Hello and welcome to my Burton Cartel bindings review.
This review will assess the Cartel’s for their performance as all-mountain bindings.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com they will receive a rating out of 100 based on a number of different factors.
Bindings: Burton Cartel Reflex
Flex: Medium (6 out of 10)
Smart rating score: 87.1/100
Compared to other Men’s All Mountain Bindings
Out of the 22 men’s all mountain bindings that I rated:
Overview of the Cartel’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Cartel’s specs and available sizes.
2 x 4 | 4 x 4 | Channel
US BOOT SIZE
EURO BOOT SIZE
UK BOOT SIZE
Who are the Cartel Most Suited To?
The Cartels are great for anyone wanting that one pair of bindings that can do a bit of everything.
The ReFlex tech in the Reflex version and the EST tech in the EST version, mean that these binding flex well with the board they are on. For this reason, and because of their medium flex, they are a great choice if you want just one pair of bindings but have multiple boards. These are great for any board ranging from a medium-soft to a medium-stiff flexing board. Best for boards with a 5/10 or 6/10 flex but work with a range from 4/10 to 7/10.
They are at a mid-range price point, so if you’ve got a reasonable budget but not a huge one, then the Cartels are a great choice if you want that all-mountain style binding with great performance, but still with a reasonable price-tag.
The Cartel in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Cartels are capable of.
Bindings: Burton Cartel 2017 & 2018, Medium
Date: April 9th, 2016 & April 16th, 2017
Conditions: Hard packed in the morning with some icy spots in shady areas. Turned to slush in the afternoon
Bindings angles: +18/+3, +15/-15
The Cartel’s have a flex on the stiffer side of medium (6/10).
This is just right for the all mountain rider that wants to do a bit of everything on the mountain.
They felt good in the park but also when you leaned into a carve or for more casual riding too on the groomers.
Burton bindings have a reputation for having great adjustability in their bindings. And the Cartel’s are no exception.
You can tweak these bad boys every which way to get the perfect fit.
There are 3 settings on the ankle straps so that you can have them wrapping really high around the ankle or drop them down for a freer feel. It’s totally up to you.
The toe strap also has 2 settings so they can also be tailored to suit.
It’s also super easy to adjust the highback lean and you can adjust the highback rotation so that you can line up the highback to be perpendicular to the board no matter what stance angle you go with.
The Cartels, like most Burton bindings to be fair, are easy to get on and off. Typical of Burton they have a great, smooth ratchet system and that’s easy to ratchet up and undo the straps.
They also added a feature to the 2015 model that allows the ankle strap to open right out and stay open (the flex slider), rather than bouncing up as most ankle straps do. This is designed so that you can get your foot in nice and quickly without the risk of standing on the strap.
This feature is still available on the 2018 & 2019 models. It’s not a can’t-live-without feature but it’s a nice-to-have.
This is mostly important for landing jumps and hitting jibs in my opinion. Yes a bit of extra padding can help when riding through rougher snow or over ice, and to help with comfort, but you really notice it on landings.
The Cartel’s don’t disappoint here, with plenty of padding in the base plate, which really highlights why they are so great as an all rounder.
Check out the Video Below for more info
The Cartels have good board feel. Their at that flex level, where you can start to loose some board feel with some bindings – but the Cartels have good board feel and are easy to butter on. This is partly to do with the Re:Flex tech that helps the binding get the most out of the flex from the board – just the way it flexes with the board.
The EST version has even better butterability – also due to the way it connects the binding with the board in the channel system.
A couple of things make these really comfortable bindings.
- The ankle strap delivers nice even pressure – and the degree of adjustability means you can get just the right fit with no pressure points. It’s also nice and soft and light and contours well to your boots.
- It has a cantered foot bed (autocant) which has a harder surface for the outside of the foot and a softer surface for the inside of the foot. This automatically positions you in a way that aligns your body in a way that makes it a bit easier on your body for a more comfortable ride.
- The high level of shock absorption also helps to make the Cartel’s more comfortable
The Cartel’s have just a little bit better than mid-level responsiveness – as you would expect from of a medium bordering on mid-stiff flexing binding.
Again, going back to the great adjustability of these bindings you can pretty much get whatever kind of boot support/ankle support you want out of these bindings, without getting pressure points. I was able to really crank these down and get a nice firm fit – but you could leave them a bit looser or lower on the ankle if you wanted a freer feel.
Changes for the 2020 Model
The 2020 model has a new toe strap – the “Supergrip Capstrap 2.0” vs the “Gettagrip Capstrap” from the 2019 model. This is now the same toe strap as the Malavita and Genesis, which is good to see. A good improvement over the old toe strap.
Otherwise, the 2020 model looks to be pretty much the same as the 2019 model, bar the colorways.
Changes for the 2019 Model
As far as I can tell the 2019 model is essentially the same as the 2018 model. Maybe some tweaks were made but certainly nothing major.
Changes for 2018 Model
Very little has changed for the 2018 models – just a couple of tweaks.
- Gettagrip Capstrap™ in place of the Supergrip toe strap on the 2017 model
- Some tweaks to the buckles
There were more significant changes for the 2017 model and the 2018 model is essentially the same binding – which is a good thing in this case.
Changes for 2017 Model
There have been a few changes for the Cartels for the 2017 model.
- New injection molded hammock ankle strap
- Double take buckles
- Slightly softer flexing but not by much – the 2016 model was rated as a 7/10 and the 2017s are rated as a 6/10. I didn’t notice any difference but maybe you’d have to ride them side by side to tell the difference, if any.
I love the strap on Burton’s Genesis bindings – and now the Cartel’s have it – great upgrade for the 2017 model.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
Contribution to Final Score
TOTAL after normalizing
So, all round, just awesome all-mountain bindings that you’d expect a higher price for, given their quality.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to learn more about the Cartel, or are ready to buy or want to research availability and prices, check out the links below.
If you want to check out some other all mountain binding options or compare the Cartel to other all mountain bindings check out the next link.