What device do you prefer for Canyoneering?

What is your favorite rappelling device?

  • Pirana

    Votes: 3 33.3%
  • Totem

    Votes: 2 22.2%
  • ATC

    Votes: 2 22.2%
  • Other

    Votes: 2 22.2%

  • Total voters
    9

DiscGo

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2012
Messages
30
I currently have a couple of Piranas that I use for Canyoneering and I like them well enough. My wife isn't very comfortable with it yet. We are headed down to Zion next week and I am going to buy another rappelling device to lend to a friend. I am trying to decide between getting another Pirana, a totem, or something else all together.

You guys have any preferences?
 

Nick

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Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,938
I've been an ATC guy for years but have recently discovered the joys of the Pirana. I've never felt like I had the best control of my friction with the ATC XP since I'm a rather heavy guy, especially on big raps with skinny rope. The Pirana on the other hand is cake and I felt fine dangling on a 8mm rope with just one strand. I really love how easy it is to throw on more friction on the fly without the need to mess with extra biners.
 

Canyonbug

Canyon Junkie
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Messages
20
I was a Figure 8 guy for a long time, but swapped around a lot. For beginners to rappelling I like to offer and SBG II made by Omega pacific. Similar in function to an ATC, but with a lot more friction options. For my personal use I have fallen in love with the ATS made by Sterling. It is a combination of the Figure 8 and Pirana style devices, but with a lot of friction and tie off options. I have been using this device personally for over a year and half now and really like the feel of it. I never feel as though I am going to loose control at all.

Jared H.
 

Nick

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Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,938
Welcome to backcountrypost, Canyonbug!

I was thinking about trying out the Sterling ATS. The one thing I'm having issues with, which is the same for the ATS or Pirana, is the orientation in relation to my harness. I'm a bigger guy so I use a Black Diamond Momentum AL harness. The tie on loop runs vertically so if I clip right into that with my Pirana, it twists it to the side and the rope runs across itself. I tried throwing in a rapide between the loop and my locking biner but then it's waaaay out in front of me. After that I tried clipping my biner into the two loops that the tie-in loop goes through and that works but it is almost too close to my body now. Any ideas on that? I'd love to pickup a harness like the Petzl Aspir that has the loop going horizontal but I think the leg loops are way too small for me.
 

Canyonbug

Canyon Junkie
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Messages
20
I know exactly what you are talking about. I have the same issues. With my ATS I have gone ahead and done what you mentioned in by-passing the belay loop and I clip directly into the two loops on the harness. It does certainly bring the device closer to the body, but I haven't had any problems with this. Make sure all clothing and straps are tucked out of the way. (Last weekend it was raining on us while training and I was wearing a fleece pullover with a rain slicker over it tucked into my harness with no problems). It still seems to stretch out a bit, but isn't extended too far in front of me that it feels out of reach. Extending it with a rapide certainly is an option and I have done that in the past, but it seemed like there was too much gear in front of me. I use a Black Diamond Aspect harness for training and Search and Rescue and I just clip into the two loops as mentioned. For some Canyoneering trips I use the Black Diamond Alpine Bod harness which had the two loops as the only option to connect to so it is oriented properly. I have also recently (this past spring) started using the Canyon XP harness by Singing Rock which has the tie in loop properly oriented. I like all three harness' for different situations.
 

Dan

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
454
just use an extra biner to the device, and it will orient properly... or a large rapide.
 

Dan

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
454
also, i prefer the ATC simply because of the twisting of ropes makes rope management a pain. easily avoided with a piranha though if you set the rope lengths properly.

kind of a silly complaint though. ATC seems to work perfect for me though, and I love how compact and small it is. i've used piranhas though, and like them quite a bit. bunch of buddies use the ATS now, and seem to love it.

bottom line - figure out how to use your device and be comfortable with it. there are lots of great options, just be sure you know the nuances of whatever one you use.
 

gloo

{insert witty remark here}
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
151
I'm an ATS guy as well. the device gives me so many options, its light and well thought out. I love the curve so I can do a low or high friction just by flipping it. I've solved said problem above by tossing a rapid link on my belay loop and I have no twisting issues.
 

Nick

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Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,938
I want someone who voted for the Totem to explain... I also really want to try out an ATS for a while.

And does anyone know of any shops in the SLC/Wasatch front area that actually sell this stuff? I know I can order from Amazon or Canyoneering USA, but sometimes it's nice to just go buy.
 
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