Hello and welcome to my Jones Orion bindings review.
In this review I will take a look at the Orion as all-mountain snowboard bindings.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Orion a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how they compare with other all-mountain bindings.
Bindings: Jones Orion 2024
Price: $349 (USD recommended retail)
Flex Rating: Medium-Stiff (7/10)
Flex Feel: Medium (6/10)
Rating Score: 84.9/100
Compared to other Men’s All-Mountain Bindings
Out of the 24 men’s all-mountain bindings that I rated:
Overview of the Orion’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Orion’s specs and available sizes.
2x4 | 4x4 | Channel
US BOOT SIZE
EURO BOOT SIZE
Who are the Orion Most Suited To?
The Orion are best suited to anyone looking to get a great mix of being both good for carving and also more casual turning at slower speeds. They don't have the best board feel but for carving and turning they felt great.
Ideally suited to someone who wants that turning control but also wants to maximize shock absorption from their setup. Maybe you get fatigued or sore from lots of chatter, maybe your spending most of your time jumping and landing all day or maybe you're getting older and don't tolerate the vibrations as well anymore.
They are best matched with boards in the 4/10 to 7/10 flex range and an even better match with 5/10 to 6/10 flexing boards.
Not for beginners, IMO, as I would go with something a little softer flexing. Unless you're a particularly big and strong person (in which case you'll likely feel their flex a little softer).
The Orion in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Orion are capable of.
Bindings: Jones Orion 2024, Medium
Date: April 13, 2023
Overcast with occasional very light flurries of snow and occasional sun breaking through at other times.
Temperature was -3°C (27°F) and -8°C (18°F) with wind, in the morning apparently, but didn't feel that cold. -2°C (28°F) and -5°C (23°F) with wind, in the afternoon.
24 hour snow: 0" (0cm)
48 hour snow: 5" (13cm)
7 day snow: 32" (81cm)
On groomer: Soft packed with hard underneath higher up. Got a little slushy lower down, later in the day.
Off groomer: Decent higher up but icy/ crunchy lower down (slush from yesterday froze overnight, I'm guessing).
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Stance Width: 555mm (22”)
Board tested with: Lib Tech Terrain Wrecker
Boots tested with: Adidas Response ADV, US9.5
Footbed length: 26.2cm (10.3”)
Footbed Length Fully Extended: n/a
Baseplate Length (underside): 24.9cm (9.8")
Highback Height: 21.0cm (8.3”)
Weight: 900 grams (1lbs, 15oz)
* for one binding, including screws and disc. The average weight of a small sample size of around 80 bindings (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 & 2024 models) I have weighed is 920 grams (2lbs). So the Orion is really close to the average and felt that way on snow too.
In Hand: Compared to the Jones Meteorite and the NOW Select Pro, the Orion had more twist in the highback and quite a bit more twist than the Select Pro, just a little more flexy than the Meteorite (which was actually softer on snow but had a slightly stiffer highback). In terms of pulling back on the highback the Orion also had the most give, with the Meteorite and Select Pro being about the same as each other, both a little stiffer than the Orion.
The Malavita's highback was stiffer in pull back and twist than all 3. But knowing that the Malavita's highback is quite stiff but has quite a soft flexing baseplate (and an overall flex of 5.5/10, by my feel), this didn't mean that any of these bindings would necessarily be softer flexing than the Malavita (Burton Malavita is my control binding).
The Orion also had the flexiest ankle strap of the 3 but had a stiffer ankle strap vs the Select Pro and about the same as the Meteorite.
This might have suggested that the Orion would have been the softest flexing of the 3. However, the baseplate (which you can't really flex in your hand!) tends to be the most telling in terms of overall flex feel in my experience, so the riding test is the real test.
On Snow: On snow, the Orion was overall very similar to the Select Pro in flex and a little stiffer than the Meteorite. It felt just a touch stiffer than the Malavita, but only by the slightest amount. 6/10 felt just right for this binding. Definitely no stiffer, but no softer either.
In terms of carving at higher speeds, the Orion felt a little better than the Malavita. I felt like it made my board just a little better on a carve.
For slow speed response, they felt about the same as the Malavita. They felt nice and slow speeds and struck a really good middle ground between being good for carving but also good for more casual turns at slower speeds.
In terms of board feel, they were OK, but not great. This was one of the weaker points of these bindings. Certainly not as good a board feel as the Malavita and not quite as good as the Meteorite, which I found were better in terms of board feel than most NOW/Jones bindings.
I find when a binding has less board feel, it's harder to extract pop out of the board, due to making ollie initiation more difficult, not being able to feel the flex of the board as well. They weren't bad in terms of pop/ollie power, but not as good as the Malavita.
Heel Cup: No
Stance Width: Not a minidisc, but there’s a fairly narrow space where the screws go, so not a massive amount of stance width adjustment, but there's some.
Highback Lean: Yes - tool-less.
Ankle Strap Position: Yes, in a way, as you can swap the ankle straps between the bindings. One way up they provide more ankle support and the other way up, they give more freedom of movement.
Toe Strap Position: No
Ankle and toe strap length: Tool-less
Gas pedal/toe ramp extension: None
Highback Rotation: No
Compatible with: 2x4 | 4x4 | Channel
In addition you can also change the bushings to stiffer or softer ones, so that's an extra piece of adjustability that most bindings don't have.
Jones/Now bindings tend to have the best shock absorption in the business, in my experience. And the Orion were no exception.
They were great at absorbing shock on landings as well as general chatter.
And it's no surprise when you look at how cush the footbed is, in addition to the way the skate tech works, not to mention the bushings (and from past experience with similar bindings).
Overall nice and comfortable.
Ankle Strap: It’s hybrid kind of. It’s honeycomb-ish on the outside, but there’s a layer of padding on the inside. So still not like their old fabric straps because of that “holey” outside piece and the inside piece is like foam rather than fabric. Main thing of course is how it felt - and it felt good on. They conformed well and I didn't feel any pressure points.
Toe Strap: The toe strap was quite stiff, but it still fit well around the toe of my boot and didn't have any pressure points.
Canted Footbed: Yes.
Padded Footbed: Plenty of padding and great shock absorption. This won't necessarily add to immediate comfort but over the course of a day or multiple days in a row, this great shock absorption should help to reduce impact and fatigue.
Highback: Some padding on top and bottom of highback. But main thing is that I didn't feel any calf-bite.
Ankle support was really decent. It wasn't super epic, but it was above average. I had them in freeride mode, so I imagine in surf mode they would be a little less ankle supporting and a little more loose feeling. But some might prefer that.
I found the Ratchets to be nice and smooth on the Orion, making them easy to get in and out of.
Further to that they also have hinges on both the ankle and toe straps, which open out and stay open, so you can get your foot in without any straps in the way and you don't accidentally step on your straps. Nice to have it on both ankle and toe straps.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
SLOW SPEED RESPONSE
TOTAL after normalizing
The Orion are great bindings for turning and carving with. They belie their flex with how well they carve and made my board feel a little better on a carve. But at the same time they also feel great for slower speed turns/slashes.
Board feel is their weakest point, but it's not non-existent, just a bit of a dead spot.
In terms of shock absorption they are next level, which is typical of Jones/Now bindings - best in the industry, in my experience.
They also make getting in and out nice and easy with really smooth ratchets and hinges that keep the ankle and toe straps open when you're getting in/out of them.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to see how the Orion compares to other men’s all-mountain bindings or want to check out some other options in that category, check out the next link.