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Old 01-21-2015, 05:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2015 Burton Cartel - Review

Finally have enough days on varied terrain/conditions to put up a thorough review on the 2015 Burton Cartels. These are my own thoughts/opinions and I understand other people have differing opinions/experiences and I respect that completely.

The images below are not of my own bindings, but mine are the exact make/model/color shown in the images. I am 5'9", 185lbs and would consider myself an expert rider. The Cartels are medium, and are currently mounted on a 2014 YES Pick Your Line 159. My boots are ThirtyTwo TM Two's size 9. I've got 5 full days of resort riding on these (everything from green access road type runs to double black diamond runs) and one backcountry snowmobile access day which had literally waist-deep dry powder in untouched conditions (no, I'm not telling you where it was.





From Burton's Website:

Baseplate: Single-Component Baseplate Construction, 45% Short-Glass/Nylon Composite, Re:Flex™ Baseplate Construction, Re:Flex™ Bindings, Compatible with all Major Mounting Systems

Hi-back: Single-Component Hi-Back Construction, Living Hinge™ Hi-Back, Zero Forward Lean HI-Back, Canted Hi-Back Design, DialFLAD™

Straps: Lightweight Reactstrap™, NEW Flex Slider, Gettagrip Capstrap™

Cushioning: Re:Flex AutoCANT FullBED Cushioning System, NEW Under-Baseplate EVA Dampening, B3 Gel, Features Re-Ground Materials to Reduce Waste

7/10 on Burton 'Feel' Rating where 1 is the softest and 10 the stiffest.

My thoughts:
Baseplate: Has the living-hinge baseplate disk supposedly to offer more feel and flexibility but being as the PYL is so damn stiff on its own (one of the reasons I bought it) this feature was difficult for me to test/experience. Obviously these bindings come with two sets of discs and are 100% compatible with all commercially available common board mounting systems.

Hi-Back: This is advertised as a one-piece high-back, but if you want to get technical, the forward lean adjustment screw should count as two pieces. Nevertheless, the high-back gives excellent support and I found it to be perfectly comfortable (and a great fit with my boots). The high-backs are canted, which I didn't really feel physically, but is a good idea in my view since pretty much any stance set-up will have your legs at some angle other than perpendicular to the base-plate of the binding.

Straps: What can you say about Burton straps? Pretty much the standard in the industry in my experience. Others may have as good on some models, but no other company does this any better than Burton IMO. There is excellent padding on the heel strap and there are absolutely zero pressure-points. The heel strap has a feature that Burton are really promoting this year called 'Flex-Slider'. This feature designs a crease into the strap so that when fully opened, it stays that way instead of springing back towards the closed position. This is supposed to make entry into the binding that much easier because you aren't constantly moving the heel strap out of the way to strap-in. I must say, this low-level technology does indeed work; but I didn't like it. When I get off a lift line I put my foot where other people put their stomp pads (I just don't use one) and I found that the flex-slider makes it so the heel strap is always lying across the exact spot I would want to put my back foot when I get off a chair-lift. To get around this, I found myself closing the binding strap anyway, defeating the purpose of this technology. Perhaps others would like this feature, but I don't. The Gettagrip Capstrap toe strap is simply put, the best one in the business in my view. As for buckles, they are smooth operating both closing and opening and I experienced nothing bad to say about them in my time thus far. Well built, and if you ask around, very few if anyone ever has issues with Burton binding hardware like buckles.

Cushioning: The main features of this binding in this area are Autocant, B3 Gel inserts, and built-in EVA dampening. Since the PYL is a longer board than my last one, I found myself setting up my stance a full inch and a half wider. Because of this, I'd like to say the Autocant worked; but the truth is I don't know if it did. Regardless, my stance angle combined with these bindings felt absolutely great. There isn't a lot of B3 gel in the baseplate, and I can't distinguish any EVA dampening visually, but you can simply feel that there is a significant amount of cushion/dampening in these bindings. They are just that comfortable. I rode a few days from first chair until the lifty told us last chair and I could easily have ridden longer - these bindings are that comfortable.

