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Voile Speed Rail - Women's Review

These are a good, not great, pair of bindings
Voile Speed Rail - Women's
Photo: Voile
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Price:  $375 List
Pros:  Integrated heel lock, strong uphill performance with adjustable highback
Cons:  Transition can be finicky, installation is a bit harder
Manufacturer:   Voile
By Marissa Fox ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 19, 2021
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62
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 11
  • Uphill Performance - 20% 6
  • Weight - 10% 5
  • Transitions - 30% 6
  • Downhill Performance - 30% 7
  • Straps, Lean, Risers - 10% 6

Our Verdict

While we didn't find any major issues with the Women's Voile Speed Rail, they just can't quite match the speed and efficiency of the premium products. These bindings are a little on the heavier side and we didn't find the straps were quite as comfortable as some of the other products. Don't get us wrong; they aren't bad bindings by any means and can be a solid value option if you find them on sale. However, they have a ways to go before we would consider them the pinnacle of splitboard binding design.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Best Buy Award   Best Buy Award 
Price $375 List$385 List$400 List$275 List$285 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
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81
66
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Star Rating
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Pros Integrated heel lock, strong uphill performance with adjustable highbackUphill and downhill performance, lightweight, good value, efficient transitions, lean adjustersDownhill performance, comfortable, easy to lower heel riser, pucks includedAffordable, comfortable straps, forward lean adjustmentInexpensive, lightweight, lean adjuster
Cons Transition can be finicky, installation is a bit harderHeel risers can be challenging to deploy with softer basketsPin system, harder to work with gloves on, heavyHeavy, wet snow clumps in pin box, pin based bindingPin-based binding
Bottom Line These are a good, not great, pair of bindingsTop-notch performance that keeps your wallet in mindA comfortable binding that is focused on the descentA comfortable and user-friendly binding that is nice on the walletA classic contender in our fleet, it comes at an excellent price, with decent performance across the board
Rating Categories Voile Speed Rail -... Spark R&D Arc Union Expedition 2.0 Voile Light Rail Spark R&D Blaze TR
Uphill Performance (20%)
6.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
Weight (10%)
5.0
9.0
5.0
6.0
6.0
Transitions (30%)
6.0
8.0
5.0
6.0
6.0
Downhill Performance (30%)
7.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
Straps Lean Risers (10%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
Specs Voile Speed Rail -... Spark R&D Arc Union Expedition 2.0 Voile Light Rail Spark R&D Blaze TR
Measured Weight (pair) 3.2 lbs 2.8 lbs 3.56 lbs 3.34 lbs 3.12 lbs
Compatible Systems Spark Pucks, Voile Pucks (Regular or Canted), Burton Channel Pucks, One Binding System, and Ibex Crampons Spark Pucks, Voile Pucks (Regular or Canted), Burton Channel Pucks, One Binding System, and Ibex Crampons Karakoram Splitboard Clips, Union Crampons Voile Pucks, Voile Splitboard Crampons Spark Pucks, Voile Pucks (Regular or Canted), Burton Channel Pucks, One Binding System, Sabertooth Crampons, Ibex Crampons

Our Analysis and Test Results

We did find that it can be a little more involved when it comes to installing the Voile Speed Rail on your splitboard, particularly when it comes to the heel riser/heel lock plate. It can take some muscle to bend the risers into the correct position on the plastic piece and keep them there while you screw the bracket down to the board. This isn't a huge deal since you only have to do it once, but it was enough of a hassle that we didn't remember the installation process fondly. These bindings are a good option for anyone who is a fan of the heel lockdown or if you hate pin systems for locking the binding to the board in touring mode.

Performance Comparison


The heel lock is handy if you aren't the most comfortable with...
The heel lock is handy if you aren't the most comfortable with free-heel splitboard skiing.
Photo: David Wise

Uphill Performance


Responsible for 20% of the final score for each pair of bindings, we started off by comparing how each pair of bindings felt while skinning uphill. The Women's Voile Speed Rail performed okay in this metric. They pivot fairly freely in touring mode and offer a huge range of motion. The highbacks have enough negative lean and can flex enough that these bindings are decently comfortable for long tours, all while providing enough support to let you effectively use your edges to cut into the snow while sidehilling.

