A few of the Trogg Shop research team got together with some friends and headed to Wales to do some real world equipment testing. They wanted to try out the GEO Technical Equipment Zip Pulley, GEO Technical Equipment HMS Alpha Carabiner and the KONG Pirata Descender. This blog will detail a bit about the teams trip and their feedback on the items under test.
First up was the Pirata. The device loads the same as all the other similar designs on the market and was easy to open and close. The size of the Pirata is slightly smaller than the Petzl Stop in length and width, so if gear space is high on your list, the KONG unit wins here. The hold on the rope was superb with zero slip or drop when the handle was unloaded. The Petzl Stop has a bit of a name for itself as a 'Slow' due to the fact it often allows rope to slowly slide though the device even when the handle isnt loaded, The KONG pirata had no such slip. The handling on the rope is unique on the Pirata due to the grooved edging on the braking cam, this may not be to everyones tatse. To get moving on the rope you need to give the handle a good initial pull, once moving it is smooth and easily controlled. The Petzl Stop is definately smoother in the transition from stationary to lowering than the KONG device. Both units perform almost identically after this point. Calling the winner between these two is tricky, one grabs the rope to prevent slip way better and the other has a smoother transition.... Take your pick.
Next up was the GEO Technical Equipment 'HMS Alpha Carabiner'. The colours were great, 5 to choose from in the HMS Size. The item itself is not to heavy and yet feels well made and solid. The units on test were the Twist Lock version and this worked smoothly with a nice action and strong gate feeling. Even by the end of the trip the carabiner was working well despite the mud and grit exposure. A great carabiner for the price.
Finally, the GEO Technical Equipment Zip Trolley. This was tested on free running zips as well as guided walking beams. It performed very well on both with good speed, low friction and easy loading. The device itself has nice rounded edging which some in the same price range do not. The top has a groove for loading on your safety line carabiner which is deep enough to prevent the carabiner jumping out. Once again, a great bit of hardware by GEO.