Union Charger first impressions (Capo comparison)
Long story short, I had Ride Capos for the last 3 seasons (about 100 days) and loved them, but I broke the aluminum baseplate last weekend so I sent them in for warranty and picked up the Chargers are a replacement because I wanted to try something new.
So I pretty much ride all/big mountain, anything from just surfing pow to natural hits to big mountain steeps/chutes. My Capos have been swapped between my Salomon Sick Stick (big mountain, pow) and various other all mountain decks (Berzerker, Highlife, SL, DH2). Put them through everything and loved them.
So now on to the Chargers.... mounted on my Sick Stick, 12" of fresh heavy pow at Stevens Pass.
First impressions..... very very similar to the Capos. The highback is slightly stiffer (pretty stiff in the grand scheme of things) and very responsive. The baseplate isn't quite as stiff as the aluminum Ride chassis though, but it does allow for a more natural flex of the deck. The ankle strap is nice and supportive, no huge difference from the Capo, but the toe strap falls short. The web Ride toe strap is tops in my book. Nothing comes close. The ratchets on the Unions are probably the best I've ever had my hands on. Very solid feel, great ratcheting, waaaay better than the Ride ones (or any other binding for that matter).
Overall, both bindings are very similar. Looking at price point though, I don't see the Unions being worth $60 more than the Capos. Don't get me wrong, I'm still really happy with the Chargers, but if I were concerned about the price point, the Capos win out.
Props to Union for making a very high quality binding in the Chargers. You've come a very long way since the last time I demo'd some Union bindings.