Over the shoulder? To (padded) sling or not to sling? That is the ?

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PeterHS
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Over the shoulder? To (padded) sling or not to sling? That is the ?

Post by PeterHS » Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:44 pm

Hi all,

What do you use for your trad rack? I am wondering about buying a padded gear sling - but is it worth it? Black Diamond do one in a rather garish purple for R300. Is it worth it? Or simpler just to use a regular sling?

Your R1 worth please .......

https://www.mountainmailorder.co.za/ind ... ductId=172

Or maybe you have one I can buy? That would work too .....

Peter
Last edited by PeterHS on Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Wes
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Re: Padded gear slings - do you use for your trad rack?

Post by Wes » Fri Jun 03, 2016 4:07 pm

Interesting question.

I have a nice padded gear sling with a 2 loops. But I have never needed to climb with it, so only use it for storage and transport of my rack.

I feel that you should be able to fit most gear on your harness and put some slings around your chest.

But that is just me.

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Justin
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Re: Padded gear slings - do you use for your trad rack?

Post by Justin » Fri Jun 03, 2016 4:07 pm

I have the BD sling type that you mention above (in black). Whats nice about it is that you can use it as a sling in an emergency.

A regular sling is going to cut into your shoulder (and become uncomfortable after sometime).

There is also the BD Zodiac gear sling - I've used one and they're quite nice (possibly a bit of an overkill for an SA trad rack). The gear is less stacked up on itself and it also distributes the weight of the rack evenly.
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vlokdog
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Re: Padded gear slings - do you use for your trad rack?

Post by vlokdog » Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:02 pm

I also have the same sling as you do. I use it for my larger cams. I think it's just a personal preference as I don't like having to much weight on my waist. Well that's the reason I started racking up like that :)

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Justin
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Re: Padded gear slings - do you use for your trad rack?

Post by Justin » Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:15 pm

I rack draws/slings, accessories, and nuts onto my harness. The cams and single hex go onto the bandolier.

There may come a time when you will need to select a cam blindly - if you only have cams racked (in order) on your bandolier then this makes selecting the correct one easier.
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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Padded gear slings - do you use for your trad rack?

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:28 am

I hate bandoleers, I hate them with a passion.

I was climbing a horrible trad line at Truijtieskraal (Now I know why Truitjies is a sport venue). It was a bit overhanging and I was pumping out. Got to a rail and reached for a cam, green BD. Too small for rail, but put it in anyway, it is sitting on the sand in the rail, no idea if it will hold me. Reach for the red BD on the bandoleer. Find that the bandoleer has migrated behind me because of the weight and the overhang and I cannot reach the red cam. Really pumped now. Change hands in the rail. Fight with the bandoleer. Get the red cam. Carabiner gate snags on the bandoleer loop. In slow motion watch my hand come out of the rail and I start falling onto the green cam which moves forward as my weight comes onto it. Fortunately it hooks on something in the sand and holds...
Very gingerly, while hanging from the tenuous green cam I have to use both hands to free the red cam from the bandoleer's grasp and place it in the rail, where it fits perfectly, and I clip in. I can then inspect the green cam which was only holding on the tips of the lobes.

That's why I don't use a bandoleer.

I can see that they have merit in big wall climbing and where fast change overs between pitches are essential. But then get one with multiple loops that will keep the gear in roughly the same place all the time and also has some kind of harness to keep it from migrating behind you.

I rack my gear on a 60cm sling to organize it but rack it onto my harness when I climb
Happy climbing
Nic

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Re: Padded gear slings - do you use for your trad rack?

Post by Warren G » Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:52 am

Bandoliers are great for housing your rack, but agreed with Nic they are a mare to climb with: the gear moves all over the place as you climb, making finding things unpredictable. If you ever want to stress yourself out climb a granite slab with a bandolier of gear: can't see your feet. If you ever want to pump out climb something steep with a bandolier: gear moves to your back, denying access to chalk bag, and demanding feel to guess the right size. For a bonus try a adding a long day pack beneath the bandolier.

Harness racking: >0.75 on left hip, <0.05 right hip, mix of extendable slings and draws on back loops on both sides of harness. Nuts split big on right, smalls on left to help mix sizes on either side. Gear always racked with smallest in front so to reduce unfortunate Cam-in-crotch incidents. Larger slings over the shoulder. Bandolier: on the ground/with belayer to take unnecessary gear + shoes etc. Exceptions ALWAYS made after inspection of line/pitch.
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Re: Padded gear slings - do you use for your trad rack?

Post by mokganjetsi » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:46 am

different strokes for different folkes, but i also do not enjoy the bandolier option much - i only "rack' slings across my shoulders.

have a 7-gear-loop harness (not sure what is currently available in SA in this dept?) - accommodates a double rack well and you can rack-up all sizes on both sides. works for me :thumleft:

(edit) something like this: https://www.mountainmailorder.co.za/ind ... uctId=2847

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Re: Padded gear slings - do you use for your trad rack?

