Freeride snowboarding requires the best equipment, but the best bindings for the job are often overlooked. Your choice of snowboard bindings is critical as they transmit your inputs into the board while giving you valuable feedback about the surface you are riding on.
A good pair of freeride bindings gives you the necessary control to deal with challenging terrain while being robust enough to take the punishment of backcountry riding. Therefore, we recommend the Union Atlas FC and the Union Falcor for their outstanding performance, comfort, and adjustability.
We’ve put together a list of the best freeride snowboard bindings on the market right now. So you will be fully equipped for your backcountry adventures. We highlight the stiffness, responsiveness, comfort, usability, and adjustability of each binding. This will give you a good idea of how they will perform on the mountain.
- Jones Snowboards Apollo Bindings
- Salomon Quantum Carbon Bindings
- Union Atlas FC Snowboard Bindings (Top Pick)
- Burton Genesis Snowboard Bindings
- Arbor Cypress Snowboard Bindings (Budget Buy)
- Union Falcor Snowboard Bindings
|Freeride Bindings||Overall Score||Bottom Line||Price|
|77||No-nonsense freeride bindings that enhance your carving||Check Out On Amazon|
|81||Comfortable and enhanced edge hold||Check Out On Salomon|
Union Atlas FC
Made for aggressive riders with stiff snowboards
|Check Out On Amazon|
|80||Reliable and user-friendly while being slightly more forgiving||Check Out On Amazon|
Somewhere between freeride and all-mountain
|Check Out On Amazon|
|83||More useable than pure freeride bindings but still allow you to charge hard||Check Out On Amazon|
1. Jones Snowboards Apollo Bindings
Overall Score: 77
- Incredibly responsive
- Great at high speeds
- They will improve your carving
- Not very responsive at slow speeds
The Jones Apollo freeride snowboard bindings are incredibly stiff. In fact, there is barely any flex or torsional movement in the high back.
They have minimal forgiveness as this is Jones’ most serious freeride snowboard binding. But this stiffness allows you to really lean into your turns.
Thanks to the extra support it gives you while charging hard.
If you love to carve, the Jones Apollo snowboard bindings will greatly enhance your turns at high speeds.
The downside of these bindings is that you may find your snowboard a little less maneuverable when riding at slower speeds.
It shouldn’t be too much of a problem in the backcountry, but when you’re picking your way through ski school on a green run, you will need to have your wits about you to get through safely.
As freeride bindings go, the Jones Apollo are reasonably comfortable.
This is thanks to the extra large high-back that spreads the force over a wide area, preventing you from getting sore calves even when you have been leaning into them all day.
In addition, Jones has re-engineered the ankle strap to evenly distribute the pressure to reduce the likelihood of pressure points and hot spots to enhance comfort.
They also have padded footbeds, which do a great job of absorbing shock from landing hard from cliff drops etc.
Getting in and out of the Jones Apollo freeride bindings is incredibly easy. Thanks to the smooth ratchets on the straps, which feel high quality and like they will last a long time.
In keeping with the Jones style, you cannot adjust much on these bindings. But you can do some cool things to make them perfectly suit your feet and boots.
For example, you can adjust your stance width by moving the mounting disc horizontally to fine-tune your stance perfectly.
You can also adjust the lean of your high-backs in a unique way. You can set them up to have two forward lean settings that you can choose on the mountain without needing a screwdriver.
2. Salomon Quantum Carbon
Overall Score: 81
- Outstanding response
- Highly adjustable
- Great for aggressive riders
- Not very forgiving when riding slowly
The Salomon Quantum freeride snowboard bindings are incredibly stiff.
You will notice a lot of torsional stiffness in the high back with a slightly softer base plate, but we’re not talking squidgy freestyle findings here.
The responsiveness of these findings is pretty unbelievable; when you tilt your board over into a hard carve, it will stay there no matter how fast you are going.
