Union Atlas Review

This is my review of the Union Atlas snowboard bindings. 

I’m a CASI-certified snowboarding instructor, and I’ve been teaching other riders for the last ten years. I’ve used many different types of bindings during my decades of riding, and I have experience using the Union Atlas. 

The Atlas is a quality all-mountain snowboard binding that will work well for a variety of different riders. It has a very solid construction built with performance in mind while still providing a lot of comfort along the way. 

I’ll dive into a thorough review of these bindings in this post to give you a better idea of how they perform on the snow and if they are a good match for your riding style or preferences on the mountain. 

Time to get after it.

Union Atlas Overview

The Union Atlas is a high-quality all-mountain binding from a reputable brand. These are a popular option with many riders because they give you a lot of versatility that will allow you to ride all over the resort. 

The nature of all-mountain riding means that you need to remain ready to adapt to changing conditions. With the Atlas mounted on your board, you’ll be able to crush nearly every line that comes your way without worrying about transitions between styles or conditions. 

A medium/stiff flex gives these bindings the best of both versatility and performance. They are best for intermediate and advanced riders who don’t want to be stuck on the same line all day or season long and would rather explore. 

This stiffness translates into effective power transfer and response, which are critical characteristics of a high-performance binding. They are more than capable of meeting the needs of experienced riders who demand higher-end performance. 

Key construction elements like a Stage 7 Duraflex CB baseplate help keep everything snappy and responsive while also providing durability. The bindings are built to last and can take regular abuse without missing a beat. 

Magnesium buckles and grade 8.8 hardware used in the construction also help increase the strength and performance attributes of the Atlas. They will remain effective for many seasons of heavy use, and that increases their lifetime value. 

The Atlas also provides quite of bit of comfort without sacrificing any performance. You’ll get a good amount of shock absorption to keep your feet in good shape when you are out there riding tough. 

The excellent design carries over into the straps, and you can expect a solid hold that is easy to adjust if you need to make any improvements on the fly. These are also built with a tool-less strap adjustment design that comes in useful if you ride often. 

While the Atlas is a recommended choice in terms of versatility and solid construction, they are a little overpriced, in my opinion. This isn’t a budget choice but can still be a good option for riders who want reliable performance across the board. 

Detailed Review

The Union Atlas is a good all-around all-mountain option for intermediate and advanced riders. They are somewhat expensive but still come recommended because of their quality construction and very effective performance. 

Performance

The Atlas delivers solid performance that riders of many different styles can appreciate. These will give you effective riding capabilities in various conditions, and they truly live up to the all-mountain distinction. 

A medium/stiff flex is ideal for blending versatility and performance. This is my preferred flex for an all-mountain option, and I think Union hit the perfect mark here with that in mind. The Atlas can truly go just about anywhere you want it to go. 

I think these bindings perform best for resort freeriding and can live up to the demands of experienced riders. They provide solid power transfer that comes in useful when you are in more technical situations. 

The Atlas responds well and will give you quick edge-to-edge control on everything from deep powder to packed snow and ice. I like to think of bindings as the steering wheel for your board, and this model will keep you effectively in control at all times. 

These are capable as a freestyle binding, but I don’t think they excel with this riding style in mind. The stiffer flex makes them somewhat less forgiving than park rats and freestyle purists tend to enjoy.

I wouldn’t use the Atlas as a dedicated freestyle option, but they will work fine if you like to hit a few park laps from time to time, especially if the halfpipe is your thing. They give enough power to help increase pop before you launch off the lip.  

Comfort

The Atlas is a comfortable binding, especially for a model that has a stiffer flex. These offer a solid blend of comfort and performance, which is the sweet spot that most riders look for. 

I like my all-mountain setup to be high-performance-focused without compromising comfort. These bindings hit that mark well, making them a solid option to use on your all-mountain board. 

