A few weeks ago the UKClimbing.com team headed out to a wet Friedrichschafen in Germany to attend the 2014 OutDoor Show. This is one of the biggest outdoor trade events on the calendar and was stuffed full of new climbing products.
This is the first of a series of reports that take a look at all the different types of gear climbers might want, but we thought we'd bring you perhaps the most exciting one first... What new additions will there be to your rack once these shiny beauties hit the shelves?
There's lots of great stuff here, some - like the Grivel Twin Gate - you may have seen before, and some like the new DMM Grip Belay Device are truly revolutionary. Check out the videos below for some great new stuff. We also liked the look of the Edelrid Jul2. We'll be getting our hands on most of these bits of kit in the future for a proper test, but until then we can all only oggle the bits through the internet.
Note: Where possible we have tried to include prices and release dates.
Index Jumar from Black Diamond RRP £50
Black Diamond have redesigned their jumar for Spring/Summer 2015, making it simpler and more versatile than their previous model, which increases it's usability in tough conditions. Looks good to us.
Matik from C.A.M.P RRP £100
Here's CAMP's new auto-locking belay device for 8.6-10.2mm ropes. It features a unique camming mechanism to give a smooth catch. It has a larger contact area to reduce wear and tear and there's a simple to use panic feature should the belayer pull on the lowering lever too hard which locks the device.
New Products from Climbing Technology
Climbing Technology have a number of interesting new products out for Spring/Summer 2015. The 'Be Up' is a new Guide Plate, and is flat hot-forged for strength before being bent into shape. With an optimal size for feeding rope out smoothly and a price of £25 it looks set to be a popular belay device.
Climbing Technology also have some new quickdraws out next year. The Flyweight Quickdraw is a new lightweight model sold on 10mm dyneema dogbones. In addition to this is the new Aerial Pro, CT's top of the range hot-forged quickdraw, both of which will start from £18 RRP.
Climbing Technology also have a new helmet, the Eclipse. Most interestingly, this will come in a small enough size that it will fit children down to 3 years old. The Eclipse will retail at £42.
Grip Belay Device from DMM RRP £45
This is a revolutionary single rope belay device for 8.6-11mm ropes. Clever mechanics are behind the Grip’s startling holding power. Check out the video to see how it works, it's hard to explain, but it kind of hinges and nips the rope when you brake. WOW!
At only 86g it doesn't weigh too much, and looks like a great addition to the sport / indoor belaying genre.
We can't wait to get one of these on test at UKC... watch this space!
Pivot Guide Device from DMM RRP £30
The Pivot is a multi-use lightweight belay device with an innovative pivot for better control when lowering a second who is being belayed direct from the anchor. It's basically a super sexy version of a guide plate.
It's suitable for 7.5mm to 11mm ropes but optimised for 8mm to 10.5mm and weighs 72g.
Mantis Belay from DMM RRP £18
This is a super lightweight classic belay device with a few improvements. It is for use with either single or half-ropes where direct belaying is not required. It's suitable for 7.5mm to 11mm ropes and weighs only 45g.
Jul2 Belay Device from Edelrid RRP £20
A new and improved version of the auto-locking Jul belay device. The Jul2 gives a soft catch as it locks gradually, putting less sudden force on the climber or protection. The Jul2 is a single rope belay device aimed at beginners, though it looks like it may have good application for trad climbing, especially if made in a double rope version - perhaps we will see this in the future...
Twin Gate Carabiners from Grivel RRP ~£11
These carabiners are due out in Autumn/Winter 2014. You might have seen them before, but we thought they are worth a second mention...
The twin gate concept uses two gates with one attached at each end of the opening of the carabiner. It means that you can't accidentally open the gate, but you don't need to use screwgates. Is that cool, or is it a faff? Well we have some arriving very soon for a UKC test, so we will let you know!
Axes range from Grivel
Stevie Haston takes us through the new axes on offer from Grivel for Autimn/Winter 2014:
New Mountaineering Axes from Petzl
For Autumn/Winter 2014/15, Petzl have updated their range of mountaineering axes and have 4 new models. The axes are all lightweight, but still with a decent amount of weight in the head of the axe, making them much more usable in the mountain environment. Ergonomically, the design has been made comfortable and natural to hold and have been stripped of rubber handles, which with modern gloves is not necessary for insulation giving better performance when plunging into snow. Only the Summit Evo has a rubber handle, which gives better grip for semi-technical mountaineering.
The axes will be released in January 2015 with the prices as follows: Glacier - a lightweight glacier travel axe - £75.00. Glacier Literide - a compact, very lightweight ski mountaineering axe - £65.00. Summit - a classic mountaineering axe - £95.00. Finally the Summit Evo - a technical mountaineering axe - £120. All axes are available in a variety of lengths.
Ergo belay from Salewa RRP £55
The Ergo is an easy to use, auto-locking belay device that allows slack to be given without removing your hand from the dead rope, adding extra safety. The system is sold with both belay device and HMS crab and works with 8.6 - 11mm ropes. It's quick to lock in the event of a sudden load on the rope.
Totem Cams from Totem RRP £68
Despite having been out for some time, the Totem cams are a very interesting piece of kit, and are the next development in cam design since the double axle from BD. Stand-out features in the Totem cams include; narrow head-width, very good holding power even in limestone, no stem which allows lobes to loaded independently for shallow/flared placements. Totem is a small co-operative and all there products are made in-house in Spain. Look out for a review on these and the Basic cams coming soon on UKClimbing.com.
Superlight Offset Rocks from Wild Country
New range of wires from Wild Country, these fit in above the original superlights, with a crossover in sizes 5 and 6 (blue and red). These wires are 40% lighter than standard Rocks, they still retain the normal angle and curve of a classic Rock, but are cut in half in an offset shape to give more placement options. Whatever you carry, these could be a brilliant compliment to your rack, and they will hit the shops in February 2015.
New Carabiners from Wild Country
Wild Country have been updating their carabiner range and have introduced the Electron which is a smaller version of the Proton solid-gate carabiner. The Proton is aimed at being an all round biner, durable enough to be used regularly as a sport quickdraw, whilst light enough to be considered for a trad climbing carabiner by those who want something more durable than the top-end lightweight wiregates. The Proton will be sold on both a lightweight Dyneema dogbone and a chunkier Nylon one for sport climbing.
A long-standing favourite of the Wild Country range, the Wild Wire has also had some attention and has been bought up to date and is now in I-beam form to make it lighter and stronger.
In addition to these new snapgates, Wild Country are also bringing out two new screwgate carabiners; the Ascent and Ascent Light. Different coloured thimbles on the screwgate correspond to the different carabiner shapes, e.g. HMS scregates have a blue thimble. They will both have a clean nose, and overall clean design with a low-tolerance on the barrel of the carabiner promoting a smooth action and helping to prevent the thimble unscrewing of it's own accord.