Wednesday, 20 July 2011

OutDoor show Friedrichshafen 2011 - New climbing hardware

So one of the things I was looking forward to most about the OutDoor was the new climbing hardware, and I wasn't disappointed! Walking into the show on the first day a giant poster informed me that Black Diamond were showing their new Magnetron karabiners; definitely worth a look! The Magnetron system is currently in 2 different karabiners; the grid lock and the rock lock. The concept is simple; 2 small magnets hold the gate closes in the same was the screw does on a screw gate. When the user squeezes the green pressure points on the gate the karabiner can then be opened. Simple concept, very easy to use, and very innovative. Really liked the karabiners, they felt very solid and the Magnetron system was very easy to use! 10/10 for something new!

Next up is Mammut's new via ferrata set; the Tec Step Bionic. The system builds on Mammut's previous climbing hardware "Bionic" products. The karabiners look great as with other products from Mammut, titanium grey and electric blue karabiners, and black lanyards. The karabiners use a new locking system where the back bar of the karabiner needs to be depressed before the gate will open. This is not a unique system, and similar products where shown from a number of other companies. But out of all the similar sets shown, I liked this one the best! See short video below on how this product works.

Petzl demo'd the new Reverso4 also. The Reverso4 is not very different to the Reverso3, it has the same function and design at the 3, the braking grooves etc are all the same. However the 4 is an ultra lightweight version, 25% lighter than the previous version. However all in all there isn't anything different! One product I was impressed with was Climbing Technologies Alpine Up. This is a new version of CT's Click Up assisted braking device. The new version is capable of providing the same function as the Click Up, but with double or half ropes. The device is multi purpose and can be used for belaying on a single rope, belaying on double or half ropes, and abseiling. While not a huge brand in the UK climbing technology continue to produce innovative new gear, and the Alpine Up is no exception.

The last product that caught my eye  was Beal's Diabolo rope. Chatting to one of the sales rep's on the Beal stand, he explained that the rope used a unicore system. What this does instead of being a traditional rope with a core and a sheath, the 2 parts are bound together. The idea of this being to illeviate rope slippage and increase the rope lift. Another example of a great new product!

There were a number of other climbing related gear releases including new DMM rebels (they have different handles in the 2011 version), a new climbing helmet from Edelrid, and many many more.

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