Top 10 Splitboard Bindings for 2022

Splitboard Binding Test Mike HardakerMike Hardaker Testing Nitro Splitboard Bindings in the Tetons | Photo: Ryan Ariano Mountain Weekly News

These days splitboard bindings are riding and looking much more like regular snowboard bindings. Splitboarding is HOT these days. Everyone you know will be talking about touring, so if you’re looking for a Spark Splitboard Binding or Union Splitboard Binding, don’t wait too long as these ALL sold out last year.

For 2022 it will be darn near impossible to find bindings, as most look to already be sold out again this season or have limited sizes available.  Rumor has it some* retailers are allowing backorders and may have bindings to deliver later this season.

Start here watching the video I made below about the different bindings we tested for 2022.

Best Splitboard Bindings

2022 Union Expedition Splitboard Binding

Union Explorer Binding

There’s still lots of peanut gallery splitboarders talking trash on these bindings.  That’s fine as those in the know understand the Union Explorer and former Expedition Bindings will ride, feel, perform and look like your traditional standard binding.  And if you have ever ridden Union Bindings at the resort you know they are one of the best manufactures in the game. This binding differs from the Sparks touring as there is only 1 heel riser setting, which has yet to be an issue. The benefit is less moving parts and 4 less screws to mount to the board.

The Explorer Binding got a few upgrades including a locker for the pin to sit in while riding.  Some bright new colorways (lets make splitboarding fun again).  There may be a tiny bit of spin to these bindings when you mount them.  Try it before you knock it as the bindings do NOT spin underfoot while riding.  If anything they give you just a little more play vs having a solid metal binding attached to the board.  Union includes pucks with their bindings that mount to your split and a second set you can mount to a solid board.  2 bindings in one… Check out my full review of the Union Explorer Binding to learn more.

Best for: Riding like you do at a Resort

Price: $399.95

Pucks: Included

Not Compatible with Burton Channel System

Buy Now

Nitro Vertical Splitboard Binding

Nitro Vertical Binding

Finally Spark R&D and Union had a baby together, and boom you get the Nitro Vertical Binding.  All kidding aside these brands have not teamed up but it sures seems like it. With the Nitro Vertical Binding you get all the tech found with Spark R&D as they actuall built this binding.  So the baseplate is exactly like Sparks.

Where this binding stands out is with Nitro stepping and making it comfortable. If you have only ridden Sparks before and you put your feet in a splitboard binding with padded footbeds, a soft flexing highback and super comfy toe and heel straps you’re going to wonder why this hadn’t been thought of before?

Go buy this binding, you’ll be stoked, you get the comfort of Unions and response, with that progressive Spark R&D technology you’re familiar with in touring in when you step foot into the Nitro Vertical Binding, which is pinless.

Best For: Freestyle Fun in the Backcountry

Price: $469.95

Pucks: Not Included

Buy Now

Burton Splitboard Binding

Burton Hitchhiker Binding

Another Spark R&D Binding that has gotten some comfort and the Burton factor added to it is the Burton Hitchiker Binding.  I like this binding and the Nitro’s above more then any other Spark Splitboard Bindings.  Why? Comfort, comfort, comfort.

Burton makes snowboard bindings, some darn comfortable ones at that.  This high performance binding will perform very similiar to any of the Sparks touring, transitiong and whrere it changes a little is in the ridding. Burton added highback with foam padding that really allows you to spend that much more time in the binding without feeling a pinch or pressure point that can be found with stiffer harder plastic bindings. Burton straps and ladders make this an incredibly reliable bindings, and it’s super easy to find spare parts for.

Best for: Fans of Burton Snowboard Boots and Spark R&D

Price: $459.95

Pucks: Not Included

Buy Now

2022 Union Explorer Binding

Union Explorer FC Splitboard Bindings

The Union Expedition FC Binding is Union’s newly updated lightweight splitboard binding. Union took the Expedition Binding out of the lineup and re-introduced it with a carbon fiber highback that sheds weight making them lighter than the Expedition 2.0’s.  Do keep in mind that Union Splitboard Bindings look and feel more like a traditional snowboard binding, with that comes a little added weight and the tried and true feel of a binding you’re most likely accustomed to.

