Hello and welcome to my Burton Cartel X EST review.
In this review, I will take a look at the Cartel X EST as all-mountain-freeride snowboard bindings.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Cartel X EST a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how they compare with other all-mountain-freeride bindings.
Binding: Burton Cartel X EST 2022
Flex Rating: Medium-Stiff
Flex Feel on Snow: Medium-Stiff (7/10)
Rating Score: 90.4/100
Compared to other Men’s All-Mountain-Freeride Bindings
Out of the 15 men’s all-mountain-freeride bindings that I rated:
Overview of the Cartel X EST’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Cartel X EST’s specs and available sizes.
US BOOT SIZE
EURO BOOT SIZE
UK BOOT SIZE
Who is the Cartel X EST Most Suited To?
The Cartel X EST is best suited to anyone looking for a binding with a stiffer than medium flex, but nothing that's ultra stiff. Someone who wants to drive a board a little harder on carves and at speed, but still wants some forgiveness.
And if you're looking for that in a binding with decent shock absorption and great board feel, then this might tick your boxes.
Note that the EST version (which is being reviewed here) is only compatible with the Channel system for mounting bindings. It also comes in a Re:Flex version which is compatible with the Channel, 2 x 4 and 4 x 4.
Best matched with boards with a 6/10 to 8/10 flex.
The Cartel X EST in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Cartel X EST are capable of.
Binding: Burton Cartel X EST 2022, M
Date: February 16, 2021
Conditions: Cloudy with some sunny spells. Cold enough when suns not there but certainly not ultra cold. Quite warm when suns out.
-3°C (27°F), with wind -9°C (16°F).
24 hour snow: 0cm (0")
48 hour snow: 18cm (7")
7 day snow: 34cm (13.4")
On groomer: Medium to medium firm. Some small icy patches.
Off groomer: Crunchy in places and a little softer in others with some icy patches on steeper sections
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Stance width: 560mm (22″)
Board demoed with: Burton Daily Driver 155
Footbed Length: 24.5cm (9.65”)*
*measured on the top side of the footbed - a little bit of angle down to underside of baseplate - around 24cm at bottom of baseplate.
Footbed fully extended: Roughly 25.5cm (10”)
Highback Height: 19.8cm (7.8")*
* from bottom of heel cup to top of highback
Height from top of footbed to top of highback: 27cm (10.6")
Weight: 900g (2lb 0oz)
* for one binding, including screws and disc. The average weight of a small sample size of around 45 bindings (2019, 2020, 2021 & 2022 models) I weighed, was 890 grams. The lightest was 680 grams and the heaviest was 1,160grams. So the Cartel X EST are pretty close to right on average.
I rode the Cartel X on the Burton Daily Driver, which is not my typical testing board - my testing board isn't Channel, so I couldn't mount these bindings on it. But I first rode the Daily Driver with my Burton Malavita Re:Flex (my test bindings), so be able to provide the comparison against my test bindings.
The Cartel X EST gave the Daily Driver more liveliness versus the Malavita and was significantly better for hard carves and felt just as good at slow speeds.
The Cartel X provided even better board feel than the Malavita, which are themselves really good on that front (though not super surprising given that every EST binding I've tested in the past has given great board feel).
They made the board feel more buttery too.
They provided good pop/ollie power. But felt the same in this respect to the Malavita.
Let's Break this Text Up with a Video
Overall really good adjustability, like all EST bindings. The biggest issue with them is that they have to mounted to the channel - not an issue if you only ride boards with the channel.
Also, whilst there is unlimited binding angle adjustability, which is nice, but it's quite hard to get those angles exactly where you want them - hard to get it accurate in the position you want it. Takes a bit of time to make sure you've got it right.
Heel Cup: No, BUT…. Since it’s EST, you can move the bindings up and down the width of the board as much as you like, so there’s no need for heel cup adjustment.
Stance Width: Infinite stance width basically with EST bindings.
Highback Lean: Adjustable, tool-less
Ankle Strap Position: no
Toe Strap Position: no
Ankle and toe strap length: Yes, tool-less
Gas pedal/toe ramp extension: Yes
Highback Rotation: Yes
Compatible with: Channel
Overall just less than my Malavitas, but still really decent shock absorption.
Not super thick padding but some nice feeling squishy, yet bouncy gel in the heel.
Nice smooth ratchets. No double take buckles like on the Malavita's, but still smooth enough.
Ankle Strap: Nice and comfortable. Don't even notice it when you're riding (which is a good thing)
Toe Strap: Felt like I couldn't crank it as much as I would have liked to. But had no issues with it coming off or anything and no pressure points or anything, so worked as it should.
Canted Footbed: No
Padded Footbed: 1.6cm of padding, with some nice bouncy gel in the heel.
Highback: Has this nice padded almost springy hammock like around where the heel cup is. It's not all the way up the highback, but just at the bottom. It's kind of like floating padding. All in all, the highback was comfortable - I didn't experience any discomfort or calf-bite or anything from it.
It's got decent ankle support. There isn't a second position you can move the ankle strap to, like on the Malavita's, which is a downside, but if you're happy with the position of the ankle strap where it is, it's not an issue. I was happy with the position, so was all good with me.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
TOTAL after normalizing
The Cartel X EST gave the board noticeably more spring/response versus my test bindings (Burton Malavita) and noticeably more utterability too (typical of EST versus Re:Flex, in my experience).
Really nice bindings - and if I had a board with the Channel in the right flex range for these bindings, these are what I would go with for sure.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to learn more about the Cartel X EST, or if you are ready to buy, or if you just want to research prices and availability, check out the links below.
If you want to check out some other all-mountain-freeride binding options, or if you want to compare how the Cartel X EST compares to other all-mountain-freeride bindings, then check out the next link.