Union just dropped their full 2022-2023 snowboard binding a few months early. One of the freestyle binding options returning for the season is the Union Strata. These bindings offer a lot of shock absorption and have a few features that make them perfect for hitting jumps, jibbing, and carving all over the resort. This is my full Union Strata review of how these bindings ride.
2023 Union Strata Feature Highlights
SizesSmall (US Men’s 6 – 7.5), Medium (US Men’s 8 – 10), Large (US Men’s 10.5+)
First Impression of the 2022 / 2023 Union Strata Snowboard Bindings?
My first impression of the 2022 / 2023 Union Strata Bindings is that they feel excellent on snow.
This is my third set of union bindings. I own the Union Force and Union Contact Pros. The Strata feels like a binding that fits right in between those two. It’s stiffer than the Contact Pro and slightly softer than the Union Force.
The first detail I noticed about the Strata is how locked in I felt compared to the Contact Pro and Force. The Strata got a strap update that includes some new aluminum buckles. On my other bindings, I found myself having to really crank down the ratchets to feel ready to drop in. With the Strata, I don’t. I feel locked in and secure the moment I feel resistance in my bindings. I don’t need to give it that extra precautionary crank.
The second detail I noticed is that Strata feels very similar to the Contact Pro. The main difference is the highback flex and overall dampness. The highbacks are a little stiffer, and I barely noticed vibrations while riding some rougher icy terrain. Both of these attributes really help when you are charging at full speed towards a jump or landing on ice (as we do here too often on the east coast).
The last detail I noticed was the level of board feel I had while riding the Union Strata. Everything about these bindings screams the word “comfort.” However, I feel like I have a better handle on my snowboard all around. When I am jibbing, I feel like I can control my balance points better, and when I am jumping, there is enough added response that I don’t wash out on my landings.
Altogether, the 2023 Union Strata Bindings offer the perfect level of response for spinning off park jumps and carving all around the mountain.
Here is a quick overview video of all of the features of the Strata Bindings.
Why Did I Buy the 2023 Union Strata Bindings?
I bought these because I enjoyed the Union Contact Pro Bindings, and I wanted the next level up in upgrades and features. The 2022/2023 Union Strata Bindings offer three core features that I was looking for.
- They are a freestyle snowboard binding for under $250. Last year, these bindings sold for $319, and now they are on sale for $249 here.
- They have a comfortable ankle strap that offers some response.
- They have an incredible shock absorption thanks to the generous level of foam padding that Union added into the base.
What do I like/dislike about the Union Strata Bindings?
The Overall Feel and Flex of the Union Strata Bindings
I love the overall feel of these bindings. They feel secure and responsive while still allowing for enough play to press and butter. I like the slightly stiffer flex of the Union Strata 2023. I am the type of rider that enjoys mid-flexing snowboard boots and bindings, and the Strata is slightly stiffer than I am used to. They are rated at a 6.5 out of 10 flex, so they are my small step into getting a stiffer binding.
The Shock Absorption / Dampness
The baseplate of the Strata has thick foam that lines the footbed of the baseplate. It looks like this as you stare at it before you put your boot into it.
There is also an additional foam bushing that lines the bottom to the baseplate to rest against your board. Union calls this the OTE Fused Vaporlite Bushing. It does an excellent job reducing vibrations and increasing the level of board feel without making the binding too stiff to press.
The Strata is ridiculously light. The 2023 Union Strata weighs only 1.8lbs. When combined with my 2022 Capita Ultrafear snowboard, it feels like I am riding a feather.
I love the ankle strap in the Strata. It features a flexible rubber forma section that rests against the outside of your boot, while the inside has a cut-out to reduce the overall weight. It looks like this when your boot is strapped in.
The ankle strap has a flex rating of a 7 out of 10, and that feels accurate. It feels like the ankle strap offers a faster response than the strap of the Union Contact Pros that I was using right before these. The ankle straps are comfortable. I never felt any odd pinch points or resistance while lapping the park or taking runs outside of the park.
The toe strap features Union’s helix 2.0 toe strap. The rubber that covers your toes uses a hexagon pattern as a net. It fits perfectly around my boot and keeps me locked in. In the picture above, you can get a feel for how it covers the front edge of your boot. As your ratchets get tighter, the rubber helix section molds around the shape of your boot.
The ratchets in the 2023 Strata are now made with aluminum. Last years’ ratchets were made with magnesium. The new aluminum ratchets are lightweight, smooth to get in and out of, and leave me feeling very secure every time I strap in.
