Burton Cartel 2018-2019 Snowboard Bindings Review

UPDATE: Check out our review of the 2019/2020 Burton Cartel here

It says a lot about this pair of bindings that Burton – a company that, at its best, is always looking for ways to innovate – hasn’t made any changes for 2018/19. If you loved the Burton Cartel snowboard bindings already – and a lot of people do – then that should come as welcome news.

As before, there are two versions available; EST and Re:Flex. The former only works on boards that feature The Channel mounting system, while the latter can go on anything albeit without the supposed benefits in board flex and comfort that EST brings.

“The Burton Cartel’s stellar reputation is built on the do-it-all nature of its features”

As a fairly stiff binder, it’s better for more confident riders, but isn’t a carbon-enhanced straight-jacket either. Indeed, the Burton Cartel’s stellar reputation is built on the do-it-all nature of its features.

The highback is more flexible on the outside of each leg, thanks to the window, but delivers plenty of response nonetheless. Should you wish to dial up the forward lean for more aggressive riding then it’s very easy to do; just twist the tool-free dial near the heelcup, and you’re away.

The straps are comfortable and functional, but also pared back to reduce weight and operate efficiently. The way the ankle straps fall clear of the footbed when loosened is a nice touch too.

The Burton Cartel remains a modern classic, suitable for a wide range of riders.

Tester’s Verdict


“It’s hard to know what to say about Cartels that hasn’t already been said. Like their namesake it seems like they’ve been here forever, and have no intention of going away any time soon – relentlessly holding onto control of their portion of the binding market and scaring off many strong competitors along the way.

“These are a bit more drivey than some of the options around, so that’s worth bearing in mind if you like a softer feel”

You could mill around a tonne of different options and still not come away with a binding that hits this spot as well as Cartels do. Responsive, comfortable, easy to step into (thanks to those flip back straps), and while we had variable weather and plenty of snow on the day of testing, I never had a problem with snow clogging. Pair that up with the Channel setup speed, and you’re at about as hassle free a point as traditional bindings can be.

As always, these are a bit more drivey than some of the options around, so that’s worth bearing in mind if you like a softer feel, but on a mid-flex powder board, with the whole mountain begging to be plundered, the Cartels didn’t disappoint.”

Tester’s Verdict


“Our best selling binding since forever, the Burton Cartel is super comfortable with a medium-stiff flex. It provides great response without being too twitchy.

“The Cartel is super comfortable with a medium-stiff flex”

Industry-eading ratchets let you crank the straps up just right, and the toe cap-strap is well shaped to grip the front of your boot without popping off. Of the two options, the Re:Flex is my favourite, even when riding Burton boards.

It uses a baseplate with a foam centre rather than a solid plastic base, so it allows the board to have a truer flex pattern. It may have sneaked up in price over the last few years, but it remains a winner regardless.”


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