Union bindings have always been some of the finest bindings out there, no matter your size, age, or gender. They are a solid choice for most people that are learning, as well as professional snowboarders. Their Contact Pro model is one that offers good all-mountain functionality combined with unique design and solid straps to keep your feet in place.
My Verdict: The Union Contact Pro takes a rather traditional approach to snowboard bindings. Where they excel is material quality and overall feel. They are very durable but also have a minimal binding-to-board contact surface which enhances the flex of your board no matter where you’re riding. Even though they are a bit expensive, they are well worth the money to anyone who is looking for a good all-rounder.
Below, I’ll go through some of the most important features of the Union Contact Pro and show you why they are one of the best all-mountain bindings on the market currently…
Overview & Features of Union Contact Pro
Even though these bindings are marketed as soft to medium in terms of response, they are a bit stiffer in real, which does change the way they handle on your board.
Flex & Response
I’ve already pointed out that they are quite flexible compared to other bindings which are more freeride-oriented. Still, I’d love them to be a tad more flexible, especially in the highback area which I will cover in a moment.
The response here is amazing, though. The baseplate has a few features that add to that. It creates a good and minimal board-to-binding contact area which adds a lot of flex, making these bindings particularly good for the park.
Union bindings have always had nice flex to them both when you press on them and laterally. That is what makes these bindings great for both freeriding and the park. It doesn’t compromise control too much while it gives you a good sensation of stability. I’d love them to be a bit more flexible, even though most beginners would appreciate this particular setup.
At the bottom of the highback sits the heelcup which has an extruded 3D aluminum frame. It holds the heel nicely but that would’ve worked better with a toe cap strap, as opposed to the regular toe strap found here. More on that later…
The baseplates here are made out of CP3-Duraflex which, if you aren’t familiar, is almost a trademark of Union at this point. It is a very durable, yet cushioning material that keeps the bindings comfortable with minimal losses to the feel they provide and the overall control over your board. As I mentioned, the surface of the baseplate isn’t large at all, allowing the board to flex a bit easier.
The straps are one of the weakest points of the Union Contact Pro. They are super easy to adjust and I appreciate the tool-less design but the front toe strap comes loose way too easily for me to like it. The old toe cap style was way better and far more reliable. If you are a fan of wider ankle bindings, you wouldn’t like this one here as it is narrower than most other bindings out there.
Other than that, the aluminum ratchets have a great feel to them and, as I said, are really easy to work with even with gloves on.
Something I cannot fault here are the materials and the overall build quality. These bindings are amazing in that regard and this is also what sets them apart from their competition. Everything from the baseplate’s CP3-Duraflex to the 3D aluminum heelcup and thermoformed EVA bushings feels premium and well put together. The aluminum ratchets are also quite durable.
Everything here has a 1-year warranty, apart from the baseplate and heelcup which have a lifetime warranty behind them.
These bindings attach via a mini-disk which only gives you 4×2 and channel compatibility options. If your board has 4×4 or Burton 3D attachment bolt holes, these will be a no go, unless you get additional disks.
Lastly, I just wanted to mention the price as being one of the major drawbacks. There are bindings out there which are much cheaper and present comparable experience, especially if you aren’t very experienced and don’t notice subtle differences. One good example for a cheaper but comparably good binding is the Flow Alpha MTN Bindings which have quite a few differences but in the end, are a better choice for beginners who are looking for more comfort rather than control and board feel.
Now, let’s check out some of the most notable pros and cons of the Union Contact Pro Bindings…
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Great all-mountain functionality
- Good for beginners and pros
- Highback feels really good in most conditions
- The baseplate isn’t too big allowing for more board flex
- Straps are easy to adjust
- Aluminum ratchets
- Very expensive compared to some other all-mountain bindings
- The highback could’ve been a little bit more flexible
- The ankle strap can feel quite thin to some people
If you want to check out some of my best snowboarding tips for beginners, head over to my full article on the topic!
Conclusion & Rating of Union Binding
The Union Contact Pro men’s snowboard bindings are a great option for anybody who is looking for a medium-flex pair of bindings that will last a good while and will also be good both for the park and the powdered slopes. They have a very traditional design and strapping system but are solidly put together and feature a lot of premium materials throughout their construction. Some of the major drawbacks are the price and the fact that the toe strap doesn’t hold quite well, especially if you are doing a lot of park riding. Still, being one the best options for both beginners and pros, I gave them five out of five stars mainly due to their versatility and longevity compared to other similar bindings.