Overall: I would highly recommend these bindings for anyone looking for an all-around, highly adjustable, do-it-all oriented binding (if you can't adjust these to meet your boot/board requirements, well it won't be the fault of the bindings I can say). That said, I believe they could be used for a wide-variety of terrain/riding styles and that is exactly what I intend to use them for - everything and anything despite the fact I have both Union and Flux bindings at my disposal.

If I can think of anything else I'll edit this review. If you have questions that I didn't answer, I'll do my best to respond to them. If you have similar and/or different experiences, it'd be interesting to hear them. Thanks for reading, I hope you found this useful.
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great review and glad you like them.

I am thinking of getting them for my Rossi Mag XV, just have to figure out if I go with their size recommendations of medium for a 10.5 boot. Seems odd, since all my other bindings are large.
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice review. I wanted to get these in a '14 variant, but they seem to rarely go on discount.. meh. I never buy current year model, when the most significant change is in colorways.
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Old 01-25-2015, 08:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Nice Review! I really like my cartels also. I did notice a difference with the re:flex disc and my board, I like the reduced dead spot. I think your description of the ratchets/straps is spot on. My friend uses Ride Capos and envys the toe-cap and ratchets on my cartels everytime I beat him strapping in. They are definitely a solid all-around binding!
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Old 01-25-2015, 08:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sweetness.. Looking forward to equipping my '15 PYL from Mission's to Cartel's sooner than later. Awesome detailed review on those precious Cartel's!

I'll try to post something similar at the end of this season about my new digs.

Appreciate the heads on the 15's PlanB
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankz View Post
Great review and glad you like them.

I am thinking of getting them for my Rossi Mag XV, just have to figure out if I go with their size recommendations of medium for a 10.5 boot. Seems odd, since all my other bindings are large.
frankz, it is my understanding that Burton bindings have some degree of overlap in their sizing. That is to say if you are an in-between size (not exactly medium or large either) you could go either way. I've always been told by other riders and shop people that if you are in-between, you should get the medium because it will fit more snug and be more responsive. Good luck with your set-up, I think the Cartel would pair well with the XV.
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankz View Post
Great review and glad you like them.

I am thinking of getting them for my Rossi Mag XV, just have to figure out if I go with their size recommendations of medium for a 10.5 boot. Seems odd, since all my other bindings are large.
That's because Burton bindings run "large".

If you wear US 10.5 on any reasonably new (footprint reduced) boot, get M.
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Old 01-27-2015, 06:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Great review.

I'm SO HAPPY you mentioned the new "Flex-Slider" feature (I didn't know that was what it was called), because I noticed it on my first two times out with the 2015 Cartels, and was wondering what the hell was going on with the strap.

I 100% agree with you on the dislike of this feature... Very annoying when getting off the lift. Other than that great bindings. Comfortable, responsive, well-made.

For the person asking about sizing, I wear size 10 Ride Hy-Phy boots and the Medium Cartels fit great. I know you wear 10.5, but I think there is enough space for adjustment that you don't have to go up to the Large if you don't want to.
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Old 01-27-2015, 07:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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With the flex slider, i just position it so that it sits on top of binding and then fold the highback down before getting on the chair.

This way the ankle strap will not come out and cause you to step on it.

edit: besides it's a pretty good practice to fold down the highback so that it won't get caught and break on some chairs.
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Old 01-27-2015, 08:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekb18c View Post
With the flex slider, i just position it so that it sits on top of binding and then fold the highback down before getting on the chair.

This way the ankle strap will not come out and cause you to step on it.

edit: besides it's a pretty good practice to fold down the highback so that it won't get caught and break on some chairs.
Yeah, I mean there are definitely ways to get around it... it's not a deal-breaker on a great set of tried-and-true bindings. It just kind of defeats the purpose to have to take an extra step before getting on the lift when the whole point of the feature is to save you time.
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