I picked up a pair of the 2013 Cartels (restricted) in matte black, and had been out on them enough to put a worthy review! I paired them with my 164.5 Travis Rice and K2 DB BOA boots.
For start, the restricted Cartels only difference to the originals is the NEW Asym React
Strap vs the Asym Strap! Never tried the Asym strap, but can tell you that the React Asym strap is MONEY!!! They are the same ones on the Malavitas just for reference.
COMFORT: These bindings are VERY comfortable. I had to adjust the straps to fit my feet and there was a balance between boot (BOA) tightness and bindings. But once I found the sweet spot, thers nothing more to do. Just strap and go and you won't even notice or feel they are there. And the longer the day went on, the more comfortable they became! Never felt pressure points and I usually feel them from 1st couple runs out.
FEEL & RESPONSE: Although Burton website says they are stiffer than the Malavitas (my other possible choice), the Cartels did feel softer! I read the baseplate is stiffer, but for me they just felt perfect regardless of rating! They were easy to ride, twist and turn with. Yet very reactive & responsive! I could switch edges real fast and this bindings responds just as quick! For me they were the perfect ALL-MOUNTAIN blend. I can turn quick in trees and glades. They hold well on jumps and responsive edge to edge yet always very comfortable.
STRAPS: The ankle straps just wrap around your foot comfortably and naturally. The toe straps I'm still not sure how they're supposed to go on as they have 3 holding points (above, below and middle). Regardless, I just put them to the tip of the boots and they never came off once! So, FWIW, they were also just as comfortable and functional as the ankle straps.
One more thing... I don't know about the restricted Flamingo (orange), but the Restricted Matte Black has a rubbery sticky finish and not a glossy smooth finish like the originals or even the Malavita matte! The boots stick to the bindings well from front to back and on the highback in particular! Once you slip your boots in, I found it hard to wiggle. For me that's an added bonus that I really like.
Makes for a fitted feel between the bots and the board.
RATCHETS: For me, 2nd to comfort, are the main selling point on a bindings that tells me how well they're made! If there's one thing you do on a pair of bindings all day is strap and unstrap using the ratchets. So they take abuse with snow & ice and everything in between. And these were one of the best I've had! I can unstrap as I'm heading into the lift line super quick! It just snaps off with a finger tap! LOVE THEM! Strapping them on is also a breeze...
CONCLUSION: Awesome all-mountain bindings to do everything with, very very comfortable and responsive. Well made IMO in terms of construction detail, ease of use & adjustments, and ratchet construction is one of the best and smoothest to operate on the fly.
I hope this was of help.