The Rome Arsenal is one of the forgotten bindings in Romes line. There is lot’s of buzz about the Targa and 390’s but this
Days: 10+ (owned these in the past and demo’d the 2014 once)
Boots: Burton Ion, Burton Imperial
Boards: Jones Mountain Twin, Gnu Impossible Series, Rossignol One Magtek,
Flex: The high back is pretty stiff if you twist it and especially so if you pull it back.
Adjustability: The one issue with the Rome Arsenal is it’s not easy to get everything dialed out. The biggest pain is adjusting the bindings to your foot size and because there are only 2 sizes it makes sense to do so. Many other bindings have 2 sizes but the adjustment is in the heel loop. You have a metal piece connecting to a metal or plastic piece that isn’t easy to align so you can get the screw in.
Comfort: Not a fan of the toe straps because like ride bindings they tend to collapse the sides of our boots and make it a bit uncomfortable.
Turn Initiation: Pretty strong edge to edge response.
Buttering: Kind of dead underfoot if you want to butter. It’s still got the old base plate that the 390 and Targa’s use to have and it’s been around for a while. Back in the day it was a fine base plate but these days it’s pretty old school. It feels like it made the boards I rode with it stiffer than they were. If you like that kind of feel then this is a good choice.
Boot Support: Decent support but you would think that a pretty med/stiff high back would have a more supportive ankle strap. Still it locks in your boot pretty good.
Ratchet System: Decent ratchet system that didn’t feel exceptionaly smooth but not super clunky either.
Shock Absorption: Not a lot of shock absorption going on when you compare these to the Targas. Damp at speed but not the best for handeling an unfortunate landing.
If you need an inexpensive binding for a stiffer all mountain board like the Rome Anthem then this could work. It’s a little one dimensional but if you aren’t into buttering and want your board to feel a little stiffer underfoot then this could work.
The Rome Arsenal is a decent All Mountain binding at a good price but it hasn’t really changed much in terms of design over the years we have reviewed this from 2011 to 2014. In 2011 Rome added the 390 high back to mellow out the stiffness. Boards aren’t as stiff so the old stiffer Arsenal isn’t needed as much as it use to be. So anything before 2011 is going to be stiffer and more freeride focused and the new 2011 will be closer to the All Mountain side of things.
For 2012 and 2013 Rome changed very little on the design of the Arsenal.