Thursday, January 5, 2012

Review: 215Gear Retention Lanyard-Frog Zero

I've done some pretty interesting and dubiously safe adventuring, mostly climbing up things and places that were not necessarily intended to be reached. Over the years I have put together a reasonable set of gear and kit for doing so, but one thing I've lacked is a dedicated retention lanyard. I've always made do with loops of webbing, lengths of rope and Expresses. I finally found a purpose made piece of kit to include when I venture up high things or perch somewhere I might be inclined not to fall off. This is the Operators Retention Lanyard by 215Gear. 
These guys make some no-nonsense nylon gear, and look to fill some niches that other suppliers tend to glaze over, in comfort, safety and K9 equipment. I especially liked their range of options for fittings, which are all high quality brands which they have fitted to their own well tailored nylon. This particular lanyard is made from 1" MilSpec tubing rated to 4,000lbs (1814kg), heavily constructed with eight, 42 stitch bartacks and is offered with empty loops, or fitted several different combinations of options. For example, I've currently fitted the empty loop end of mine with a 600kg rated Kong carabiner, but also have a higher rated carabiner which i swap out if I know I am likely to be experiencing higher fall risks. The other end has something quite special.

Here's what is on the grabby end; a Kong Frog which is an awesome piece of engineering, giving a 26kN safety rating (equivalent to 5,850 lbs, or 2653kg) to a one-handed attachment system when will lock down on whatever you can reach, even at what would normally be beyond safe carabiner reach. One drawback of the Frog is that the "jaws" are a little narrow and it will not fit over any of the random things I have tried, like my larger carabiners, but it does "bite" my 11mm static line, as well as this rope which I've previously used as a retention lanyard.

I really like this lanyard, and whilst have not had an instance where its full potential was tested, the fact it sits at 17 inches long and stretches to 26 inches means that I can hook myself up, have room to play, and be able to get physical feedback when reaching that limit, AND then give a little bit more slack for either squirming to reach something, ducking out of the way of something, or just pure shock-absorption. All in all, a very satisfying, compact, solid and dependable feeling piece of kit.

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