Today’s reader question:
I’m looking for new bindings, but they come with a few types of strap systems and I don’t know which type is the best for me. Some strap systems say they’re faster release, but I’m not sure. Is one better than another?
First, let’s explain what you’re talking about so everyone is on the same page.
Snowboard bindings use straps to hold your boot to the binding. These straps come in several types:
Traditional 2 strap system:
Just your standard 2 straps with a latch to release and tighten each strap.
Quick strap systems:
K2 Auto System – notice in the below photo that there’s no latch on the lower strap? This is because the straps on any K2 Auto binding are connected, so adjusting the top strap will automatically loosen or tighten the bottom strap at the same time.
K2 Cinch System – these bindings have a rear highback that folds backwards for quick entry/exit:
Flow’s Active Strap System – works like the K2 Cinch system with a folding rear highback for quick entry/exit:
Which binding strap system is best?
Honestly, they all work just fine, but if I had to pick a binding for it’s strap system I’d stick with the traditional 2 strap system.
I’ve tried a few of these types of quick release bindings and they worked, although at times they were a little finicky.
For example, I had a pair of K2 Auto bindings and the lower strap would sometimes get a little stuck and require a little force to loosen undo. I also broke the wire system connecting the two straps and had to get it replaced (cost was less then $25).
There’s also little things that I found it annoying. For instance, you have to tilt your foot at a certain angle to get my feet into the lower strap of a K2 Auto binding.
I’m also not sold on how much time it really saves to have a quick release system. When I was using the K2 Autos, I only ever found myself strapping in a few seconds faster than my friends who had regular 2 strap systems.
As far at the highback release systems like the K2 Cinch or Flow bindings, they work fine and I never had any real issues with that, but again I never saw any major time savings vs my friends with regular strap systems.
I also don’t like having extra moving parts on my bindings because it just means more things that can possibly break further down the line. When my K2 Auto’s broke I had to special order a spare part in, which was annoying because I missed a week of snowboarding.
So whats does this all mean? Which binding should I pick?
Pick your bindings based on how they perform and ignore the quick strap technology. The few seconds your save getting in and out of your binding is not worth deciding which binding to buy or not to buy.
Quick strap systems don’t really save more than 5 seconds here and there, so in the end you want to be buying your bindings based on the more major areas that matter in your riding, such as flex and feel.
Hope that answers your question!