So Cavman, you ride both CTX and Fastecs - which do you like better? I am an all mountain kinda rider and mostly stay out of the parks. I am leaning towards the CTXs mostly because they have been around longer and a lot more info about them. I would think that the mechanism would ultimately create problems and loosen up or have other malfunctions as opposed to the Fastecs but I haven't heard much of any on the user forums - and since they are way more available at local stores, probably easier to get parts. They also look a little easier to get into if the snow is deeper and not groomed.
K2 high back folds down to about 45 degrees and feel like you are sliding your foot into a shoe, in and down. The Fastecs fold all the way flat like the Flows, so more like sliding your foot into a slipper.
The advantage of the K2/Fastec over the Flows is two fold. The Flow has the big one piece strap, yes it does provide full boot pressure I agree, the downside is that snow and ice can build up in there if you are not careful.
Secondly Flows do not exstend or release the ankle strap when the highback goes back, so you have to force your foot firmly in and the strap is already gripping your foot bridge even before you raise the highback. This is where I had my issues with Flow and snow/ice build up.
When I saw the K2 canterlever system that raised the ankle strap at the same time as you lowered the highback it simply meant putting you foot in, there was no grip or resistance against your boot on the straps. Once the highback was raised then the ankle strap bit down and secured me in. Big difference for me.
Fastec offered the same comcept, that being no pressure/resistance to putting the boot in at all. The fastec also has the small buckle to make adjustments on the ankle strap as required.
To get out of the Fastecs in deep snow simple undo the ankle strap and then the buckle. The K2s you can undo both straps as they are exactly the same as a normal two strap binding.
As for the mechinism wearing out? I have not heard of anyone saying they used one and it "wore out" or "its all loosens up"
For all mountain riding I prefer the K2 CTX, but having said that, my Fastect models I have are for my other boards which are smaller and more for small kickers and butters etc. I was thinking of putting my Troopas on my Ride Highlife 168cm Wide after I get back from Japan and see how it goes on my local mountain.
At the end of the day, these bindings suit me and my riding style. It is all about preference.