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Discussion Starter #1
I recently acquired some 2018 Cartels so I figured I'd post a review. I'm of the opinion pretty much any of the popular binding brands are damn good bindings so I'll primarily compare these Cartels to my 2016 Cartels and previous versions of the binding.

Me and my previous binding experience:
I'm 40 years old and been riding around 27 years. I would describe my ability level as "aging expert". I ride all mountain and love power and free riding as well as carving and the small and mediums jump lines in the park. I tend to prefer versatile setups that are slightly on the aggressive tip as daily drivers (think Custom Camber, Rome Mod, Nitro Suprateam or similar offerings etc).

Over the years I've tried many bindings, but for the last 15 years or so I've chosen to ride Burton bindings because they have been very reliable for me and it's easy to get parts for them. During that time I've had perhaps a half dozen pairs of Cartels along with a couple Missions and Customs as well.

Comparing the 2018 Cartels to previous Cartels:
In my experience, older Cartels were pretty darn stiff and had a fair bit of forward lean out of the box. For better or worse you could choose forward lean or more forward lean. The 2015 and 2016 Cartels I owned were quite a bit more more flexible (less responsive) and had less forward lean out of the box though I was able to easily dial them to my preferred setting. I noticed that the straps had a lot of more stretch to them and the high backs more flex which made them significantly less responsive but also reduced the beating you took in choppy chundered out snow.

With the 2018 Cartels I think they hit the sweet spot. I rode both the 2016 and 2018 Cartels today (same size, same settings, same boots etc) and the 2018's are definitely more responsive. The straps noticibly have less stretch to them, and I'm fairly certain the high back is a bit stiffer. It was my first time riding the Hammock strap and I really liked them. I found them to be quite comfortable and the stiffer Hammock strap the Cartel was just the right amount of responsiveness. While more responsive than some recent Cartels, they weren't as rigid as old school Cartels and therefore not as abusive in bad snow.

I'm not sure if I miss the Double Take ratchets. I really like that they never slip a notch even if I land really hard (something I have experienced before on many bindings) but they also freeze up rather easily when temperatures hover around freezing. You could easily thaw them by blowing on them, but it was annoying. The new Cartels have the old style ratchets which rarely if ever freeze. I've had no problems with them slipping a notch when I land a sizable air, but time will tell they do that.

Thoughts:
I really like these bindings and they live on my daily driver (Custom Camber). I relegated the less responsive 2016 Cartels to my camrock slush/spring park deck for which they seem totally appropriate. I would recommend the 2018 Cartels to someone riding any sort of quiver of 1 board or medium flex deck for carving and general all mountain hooliganry. I feel like a binding does its job when you don't ever have to think about them being there and these deliver.
 

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awesome thanks for sharing, I have the 16's now and will upgrade with a new custom next season as well. Hopefully next years will be responsive as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
awesome thanks for sharing, I have the 16's now and will upgrade with a new custom next season as well. Hopefully next years will be responsive as well.
Hopefully they keep them pretty much the same as this years. Burton describes the Cartels as their all terrain binding and IMO the current incarnation fills that role nicely. Either way I'm going to ride these 2018's into the ground :)
 
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