Therefore this binding is for aggressive riders who like to haul ass on the groomers and want the ultimate control at high speeds in the backcountry.
However, just like most free ride snowboard bindings, they reduce the maneuverability of your snowboard, particularly well at slower speeds.
So if you are looking for something forgiving, you need to look elsewhere.
The comfort of the Salomon quantum freeride bindings is pretty good overall. The ankle and toe straps are nice and comfortable and don’t create annoying and painful pressure points.
Comfort is also enhanced by a canted footbed which is good news for people who like to ride with a wide stance.
The footbed also has some good padding but isn’t over the top, which can isolate you from valuable feedback from the snowboard.
The ratchets on both straps are high-quality and have smooth action. This makes them nice and easy to strap in, and out of, so you are not hanging around for too long.
There is a large amount of adjustability with the Salomon Quantum bindings.
In fact, there are adjustments that you will probably never want to make, but it’s good to know that they are there if you want to tweak your stance and comfort.
You can move the mounting plate horizontally or vertically to finely tune your stance width and ensure that your bindings are perfectly centered.
You can also adjust your forward lean on the high back, but this is a little bit tricky when you’re on the mountain as you need a tool to do it.
3. Union Atlas FC Snowboard Bindings
Overall Score: 90
- Lots of control for aggressive riding
- Lots of adjustability
- Easy to strap in and out
- Some riders may prefer more forward lean
As you would expect from a quality freeride snowboard binding, the Union Atlas FC is incredibly stiff. There is virtually no torsional stiffness from the high back or the base plate.
Therefore these bindings are among the stiffest you can buy right now.
The Union Atlas FC is an incredibly responsive binding that encourages you to ride faster and harder and promotes a more carvey riding style.
Therefore, it is best to pair these findings with a stiff snowboard. You may find that they will overpower more flexible snowboards, especially when you ride at high speeds.
If you spend a lot of time riding around busy ski resorts, you may want to choose bindings that are a little softer to improve slow-speed maneuverability.
Stiff freeride bindings will always be slightly less comfortable than ones designed for all mountain or freestyle. But the Union Atlas FC is pretty comfortable, considering the high level of stiffness.
Comfort comes from high-quality straps wide enough to distribute the pressure around your ankles and toes.
They also provide a comfortable and secure feeling which is essential when tackling challenging terrain. The footbed has excellent shock absorption, even though it feels quite firm.
It provides a surprising amount of dampening when you ride and take hard landings. The high back also has some padding, which reduces pressure on your calves.
Still, you may find them more comfortable with slightly more adjustment in the forward lean.
These are quality freeride snowboard bindings, and Union has fitted them with some great straps with excellent ratchets.
The ratchets have a smooth action and don’t take too much wrenching, and therefore they are easier to get in and out of than most bindings.
These bindings are incredibly adjustable, so you can dial in the perfect stance and fit to suit your riding style and physicality.
For example, the heel cap is adjustable, and you can extend the toe ramp to give you more leverage on toe-side turns.
You can also adjust your stance width with the mounting plate and tweak the strap lengths without a tool. Therefore, you can use trial and error to get the perfect fit around your boot while on the mountain.
The high back can be adjusted to tweak your forward lean, but you may want more if you are an aggressive rider.
You can also rotate the high back to make your turns more precise by aligning them with the heel edge of your snowboard.
4. Burton Genesis Snowboard Bindings
Overall Score: 80
- High-quality ratchets
- Super comfortable
- Highly adjustable
- Not as responsive as other freeride bindings (but this makes them more versatile)
The Burton Genesis snowboard bindings are rated by Burton as a medium flex, making them more forgiving than the other bindings on this list.
They feel more like soft freeride bindings or stiffer all-mountain bindings.
They are not as responsive when you compare them to the other freeride bindings we are talking about here.
However, they have enough responsiveness to still have lots of fun on the mountain, even at slightly slower speeds. Therefore, they are more of an all-round binding that leans towards freeride.