What I like about these Union Bindings is if you add the Union Quiver Disk you can run these bindings on your solid too. When you put your boots inside the Union Expedition FC Bindings you just might forget your on a splitboard. Especially when you’re flying down the mountain blasting off everything in your path.

Best Use: A splitboard binding that can be used in and out of bounds.

Price: $549.95

Pucks: Included

Not Compatible with Burton Channel System

 

Splitboard Binding - Spark R&D

Spark R&D Arc Pro Splitboard Bindings

What makes the Spark R&D Arc Pro Splitboard Specific Bindings special is the weight, at only 1.23 lb per binding (557g) this the lightest soft boot men’s splitboard binding on the market. For 2021 Spark’s Arc Pro’s feature Pebax Plastic in their pillow line straps.  These straps are comfortable, without bulk and easy to move around in the cold. For big mountain riders demanding performance the Rip N Flip Highbacks have been reinforced with carbon fiber stiffing up the ride a bit allowing for more response from the bindings.

Theses Spark Splitboard Bindings shed even more weight with lighter screws and nuts which are now adjustable via a hex key.  The Spark R&D Binding Company make the best splitboard binding for those looking to reduce the weight of their touring setup.

Best Use: Long days of touring.

Price: $540.00

Pucks: Not Included

 

2021 Spark Surge Pro

Spark R&D Surge Pro Splitboard Bindings

The Spark R&D Surge Pro Binding is the lightweight version of Spark’s Surge splitboard binding built for larger more powerful riders.  At 5’11 155 lb I was able to handle this binding but it really likes to be ridden by someone with more bulk, someone that is hard on their gear but doesn’t want to suffer with too much additional weight underfoot.  The Surge Pro Bindings for 2021 managed to shave additional weight at 1.33 lb per binding (603g) which super respectable for a binding designed to handle the needs of heavier dudes.

The stiffer Spark Surge Pro’s also use carbon fiber in the highback and the comfortable, lightweight Pillow Line straps along with the upgraded nuts and screws adjustable via hex key. And Spark’s burly snap ramp to lock you in on the way up

Best Use: Long tours for bigger riders.

Price: $415.00

Pucks: Not Included

 

2021 Splitboard Bindings

Spark R&D Arc Splitboard Bindings

This is the binding that really got things moving for Spark R&D.  Most likely you have owned a pair of Spark R&D Arc Bindings, my guess is these are the best selling splitboard binding of all time?  What you get with this binding is a whole lot of reliability on the way up and fun on the way down.  Its the sort of binding you can clank together to get snow off without worrying about breaking anything. Incredibly durable, and pretty much as light as the Pro’s. The Spark R&D Arc Bindings weigh only 1.38 lb per binding (626g).

These bindings forgo the carbon fiber highbacks (found in the Arc Pros) and use Spark’s traditional screws and hardware instead. Toss in the Pillow Line straps and you have my favorite Spark R&D binding to date.

Best Use: Going up and down just about anything you can imagine.

Price: $385.00

Pucks: Not Included

2021 Spark R&D Surge Splitboard Binding

Spark R&D Surge Splitboard Bindings

Spark’s Surge Binding is the best splitboard binding for larger riders, dudes with big feet and that are hard on their gear.  Does that sound like you?  This binding can still be ridden by lighter riders but it’s stiffer and more reinforced for powerful responsive riding styles.  Even though the Spark R&D Surge Binding is tougher, the weight is still respectful at 1.50 lb per binding (680g).

Just like all the other Spark Bindings, the Surge’s come with Pillow Line straps, durable buckles and hardware.  The only real difference you’ll notice between with this binding is the solid baseplate vs the Arc’s that have cutouts in the baseplate design.

Best Use: Larger Riders that want reliable bindings.

Price: $415.00

Pucks: Not Included

2021 Union Expedition

Union Expedition 2.0 Splitboard Bindings

For someone new to splitboarding the Union Expedition Splitboard Bindings will offer the most familiar feel.  The only hiccup is the interface is a little tricker than the Spark’s to use at first.  Once dialed in though there is nothing that compares to the downhill performance Union offers. Well aside from your traditional snowboard binding as that’s exactly how the Union’s perform.  Zero sacrifice on the way down.  Why is that? These Union Splitboard Bindings took parts from traditional snowboard bindings and incorporated them into a splitboard binding, including the baseplates, bushing, straps and heelcups.

