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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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #6
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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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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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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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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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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The point of the Flex Slider is not to save time. That's how they advertise it because advertising the real reason is counter productive to a bunch of their other and previous product. The reason they stretched it and created a designated crease point, was to stop them breaking. It's one of the most replaced pieces in snowboarding. So, force a bend point that is DESIGNED to bend so you don't snap it by bending it over and over and over again moving it out of the way to get into the binding. The bonus was that when you're actually ready to step into the binding, the strap flops out of the way all nice and it's easier to get in and you don't snap the slider stepping on the strap.


Anywho, great binding. I have Stay Calms and LTD's. Love em.
 

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The point of the Flex Slider is not to save time. That's how they advertise it because advertising the real reason is counter productive to a bunch of their other and previous product. The reason they stretched it and created a designated crease point, was to stop them breaking. It's one of the most replaced pieces in snowboarding. So, force a bend point that is DESIGNED to bend so you don't snap it by bending it over and over and over again moving it out of the way to get into the binding. The bonus was that when you're actually ready to step into the binding, the strap flops out of the way all nice and it's easier to get in and you don't snap the slider stepping on the strap.


Anywho, great binding. I have Stay Calms and LTD's. Love em.

What are the stay calms? I only see a few shops sellin em.
 

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Cartel with a hammock back. And the EST isn't the hinge frame, which lucky for me, I don't actually like.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
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.
This is pretty much exactly what I've been doing.

Before I load the chair, I put both straps in the closed position (without doing up the ratchet) and fold the hi-back down over them. It takes literally only a few seconds and that way they're not flailing around while I'm getting on/off the chair and my hi-back is protected also (I've seen two of my riding buddies have their hi-backs damaged by low-swinging chairs).
 

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I always make sure that the strap is tucked in before boarding the lift just to ensure I don't step on it. I also fold highback down since the lifts near me come really low to the ground and the planners like to swing their skis around while riding next to me, seemingly like they have no idea that they keep whacking by board and bindings.
 

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I'm picking up the Cartels for my Rossi XV.

Just had a chance to try it recently and its a great board. I went from riding Salomon Cyphers on my Nitro board, to my 14 year old Ride EX's, which I put on the XV. Not matter how hard I strapped down, my boot was moving.

Upgrade time.
 

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Uhh,..? The "living hinge" baseplate disc? Is that the same "Reflex" mounting discs? I purchased a pair of M 2013/14 Reflex Cartels and I discovered it can be very hard (…or even impossible.) to get some boot/binding combinations centered properly on some boards! (…I have 2 other pairs of pre reflex Cartels in M & L)

I bought the new Cartel's specifically to use on my older Arbor, but no matter what I did,..? I couldn't adjust them enough with those reflex discs to center my boots. Not even close enough! Same with my Proto CT!

As it was,.. I wound up using those "new" and expensive bindings on the least expensive board I owned! :shrug: :laugh:

Any word on whether or not that issue has been addressed? Iir, there were more than a few others here who had the same difficulty with centering those reflex discs!
 
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