I have a 10.5 sized shoe/boot which puts me exactly in between a large binding and a medium binding. The upside is that I can ride both. The down size is that neither is a perfect fit. I bought a set of large Missions for my park board and quickly found that they were a tad too bulky. Early this past season, I purchased a set of medium, high back, 07 Burton Cartel bindings to replace the Missions. I chose Cartel as I’ve been running 05 Cartels on my Custom for a few years and really like them. My 05 Cartels are solid bindings; the 07 are even better.
The first thing you might notice about Cartel bindings is the wide variety of adjustments available. I honestly thought I was going to have to return my bindings after my first few rides. Once I realized just how much the bindings can be adjusted, I was good to go. While the 05s are highly adjustable, the 07s are even more so.
The Cartels are listed as a mid-grade binding on Burton’s website. However, they are also listed as the most responsive binding in their class. Personally, I found both the 05 and 07 bindings to be extremely responsive. The toe strap runs across the front of the boot, pushing your heel deep into the base of the binding. Your feet are connect to the board for a solid ride.
I only have one complaint with my 05 Cartels. The forward lean adjustment on the back of the 05 binding has a flip latch to lock them into an upright position. This seemed both superfluous and annoying. I have to unlatch the back of the binding before I could flip it down when jumping on a lift. Apparently, I’m not the only one who thought this was a bad design decision as it was removed in the 07 model! The new design, instead, uses a nifty wing nut that allows you the adjust the lean of the binding’s back quickly and easily.
There are a few other minor improvements on the 07. The straps now have a bit of jell inside, making for a snug and comfy fit. Overall, the binding is also lighter than the previous model while still being just as solid. The straps themselves are attached using a new style of nut with a flip up cover. When flipped open, the nut can be taken out by hand – with no tools. This allows you to adjust the length of your binding straps on the mountain at any time you wish. It’s particularly handy when you want to let someone else – with a different shoe size – ride your board.
Simply put, the 2007 Burton Cartel bindings are the best bindings I’ve ever had the pleasure to ride.