Expert Review: Union Ultra Snowboard Bindings · 2023Published on 02/19/2023 · 4 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the snowboard bindings, which I tested for 7 days in January of 2023.
All photos courtesy of Joseph Attwood
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard bindings, which I tested for 7 days in January of 2023.
The Union Ultra Snowboard Bindings were a pleasure to use and ride on. It is one of the best—if not the best—bindings of the year, with overall improvement on tech within bindings and ride feel quality. This binding is great for all levels of riding and will charge any conditions on the mountain.
About the gear I tested
- Model: 2023 Union Ultra Snowboard Bindings
- Size: Large
- Burton channel compatible: No
- Mini disc (reduces footprint of the binding on the board to enable more board feel): Yes
- Height: 6’2”
- Weight: 180lbs
- Experience: 10 years of snowboarding
- When I tested these: January 2023
- Days tested: 7
- Board: 2023 CAPiTA DOA 2023
- Boot: Thirtytwo TM-3
- Where I’ve used it: Brighton, Utah
- Terrain : Park, powder, groomers
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was looking to test and enjoy the top-tier best binding 2023 offers. Get to see the new tech within the binding world, how comfy it is after riding for long periods, and how it performs all over the mountain. I wanted to see what improvements were made to other models I used in the past as well. Lastly, I wanted to find out what the best Union binding model really was.
Why I chose this gear
After all the hype I had heard about the new binding tech, I wanted to test the Union Ultra very badly. So I got lucky to test it fully during the last week of January. There were many other Union bindings I could've chosen to use for that week, but out of them all, the Union Ultra was just calling my name. It's been rated by many as the best binding of the year. So that is another big reason this binding was calling my name to go and test it in Brighton.
What I love about them
- Comfort: Plenty of mesh and padding in these bindings to feet keep my feet as comfy as possible, especially during long days of riding.
- Shock absorption: Amazing shock absorption all over this binding. One of the coolest features is the high back shock mesh. It's new and works great.
- Responsiveness: Very responsive binding while turning from heel to toe and carving across the mountain. I feel light on my feet.
- Carving: Amazing control while turning, thanks to the nice flex rating this binding has. I can also feel the binding does its job all the way through the carving, not just at the beginning and end.
- Ease of turn initiation: Light and strong sense all the way through the turning process. The Duraflex base plate helps each turn feel 10/10.
- Buttering: 10/10 for buttering. These bindings flex in all the right places with the Duraflex base, allowing me to perform the best possible butters.
- Buckles: Buckles are very light, and strong magnesium lasts a long time. The best buckles in the game.
- Durability: The Ultras are very durable bindings. Made with top-tier materials will help these bindings last many more seasons.
- Weight: Super lightweight. Very impressive how much effort was put into keeping this binding as light as possible with the durability and strength needed for high-level snowboarding.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Binding adjustability in boots: The adjustability feels like one of the cheaper parts of the binding. It still works well, but it is hard to do on those colder brick days for sure. It has the toolless approach, but that makes it seem like some parts can just pop out.
- Stance adjustability: Could better padding over mini disc 100%. The mini disc area is most vulnerable to wearing away fast because of its circular shape and design. More padding in that zone would help it a ton.
Favorite moment with this gear
The best moment with the Union Ultra bindings was dropping in on my-o-my jumps on a perfect bluebird day with fresh jump lips and no wind at all. I could feel the bindings squeak as I tweaked them mid-air. An unreal fun moment on the Ultras.
Value for the money vs. other options
The Union Ultra does come at a more top-tier price range of bindings. But with what one’s getting, they’re worth every penny. There are other strong choices, like some upper-tier Ride C-6 bindings; however, they don’t have the same board feel and quality in materials. Union just puts lots of time into building a great binding.
The Union Ultra binding delivers an amazing ride feel on any platform or board underneath one’s feet. They do their best to connect one’s legs and boots to the board. I loved the new tech, like Shock mesh infused into the highbacks. It was amazing and really worked. This is my favorite binding I tested so far in 2022-2023.