Hello and welcome to my Burton Cartel EST review.
In this review I will take a look at the Cartel EST as all-mountain snowboard bindings.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Cartel EST a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how they compare with other all-mountain bindings.
Bindings: Burton Cartel EST
Price: $259 (USD recommended retail)
Flex Rating: Medium-Stiff
Flex Feel: Medium (6/10)
Rating Score: 89.2/100
Compared to other Men’s All-Mountain Bindings
Out of the 21 men’s all-mountain bindings that I rated:
Overview of the Cartel EST’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Cartel EST’s specs and available sizes.
US BOOT SIZE
EURO BOOT SIZE
Who are the Cartel EST Most Suited To?
The Cartel EST is best for anyone looking for a versatile binding, with great board feel and good response - an all rounder that will be perfect for boards around that mid-flex mark of 5/10 to 6/10 but because of the way the bindings work with the board also works for 4/10 and 7/10 boards well.
Note that these bindings will only work with the Channel - so only suitable if you have a Burton board, or another brand that uses the channel, like Endeavor.
The Cartel EST in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Cartel EST are capable of.
Bindings: Burton Cartel EST 2020, Medium
Date: April 14, 2019
Conditions: Great vis first thing but started closing in and then snowing 10:30. Then on and off throughout the day. But vis was never terrible – in patches good and in patches OK.
Groomers were quite smooth and fast, especially compared to the day before, which was nice.
Nothing crazy in terms of fresh snow, but 1cm (0.5") overnight and few more than that in the days leading up - some fresh patches still to be found.
Relatively cold with a little wind, but not much - wind not as strong and not quite as cold as the day before. -4 with wind. Still pretty cold for April 14th!
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Stance Width: 560mm (22”)
Board demoed with: Rossignol One LF 2018
Baseplate Length: 24.7cm (9.72”) – it was a little extended. I estimate it's around 24cm with no gas pedal extension and around 25.5cm fully extended.
Highback Height: 20.2cm (7.95”)*
* from bottom of heel cup to top of highback
Height from Bottom of Baseplate to top of Highback: 27.2cm (10.7")
The highback is softer than it is on the Malavita, but the base plate is a good bit stiffer. Overall, it feels a little stiffer than the Malavita, but still medium, but on the stiffer side of medium. Around 6/10 by my feel.
I found the response of the Cartel EST to be a touch more than the Malavita EST that I rode before it, and a touch more agian vs the Malavita Re:Flex. I felt the response was a little better than the Cartel Re:Flex too.
It's up there in terms of being responsive and something that can hold deep carves well, but still isn't oppressively stiff, and can still play around and has good maneuverability at slower speeds.
Love or hate that EST bindings only work on the channel, they do provide great board feel on channel boards and the Cartel EST is no exception. I felt the Malavita EST was just a touch better - and maybe that's just the softer base plate on it at work. But that's splitting hairs, as the Cartel EST provides more board feel than a majority of bindings out there - the only downside is that it only provides that feel in conjunction with the channel system.
Didn't find it gave quite the same ollie power as the Malavita EST, but not bad. Nothing epic, but not too bad either. Similar to what I got from my Malavita Re:Flex or maybe just a touch less.
Heel Cup: No
Stance Width: Infinite adjustments. EST bindings are the most adjustable going around in terms of stance width.
Highback Lean: Yes - tool-less
Ankle Strap Position: No - this is something that the Re:Flex model does have, that the EST doesn't
Ankle and toe strap length: Yes, though I haven't seen a binding that doesn't
Gas pedal/toe ramp extension: Yes
Highback Rotation: Yes
Compatible with: Only the channel. So this is another way that it's not as good as the Re:Flex model - the EST version has to be used on a board with the Channel.
One thing you loose with the EST/Channel setup, is a little bit of shock absorption. The Re:Flex model it's better in this department. It's not terrible, but it's not great either. A little less vs the Malavita EST, but very close.
As Burton bindings tend to be, the Cartel EST was very comfortable. It has a nice ankle strap that conforms well with no pressure points. Didn't get any calf bite or anything like that either. And has a canted footbed.
The toe strap has been upgrade for the 2020 model to the Supergrip Capstrap™ 2.0 from the Gettagrip Capstrap™ from the 2019 model. I like this upgrade personally as I prefer the Supergrip. However, I have heard from one person that they preferred the old Gettagrip - so it might come down to the boots you're riding.
The reduced shock absorption also reduces the comfort slightly but otherwise a very comfortable all round binding.
The ankle support is good. It's a good balance, IMO, between support and freedom of movement, but not quite as good as on the Re:Flex model. The EST model only has one position for the ankle strap, whereas on the Re:Flex model you get a second position you can shift it to, higher on the ankle, which offers more support if you want it.
Like all Burton bindings, the ratchet system is really smooth and nice to use. It's not a quick entry system like with Burton's Step-Ons or like Flow or GNU rear entry, but it's not that much slower - especially if you're strapping in standing up anyway.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
TOTAL after normalizing
The Cartel ESTs are very nice bindings, with awesome board feel, really good response, an all-round quality build and are really comfortable. And for what you get, they're actually quite resonably priced.
Biggest downside is that they only work with channel boards - and if you start out with a channel board and end up changing to a non-channel board, you also have to change your bindings - but if you're set on channel or happy to do that, it's a very nice binding at a really reasonable price.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to learn more about the Cartel EST, are ready to buy or want to research prices and availability, check out the links below.
If you want to see how the Cartel EST compares to other men’s all-mountain bindings or want to check out some other options in that category, check out the next link.