Post by Chris F » Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:35 am

Nic Le Maitre wrote:I hate bandoleers, I hate them with a passion.
+1 for all the reasons described. If you can't fit your rack on 4 to 6 gear loops and some slings round your shoulders you're carrying too much kit.

GeorgeHorn
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Re: Padded gear slings - do you use for your trad rack?

Post by GeorgeHorn » Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:07 am

Can anyone comment on the force vectors for steep routes with mass hanging on a bandolier off straight arms versus mass around your waist harness?

Likewise if you are climbing slabby granite type routes, is it better from a force vector point of view to have the mass around your shoulders or lower down at your waist.

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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Padded gear slings - do you use for your trad rack?

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:58 am

On steep to overhanging routes, the closer the mass is to the rock, the more load on your feet and the less on your arms.

It's less about the mass distribution and more about the lack of access to the gear.
Happy climbing
Nic

PeterHS
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Re: Padded gear slings - do you use for your trad rack?

Post by PeterHS » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:19 pm

Hey all,

Thanks SO much for all the varied and interesting answers. It's obviously a personal choice and preference. Some scary stories worth reading here too!

Related to this, how do you rack your hexes, cams, nuts, tricams etc? I read some do so on slings and some on harness gear loops - but .....

How then? All cams and tricams on one side and hexes and nuts on the other, for example? Smallest on one side and large on the other? Or at the back or front? Or a mix?

Again. it's always great to read what others more experienced are doing ....

Please keep the discussion going :)

Peter

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Justin
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Re: Padded gear slings - do you use for your trad rack?

Post by Justin » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:23 pm

Warren G wrote:Harness racking: >0.75 on left hip, <0.05 right hip, mix of extendable slings and draws on back loops on both sides of harness. Nuts split big on right, smalls on left to help mix sizes on either side. Gear always racked with smallest in front so to reduce unfortunate Cam-in-crotch incidents. Larger slings over the shoulder.
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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Padded gear slings - do you use for your trad rack?

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:07 pm

Nuts on two biners, large to medium and medium to small, right front gear loop.

Cams each on their own biner, distributed left and right front gear loops
Quickdraws and extendable draws on left and right rear loops
120 slings with the ends clipped together with a single biner over the shoulder

All the other struff, prussiks, apple jacket etc on the haul loop at the back
Happy climbing
Nic

mokganjetsi
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Re: Padded gear slings - do you use for your trad rack?

Post by mokganjetsi » Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:46 pm

in the western cape doubles on small and medium cams are well worth it; i rack a set each side (mastercams & C4s respectively) - if you can't reach around for gear chances are that you won't be able to place a nut / hex. cams tend to be the grab & shove piece of choice and having them both sides helps when you are in a tight spot.

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emile
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Re: Padded gear slings - do you use for your trad rack?

Post by emile » Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:03 pm

mokganjetsi wrote:different strokes for different folkes, but i also do not enjoy the bandolier option much - i only "rack' slings across my shoulders.

have a 7-gear-loop harness (not sure what is currently available in SA in this dept?) - accommodates a double rack well and you can rack-up all sizes on both sides. works for me :thumleft:

(edit) something like this: https://www.mountainmailorder.co.za/ind ... uctId=2847
I'm still waiting for my call back from City Rock JHB for that harness (I "ordered" that harness, assuming that "ordering" something meant I would at some stage get feedback and, god help us, the product. I checked in with them a couple of times over about a 2 month period, in person and by telephone and then gave up. "We'll check and get back to you" only works for a while, especially if the "get back to you" bit never happens.), so I went with a Calidris from RocnRope, who despite living in that little town in the middle of nowhere always manages to stay in contact...

Lest I be accused of being nonconstructive, I came across this little number that really piqued my interest: Metolius Safe Tech

I'm of the general opinion that if a additional few grams around the waste stands between you and sending, you're just not strong enough :afro:

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robertbreyer
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Re: Padded gear slings - do you use for your trad rack?

Post by robertbreyer » Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:16 am

Hi Emile,

1/ First of all I apologize for Jo'burg not getting back to you about your Wild Country harness order.The story goes that you ordered this harness, but unfortunately Wild Country has given us the run-around for months in terms of stock availability. (We have already voted them worst supplier of the year and the year is barely half done, but that's not your issue). We should have been clear in terms of setting expectations in that it's a BIG maybe that we can even get this harness. The culprits have been keel-hauled.

2/ Metolius SafeTech: I have looked at this harness to see whether we should bring it in or not. I decided not to.
The main reason is that Metolius still uses the old double-back belt locking mechanism. Over the last decade all other harnesses in the universe have adopted the auto-locking method, which was a major step forward in safety. Unfortunately Doug Philips, the founder and owner of Metolius steadfastly refuses to use it, so we don't stock the SafeTech. The harness would also sell for well over R2,000, which means it would collect a fair bit of dust on our shelves here in SA.

