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From Afar

It’s great to have a pair of snowboard bindings that can do it all. Take the whole mountain by storm.

All-mountain bindings are a dime a dozen. We get it, being versatile is a good thing, but there is often one feature of versatility that is ignored or even forgotten. Accessibility!

The common image that the word versatile invokes in our minds is that of a piece of gear that can perform well in varied conditions and terrain.

While this certainly describes the Union Str snowboard bindings, there is more to them than just that. These Union bindings are more than versatile, they are accessible.

Accessible in every sense of the word. From their affordable and casual-friendly price tag to their medium flex feel. Even minor parts, such as their ankle and toe straps, were made for comfort and performance.

By far, the best value for your hard-earned cash.

Union STR Snowboard Bindings

The price of “Union STR Snowboard Bindings” varies, so check the latest price at

The Union STR Snowboard Bindings in Charts

As always, we like to give you a full three-hundred-and-sixty-degree view of whatever product it is that we are reviewing. But before we can jump into specifics and those lovely technical details, let’s get a quick overview of these all-mountain bindings.

First, I’ll present to you a spec chart that shows you general information about the Union STR. They are an all-mountain binding with a medium flex level, and a slightly softer flex feel. Fortunately for us and you, these bindings on snowboards support all the major mounting patterns.

union str

Next up is a size chart that will give you a general idea of what size you should be getting. Remember that your bindings should provide you with a snug fit. Your boots shouldn’t move in place. The only parts that should be mobile are your feet.

Details aside, let’s figure out if you are the kind of rider that would benefit from the Union STR snowboard bindings.

union str bindings review

Who Benefits the Most from These Union Bindings?

Typically, you’ll get bindings that are catered toward one specific terrain, riding style, or even ability level. For example, the Union Force bindings are great for a carve and have a decent response rate.

What then is that special favored zone for the Union STR?

For me, what makes the Union STR bindings so unique is that they don’t have a favored zone. Remember what I said earlier? It’s all about accessibility. The build and structure of these bindings make them great all-mountain alternatives to more expensive options.

I’d say, that these bindings are best suited for any rider, at an advanced beginner skill level, or above, that isn’t looking to spend an exorbitant amount of money on a solid pair of bindings. If you’re on a budget and what something reliable, pick these up.

union snowboard bindings

A Complete Look at the Union STR Snowboard Bindings

We could stare at charts all day long, there is something satisfying about them. We could debate over the kind of rider that is best suited for these bindings until all the snow melts. However, it’s time for the main event!

I’ll be going over the build quality and responsiveness of these bindings, as well as how this affected their overall feel and ride. I’ll also be discussing the level of adjustability present and the amount of support that you should expect.

From performance, to build quality, and feel. Leave no stone unturned.

Flex Rating

Flex, you’ve got to start with the flex score because this determines the feel of your ride, as well as how forgiving it will be. With this in mind, I’d say that every binding and boot has two flex scores.

There’s the actual number that is provided to us by the manufacturer or shop, and then there is how the flex actually feels as we ride around in it. The Union STR has an official flex score of six-point five.

Despite this, what I have experienced is a bit different. For me, they felt more at a five-point five. This is by no means a complaint. I’d go as far as to say that this disparity between official numbers and in-use feel is a good thing.

Though experienced riders prefer a slightly stiffer flex, the flex here isn’t so soft that advanced and expert riders would be turned off from using them. However, it also isn’t so high that intermediates and beginners would feel pushed out.

In short, you get a forgiving enough ride but not one that will castrate its responsiveness in exchange.

A Responsive Binding

The flex score that we just got done discussing should clue you in on how responsive this binding feels. However, any experienced rider or skier will know that responsiveness is segmented. Rarely is the responsiveness of a pair of bindings uniform across all maneuvers.

I felt that at slower speeds, short turns were incredibly fast. As was the turn initiation, so much so, that I’d warn any novices from getting too comfortable. If I am being honest, I was caught off guard and ate it pretty badly. Nothing serious, but I was embarrassed.

What about consistency throughout a carve or turn? You can expect the same smooth but not dynamic feel throughout deep carves and long turns. Pay close attention to what I just said. These are not explosive bindings.

union snowboard bindings

Can you expect smooth carving runs? Yes, but if you are looking to bomb out of turn or carve then, you will be disappointed. There are better bindings, such as the Burton Malavita Bindings, for those that want to rock.

This isn’t something that I can blame on the heel cup. The heel cup here is actually pretty good, with its extruded base and minimal drag. I’ll get more into this later.

What Can Be Adjusted

No piece of gear is ever perfect straight out of the box. Yeah, I’ll admit that pricey items definitely require less work on them than others. But still, if you want the perfect feel and fit, some minor adjustments will be required.

This doesn’t bode well for the bindings that don’t offer much in the way of adjustments. When it comes to this Union binding, what is adjustable and what isn’t? The good news is that you can adjust a majority of the parts here.

The highback lean can be adjusted without the need for a tool. Toolless adjustments are always a big bonus for me. As for your stance width adjustability, you can only make minor alterations to the starting base. Even then, proper stance width adjustability is only possible when you run a disk horizontally.

