K2 Snowboard Bindings Review

K2 Snowboard Bindings Review

What To Look For

Cinch--The Cinch series, consisting of the CTX, CTS and CTC, is K2's rear-entry line. These bindings use a simple lever-operated cable system to open and close the high back, providing quick entry and exit. Unlike other rear-entry bindings on the market, these allow for customized fit with a traditional two-strap system up front.

Strap--K2's standard strap line consists of the Sweater, Formula, Indy, Sonic and Vandal.

Auto--The Auto and the Auto Ever focus on light, technical design. This line is centered around an automatic toe strap that loses the separate ratchet and opens and closes automatically with the ankle strap, saving time, weight and effort. Set the toe strap once, and you'll get it just right without needing to adjust again.

Women's--K2 offers women's bindings in the same lines as mentioned above.

Size--K2 men's bindings come in Medium (sizes 5 to 8), Large (8 to 11) and Extra Large (11 to 15). Women's bindings are sized Small (3 to 6) and Medium (6 to 10). The Vandal, K2's boys' binding, comes in Small and Medium and the Kit, a girls' binding, comes in Small.

Technology and Features: K2 bindings feature a variety of different technologies that vary by model. Some highlights include Harshmellow, a vibration absorption system designed to create a smoother ride, universal toe straps that can either sit flat on top of your boot or cup the toe, tool-less adjustments, asymmetrical high backs, carbon and fiberglass/nylon composite base plates, and the Airlock high back on the Auto Ever that cuts out traditional forward lean hardware, provides a connected interface between the high back and heel cup and uses a lever system to adjust lean. The Sweater features a distinct "sweater-vest" that covers the high back and provides extra cushioning, then doubles as your beer coozy for after the day is over.

Common Pitfalls

Like other brands, K2 uses all kinds of fancy names for all of its hardware and technology. You may or may not need any of it. Instead of buying into the marketing hype, make a list of the things that are important to you when it comes to bindings. If that list is as simple as easy ratchets, comfortable, cushioned straps and the right fit, then shop for those characteristics and don't buy into tech-speak like "asym" high backs or "Harshmellow." Check out these features if you're curious, but don't get talked into dropping the extra money on features you're not interested in and don't really need.

Where To Buy

There are advantages to both online and in-person shopping when it comes to bindings. You need to establish that the bindings will fit your boots, and this is best done at your local snowboard shop. On the other hand, shopping online is easier, quicker and often cheaper. Local shops offer limited equipment, so it may be difficult to find K2 bindings locally. If you do buy online, shop at a reputable retailer that has a good return policy, just in case the bindings don't fit. Some online retailers that carry K2 products are The House and Dogfunk. For local shops, follow the link below to K2; the dealer locator is at the bottom of the page.

Cost

K2 bindings in the 2009 line ranged from just over $100 for kids bindings to $300 for the Auto Ever.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.