These bindings are slightly more flexible than most high-end freeride bindings, so they are incredibly comfortable. This is helped by the wide straps that conform nicely around your boots.
The high level of shock absorption enhances the comfort of the Burton Genesis snowboard bindings, which reduces foot fatigue on a long day of being strapped in.
Like most snowboard bindings from Burton, they are super easy to strap in and out of. This is because the ratchets are buttery smooth and only take a few cranks to get in them.
To further improve the usability of these bindings, you can now opt for step-on versions, allowing you to get shredding ahead of your strappy friends.
The Genesis bindings follow Burton’s commitment to making everything adjustable. Therefore, you can adjust pretty much everything without needing tools.
This means you can fine-tune your bindings on the mountain and verify your adjustments straight away, so you don’t have to do it at the end of the day after a few après drinks.
5. Arbor Cypress Snowboard Bindings
Overall Score: 74
- A little more forgiving than most bindings of this type
- Super comfortable
- The ratchets could be of better quality
The Arbor Cypress bindings are not incredibly stiff, but they are definitely stiffer than medium-flex bindings, and this makes them a little more forgiving and puts them somewhere between freeride and all-mountain bindings.
Due to the stiffness of these bindings, they are well-responsive to your input.
They are more at home when you ride fast, but as you would expect, their maneuverability at slow speeds is slightly compromised.
Therefore, they are better suited to hard-charging than jibbing around and park use, which is what you want from a good pair of freeride bindings.
With this in mind, pairing them with a snowboard with medium to medium stiff flex ratings is best.
The Arbor Cypress snowboard bindings are incredibly comfortable. This isn’t to say that they are the most comfortable ones you can buy, but this is down to their stiffness.
The straps feel good over your toes and ankles. However, to get the perfect feel and fit. You may need to tweak the straps to eliminate pressure points.
The main issue with these findings is that the ratchets on the straps could be better. They don’t release very easily and require more effort than most to ratchet down.
However, this is a nit-picky complaint as once you have strapped in, you won’t notice any issues. It’s just that entry and exit could be smoother..
There is an excellent level of adjustability with these bindings. For example, you can tweak the heel cup position and the position of the ankle and toe straps.
There’s a good level of forward lean on the high back, which you can also rotate. All of these adjustments can be made without using a tool.
6. Union Falcor Snowboard Bindings
Overall Score: 83
- Extremely responsive
- Great for riding hard both in and out of the resort
- Superior comfort level
- None, they are amazing
Over time, the Union Falcor has become slightly stiffer. This reduction in flex comes from a slightly more rigid high back and straps, while the base plate remains the same.
This level of stiffness makes them great for charging hard but forgiving enough for when you have to or want to take it easier.
If you like powering through carve turns, you will love the Union Falcor snowboard bindings.
Even though they are slightly more forgiving than freeride-specific bindings, they’re still a little tricky to maneuver when riding slowly, but not as bad.
Union has managed to strike a good balance between smashing down the mountain and the ability to ride at more sedate speeds but doesn’t quite hit the sweet spot to be an all-rounder.
The overall comfort of these bindings is excellent. There are no pressure points from the straps and no calf bite from the high back.
The high back has some good padding right at the top, and excellent ankle support gives you peace of mind when riding choppy snow.
The ratchets on the straps are incredibly smooth and are comparable to the quality of those you will find on higher-end Burton bindings.
As you expect from high-end snowboard bindings of this caliber, the Falcor are highly adjustable. You can tweak the heel cup, toe strap position, and toe ramp extension.
You can also tweak the strap length without using a tool. However, you need a tool to adjust the forward lean of the high back, which is a little disappointing but not a dealbreaker.
We’ve picked two sets of freeride bindings from Union for their features, comfort, and performance, but all the bindings on this list are fantastic.
Before buying your bindings, ensure they are compatible with your boots. Also, these freeride bindings work best with stiffer snowboards, so don’t be tempted to fit them to flexible freestyle snowboards.