Expert Review: Salomon Highlander Snowboard Bindings · 2022
This review is my honest opinion of the bindings, which I purchased with my own money in May of 2022.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the bindings, which I purchased with my own money inMay of 2022.
The Salomon Highlander Bindings are a surfy yet aggressive binding that would be a solid choice for any intermediate or advanced rider. They are versatile bindings that provide comfort and a lot of lateral flex, while still being stiff enough to handle hard-core riding.
About the gear
- Model: 2022 Salomon Highlander Snowboard Bindings
- Size: Medium
- Burton channel compatible: Yes
- Mini disc: No
- Height: 5’7”
- Weight: 130 lb
- Experience: 23+ years
- When I bought these: May 2022
- Days tested: 3
- Board: Salomon Highpath & Salomon Abstract
- Boot: Salomon Ivy
- Where I’ve used it: Oregon
- Terrain: Groomers, Park, Off-piste soft spring snow
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was looking for a supportive binding in the advanced category, but I didn’t want something so stiff it was uncomfortable when cruising at slower speeds or hitting jumps. I wanted a freeride binding with a freestyle flair.
Why I chose this gear
I kept hearing about ‘shadowfit’ and someone suggested it could be my perfect mix of a stiff binding with more movement. I tried them out and loved the lateral freedom they offered. I felt like I was able to ride aggressively but surfy, and it was very enjoyable.
I looked at the Ride C-8s and the Union Legacys. I already have a pair of Union’s, so I decided to try out a different brand, and while the slimeback design that Ride uses to absorb shock was appealing, the shadowfit technology really won me over to Salomon.
What I love about them
- Stance adjustability: The bindings can accommodate a pretty wide range of stances. Salomon uses a little piece of plastic on the bottom of the bindings to keep the screws in place, and I found that I could rotate it vertically or horizontally to accommodate for multiple stance options.
- Comfort: These bindings were very comfortable for all-day riding. The footbed is canted 2.5 degrees which contribute to comfort for the knees, and I found the padding on the footbed to be very comfortable as well. The straps are lightweight and conformed to my boot well. There were no pressure points for me or any uncomfortable areas.
- Shock absorption: These bindings absorb shock well. The padding creates a pretty damp feeling that reduces chatter and I think the heel loop helps to absorb shock as well. I went over some ungroomed bumpy areas and felt like these bindings did a good job absorbing the chatter.
- Responsiveness: The responsiveness of these is top-notch. I’m guessing it has to do with the Kevlar Quickwire they use to offer quick transmission of movement, but overall I felt like I got a lot of response out of these bindings and they were quick to turn and easy to pop.
- Carving: I loved carving on the Highlanders. The lateral movement from the shadowfit technology provides the support needed to carve hard and maintain speed, but the softness of the heel cup provided enough give to get really low in the carves. There’s more room to move while not compromising on support at all.
- Ease of turn initiation: I found these bindings to be very quick edge-to-edge. I had no problem making short fast turns or larger carves and they’re really responsive and will follow my lead without much effort.
- Buttering: I didn’t expect a binding rated this stiff to butter well, but I was pleasantly surprised! These bindings provide support in all the right places and still have a playful amount of give which makes buttering surprisingly fun.
- Straps: I really like the straps used on these bindings. The toe strap is a harder plastic but I found my boot fit in really well and held perfectly, and the ankle strap is a little more malleable to conform to the shape of the boot. I had no pressure points and I felt like the straps were lightweight and comfortable. There is also a small knob on each strap that I can turn to make the straps shorter or longer. They’re incredibly easy to adjust quickly without a tool.
- Buckles: The Buckles seem really durable, they climbed the ladders smoothly and I haven’t had any issues with them sticking or coming loose. They’re pretty easy to get on and off with gloves on too, which is great.
- Durability: I haven’t had these long enough to honestly know how durable they will be, but they seem very sturdy and tough. I expect they will last quite a while, I don’t see any signs of any weaknesses in construction.
- Weight: I find these to be pretty lightweight for the amount of stability they provide. The straps are really light, and the lattice design of the highback seems to cut down in weight a little bit as well.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Binding adjustability in boots: I found that the heel cup held my boot in really well and the shadowfit technology sort of conformed to the boot and moved with it which is great, but the adjustability of the highbacks was not my favorite. A tool is needed to adjust the highback, and if I rotated the highback at all it seemed to automatically change the angle of the highback as well.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite day with these so far was at Timberline, Mt. Hood. It was a bluebird day and Mt. Hood loomed in front of us all day. The views were amazing, and it had snowed just a few days before so there was still some soft stuff left. In the morning we rode off-piste more than on, and these bindings were awesome as far as response and comfort, and then in the afternoon, we went to the flow park. I wasn’t sure how a stiff pair of bindings would do in the park, but I was blown away at how much pop and maneuverability I had with these. Truly a fun day, I didn’t want to leave!
Value for the money vs. other options
I really love these bindings, but I would have to suggest getting them on sale. They are very high quality, but they are also not cheap. Their MSRP is around $349, which is a bit higher than other bindings I would compare them to. I love the technology Salomon is using, but I would expect even more bells and whistles for a pair of bindings at that price. Most of the comparable bindings by Ride are at least $40 cheaper, and Union makes some well under $300. That being said, if it can be found at a good deal, I’d say to scoop them up!
Overall these are a high-quality, durable, comfortable pair of bindings that are well suited for an intermediate to advanced rider. Someone looking to ride hard, but have a surfy freestyle vibe would absolutely love the Highlanders.