For 2021 the Union Expedition Splitboard Bindings 2.0, have an updated pin system for touring and riding that offers a tighter fit with less play then in the past.

Best Use: Surfing deep snow.

Price: $399.95

Pucks: Included

Not Compatible with Burton Channel System

K2 Splitboard Binding - Farout

K2 Farout Splitboard Bindings

A new player in the splitboard binding game as of late is K2 Snowboarding. The K2 Farout Splitboard Binding may seem similar to Sparks, because they are. The bindings slides onto Voile pucks from the front vs Spark from the back. The main difference between how the K2 Far Out Binding is attached to the board in ride mode vs the Spark R&D system is you actually pull the bindings on the pucks toward you vs Sparks where you slide the bindings over the pucks. So it’s similar in that regard.

The bottom of the Far Our Binding features a Pinless Speed-Rail Mountain System which is essentially 2 hooks that lock into place by wrapping around a metal bar.

Best Use: Just getting into splitboarding, or want to change up your current gear.

Price: $419.95

Pucks: Not Included

Voile Speedrail Split Binding

Voile Speed Rail Splitboard Bindings

Voile is still in the splitboard game for now (?) with their Speed Rail Binding and Light Rail Women’s Splitboard Binding that come with the new Quick-Lock touring bracket. Voile moved away from the Pinless Speed-Rail Mountain System use of hooks and instead designed a locker similar to AT bindings, something Voile desperately needed to do to stay relevant in the splitboard industry these days.

This Voile Splitboard Binding has a unique feature in the highbacks which has cutouts designed to fit Voile straps to make your own power strap of sorts. Weight 1 lb 7 oz per binding.

Best Use: Someone wanting to switch up their binding interface.

Price: $375.00

Pucks: Not Included

Spark R&D Hardboot

Spark Dyno DH Splitboard Bindings

Splitboard Hardboots make touring much more efficient, especially valuable when the majority of our days are spent on the way up. For anyone considering splitboard mountaineering, Spark R&D Dyno DH is a solid splitboard binding from the guys over at Spark R&D. Keep in mind you will sacrifice a little on the descent in terms of freestyle abilities but you’ll get to the top quicker

Best Use: Long tours in hardboots

Price: $250.00

Pucks: Not Included

Splitboard Hardbootd Binding - Spark R&D

Spark R&D Tech Toes Splitboard Bindings

Also, while splitboard mountaineers previously had to use skiing toepieces to clip into for the ascent, Spark has come out with their own tech toepieces for people looking to use ski boots splitboarding. Instead of having to adapt a pair of AT toepieces to your splitboard (which involves either drilling new holes into your topsheet and mounting them a la ski bindings or using adapters that add weight, height, and expense), Spark’s Tech Toepieces have a split hole pattern built-in.

Best Use: Touring with Dynafit “Tech” Bindings

Price: $160.00

About the Author

Mike Hardaker
Mike Hardaker grew up surfing and snowboarding in Orange County and followed his love of surfing to Hawaii before eventually moving to the mountains to concentrate on snowboarding. He went on to found Mountain Weekly News based in Jackson, Wyoming.

28 Comments on "Top 10 Splitboard Bindings for 2022"

  1. I am surprised not to find a Karakoram or Plum binding in your top ten. In my opinion they are far above all of the ones reviewed here. Spark have decent bindings but I had an awfull experience with a Voilé setup.
    And how about Phantom for hardboot ? I would love to see them reviewed

    • Mike Hardaker | April 19, 2022 at 11:58 AM | Reply

      Pops,

      We don’t support Karakoram Bindings at all. Plum is unavailable in North America because they actually got sued by Karakoram… John at Phantom can reach out to us anytime for reviews but he doesn’t so we stick with the companies that want us to test their gear.

