Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

Union Contact Pro

- published March 2017

92

2017

RATINGS

Durability
8
Performance
9
Build Quality
9
Weight/Performance
9
Comfort
9
Ease of Use
8
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
92

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MSRP
LOW PRICE
$259.95
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

THE GOOD

  • Affordable
  • Solid track record
  • Fun selection of colorways

THE BAD

  • Premature wear on footbed
  • Time-consuming base plate set-up

THE VERDICT

The Union Contact Pro is an affordable, lightweight, high-performance binding. You know that old saw about gear: “Do you want it cheap, light, or good? Choose two.” This binding goes three for three. The drawbacks were minimal—the footbed showed wear earlier than some and set-up took a couple of extra minutes. 

FULL REVIEW

The Union Contact Pro is a perennial favorite binding of many riders because it performs well, doesn’t break the bank, and for some, Union is a bit of an underdog brand. Redesigned for '16-17, the latest iteration is lighter and more comfortable than previous generations and includes an upgraded toe strap. The “Contact Pro” moniker is derived from how little contact the binding makes with the board—just 5%.This minimizes the interference on the flex pattern on the board. 

DURABILITY 
With an aluminum heel cup and high-tech nylon, AKA Duraflex, highback, the Union Contact Pro is pretty burly and is backed with a lifetime guarantee. The foam footbed showed some wear after a few weeks of riding, which would have been less noticeable if the foam wasn’t orange. Black would have made it less noticeable. 

PERFORMANCE
With a medium flex on the high back and base plate, the Union Contact Pro is for the all mountain freestyle rider. There’s plenty of flex for butters and the bushing does an admirable job cushioning landings. 

BUILD QUALITY
Out of the box, the Union Contact Pro is impressive with a mix of materials that are solid, but in hand are lightweight. Not something easy to do. 

WEIGHT/RESPONSE 
Just 715 grams, 5 grams lighter than last year’s model, the Union Contact Pro is one of the lightest bindings we tested. With medium baseplate stiffness and high back stiffness, response is predictable but fast. 

COMFORT
See above: with medium stiffness on all fronts, the Union Contact Pro is one of the most comfortable bindings in the test. 

EASE OF USE 
Set-up of the Union Contact Pro is easy. First up, the disk that you use to bolt down the bindings to the board works for both Burton’s Channel system and the ubiquitous four bolt system. Adjusting the cant of the highback is also easy and tool free. 

How We Tested It

The bindings in this test were used inbounds and off-piste in variable snow conditions at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Mammoth Mountain, and in the Eastern Sierra as well as at various resorts in Utah.

For more reviews beyond this 2017 test, check out our other snowboard reviews, snowboard boot reviews, and snow goggle reviews along with our snow helmet reviews and other related ski and snowboard gear reviews. 

The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.

About the Author

Stephen Krcmar

Stephen Krcmar

Stephen Krcmar splits his time between Mammoth Lakes and Los Angeles. A snowboarder, cyclist, and motorcycle guy, he skied 76 days last winter. He’s written about the outdoors for more than 16 years.

Shop for the Union Contact Pro

MSRP
LOW PRICE

$259.95
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

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MSRP
LOW PRICE
$259.95
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

RATINGS

Durability
8
Performance
9
Build Quality
9
Weight/Performance
9
Comfort
9
Ease of Use
8
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
92

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