Editors’ Choice Splitboard Bindings

Hard- and softboot manufacturers alike have leaned into the backcountry movement, and so have their binding counterparts. Whatever you prefer, these Editors’ Choice splitboard bindings will cater to what’s on your feet and the tour you have planned.

Spark Dyno DH

sparkrandd.com | $299 | 818g/pair | SIZES: N/A

Given that hardboots do the heavy lifting by providing the flex and stiffness that usually comes from binding straps and highbacks, hardboot bindings have one main job—clamp the hell out of the boot. “Hugged my foot like my grandparents do when I infrequently visit,” one tester said.

The Dyno DH’s components are simple, just a baseplate with holes machined in it to shave grams, toe and heel bails, and a toe lever to clamp everything down. A reinforced heel is designed to add durability, and one tester noticed it increases power transfer on toeside turns.

Using the same pucks as Spark’s softboot setups, the Dyno’s Tesla Snap Ramps easily lock it in place. Testers noted that the sliding motion to put the bindings on the pucks reduces icing problems sometimes seen with other hardboot bindings. Spark recommends using the canted version of the pucks, not the flat one, for maximum comfort and control. “Can confirm,” one tester said. “I’ll take any help getting lateral pressure on the inside of the boot.”

Adjusting them is complicated, but, once dialed in, the design allows them to snugly fit any BSL from 255 to 340 millimeters, per Spark. Tweaks can be made on how far apart the bails are, where the toe bail sits, and to the length of the bails. “You’ll need about an hour the first time you set them up,” one longtime hardbooter said. “But all the adjustments make it simple to nail good pressure on the boot without them being impossible to take off.”

Spark Arc ST Pro

sparkrandd.com | $589 | 1,134g/pair | SIZES: XS-L

If Vegas bookmakers offered Editors’ Choice binding odds, Spark R&D’s Arc ST Pro would have been -1000. Not only is Spark the winningest split binding builder in Backcountry history, but this is the latest, lightest and most high-tech edition of Spark’s most approachable, surfy binding. In fact, we gave the Arc ST (Smooth Touring) top honors last year, and the Arc Pro—lightest, priciest construction—won in 2021.

The ST updates—thermoplastic molded over the Arc’s metal heel risers and toe bracket bushings—reduce friction and increase overall touring efficiency. “The improved risers are a gamechanger on the uphill,” commented our split test director after two seasons on the Arc ST and one on the Arc ST Pro. While the downhill updates aren’t as significant, he reported, “The Arc continues to be a flowy, all-mountain binding, with ride quality improved by the recent addition of asymmetrical highbacks.” 

He appreciated the premium Pro tech while chasing freakishly fit partners up steep skinners, too. The tech tweaks—lighter heel loops, carbon highbacks, custom aluminum hardware and premium Pebax plastic toe and ankle straps—shave 122 grams per pair for a size medium compared to the normal, cheaper Arc. “If you’d rather save weight than money, go Pro,” advised one tester. While the carbon highbacks did lead to some durability concerns among riders who are ruthless on their gear, the average tester found them plenty tough.

Published here are 2 of 6 splitboard bindings we reviewed in our 2024 Gear Guide. To check out the comprehensive range of boots we wrote about, or to learn about board profiles, how to choose a split and more, pick up a copy of the 2024 Gear Guide, available in print and PDF versions. For the rest of our 2024 Editors’ Choice reviews published online, visit our gear page.

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