Burton Cartel EST Snowboard Bindings
It’s about to be that time of year again when we all wait anxiously for the first good powder of the season so that we can finally breakout the boarding gear and hit the mountains. But have you checked out your gear lately? It may be time to refresh and with all the new premium snowboarding gear out this season. Some of the most hyped products are the latest snowboard bindings from Burton. The Cartel ETS bindings are used by pros like Mikkel Bang, Kazu Kokubo, and Mikey Rencz and have been getting buzz for their innovative comfort design. But are they worth the hype?
Well, when you break it down, the main you things you want in bindings is durability, comfort, and fit. So let’s see how Burton Cartel EST’s hold up in these areas. First off, let’s take a look at durability. Burton itself is known for their solid long lasting products. Establishment in 1977, Burton was one of the world’s first snowboarding companies; so clearly they has a good history of supporting the sport with quality gear. As for the Cartel EST bindings, the baseplates are made up fiberglass reinforced nylon giving you a flexible responsive ride while still being durable. The polished aluminum buckles are also notable, giving a smooth glide and excellent ratcheting power. The sturdy buckles are promised to last you season after season doing what binding buckles are supposed to do- keep you locked in when you ride never coming undone prematurely, but are an easy release for a quick in and out time.
Next up let’s see how these bindings look for comfort. This is one of the areas that the Cartel ESTs really seem to have locked down. What makes this binding unique is Burton’s AutoCANT SensoryBED; with a dual-density EVA, your boots will automatically slide in to the most comfortable position that will reduce fatigue and give you premium board control. The straps are also designed to be the most comfortable with 3D nylon padding on both the ankle strap and the toe strap. To add to the design, Buton also decided to put their B3 Cushioning Gel, usually reserved for their boots, in the baseplate. The special gel helps mold the bindings to the natural contours of your boots and absorb the most impact shock.
The last thing to look at is the fit of the bindings. Arguably the best part of the Cartel ESTs are the unlimited ways you can adjust them to fit you. With a removable basedplate, the ESTs make for a lightweight binding option and completely adjustable. The ankle strap and toe strap are all movable, leaving you with the option of using a traditional toe strap or leaning it forward to use it as a cap strap. One area I haven’t even mentioned is the expertly designed hi-backs. With the natural contours of your legs in mind, the single component hi-backs fit as close to you are possible maximizing control while maintaining flexibility. The Cartel EST’s living hinge also gives you a great fit eliminating hardware and weight allowing you to forward lean and hi-back rotation independently. Overall, Burton’s Cartel EST snowboard bindings seem to measure up on durability, comfort and fit. These bindings have a responsive rate of 7 meaning they are a slightly stiffer ride, great for someone who wants to conquer the whole mountain, hit the pipe or cruise hardpack. I would recommend these bindings to any moderate to advanced rider who wants to invest in a quality pair of comfortable bindings that will last them.