The Stage 7 Duraflex CB baseplate helps keep your feet engaged without wearing them down. This flexible but durable design allows you to get a natural flex without being too taxing. It lays a good foundation for comfort. 

A stiffer flex often leads to sacrifices in comfort, but I think the Atlas remains comfort-focused despite sitting on the stiffer end of things. These aren’t the most comfortable bindings in the world, but they are a very cozy higher-performance option. 

Vaporlite HD bushings add another comfort level by helping dampen vibrations when you are riding fast and hard. Vaporilte is a unique and highly durable material that is stiff but still responsive. This works well to increase comfort while boosting performance. 

Adjustability

The Atlas has a very thought-out construction and design with adjustability in mind. These bindings will work for many different riders because they provide an easy way to get a custom fit that can help you ride effectively no matter what your preferred style is. 

The bindings come with an ExoFrame 3.0 ankle strap that will help you get dialed in quickly. This gives you a trusted level of performance and comfort before you strap in and head downhill while always knowing you will have an ideal fit. 

I also like the 3.0 Ultragrip wide toe straps. This strap will keep the front of your boots firmly in place to enhance power transfer and response. It also has a padded layer to reduce any pressure points to help you ride tough all day long. 

These straps feature a tool-less adjustment system that lets you get the perfect tightness quickly and on the fly. That means less time dealing with your setup at the top of the lift and more time riding.

The Atlas also comes with magnesium buckles that are very effective. This design is sturdy and durable to give you lasting adjustability that you can rely on. Grade 8.8 hardware holds everything in place to make this adjustability even more effective in the long run.   

Value 

The Union Atlas is a fairly expensive snowboard binding. While you get a lot of good construction and design features with that price, the cost of these lowers the overall value ranking. 

These bindings can be a good value for riders who want a versatile and effective all-mountain option. You get a top model from a trusted brand, and there is no denying what the bindings are capable of on the mountain.

Experienced riders who want higher levels of all-mountain performance will appreciate everything that these bindings have to offer. Those features can justify a higher price. 

Beginners who don’t require high-end performance can find a cheaper all-mountain option. These aren’t quite a beginner-friendly model because of their higher price, and I wouldn’t recommend them as a value pick. 

All things considered, I give the Atlas an average value ranking. They are a solid all-around snowboard bindings, but you’ll pay a higher price for them than some similar models. 

The Alternatives

Here are some recommended alternatives to the Union Atlas. The options below all come recommended and offer slightly different characteristics to the Atlas. 

1. Union Contact Pro

The Contact Pro is another good option from Union, and these come in at a more affordable price than the Atlas. That makes them a good option for any rider on a budget or beginners looking for a binding to help them grow and improve. 

These have a medium flex and are more freestyle-focused. They will give you good performance in the park and have a durable construction that will let you stomp huge airs and go as big as you want to go. 

2. Burton Cartel

The Cartel is another solid all-around option that will give you an excellent blend of comfort and performance. These can work with an all-mountain setup to provide you with versatile capabilities to crush every inch of the mountain. 

The bindings come with a SensoryBED cushioning system that helps dampen vibrations and keep your feet in good shape when you ride. They also have a canted highback construction that helps increase edge control and power transfer. 

3. Union Force

The Force is a slightly less stiff all-mountain binding from Union. These are similar to the Atlas in many ways, but a more forgiving flex makes them a bit better suited for beginner/intermediate and freestyle riders. 

These have excellent power transfer and response that can help increase your riding abilities in various conditions. They also come with a very solid construction that is durable while highlighting comfort. 

My Verdict

Thanks to its solid construction and effective performance attributes, the Union Atlas is a good choice for an all-mountain binding. This isn’t an extremely high-value pick but is still recommended for experienced riders who like to roam all over the resort.

About Lorraine
I'm a certified snowboard instructor. My first experience with snowboarding occurred at an indoor resort. One run had me hooked, and it has turned into a lifelong passion ever since then. I'm here to share with you some of the tips and advice I have learned along the way.

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