This year's binding lines include more choices in looks, comfort, and performance-and more women's models.
CO2 in lime, $300
The CO2 encompasses everything you've come to expect from a leader in binding technology minus one thing-additional weight. The Air Mesh highback does away with those pesky pounds.
Mentor in black/gold, $239
Check the base, yo. The frame of the Mentor is composed of a lightweight nylon-composite base linked up to an aluminum body, which makes for a supportive and responsive binding that isn't too stiff-good for freestyle.
NXT in green, $269
The NXT is the reclining highback people's answer for a lighter-weight binding. NXT is a new series built of aluminum and fiber composite materials. Just recline the highback and put your foot in-no need to strap in.
Stream in pearl white, $250
Flux only makes bindings. That's it. These binders were engineered for a tight fit with the boot for the ultimate in responsiveness.
Platform V2.2 in white/black croc, $260
Redesigned with efficiency in mind, the heelcup is integrated with the highback to minimize heel drag-a bonus for big-footed riders. But, go ahead and buy these 'cause of the crocodile print-there's no shame in that game.
Formula in blue, $180
Here's a great example of a cool new trend-matching. The blue Formula's match up with the K2 WWW freestyle board. Do it.
Raptors in white/chrome, $269
Precision performance was the battle cry in the building of these stiff power-transfer mechanisms. Cushy shock-absorbing base covers are added to stand between you and the concrete on bomb drops.
Sigma Movement DFC in red snake, $190
The Movement is a new line for Ride, which includes three men's models and this one women's model. The MVMT line is characterized by both a soft flex and light weight. These are the lightest bindings we've seen.
Targa in white, $230
Rome is putting the focus on super-adjustability. Spend some time tweaking these to fit perfectly with your boots-'cause they will. And they're designed to only get better with use.
Relay XLT in white, $330
The Relay is a new series of bindings with two main ideas: soft contact points and better energy transfer. All of the boot contact points are up against soft shock-absorbing materials, and a tensor wire system is there to relay the energy. Go handle these at your local snowboard shop-you'll be impressed.
Marc Frank Montoya, $199
MFM's bindings come with two different styles of Baltimore toe straps-MFM's preferred low-pro plastic style or the PU-leather-wrapped team edition. Riders with smaller feet can step into the MFM Jr. model-it's the same binding but with smaller sizing.
C4 Elite, $329
It's year two for Union bindings and it's all about strength. These full carbon highbacks are forged together with extruded-aluminum heelcups and a super strong carbon-injected base. Bomber.
You might know right away which bindings you like, either based on looks, weight, or smoothness of the ratchet's operation-three key factors you can immediately recognize off-the-shelf. But there're other less obvious things to consider:
Bring your boots: You need to make sure the brand and size fit snuggly with your bindings. The better the fit, the better the responsiveness.
Three-Hole: Make sure your bindings will fit onto the hole pattern on your board; Burton boards have a three-hole pattern that isn't compatible with every binding.
Budget: We recommend staying in the middle to high-end price range. Low-end bindings usually end up being a comfort or performance compromise that you'll wish you hadn't made when you get them on-snow.
Toe caps or toe straps: It's purely personal preference, but almost every binding manufacturer offers at least one model with caps these days.