Thursday, March 8, 2012

Review: Omega Pacific Rappel Rings

Here is a quick one today, of another piece of climbing kit that I recently added to my collection. After reading a thorough review by ITS's Jeff More I was inspired to seek some out for myself. There are the Omega Pacific Rappel Rings. These solid forged aluminium rings are really elegant, and fit in the hand very nicely. Apart from having great aesthetics (and a Particular name emblazoned on their sides), the functionality of these is belied by their subtle design. The rings are rated as having a 20kN minimum breaking strength (around 2000kg or 4400lbs).

The manufacturer goes to lengths to state they are not intended for repeated lowering, not to be used as a rappel or belay device (e.g. ATC, SBGII, Figure-8 or any other friction device). They state that it is intended solely as a hardware alternative to bail-out slings, webbing and cord, and that advice should be headed. That said, I see the utility of the device as a means to reducing rope-on-rope friction, as an ad-hoc pulley or cinching point. I have yet to use mine as Jeff from ITS has, but I'll be keeping a set in my bug-out-bag as well as a set with my regular climbing kit. Having a set of rings to feed rope through for hoisting and binding, through to use as a rappelling station appeals greatly to me. Now to acquire some tubular webbing and fashion a set of slings!

I also have a set I have been keeping in my pocket, if for no other reason that they chime nicely, and have served as a chew-toy for Tactical-Baby up untill this week, when she cut her first tooth. Still, I hope to find a number more uses for these simple, expendable tools.

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