Burton Cartel X Review

I first rode the Cartel X on a demo day where I was testing out a bunch of Burton boards. At that stage my Cartels were my regular binding, that I had ridden for a couple of years, and was very familiar with.

I hadn’t heard about the Custom X yet, and was more interested in riding new boards at that point anyway. When you test out Burton boards, you always end up riding them with the EST versions of their bindings, as the lower/more flexible feel does seem to help you get the most out of the board.

I tested out the Deep Thinker with the Cartel X EST, and after a few laps I was a little bit confused about the bindings. To me, I couldn’t really tell any difference from the two pairs of Re:Flex Cartels that I owned.

I put it down to riding a whole new board and binding setup, but when reading up later it all made sense. Except for adding a little heel hammock thing on the highback, the Cartel X is the same binding as the old Cartel was.

So now, the performance and all mountain binding is the Cartel X, while the regular Cartel is a softer and cheaper option, with a few features chopped out – although it does look similar.

burton cartel x paid

How the Burton Cartel X Rides

I have ridden the EST version of the Cartel X for a shorter time, and the Re:Flex version for a long time.

The Re:Flex version became my main testing binding, that I would use on nearly all boards that I test out.

In short – it is pretty much an unbeatable binding for my style of riding.


This is far from a soft and buttery binding, but it will move around when you need it to. I never felt too restricted in these bindings, no matter what terrain I was riding on.

In the steeper, and more serious alpine terrain I rode, I had all the support I needed. I had all the response I needed, if I wanted the bindings to do something, they would.


Even though there are plenty of options that might be more suitable, I really like riding these bindings in the park. The support is great for jumps, and there isn’t really any issue flexing them when riding rails.


I have ridden with a few different models of boots in these bindings, and I never ran into any pressure points brought on by the straps. The soft material, with the strength coming from the stiffer spine wrap nicely, I could hardly feel they were there.

The flex slider is a very handy little feature, being able to completely fold the ankle strap out of the way does make getting in and out much easier. It is a nice thing that it is on all the adult Burton bindings, not just restricted to the higher end models.


This isn’t a super cushioned binding, but it doesn’t ever feel uncomfortable, or that it needs more cushioning.


As long as you are looking for a decently stiff flexing binding, this is a very easy choice to recommend.

The performance on all types of terrain is great, with enough support for very steep or aggressive riding. It doesn’t force you to ride hard and fast though, if you want to take it easy and just cruise, you still can.

For the price the Cartel X is hard to beat, and it rides well on every board I have ridden them on. If someone is an intermediate or higher rider and wants a binding that will handle whatever they want to do – I would tell them to get this.

Features of the Burton Cartel X

Stiff Flex

Re:Flex Mounting System

The Re:Flex mounting system is the standard option on Burton bindings. Where some brands use a mini disc to hopefully allow the board to flex more naturally under the bindings, Burton do it a different way.

They still use a regular or bigger sized disc, but it has a flexible line running through it, that is made so that it can almost act like a hinge, flexing with the board.

burton reflex disc

Single-Component Baseplate

The whole baseplate is made up in one single piece. Compared to brands with adjustable heelcups like Union and Nitro, with a metal heelcup that slides into a plastic baseplate. It is a simpler design, but it means that the binding position on the board (toe to heel) is controlled through the disc.

Nylon composite with 45% short-glass

The higher percentage of short-glass (compared to the Malavita, Cartel, Genesis) gives the baseplate a stiffer, and more responsive feel.

burton cartel x specs

Hammockstrap 2.0

A soft and flexible plastic strap, with a strong “spine” that gives the whole thing strength, without creating any pressure points on the boots.

burton cartel x ankle strap

Supergrip Capstrap 2.0

This capstrap fits really nicely on the boots that I have used it on (Salomon, Burton and Vans), and has never slipped on me. Most of it is made with a strong but flexible plastic, with a soft rubbery inside to grip against the boots.

burton cartel x toe cap

Re:Flex FullBED Footbed

No more AutoCANT footbed any more, that has been removed so you just get a plain footbed. I guess that they need to differentiate and keep some of those “comfort” type features for the Malavita and Genesis.

burton cartel x footbed adjustment

B3 Gel

This is a small section that sits in the footbed, under the heel of the boot. It is made to help absorb impacts, and even in cold temperatures it stays soft.

burton cartel x b3 gel

Heel Hammock

As you put the heel of the boot into the binding, you can see this little plastic thing wrap around your boot, but I cannot see how this is going to help. Compared to the work that the ankle strap does, by actually holding your boot down in the binding. I think I have some magic beans to sell that will hold a boot down even better than this.

burton cartel x heel hammock


To adjust the forward lean, you spin the dial on the highback. This screw expands the gap on the highback, which gives it more forward lean.

burton cartel x forward lean adjuster

Smooth Glide buckles

These are just ratchets that work well.


There is a lifetime warranty on the baseplate, with one year on the highback and straps.

Who are the Burton Cartel X best for?

I would say that any rider who would classify themselves as intermediate or above, would be able to get a lot out of the Cartel X. This is the type of binding that you won’t ever have to upgrade, even if you end up riding quite stiff boards down the path.

Where do these sit in the Burton line?


burton cartel
  • Medium Flex
  • Re:Flex disc
  • $289.99

A softer flexing, all mountain binding. It looks like its big brother (Cartel X), and has the looks and name, but chopped back features.

Read more

Cartel X

burton cartel x
  • Medium/Stiff Flex
  • Re:Flex disc
  • $329.99

A stiffer flexing, very capable all mountain binding.

Find prices


burton genesis bindings
  • Medium Flex
  • Re:Flex
  • $379.99

This is the soft and comfortable, luxury option. Biggest difference is the suspension on the highback. It has the upgraded AutoCANT footbed and double take ratchets/ladders.

Read more
Size chart


US 6 – 8


US 9 – 11


US 10+

What are similar bindings from other brands?

Salomon Highlander

Nitro Team Pro

Union Atlas

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