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Dan

Dan

New York, NY

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Dan

Danwrote a question about on August 18, 2015

This isn't a question, just a comment I think will be very useful for those selecting which pulley to buy:
- This pulley (Petzl Oscillante) weighs 42g, and has an efficiency of 71%
- The Petzl Partner Pulley weighs 56g, and is 91% efficient.

Very slight difference in weight, huge difference in efficiency. If you know anything about hauling systems, pulley efficiency is huge- otherwise you'd just use carabiners instead (carabiners are roughly 50% efficient as pulleys). The Partner is clearly the best choice- If you're going to bother taking up valuable space/weight on your harness or in your pack to bring a real pulley, that's the one to carry.

The Oscillante is, however, way cheaper, and better than a carabiner at least..

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Dan

Danwrote a review of on August 5, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is great for some applications- where ease opening with one hand is more important than a more secure locking mechanism.
I bought a few of the HMS version, before they came out with this one, and I think this D version is more useful.

I'll start with the main drawback: The lock isn't bad, but it seems much less secure and more likely to open than a screwgate or any other auto-locking mechanism. It takes very little movement of a small piece to unlock it. And it often sticks open when the gate closes on it's own- Not a big deal as long as you're paying attention, and it's fine once the gate is closed, but that's not good..

That said, there are some great things about it. It's lightweight, and very easy to open with one hand, or by sliding the rope against the lock while clipping. I use this on one of my long trad draws, for critical placements where I want some extra security. This is also be great for a pair of locking quickdraws to use for sport climbing anchors (I use a pair of the HMS version for the bolt end). The lack of a barrel on the gate means it's smooth, and won't catch on or abrade your soft gear. I don't know anyone who uses the garda hitch, but these are the only locker I've seen that would work very well for that.

I keep the HMS version of this on a sling I use as a safety tether, it's super convenient when I'm constantly clipping and unclipping it. The lock doesn't bother me too much in that case, because of the way I clip it and always keep an eye on it- this is one of the few cases where the HMS version is better. I used to use it for my autoblock during rappels, and it worked fine, but since I sometimes rely on my autoblock as my sole safety, I decided I wanted a more secure locker for that purpose. I would never be comfortable using these for belaying or rappelling, though in a pinch it would work.

Finally, people also say this lock mechanism handles ice much better than others. I don't ice climb so I can't verify that, but it certainly makes sense to me, there really isn't much space where ice could build up and get stuck.

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Dan

Danwrote a review of on June 8, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: Runs large
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 165 lbs

First, if you want a medium, buy a small. I usually buy 32" pants, and those usually run a little large on me (but only a little). In these I was swimming in the medium, I'd say the medium are around 34"-36". The small feels true to a 32", I cinch down the waistbelt just a little (which is all you can really do without it looking and feeling silly).

Second, The quality control is seriously lacking on these. My first pair seemed to be well-made, but I had to return it for a smaller size. The second pair fit well, but had loose threads and stitching imperfections all over the place. Not only was the stitching poor, but it just seemed in poor condition in general- it looked like it was made in a sweatshop, then tossed around a warehouse for a couple years.. The third pair still had a few loose threads, but it was better. [I should note that I ordered all 3 pairs at REI, since backcountry doesn't sell the 30" inseam version.]

That said, these really are great pants, once you get a good pair that's the right size. The stretchy fabric is wonderful, and feels good against the skin. I was concerned that the multiple openings on the cargo pockets would make items more vulnerable to falling out, but the zippers seem secure. The top zippers are protected by a tight fitting overlap, which makes them harder to open, but it's nice because even with the zippers open, items are fairly secure. Overall I'd prefer no side zippers, but the pocket setup works well.

My only complaint is the mesh hand pockets- sure the ventilation is nice, but it's not worth putting such a fragile and snag-prone material in a place meant to hold potentially important objects.. Still the mesh is quality, and not as loose or thin as some mesh material, so I'm hoping it will hold up for a while- I think with care I'll get at least a full climbing season before that happens. I expect the mesh pockets to be the first critical failure on these pants, but if that happens in an unreasonable amount of time, I'll bring it back to REI (or Prana) and get a new pair.

I'm taking off a point for the mesh pockets, poor quality control, and ridiculous sizing, but these really are great pants, and probably the best climbing pants out there. I like them enough that I'll probably buy a pants only version, for wearing around town when I want to look slightly less dorky..

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Dan

Danwrote a review of on June 8, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I've been using the Nano 23s exclusively for racking my cams, and I like them a lot. I like the stiff gates on those, it makes me confident that the gates won't easily open and drop a precious cam while my rack is bouncing around.. I was worried that the gates on these would be too light, since I find the Photon carabiners and find their gates too light (and the they sometimes stick open).


