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The 7 Best Splitboard Bindings of 2020-2021

It’s been a long time coming for some of these major brands to enter the splitboard binding game. Karakoram and Spark have been at it for years, and were seriously head and shoulders above any and all competitors for the majority of their existence. Things change though, and in our opinion, the more choices riders have the better. Union, K2, and now Nitro have entered the splitboard bindings ring, and we couldn’t be more excited about it.

Now obviously every piece of splitboard equipment is crucial in order to have the best time on your backcountry mission and to stay safe, but bindings might take the cake. You got a broken pole? Grab a stick or make due with one. One of the clips on your board snaps? It’ll probably hold together for at least one descent. But if you can’t get your bindings to work, you could be in a serious jam.

The two most important features of the best splitboard bindings in our opinion are reliability and ease of use. All the bells and whistles regarding weight, support, and how a binding looks come after those all-important aspects. That being said, the offerings on this list do have some sci-fi level tech for 2021. Almost every binding here eschews traditional padded straps for more low-profile and powerful support. They have milled out baseplates to save weight, and they’re all pretty much all black as well, stealth splitting seems to be the vibe for 2021. So go ahead and dive into this list of 2021 Splitboard Bindings, and see which pair is the best fit for you!

Spark R&D Arc Pro

Best 2020-2021 splitboard bindings

Are you looking to go really deep this year? Truly escape the crowd? Maybe spend a night or two out in the snow? If so, then you might want to look into the 2021 Spark R&D Arc Pro splitboard bindings. These are the top of the line Spark bindings that have shed every possible ounce while maintaining the strength, ease of use, and reliability we have come to expect from Spark products.

These bindings are built on the Spark exclusive Tesla T1 system. This makes for easy and lightning-fast transitions from tour to ride mode. Simply assemble your board, slide your bindings over the pucks and snap into place. If you’ve used Spark bindings before or seen them in action, you know how easy and intuitive this system is. The Arc Pros feature a CNC machined baseplate, 7075 aluminum heelcup, hollowed-out pivot pins, Pebax plastic straps, and custom aluminum hardware for one of the lightest and strongest pairs of splitboard bindings on the planet.

Spark bindings have been around in some form since 2006, which in the splitboard world is an eternity. They have steadily improved and innovated their product. In 2017 they introduced the Pillow Line strap collection, which are strong, waterproof, and minimalist straps that adorn their entire line today. And last year, they adorned their production facility with solar power, offsetting over 30% of their energy consumption! So grab a pair of Arc Pros and indulge all your escapist fantasies in 2021.

SystemWeight Original Price 

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Karakoram Prime Connect Kit

Best 2020-2021 splitboard bindings

Have you ever wanted your splitboard to feel more like your resort board, or vice versa? Well, now you’re in luck! With the Karakoram Prime Connect package, you get a killer pair of splitboard bindings, and the ability to use those bindings on your regular board. We’re big fans of this minimalist approach for a number of reasons. For one, it’s just a bit less weight in your bag, your car, or under your arm. Additionally, it means you’re immediately more comfortable riding your split set up when you leave the resort boundaries.

So what’s going on here? Essentially these bindings ship with a pair of Quiver Connectors which you can install on any solid board, and your Karakorams can attach quickly and securely to those Connectors. The bindings themselves are classic Karakorams. They’re light, responsive, and strong. There’s a boatload of exclusive tech, from the way the bindings attach to your board via a lever beneath the heelcup, to the ability to lock your heel down in tour mode, to their Active Joining design which makes your splitboard feel more like a solid board. We highly encourage you to go to the Karakoram site and peruse all of the info there for a full picture.

A quick note on the company itself. Karakoram was started in 2008 by two brothers who grew up riding Alpental, Washington. The company is still based in Washington, and the bindings are made in the USA. Jeremy Jones has been a backer of Karakoram since 2011, and has helped push the bindings to where they are today. You know you can trust Karakorams wherever you need to take them, and this package helps you expand those possibilities!

SystemWeightOriginal Price 
KarakoramsNot Listed$524.99

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Spark R&D Arc Women’s

Best 2020-2021 women's splitboard bindings

The term “Women’s Retreat” will take on a whole new meaning when you grab a fresh pair of these Spark RD Arc bindings for 2021. Escape the crowds, escape the lines, escape your significant other for an afternoon or two! Coming in at a very reasonable $385, you can even escape with a few dollars as well. Let’s break down the Women’s Arcs and get you off to those pow-covered hills.

Like the entire Spark line, the Women’s Arc bindings are building on the Tesla T1 system, which was profiled above in the Arc Pro description. It’s easy, it’s quick, it’s reliable - we’ll leave it at that. These bindings have Pillow Line straps equipped with famously reliable Burton buckles, and the baseplates have CNC machined cutouts to shave weight while maintaining strength. Whammy Bar climbing wires help you on your ascent, and the surfy medium-flexing highbacks keep you ripping on the way down.

As is the case with most splitboard equipment, there’s more going on here than we have the room to talk about. Bottom line - these are some of the best women's splitboard bindings. 

