I was at the Burton Mountain Festival demo weekend at Mt. Hood Meadows this past weekend, and tested out the Restricted Cartels. When I was debating whether to demo those or the Vitas, The guy that set me up with them explained the Vitas are softer--so I went with the Cartels. I heard the same thing from a shop kid at a reputable local snowboard shop.
Then you've got people on this forum saying it's the other way around...so which is it?
Dunno if stiffness can only be measured by the highjack, but here's what I found...
2012 Cartels high backs were stiffer than the 2013. 2012 Cartel high backs (I think) are now on the missions! 2013 Malavitas High-back for sure was stiffer than the 2013 Cartels. And with the Hammock bed holding the back of your boots, it's "supposed" to be even more responsive!
2013 base plate on the Cartels is "stiffer" than the 2013 Malavitas.
I personally don't like stiff(er) bindings! I like forgiveness and breathing room to play. The P1.1's felt just about right for me at every level. And these 2013 Cartels feel about the same. I wil be taking them out this w/e om my Travis Rice. Hopefully they deliver!