is Union


  • There’s no forward lean adjustment system, if that’s something you look for


Tester’s Verdict

Joy Dutch – Wordsmith, Whitelines

“These bindings felt really nice to ride a little looser in the straps, really pliable and mellow flex-wise and they encourage you to really try and manoeuvre the board under your feet. I like a softer binding, and these are nice and flexy in the highback for jibby riding and playful park riding. They felt quite damp underfoot, you can feel the footbed doing its job when you’re slapping into landings but they don’t feel squidgy like some other models.

The only gripe I had with these was that the heel cup seemed weirdly small? I have a UK4 / EU37 boot and was riding the size Small and I had to try and stomp my boot into it. It was so tight width-wise that I’m not sure if it was a faulty pair or something. I have always ridden small Union’s and I rode the same size in the Trilogy and it was absolutely fine. So, word of advice if you’re on the cusp of a size, I’d say go up rather than down.”

Trade Secrets

Riley Goodwin – Marketing Manager, Union Binding Company

“The all-new Ultra utilizes the latest in Union’s manufacturing capabilities and materials to redefine how a freestyle binding should ride and interact with your snowboard boots. Inspired by running shoes, Union’s new molecular bushing is the key ingredient to the Ultra’s super cushioned ride feel. In addition to the baseplate, we’re also using the molecular bushing in the Ultra’s highback to provide increased flexibility for freestyle riding. Tested and trusted by Union professionals Gigi Rüf, Scott Stevens and Jess Kimura.”

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