3/ Speaking of Metolius: I do love the Metolius double-D gear loop. I climb with it all the time. The gear loops are fixed on your body so the gear stays more or less where it should be, even on overhanging rock. Since I climb with doubles on the popular sizes the gear and numerous slings don't all fit on my 4 waist loops. Also, unless you are Richard Halsey, we don't trad routes that are consistently steeply overhanging, it's typically just a roof or two. Lastly, when swopping leads it's easy to just swop the gear sling, often faster than swopping each piece of gear. That makes the bandolier gear loop a great option to consider. And yes Joburg does have stock :)

https://www.mountainmailorder.co.za/ind ... uctId=2560

- Robert
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Old Smelly
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Re: Padded gear slings - do you use for your trad rack?

Post by Old Smelly » Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:28 am

I use both the Metolius and Black diamond gear slings.

I must say the Metolius is superior in keeping the gear where you want it. I have always needed to carry the gear more or less independant of the harness and do find that for most trad the idea of the gear sling works well. In some cases where you have scoped out the route and know what gear you need and can position it accordingly on your harness then that works, but most of the time having it in the correct order on your gear sling works just as well as it comes down to knowing which item is where that counts - not whether it is on your harness or your gear sling (sort of logical).

I hesitate to say this but I think racking on your harness is a sort of EGO thing - and not necessarily an advantage unless you have planned your placements. I know this will get a bad reaction - but think about it...

The one negative to using an old school gear sling is the case that happened recently when one of our more respected climbers fell and somehow ended up with the gear sling nearly strangling him - I know it is a bizarre situation but clearly can happen. In this case the BD sling would not have done so, and most likely not the metolius as it has the under arm secondary loop.

Anyway I think for most trad a gear sling in the more modern variety is essential, even if you occasionally want to rack on your harness to feel cool... :thumright
Really, its not that bad...I think it's my shoes...

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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Padded gear slings - do you use for your trad rack?

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:15 am

I don't position the gear on my harness with a particular route or placement order in mind, I do it the same way every time so that the piece I know I want is always in the same place and I can find it quickly. I haven't tried the Metolius gear sling, it looks better thought out than the BD one but I still think that those loops at the back are going to effectively be useless.

I used to climb with a padded gear sling and sold it off with my previous rack of gear because I had tried it out extensively and found it didn't work for me.
Happy climbing
Nic

PeterHS
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Re: Over the shoulder? To (padded) sling or not to sling? That is the ?

Post by PeterHS » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:38 pm

Just a thought - and why can't I comment in on my own thread? - in favour of a sling system, padded or otherwise, over harness gear loops .....

If that perfect nut or hex is on the second gear loop on my left side as I reach out to my extreme right, that's going to be awkward. But, if on a sling, I can swing the sling around from my left to right hand side to get it. Could be easier?

Thanks guys (and rock chicks) all for the replies so far - some unexpected safety considerations too to consider.

Please keep the comments flowing.

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Re: Over the shoulder? To (padded) sling or not to sling? That is the ?

Post by Chris F » Wed Jun 08, 2016 3:40 pm

I always carry small nuts on the front left, a few bigger nuts and hexes back left (left handed), cams on the right, small at the front, with one or two larger ones at the back, then extenders / quickdraws behind.

I've never had a problem leaning out slightly to reach across my front and grab stuff from the opposite side, or reach behind to grab draws.

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Re: Over the shoulder? To (padded) sling or not to sling? That is the ?

Post by BAbycoat » Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:09 pm

If you can't fit your rack on 4 to 6 gear loops and some slings round your shoulders you're carrying too much kit.
:lol: +1

Bandoliers suck on slabs, where all the gear hangs forward, knocks your knees, and obscures your view of footgrips. And they aren't great on steep rock either.

But they make changeovers much faster - which, on long routes, is crucial.

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Re: Over the shoulder? To (padded) sling or not to sling? That is the ?

Post by BruceT » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:05 am

Always interested in other's racking systems...

But this worries me:
All the other struff, prussiks, apple jacket etc on the haul loop at the back
I used to do that until I read about a case where a climber fell flat on back (presumably 1st pitch first few moves no gear in)
and cracked spine on biner on central rear haul loop -> paralysed.
Now I leave the haul loop empty and put prussiks, belay device, etc at back of right rear loop which makes it a bit fuller but I prefer being able to walk...

Any thoughts on that issue?

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Nic Le Maitre
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Re: Over the shoulder? To (padded) sling or not to sling? That is the ?

Post by Nic Le Maitre » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:55 am

I'd say that was bad luck and more related to falling off the route and less to falling on the biner. He obviously landed on a hard surface with sufficient force to cause major trauma, I'm not sure that the biner played a significant role in the degree of trauma
Happy climbing
Nic

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