Hello and welcome to my Salomon Highlander bindings review.
In this review, I will take a look at the Highlander as all-mountain-freeride snowboard bindings.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Highlander a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how they compare with other all-mountain-freeride bindings.
Binding: Salomon Highlander 2020
Price: $279 (price to be confirmed)
Flex Rating: Stiff (8/10)
Flex Feel on Snow: Medium-Stiff (7/10)
Rating Score: 81.9/100
Compared to other Men’s All-Mountain-Freeride Bindings
Out of the 13 men’s all-mountain-freeride bindings that I rated:
*Based on 2019 ratings. Not all ratings for 2020 models have yet been completed. These stats will be updated once they have all been updated
Overview of the Highlander’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Highlander’s specs and available sizes.
Lighter side of normal
2 x 4 | 4 x 4 | Channel
US BOOT SIZE
EURO BOOT SIZE
UK BOOT SIZE
Who is the Highlander Most Suited To?
The Highlander is a great option for anyone looking for a responsive pair of bindings, that still have some forgiveness to them and can still ride them at slower speeds when needed.
And just for those that want an all-round quality binding that doesn't have any areas of weakness.
Not for a beginner - too stiff for that, but great for solid intermediate and up riders.
The Highlander in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Highlander are capable of.
Binding: Salomon Highlander 2020, M
Date: March 10, 2019
Conditions: Mostly sunny and perfect vis.
Groomers were on the firmer side, but not overly hard - and really well groomed - especially first thing, was smooth going and could really confidently bomb and lean into some deep carves.
Got a little cruddy as the day wore on, but was never too bad.
Off-groomer was tracked, but there'd been recent fresh snow a few days prior and there were still some good patches of untracked fresh snow.
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Stance width: 550mm (21.7″)
Board demoed with: Rossignol One LF 2018, 159
Baseplate Length: 25.7cm (10.12”)*
*measured on the top side of the footbed - a little bit of angle down to underside of baseplate
Highback Height: 16.5cm (6.5")*
* from bottom of heel cup to top of highback. Highback itself if 18.5cm (7.28") - it extends below the bottom of the heel cup. Heel cup is quite high.
To me they felt 7/10 when flexing in hand and 7/10 on snow. The rep said he considered them 8/10, but I felt them just a touch softer than that.
I really liked the response with these bindings. Felt I could hold a carve a little deeper and a little longer too vs my control bindings (Burton Malavita). But at the same time there was still maneuverability at slow speeds, which was great.
Decent board feel, despite there not being any mini-disc or anything else in the base plate that would suggest it - and there was decent shock absorption at the same time. Maybe something to do with the flexible heel loop/shadowfit tech? And maybe because of the shorter highback.
Could get good pop out of these. Made my board feel subtly more poppy.
You can't adjust the forward lean, and that's probably the biggest downside with the adjustability of the Highlanders. For me, I didn't mind the position that it was set in, so it wasn't a big deal for me, but if you prefer more forward lean, this might be an issue.
Heel Cup: No
Stance Width: Can run disc horizontal or vertical, so good for stance width adjustments when running horizontal.
Highback Lean: No
Ankle Strap Position: No
Toe Strap Position: Yes
Ankle and toe strap length: Yes
Gas pedal/toe ramp extension: Yes
Highback Rotation: Yes
Compatible with: 2 x 4 | 4 x 4 | channel
Decent amount of padding in there. Not epic, but more than enough, IMO. That flexible heel loop helps to absorb shock too, I would say.
Ratchets were nice and smooth and felt solid. Maybe not the smoothest I've ever tried but nothing that would ever be an issue.
Overall very comfortable binding - didn't notice them much in terms of comfort, which is a good thing.
Ankle Strap: Nice ankle strap. Conforms well with no pressure points.
Toe Strap: Good toe strap too. Nothing to complain about there.
Canted Footbed: I believe so, but I will have to double check, when they become available (new for 2020). Forgot to look when I was testing them. But most Salomon bindings above a certain price do.
Padded Footbed: Good padding and the heel loop also helps to absorb shock I think.
Highback: Didn't notice it at all, which is usually a good thing. No calf bite or anything.
Solid ankle support. Doesn't give you different ankle strap position options, which would be nice to see. But the position it's set in offers good ankle support.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
Contribution to Final Score
TOTAL after normalizing
Overall, the Highlander was a binding that I really enjoyed riding with. I felt I could hold my carves a little deeper and a little longer than the average binding and they were comfortable and still worked well at low speeds.
For the individual factors, I wanted to score them higher, because I felt the bindings were better than the overall score. But there wasn't room to move on those individual factors - maybe a 4.25 for response, but that's getting overly complicated. But they were a binding I really enjoyed - and if there was an x-factor rating, I would score them higher overall - definitely the total in this case is better than the sum of the parts.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to learn more about the Highlander, or if you are ready to buy, or if you just want to research prices and availability, check out the links below.
If you want to check out some other all-mountain-freeride binding options, or if you want to compare how the Highlander compares to other all-mountain-freeride bindings, then check out the next link.