Best Women's Freestyle Bindings 2015 – 2016
Words: Rian Rhoe
If you want skate-like performance, this is it. The Katanas are our top pick for their ability to excel on freestyle terrain, dispense high-caliber comfort, and still offer all-mountain versatility. Testers consistently praised their lightweight design, which lifted ollies, lengthened airtime, and resulted in less foot fatigue. They flex naturally with your boots while driving power to the board's edge for quick response.
Rad: Tinker with the adjustment points for a fully customized flex. Bad: Aluminum baseplate chattered slightly on ice.
Tested + Approved 2018 presented by evo.com
Looking for the best 2017-2018 snowboard gear? We got you. As much as anyone, we want to know what gear can be trusted when put through the wringer. But testing over 500 boots, bindings, boards, goggles, gloves, helmets, packs, layers, and backcountry gear in every snowy corner of the country is a massive undertaking that the TransWorld staff can't handle alone. That's where our team of discerning testers comes in. We send the latest developments in snowboarding product to carefully selected riders around the country. With unique features on every piece and differing opinions from each tester—both compliments and complaints—there's plenty to discuss. Some gear broke. Other products spoke volumes to functionality and durability. So here it is: the most inclusive, all-encompassing gear test in snowboarding. If it's in here, it's been beat up and bent; it's been Tested + Approved.
A Maryland transplant that traded East Coast ice and slush for powder-filled peaks in the Rockies, Tyler is a freelance writer based in Fraser, Colorado. Beyond his daily laps at Winter Park, Tyler took advantage of his loose schedule, traveling everywhere from Baker to the ‘Bird, Whistler to Wolf Creek, and everywhere in between, ripping backcountry lines and rail lines alike, as he tested helmets, goggles and bindings.
TransWorld SNOWboarding Special Projects Manager Heather Hendricks is chained to a desk by summer and free to wander in the winter. During the cold months she spends her days huffing and puffing up skin tracks and brapping down sled trails when she's not lapping the lifts in her Aspen backyard. Maintaining a relentless travel schedule, she tested product in snowy locales across North America, including a pair of boots that didn't come off from 6 am one morning to 4 am the next.
Snowboarding is a force that's pulled Kit from his home mountains in Colorado, to Idaho, to Oregon, to Washington, where he currently designs luggage and bags. This technical knowledge combined with two decades spent on a board make him the ideal candidate to critically analyze packs. Kit is a boarder's boarder, with an outstanding knowledge of fabrics, liters, and zippers.
Born in the East, Devin rose from the crust of Loon to later envelop herself in the whiterooms of the West. Her love of snowboarding quickly manifested from hobby to lifestyle. This season, she put both goggles and bindings on trial in and out of bounds—from frozen mornings to spring slush, backyard rails to sidecountry jumps.
Brandon is a Burlington-based boarder who has held prominent roles with both brands and media during his 13 years spent in the snowboard industry. This season he put boots through the wringer in variable conditions from between Utah and Vermont. When he's not boarding, he's usually pointing cameras at things, blasting metal, and plotting a move back to Jackson Hole.
Andrew Nagel started snowboarding young and picked up a camera early. Spending his days following highly talented snowboarders around Brighton and Mount Hood, board control became second nature for Andrew. Andrew's measure of quality product is that which he can forget about, focusing his attention on filming and freestylin'. This year, his rig was packed with gloves and bindings, testing them around Utah and the West Coast.
Jordan isa photographer and journalist who, after traveling the world, landed in a little place called Aspen. With a work-hard, play-hard mentality, Jordan spent over100 days this season on a board, inbounds and in the backcountry, putting bindings through the paces, weeding out the ones that couldn't keep up and identifying the ones that are worthy.
Peter is 23 years old and has been snowboarding for 20 years. He grew up in Vermont and calls Utah home. He digs parks for a living—the most abusive boot scenario in snowboarding—at Brighton by winter and Mount Hood by summer. When he's not raking he's ripping, and his discerning taste in boots proved valuable in deciding this year's top picks.