Hello and welcome to my Union Strata review.
In this review I will take a look at the Strata as all-mountain snowboard bindings.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Strata a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how they compare with other all-mountain bindings.
Bindings: Union Strata 2020
Price: $279 (USD recommended retail)
Flex Rating: Baseplate = Medium (6/10), highback = Medium-Stiff (7/10)
Flex Feel: Medium (6/10)
Rating Score: 92.5/100
Compared to other Men’s All-Mountain Bindings
Out of the 22 men’s all-mountain bindings that I rated:
Overview of the Strata’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Strata’s specs and available sizes.
2 x 4 | Channel
US BOOT SIZE
EURO BOOT SIZE
UK BOOT SIZE
Who are the Strata Most Suited To?
The Strata fill the gap that’s in between the Contact Pro and Falcor nicely, in terms of flex, and has the mini disc the same as those two models.
But it’s completely its own binding and sits perfectly in the middle ground of do-it-all, IMO. They’re soft enough to play around on the groomers or in the park, but their stiff enough and responsive enough to lay down big carves too and play off-groomer.
You can take these anywhere on the mountain and ride any style.
They are best suited to boards with a 4/10 to 7/10 flex, and even better for boards with a 5/10 or 6/10 flex.
The Strata in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Strata are capable of.
Bindings: Union Strata 2019, Medium
Date: March 22, 2018
Conditions: Puking snow! A lot of fresh powder and everything just filling in all day. Being a weekday, nothing was getting too tracked out anyway, but even if it did it would have just filled in again. Visibility was of course not ideal, but far from whiteout as well (mid-level vis). It was cold (had to be for the snow) but not super freezing. Just nicely cold – and superbly powdery!
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Stance Width: 555mm (21.85”)
Board demoed with: Rossignol One LF 2018
Baseplate Length: 25.8cm (10.16”) – that’s measured on the top of the footbed. 24.0cm on the underside of the baseplate – it angles up to the top of the footbed.
Highback Height: 20.6cm (8.11”)
Weight: 860 grams (1lbs, 14oz) – per binding, including disc and screws
Lighter than most bindings, but heavier than some Union bindings (like the Falcor, Ultra, Contact Pro and Flite Pro).
Overall the Strata feels a touch softer than the Falcor. The highback is noticeably softer but overall, on snow it’s what I would consider 6/10.
The Strata’s have great response. They can really drive your board from edge-to-edge, quickly and effortlessly. Not quite as responsive as the Falcor’s but great level of response for anything from a 4/10 to a 7/10 flexing board. Ideal for 5/10 or 6/10 flexing boards, IMO.
As with every Union binding that has a mini-disc (which the Strata has), the Strata’s provide great board feel and are easy to butter with.
I didn’t feel they had quite the pop power as the Falcors, but they came very close. Great pop overall and made my board feel poppier than it usually does.
You can adjust the heelcup, which I am a big fan of. Really helps to make it easier for boot centering.
The highback lean, ankle strap length adjustments and toe strap length adjustment are all tool-less.
There isn’t any toe ramp (aka gas pedal) adjustment and there’s only one position for the ankle strap (you can adjust the length but not the position – so you can’t move it so that it sits higher on your ankle). But there are two different positions for the toe strap, so you can wear it either as a toe cap or over your boot.
So, most of the adjustments you expect from bindings these days, but not everything – but that heel cup adjustment does get a big tick from me.
These bindings are super-cush and will keep absorbing shock all day. They feature a new technology from Union, which they’re calling Fused Vaporlite™ which is basically supposed to be super-dampening, but also light weight and doesn’t interfere with board feel.
I don’t know the technical reasons for this, but from riding these bindings, they felt really damp, had great board feel and at just 780g (860g with disc and screws), they’re certainly pretty light (though not the lightest that Union has).
Really smooth ratchets that go on and come off really easily – as is the case with most Union bindings.
Let’s Break up this text with a Video
These bindings are super comfortable and I really didn’t notice them on. The ankle strap and toe strap both conformed really nicely without pressure points and that dampening and lightness really add to the comfort too.
I did feel like you can just keep tightening these bindings, they almost conform so well that you can get them too tight and then it starts to cut off circulation! But so long as you don’t over tighten them, they’re super comfortable.
The ankle support is fine and they give you a little more support than the likes of the Contact Pro. Similar in ankle support to the Falcor. Not as much support as Burton bindings, most (maybe all) of which have a position that’s higher on the ankle which can provide more support – and not as much as Flux (which have even better ankle support, IMO). But nothing like super loose or unsupportive by any means. Was enough for me, for sure.
Changes from the 2019 Model
The Ankle Strap and toe strap are different. The ankle strap is the Forma Elite Direct Connect – which was on the 2019 Falcor. It’s now moved onto the Strata. I own the 2019 Falcor’s and love that strap, so no complaints from me for that change. Otherwise everything else is pretty much how it was.
Changes from the 2018 Model
There was no 2018 model – this is a brand new model!
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
Contribution to Final Score
TOTAL after normalizing
Overall a great pair of bindings that can do a bit of everything. If I had to choose I’d still go Falcor, but very little in it – and if you’re looking for something that has great board feel, still really good response and is nice and damp but you want something just a little softer flexing than the Falcor, then the Strata fit that bill nicely.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to see how the Strata compares to other men’s all-mountain bindings or want to check out some other options in that category, check out the next link.