Reviews You Can Rely On

How We Tested Splitboard Bindings

Tuesday January 19, 2021

Before we could begin testing, we had to vet the market for the highest quality products. We researched 25 different splitboard bindings and then purchased all the best models to test side-by-side. We sidehilled, climbed, transitioned, and descended to rank each product on key metrics like uphill performance, weight, transitions, downhill performance, and the quality of the straps and risers.

Uphill Performance

We broke down the critical parts of our climbing experience to rate each binding. These components include quality of stride, sidehilling ability, range of motion, and comfort.

splitboard bindings
Credit: Laredo


As tools for climbing, weight is a large part of a bindings design and merit. It's also our most objective measurement. We weighed one binding and then the entire setup on our scale. Field weight factors in everything you need to tour.

splitboard bindings
Credit: David Reichel


To assess the quality of transitions, we transitioned a lot and in various settings and weather conditions. It's easy to transition in your house but is a whole other story with 40 mile an hour winds near the summit of Mt. Shasta. We analyzed the number of steps, speed, ease of use, and resistance to icing.

splitboard bindings - the prime nomad is the company's entry-level binding, and it's fully...
The Prime Nomad is the company's entry-level binding, and it's fully featured.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Downhill Performance

We carefully observed how the bindings felt in all conditions. We paid special attention in firm and steep conditions, which provided the most opportunity for feedback.

splitboard bindings - this is why we do it. pictured here we are enjoying the surfy nature...
This is why we do it. Pictured here we are enjoying the surfy nature of the Spark R&D Arc in low angle powder.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

Straps, Lean, Risers

We toggled, buckled, and flipped each one of the features to evaluate which was the most efficient, user-friendly, and effective.

splitboard bindings - the pillow line straps are a one-piece injection-molded plastic that...
The Pillow Line straps are a one-piece injection-molded plastic that is waterproof, durable, and light.
Credit: Isaac Laredo

The Why

Ultimately, we hope our results and review can help you find the splitboard binding that fits your needs. Then, you can reap the benefits and the incredible moments that backcountry snowboarding has to offer. Enjoy.

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GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

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