Unfortunately, the ankle strap and toe strap both differ. The position of the ankle strap can not be adjusted and the toe strap only has two positioning options to play with. This difference in adjustability continues.

The toe strap requires a tool, a screwdriver, to change its length, and only the ankle strap is tool-less adjustable. Finally, you can tailor your heel cup to absorb shock better by changing its position. More on shock absorption in the next section.

union snowboard bindings

Shock Absorption

Unless you want to break bones or get sprains in all the areas that have pressure points between your bindings and your foot, then you kind of need good shock absorption, okay, maybe this is a bit of an exaggeration, but it doesn’t mean that shock absorption isn’t important.

Unfortunately, this is one area where I would have liked some improvements. Landings felt rough, rougher than what I am accustomed to, with other bindings that are priced similarly. It wasn’t so bad to the point that I couldn’t ride, or I had to switch to other bindings, but it was noticeable.

I’d say that the main difference between these bindings and higher-end bindings was the amount of EVA foam padding included in the build.

The base plate did its job well enough. This was thanks to the multi-part construction it had. No doubt that the main player here was the Thermoformed EVA Bushing. The best part is that a bushing like this one gets its job done and is durable enough to not crumble after heavy usage.

This all leads us to the build quality of these bindings.

Build Quality

Look, I wasn’t expecting the world and all the bells and whistles that a high-performance binding comes with. Maybe it was these low expectations that made it easier for the Union STR snowboard bindings to impress me.

Either way, I’m happy to announce that the structure of the STRs was better than its price point had let on.

I touched briefly on the baseplate earlier, but now it’s time to take it apart fully. Each binding has a canted footbed. What a canted footbed does is tilt the starting position of your feet. Providing support for your knees and natural stance in the process.

union snowboard bindings

The majority of this baseplate has been constructed from Duraflex. Duraflex is a material that was made to be consistent, even when the weather and temperatures are not. As the temperature begins to plummet, you can count on the same old stiffness every single time.

The high back is constructed from Duraflex as well, but there is a difference. Much attention was placed on keeping the high back lightweight. There aren’t many innovations, but they felt good and the build quality was outstanding.

Rider Comfort

You can have the best bindings in the world. A magical pair of bindings that bring out your inner savant and are responsive when you need them to be and forgiving when you are in a pinch. But if you can only use them for one hour a session because they aren’t comfortable or worse, painful, then are they really all that great?

When it comes to the amount of comfort that the Union STR bindings give you, I’d say this is among their best features. They aren’t overly complex, with tons of different moving parts. Due to this simplicity, there aren’t any pressure points that could cause you pain and irritation.

Furthermore, the straps also don’t cause any issues. Although, I would personally find it unforgivable for straps, that have little to no adjustment options, to be uncomfortable or painful.

In short, these bindings are comfortable, and I found no issues with them in this department.

Pop, Twist, and Airtime

How much force can you exert, and better yet, how much of that force can be efficiently used with the Union Str bindings? Okay, when it comes to pop and explosiveness, the Union Str are nothing special. However, this doesn’t mean that they are god-awful.

There exists a plane between “really good” and “really bad” and the Union Strs sit firmly in the middle. The pop is alright but not great, average, and nothing more. For me, this is not the end of the world, but I understand those that ride the backcountry may feel differently.

Still, don’t be discouraged just because what is available isn’t top-of-the-line. Sometimes good enough is well enough.

Ankle Support and Straps

Could the amount of support for your ankle be increased with either an ankle strap that can change position or even an extra strap altogether? Yes, but once again,n just like the pop of these bindings, this is one area that is average and nothing more.

Don’t get me wrong, the build quality of the ankle and toe straps is great. You can’t go wrong with Hexagrip and Exoframe. But if you are looking for something extra you won’t find it. Nor will you wish that more had been done.

The straps in place do their job well enough.

Union STR Snowboard Bindings

The price of “Union STR Snowboard Bindings” varies, so check the latest price at

My Final Thoughts

With this Union STR bindings review, I think we have finally met the old reliable pal of the snowboard binding world.

Sure, other bindings can offer you much more response and other performance-oriented features but will those bindings be as accessible as the Union STRs?

I highly doubt it.

union str bindings

For those that want a solid binding that’ll pair with any board and don’t want to overspend on higher-end bindings, the Union STR are for you.

For those that want bindings that come with a low price point, high-quality ankle straps, and are adept at all aspects of snowboarding, the Union STR is for you.

Categories: Snowboarding

Adrian Salazar

My name is Adrian Salazar and I have been wrapped up in the world of water and other extreme sports since the first time I went kayaking. When I’m not working hard trying to deliver the best writing that I can, I am usually out on a lake or hiking up a mountain. My world is completely dominated by writing and the mix of adrenaline and peace of mind that can be achieved while engaging in new sports. I will use my knowledge, experience, and mistakes, to inform you about the best ways that you can become a part of the world of extreme sports. You can count on me to give you my informed and unbiased opinion about any sporting equipment you may need. I know from personal experience that extreme sports are something that you need to head into completely and accurately informed. Let my experience guide you.

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