Comparison of splitboard bindings

Vergleich Splitboard-Bindungen

We are often asked how the different splitboard bindings or binding systems differ, which is why we want to provide some clarity here. This is not intended to be a test of the different systems, but rather a brief overview of the splitboard binding systems that we carry in the shop and with which we have a lot of experience.

It can be said in advance that all current splitboard bindings work well, both on the ascent and the descent. Fortunately, we are now a long way from the systems we had to contend with 15 years ago.

The biggest difference between the systems is the conversion between touring and downhill mode. To illustrate the differences, we filmed a conversion in the dry with medium-thick gloves. If you mainly do tours with a long climb and a descent, this aspect is negligible. The more often you go on tours where you have to re-skin/change your skin several times, the more important this point becomes.

Quiver connectors are a very subjective point. These are adapters with which you can also mount the splitboard binding on solids (=normal snowboards). This means you don't need a separate binding for each board, but you can quickly "change" them as needed. This can be very space-saving and useful, especially when traveling: you can take a splitboard and a solid board with you, but you only need one pair of bindings, which can also be packed separately because they can be removed/installed straight away.

UNION-EXPLORER

As one of the largest binding manufacturers in the snowboard world, Union released their first splitboard binding on the market in 2017. In the beginning, the Explorer (then called "Expedition") was plagued with a number of teething problems, from which the reputation of this bond still suffers. Since then, the system has been continuously developed and is now convincing as a cheap and solid pin system in the usual Union quality.

Union Explorer

Union crampons

Good performance (uphill & downhill)

Price (everything for assembly included)

Crampons can be mounted on the ascent

Easy to fold out climbing aid

Quiver connector included

Conversion a bit fiddly (pin system)

single-stage climbing aid

SPARK R&D - ARC ST

Spark R&D has its origins in 2006, when Spark founder Will Ritter went on his first splitboarding tours and thought about how to improve the systems used at the time (normal bindings mounted on “slider tracks”). The first step was baseplates that were married to purchased binding components (straps & buckles, highbacks). Nowadays, Spark manufactures almost all of the parts that they use in their bindings themselves. Thanks to their specialization in splitboard bindings, they have greatly advanced development and set standards by which all other systems are also measured.

The Arc ST is one of the two top models from Spark R&D and is particularly impressive due to its very light weight and quick conversion.

Spark Arc ST

Spark pucks 

Spark crampons 

Good performance (uphill & downhill)

light

quick and easy conversion

Crampons can be mounted on the ascent

two-stage climbing aid

Price

Pucks (needed for attachment in downhill mode) not included/must be purchased separately

Unfolding the climbing aid is tricky

Quiver connector only available separately

UNION-CHARGER

The Union Charger model has only been on the market this year, but Union provided us with a test model for two months last season so that we were able to gain experience with it. The goal was to improve the Expedition system and enable simple, pin-free installation, which Union has undoubtedly achieved with this system.

Union Charger 

Union crampons 

Good performance (uphill & downhill)

quick and easy conversion

Everything for assembly included

Crampons can be mounted on the ascent

Easy to fold out climbing aid

Quiver connector included

single-stage climbing aid