I was happy to find that while very similar to the Photons, these Nano 22s have a slightly stiffer gate, enough that I trust my cams with them. And the gate action is smoother, which I'll admit is nice. And you gotta love the significant increase in strength rating, despite the lower weight! The size is almost the same as the Nano 23s, with a slightly different shape.

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Dan

Danwrote a question about on May 11, 2015

How do these compare to the Camp Nano 23, in both size and gate stiffness?

I like my Nano 23s for racking, but I've been disappointed by my Camp Photons- the gates are a little too light, and sometimes stick open. This looks kinda like a small version of the Photon, so I'm concerned it may have the same issues.

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Dan

Danwrote a question about on December 15, 2014

One of the pictures of the labels shows 6-7 UIAA falls, but the specs on the left side of this page says 9-10. Has the rating changed, or is your info inaccurate?

I have noticed many discrepancies in the product descriptions or specs, and it does not inspire trust in backcountry... It makes it hard to compare products when I can't trust your descriptions..

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Dan

Danwrote a review of on October 22, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have been using a bunch of the DMM Alpha trad carabiners for the rope end of my quickdraws and trad draws, before I knew about these. The Alpha light is basically identical to the Alpha trad, except smaller. These are pricey, but otherwise they're pretty much perfect.

I currently like to use a small Petzl Ange for the gear-end of my draw, and this DMM alpha light for the rope end. No particular reason except that's what I started doing when I was using the alpha trad, and the ange was slightly lighter, and I like to standardize my gear to keep things simple.

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Dan

Danwrote a review of on September 6, 2014

3 5

This is a daisy chain, not a personal anchor system- meaning the individual loops are not fully rated (each loop is rated to 730 pounds, about 3.2kn). That might be enough for aid climbing use, but not as a safety tether or to extend a rappel- If you clip anything but the last loop, the bar-tack stitching could rip. There are also other serious dangers of using a daisy chain as a tether. So if you plan to use this as a tether, you should only clip the final loop, and in that case it's no better than an open sling (which would be lighter, less bulky, more versatile, and cheaper).

Note to the Editors: You should "Set a good example" by correcting the product description and not encouraging your customers to do something dangerous and inappropriate, and using a product in a way it is not intended to be used. Especially ironic that you're talking about 'good safety procedure'. I am disappointed by how irresponsible this product description is, and I hope you will correct it.

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Dan

Danwrote a review of on August 26, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I don't think I can say much that hasn't already been mentioned in other reviews, or the DMM Video, so I'll just say these are very good nuts.

I will add that I use my DMM offset nuts more often, even though it's a smaller set. But both are excellent and unique nuts and one type will work better depending on the situation. I carry both sets on my rack, because they're both so useful, versatile, bomber, and light compared to other gear. The full Wallnut set is probably more versatile than the offsets, and it covers a greater range, so that's a great foundation for your rack. But I highly recommend picking up the offsets also.

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Dan

Danposted an image about on July 8, 2014

Comparison of Evo to old Nylon Tricam

As you can see, the Evo webbing is nice and stiff for easy one-handed placements, while the nylon is quite flaccid in comparison.. You can also see the red [1] and black[.25] tricams in the background

The pink is probably the most useful- Smaller pieces are weak and often harder to clean, larger pieces start getting heavy, and the weight is often better reserved for cams.

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Dan

Danwrote a review of on June 26, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I always keep a few tricams on my rack, and I use one or two on almost every trad climb in the Gunks. Yes, they can be tricky to place securely, and even harder to clean, but a well-placed tricam is bomber.

It's often the safest piece for horizontal cracks. Using a cam in horizontals is sketchy at best, but tricams are perfect for that if you can find a good spot for it. I find the pink (#.5) and red(#1) to be the most useful. I sometimes use the black (.25) also, but it's only rated at 5 kn. I sometimes use a screamer with the smaller pieces to increase the safety, but the white one is too weak even with a screamer (it's 3kn in active mode, rated only for aid climbing)- it might just slow down your fall to lessen the impact on the next piece..

Just learn the placements well and always use a quickdraw or trad draw to minimize movement, I've seen some very sketchy tricam placements by other climbers.

The Evo is a vast improvement over the older nylon tricams, the stiffer sling makes it so much easier to place. Overall, tricams are really versatile and lightweight piece, and if you take the time to learn how to use them, you'll find them very useful. I recommend everyone pick up at least the pink, red, and probably black tricams.

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