      -Mike

  2. Hey, so you posted the Voile binding as “speed rail” but the binding you are reviewing is the “light speed”, the “light rail” is now the k2 binding you reviewed. Also, as some one who has been on the “speed rail” since they first came out (2016?) They only problem I have ever had is the shearing off of one of the hooks. Voile changed up the materials from the first season and they also changed the climbing interface from plastic grommets to brass. I can literally have them on and off in less than 5 seconds, though it does take some time to figure out the angle that you need to apply them, also the voile heel risers are money, especially compared to the spark risers that are connected to the binding. Last year I picked up a pair of Plum Feryans and really enjoyed the tech and the torsional stiffness especially for big lines, but overall its just way to complex and I am always having screws loosen even when i have used loctite. Im back with the speed rails now, just way more simple and fool proof.

    • Mike Hardaker | March 23, 2021 at 1:01 PM | Reply

      Those Plum Bindings are sure nice.

      The article is a roundup of all split bindings, so the Voile ones are old but still sold. So they still are included in the future if they arent available we can pull them. Had to do that with Fix, they never brought their splitboard binding to the market.

      Mike

  3. Unbelievable that on the top 10 you find 2 union and no Karakoram.
    If you had problems with karakoram you should report them, they have a long life warranty, thats the main reason of the high price.
    But Union? Really? Did u try to insert that pin after a tour with the bindings full with snow and in a storm?
    Interesting…

    • Karakoram is well aware of the problems we found while testing their bindings. We reviewed 2 pairs in the past, both under 2 stars out of 5 stars. If Karakoram wants me to test their bindings, well they can contact me. Paging Tyler, Bryce and Russell.

      My 0.02 is they wont be in business in 5 years. Union and Spark have the market on lock.

      Mike

  4. Hi Mike,

    Im not sure if my last comment went through. I wanted to ask about bindings that help “press” the two splitboard halves together. From my understanding, Karakoram and the Union Split help push the two board halves together when engaged in riding mode, do you know if the Spark bindings (spark surge specifically) helps do this as well? I am looking to buy these as the Karakoram and Union split are sold out where I am at.

    Thanks for the reply

    • Adrian,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. The Sparks do help to bring the board together adding additional contact. Most boards now are really tight from the factory so the gap is minimal at best. What board you mounting them on?

      Mike

  5. Hello, could you give more feedback on the Voile speed rails and if you would buy them?
    I only ask because my local shop has literally sold out of everything else. That being said, they look pretty neat… no experience riding them but I love that they have the locked ski feature for riding downhill section, that way I dont have to take shit from my skier friends

  6. No Karakoram?

    • No, have had major issues with them icing up and breaking over the years. I can’t stand behind that product personally.

  7. Im surprised Phantom Snow bindings were omitted in the top 10. Hands down the best bindings I’ve ridden and extremely efficient, as you’ve noted with hard boots. Thanks for the review and work from Utah

    • Scott,

      Phantom won’t send us bindings? So no clue how they ride. We have a hardboot roundup coming up soon. Our crew runs the Spark setup.

  8. Aksel Frøiland Løndalen | December 25, 2019 at 8:47 PM | Reply

    Did you really try to put on the K2 binding? I find them very easy and fast to change in all conditions. Use maybe 5 sec to put them in walk mode.

  9. Liam Oberholster | December 13, 2019 at 10:29 PM | Reply

    Super informative article thank you. Do you know if the flex lock from karakoram is only compatible with their bindings? I would assume so. And for me, being able to edge better with my downhill foot would be huge, is my only option changing my spark setup to karakoram?

  10. the new k2’s are made by voile. same exact design

  11. Thank god someone is trying to invent new splitboarding gear. Beyond my usual knuckle dragging, I feel like a caveman when riding with AT skiers. Thanks for shining a light on all the new stuff. Good to see you at the show!

    take care of your shoes!

    • just don’t put on ski boots unless you plan to actually ski 🙂 were stoked on all the new split stuff that’s coming out. So far Spark, Union and Karakoram are the market leaders, TBD who else jumps into that realm. Most likely Plum, some other Euro Brands, Fix? Shit I want to see JF @ now make a split binding. Try not to miss next years appointment. “Fuck your F*ce” stoked to see you in Denver my friend, and fitting to be out front of The Motet, of all places.

  12. Mike, Thanks for the article. I was unaware Union was using a pinned system. That seems awfully risky to me, but they do have a loyal following. Do you know what happened to Ranger Bindings in NZ? Any photos of the Fix interface?

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