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Union Expedition

Best 2020-2021 splitboard bindings

Can we just say, “It’s about time Union!” One of the top evo and rider-favorite binding companies has finally entered the splitboard game. Unions are famous for durability, reliability, and comfort, and we couldn’t be more excited about bringing all of that goodness to the skin track and beyond.

The first thing you’ll notice about these things is that they look like regular snowboard bindings, not a metal cage wrapped around your boot. Now we know there are those who are faithful to the ounce-saving style of Karakorams and Spark Bindings, but bear with us a minute. Are you also wearing ultralight clothing and boots, and calculating how much your lunch weighs? Or are you just out for a rip with your buds - more interested in the ride down than how quickly you make it up? If it’s the latter then these might be for you. And oh yeah, these are pretty light too when compared to your regular Unions.

Finally, Union is bucking the trend and using their own pin-based connection system. Yes its a pin, yes it works, watch a few vids for proof. The Expeditions have a carbon-infused base for maximum stiffness and response, Exoframe and Hexgrip straps which are light, strong, and don’t slip around. There’s a slew of other features as well but we’re running out of room here. We’ll just mention that Bryan Iguchi and Travis Rice use these regularly, if you have any doubts about their functionality, think about that for a minute. Get out there, go on an expedition!

SystemWeightOriginal Price 
UnionNot Listed$399.95

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K2 Farout

Best 2020-2021 splitboard bindings

K2 has been making splitboards and some of the best splitboard bindings for a while now, and have honed their approach into the K2 Farout bindings. Upon first look, these bindings appear just like a high-end Karakoram or Spark binding, but with a significantly lower price tag. We applaud K2 in lowering that barrier to entry for new and old splitters alike.

The Farout bindings feature a light aluminum chassis, padless but comfy straps, and a highback with weight-saving gaps in it. The K2s work with Voile and Spark pucks, and feature a unique rail and hook system that is exclusive to K2. You actually slide these on to your assembled board heelcup first! We know, crazy right?

A few other features we like are the quick and easy adjustments that don’t require tools or even removing your gloves. Switching the forward lean from tour to ride mode is as easy as snapping the whole device on your highback out or in. The ankle and toe straps feature Cam-Lock easy and secure adjustment so you can make much-needed tweaks before your run. If you’re a K2 nerd, someone looking to save a few coins, or just want to try out something new the K2 Farouts could be a great choice. And after your powder-filled adventures, you can tell your co-workers that your weekend was “Far out, man.”

SystemWeightOriginal Price 
VoileNot LIsted$419.95

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Nitro Vertical

Best 2020-2021 splitboard bindings

We’re not gonna lie, we’re pretty excited about the Nitro Vertical Splitboard Bindings. Combining over thirty years of manufacturing and riding experience at Nitro with the innovation and reliability of Spark R&D, the Vertical bindings are a perfect combination. Plus, in the splitboard world, anything under $500 is a great deal.

What you get when you grab a pair of Nitro Verticals is the functionality of Spark’s Tesla T1 system with the comfort of Nitro straps, highbacks, and dampening features. The easy slide and snap Tesla system is revered by splitboarders the world over, and we have no reason to doubt its continued convenience on these bindings. Nitro has adorned the Verticals with their Ubergrip Toe Straps and First Tracks ankle straps. These will be a little more plush than standard Spark straps, but they don’t eschew weightsaving construction either, finding a perfect middle ground. The ratchet straps on these feature an s-curve shape, keeping them out of the way as you are strapping in. This may seem like a small detail, but strapping in at the top of a windy peak above a sketchy line we’ll take any help we can get.

Finally, by adding EVA dampening to the standard Spark Tesla baseplate, your all day tours with multiple runs will feel smoother than ever, and you might just go a touch bigger on that cliff drop you’ve been eyeing up. So if your splitboard adventures are in need of some comfort, or if you have freestyle goals in the backcountry the Nitro Verticals need to be in your gear closet!

SystemWeightOriginal Price 
VoileNot LIsted$469.95

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Karakoram Prime x Split

Best 2020-2021 splitboard bindings 

Alright, here we go, these are the cream of the crop, the Mohammed Ali of splitboard bindings! Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, bag that peak as fast as can be! The Karakoram Prime x Split Interface bindings are some of the lightest things you’ll likely ever strap on your feet. Every aspect of these bindings has been analyzed and slimmed down to the absolute minimum necessary material while still maintaining a strong and reliable ride on your descents.

Let’s start from the ground up. We have a heavily CNC’d baseplate, which allows for natural board flex underfoot while shedding all-important weight. All-aluminum hardware maintains strength while getting rid of a few more ounces. Air-Pod ankle straps and Airstrap Toe straps are the lightest straps on the market today, and nylon composite buckles are 30% lighter than standard ratchets. To top it off we have Karakoram Reactive Highbacks which are featherlight and strong.

If you are looking for the ultralight experience, or winter camping in the backountry, or planning to bag serious ascents this winter, then look no further than the Karkoram Prime x Split Interface Bindings. Yeah, there’s a pretty hefty price tag attached, but for the right folks, it's totally worth it.

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