The Strata highbacks are made with a lightweight Duraflex material. It is designed specifically to be responsive and withstand cold temperatures without adding in the weight of a stiffer highback. The Strata’s highbacks are slightly asymmetrical. I noticed that making a difference more outside of the park as an all-mountain binding rather than a feature that helps me spin or butter. The highbacks look so nice too. ea
No Padding On Top of Highbacks
I tend to pick my snowboard up from the closest highback that is pointing up at me. Here on the east coast, we tend to hike park features a lot when they are good because there aren’t many days on the hill where the entire park has perfect conditions. The highbacks on the strata don’t have an eva foam lining the top of them. To be honest, this foam doesn’t help me ride in any way. However, I use it to help me pick my board up for hiking. The Strata doesn’t have anything to grip, so when your gloves are wet, it tests your grip.
Not Many Color Options Available Yet
This was an early 2023 release when I bought it. I jumped at buying the Acid Green color because it was the only one that was available at the time. I think looks awesome. I just would have preferred the white or black versions. The good news is there will be more colors available soon. The 2023 Union Binding Brochure shows these colorways.
Who Is the Union Strata a Good Fit For?
These bindings are perfect for anyone looking for a freestyle / park binding that is fully capable of riding any other terrain at the resort too. If you are looking for a binding that will help you progress your park riding while still being responsive enough to charge the rest of the resort, get the Union Strata Bindings.
The Union Strata’s flex pairs well with any snowboard that is in the mid flexing range. If your board has a flex rating between 4-6 out of 10, the Strata will be perfect for you.
2022-2023 Union Strata Binding Specs
|Disk Compatibility:||4×4, 4×2, or Channel (universal to most common mounting patterns)|
|Category:||Freestyle / Park|
|Baseplate:||S6 Duraflex ST|
|Ankle Strap:||Forma Lab|
|Heelcup:||Extruded 3D Aluminum|
|Bushing:||OTE Fused Vaporlite|
|Toe Strap:||TS 2.0 Hexgrip|
|Highback:||Strata Duraflex ST|
|Flad:||Classic Screw Adjust (So you will need a screwdriver)|
|Hardware:||Grade 8.8 Steel|
|Disk Cover:||Thermoformed EVA|
|Canting:||Yes – a slight 3 degrees of canting|
|Strap Adjust:||Tool-Less for Both the Ankle and Toe Straps|
Union Strata Snowboard Bindings Size Chart
|US Men’s Shoe Size||US Women’s Shoe Size|
|Small||6 to 7.5||4 to 6.5|
|Medium||8 to 10||7 to 8.5|
|Large||10.5+||9 to 11|
What Other Benefits to the Union Strata Bindings are There?
- Adjustable Straps – Both the ankle and toe straps offer toolless adjustments to make them longer or shorter.
- Adjustable Heel Cup – The heel cup is adjustable to help center your boot.
- Mounting Compatibility – They are compatible with the most popular mounting patterns (2 x 4 or channel mounting)
- 2 Year Warranty – Union Bindings have a lifetime warranty for the baseplate and heelcup, and all other parts are warrantied for two years.
- Forward lean adjustments – To adjust your forward lean, you will need a Philips head screwdriver. If you adjust yours often, you’ll want to leave a snowboard tool in your car.
- Canted footbed – There is a slight three degrees of canting in the footbed. I haven’t noticed this in any way just yet. However, I hear it can help save your knees and hips in the long run.
Overall Rating for the 2022 / 2023 Union Strata Bindings
|Considerations||Rating Out 5|
|Presses / Buttering||5|
|Ease of Entry / Exit||5|
|Overall Quality / Build||5|
So Do I Recommend the Union Strata Snowboard Binding?
Absolutely! There is a reason this is on the top of our best park snowboard bindings award list. These bindings have everything you could want on your park setup. They’re responsive, absorb shock, and they are playful in all the right ways.
Where Can You Buy the Union Strata 22/23?
The 2023 Strata was released early, so it is available right now. You can get it at all major retailers. My recommendation would be to get it here from Evo because they have it at $70 less than most other retailers.
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Steve Weber is an avid snowboarder and skateboarder. He has been snowboarding for 26 years, skateboarding for 20, and is always looking for a new board sport to try out. When he is not riding or skating, he runs a marketing agency. Board of the world is Steve’s blog for skateboard and snowboard gear reviews. The blog’s goal is to help people find the right board for them and encourage people to have fun outside.