Binding Review: 10-11 Union Flite

12 Feb, 2010


Location: Winter Park, Colorado

Snow Conditions: Hardpacked to icy conditions on the mountain, flat-light riding conditions.

Setup: I rode the Union Flite’s on the Capita Black Snowboard of Death (and other boards) with my Vans Veil Boots size 8.

Time to set up the binding: It was the first binding of the morning and we made sure the heelcup fit was spot on so it took a bit longer to setup.

Fit: The M/L binding size works with my size 8 women’s boot but often making sure the heelcup is moved forward for a better fit.  The flite’s fit fine with the width of my boot and I could have adjusted the toe strap to be a better fit to my boot.  The highback fit well with my boots and I didn’t notice any pressure from the highback to my calf’s.

First Impression: A very easy forgiving lightweight ride for the mountain

Appearance: I was riding the black colorway which has a hint of gold to it, I found the bindings simple in the color choices and with the combination of the BSOD it matched up well together.  The board did the talking, the binding just looked good on top of it.

Comfort: The Flite’s have a contoured ankle strap and toe strap with a hollow center so it can mold to your boot better.  I found the new ankle strap nice in the fact it was premolded to the shape of the boot, decent comfort but mostly good support on the boot and the toe strap didn’t have much to it but secured my boot in place, I mostly rocked as convertible even though I would have preferred over the toe.  Highback was softer, with some padding to help with boot comfort.  Padding underfoot on the baseplate cover to help absorb some rougher terrain/landings.

Functionality: Unions are set up to be very user friendly functional, easy tool free adjustments on the ankle strap and toe strap doesn’t take too long with a screw to adjust (wish it was tool free though).  Forward lean is quick adjust but I didn’t need to adjust it so it was fine setup as is.

Flex: The Flite’s were an easy ride to get into, softer highback didn’t make them a responsive binding but with a good sturdy underfoot feeling.  The straps offered the stiffer flex (mostly the ankle strap) and overall it was a good mix.  I never felt the bindings couldn’t handle freeriding but they weren’t overly responsive either, just enjoyed the ride…along for the ride feeling.

Response: The Flite’s aren’t a super responsive binding, freestyle influenced and softer highback makes the response a bit more forgiving, minimal on the mountain.  I found it a really easy forgiving binding all around from the flex to straps, lightweight and just an easy ride that wouldn’t put you into turns or on edge when you didn’t want to be.

Toe Strap: The toe strap has a hollowed out center, making it so you can fit snugly with your boot when riding and not worry about the toe strap slipping.  When I rode it the first time, it needed better adjustment but later on during the demos, it felt better when I rode it a second and third time with my boots.  It’s sturdy with not much padding and just does the job of holding your boot in.

Overall Impression: Overall the flite’s were definitely one of the lighter average bindings I was on during the demo’s.  It was exactly as described, all around pipe, park, powder freestyle design influenced.  During the couple times that I rode the bindings, they were an easy ride with good support (not responsive) that could handle freeriding to playing in the park.

Shay’s Honesty Box: I think these bindings will be popular for those who want the forces or unions but with a toe strap that works for them better…because not everyone likes the union toe strap.  I personally find the toestrap on unions fine for my boots and so this new toe strap was nice but I don’t really need it.  The Flite’s were an easy to love binding, how easy it was to just ride them.  Personally the forces are still my choice for binding, but the flite’s were definitely a consideration.

Ready to buy? Head over to evo for the Union Flite or shop their full line of Union snowboard bindings

On Snow Photos

Union Flite Description

Review Disclosure: I rode this binding at a demo day.

About the author

Shay

From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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8 Comments

  1. Karim
    February 12, 2010

    How new are the toestraps realy?
    They look the same as the 2008 union cadet dlx!

  2. February 12, 2010

    Karim, good point definitely not new but new models with it for 10-11. Be interesting to see how people like it, I never rode the cadet DLX’s with it so it was my first time trying out the toe strap.

  3. Brek Leines
    February 13, 2010

    just saw the whole new capita n union line today. It seems like the ankle srap on all the bindings is a lil bit bigger and more cush which im excited about. The contact pro probably my favorite and the mc’s. suposivly lighter than last years. all good stuff though!

    oh some of coals new stuff looks super good to. coming out with new knit balaclavas. good colors n suuuuuuper soft! yay c3

    good warranty department too!

  4. Vito
    February 16, 2010

    Sorry to put this question here..but i tried to ask it to you after the review of the union forces but maybe you didn’t see it..so…

    Are there any differences between the force and the danny kass turbo?
    If yes..is the danny kass a binding that can be used everywhere or it is made for a specific part of the mountain?

  5. Betsy
    April 20, 2010

    So the green and black looks almost identical to the 09-10 Union Sierra Contact SL that you can only get from Sierra Snowboard. The only real difference I can see is the high back is a little different and the ankle strap is a bit different too. See for yourself:

    http://www.sierrasnowboard.com/Union-Sierra-Contact-SL-Snowboard-Bindings.asp

  6. lee
    April 23, 2010

    different baseplate , but i get where you are coming from on looks. paint scheme def looks similar but its a different binder.

  7. Pete
    October 13, 2010

    Wuhuuu…testin my freakin new Flites this weekend in Hintertux/Austria together with my Staimaster! We have 110cm and also some Pow! Season starts for me this weekend…excited!!