These aren't the lightest bindings we have tested.
These aren't the lightest bindings we have tested.
Photo: David Wise

Weight


Next, we evaluated and scored each pair of splitboard bindings based on their weight. This is responsible for 10% of the total score for each product, with the Voile Speed Rail earning an average score for being a little on the heavier side.


The small pair weighs around three pounds, four ounces (1.48 kg), while the medium pair tips the scales at three pounds, six ounces (1.53 kg). While this isn't that much heavier than the lightest pair in our review, even an ounce of extra weight on your feet can have a disproportionately fatiguing effect compared to extra weight in your pack.

The Speed Rail in action. It can be incredibly fast to attach the...
The Speed Rail in action. It can be incredibly fast to attach the bindings for touring mode as long as they aren't iced up.
Photo: David Wise

Transitions


Responsible for 30% of the final score for each pair of bindings, our next series of tests focused on what can be the most infuriating part of any splitboarder's day: transitioning from touring to ride mode. We awarded points based on the time and effort it took to switch the bindings, such as if it can easily be done with gloves, and if the mechanism was prone to icing up. The Speed Rail did fairly well, earning an above average score.


Immediately, we will admit that the Speed Rail gave us some of the shortest transition times out of any bindings that we have tested — when everything worked properly. You just need to rotate the binding all the way forward and pop the hooks off the touring bar. Assemble your splitboard and then slide the Speed Rail over the pucks and lock them into position. This usually clears any snow that has built up around the pucks, so icing generally isn't an issue when going from tour to ride mode.

The Speed Rail bindings are a pin-free system.
The Speed Rail bindings are a pin-free system.
Photo: David Wise

There is no fiddling with pins or other locking mechanisms when attaching or freeing the bindings from touring mode, but the hooks can get bound up if they aren't aligned properly or have iced up. It also feels like you do have enough leverage to damage something if you force it so it's worth double-checking that everything is aligned properly before you force it.

These bindings offer plenty of control on the descent but the straps...
These bindings offer plenty of control on the descent but the straps could be a bit more comfortable.
Photo: David Wise

Downhill Performance


The downhill performance of the Speed Rail is responsible for 30% of its overall score. Points were based on how each pair of bindings felt on the descent and how much control they gave you over your board. The Speed Rail impressed us quite a bit, earning a relatively high score.

It's easy to lock the "Ride-N-Stride Highback" into the downhill position, locking in your preferred forward angle. It's also plenty stiff, giving you plenty of control over your edge position and angle, while still offering enough flex for a fairly fun and surfy ride down.

The Speed Rail bindings have an integrated heel lock on the riser...
The Speed Rail bindings have an integrated heel lock on the riser plate.
Photo: David Wise

Straps, Lean, and Risers


Our last metric focused on some of the various components of each binding, which is responsible for the remaining 10% of the final score. The Speed Rail did fine, meriting an average score.

Straps

The ratchets on the Speed Rail straps operate smoothly enough but they didn't release or engage quite as easily as some of the offerings from other brands. The straps are decently comfortable and securely hold down your foot, but again, we think there are some slightly more cushy options out there.

Lean

The lean adjuster on the highback did make a fairly positive impression on us. It's very easy to use — even with gloves on — simply by pushing on the top or bottom of the pivot to change between a negative lean for touring and a positive lean for the downhill. However, you can't adjust the angle of the forward lean without a snowboard tool to tighten or loosen the screw.

Risers

We think the pair of riser bars on these bindings are fine but have a ways to go before we would call them fantastic. Right from the get-go, it took a bit more effort to install them than we would have liked, and can take a little practice to get the hang of using your pole handles to fold them up or down. However, we did like the bonus heel lockdown feature, which can be very reassuring when descending in touring mode for newer riders or those that aren't fans of free-heel skiing on a splitboard.

Value


While the Speed Rail isn't the best bargain option, it usually retails for a bit less than many of the other top-tier products, making it at least worth your consideration if you are shopping on a limited budget.

Conclusion


All in all, the Women's Voile Speed Rail is a solid, all-around ladies-specific splitboard binding. It might not be our absolute favorite, but it more than gets the job done. It's got just about all the features you would want but is a little heavier and scores just a bit worse than the top-tier models.

Marissa Fox

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