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Petzl RAD Line


Original Post
Karl Henize · · Boulder, CO · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 643

Any reviews would be appreciated.  Comparisons to other current 5.5mm-7mm static rappel lines on the market would be even more appreciated...


My primary interest is in using a 60m RAD line (in conjunction with a dynamic single rope) as a light and compact pull cord for rappels >30m and occasional haul line for packs.  However, I am also potentially interested in using it as a primary safety line for glacier traverses.  


On paper, the main appeals are: 

1. Low density of 22 g/m (closest competing product is 31 g/m [41% heavier for a given length]).

2. High friction, abrasion resistant sheath

3. Compatible with microtraxion

4. Low elongation, under load


More info from Petzl can be found at https://www.petzl.com/INT/en/Sport/Ropes/RAD-LINE-6-mm 

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,800

You really want a STATIC cord for glacier travel? Where a climber could fall with slack in the system??

Brian Abram · · Celo, NC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 478

I’ve had a 60m one for a year or so as a second line for raps. I’m not sure what to say. It works. It seems to show less wear than the accesory cord I used prior to it. The textured sheath allows better grip on rappels than accessory cord

Beal has a 5.5mm Aramid cord at 21g/m called the Backup Line coming out this season that’s less than half the price.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 489

so it's a blend of aramid and dyneema. Essentially technora cord but with a more abrasive sheath. You have a cord that has really good abrasion and cut resistance but very low strength efficiency when knotted (60% strength reduction with a figure 8 in technora, probably similar or worse with this cord) and little UV resistance. Keep that in mind when you're making your decision. 

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 489
Brian Abram wrote:

I’ve had a 60m one for a year or so as a second line for raps. I’m not sure what to say. It works. It seems to show less wear than the accesory cord I used prior to it. The textured sheath allows better grip on rappels than accessory cord

Beal has a 5.5mm Aramid cord at 21g/m called the Backup Line coming out this season that’s less than half the price.

Is that the pull cord that is designed to work as a static cord at low loads but then at very high loads the sheath breaks and it acts like a dynamic rope? I remember reading an article about such a pull cord a few years ago but never have been able to find any info on. The point was that if you're ropes got stuck on a rap and you only had access to the pull cord you could re-lead the pitch on the pull cord.

Brian Abram · · Celo, NC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 478
eli poss wrote:

Is that the pull cord that is designed to work as a static cord at low loads but then at very high loads the sheath breaks and it acts like a dynamic rope? I remember reading an article about such a pull cord a few years ago but never have been able to find any info on. The point was that if you're ropes got stuck on a rap and you only had access to the pull cord you could re-lead the pitch on the pull cord.

No, that’s Edelrid’s Rap Line 2. It came out around the same time as the RAD line. Funny you mention it: I actually bought 3 pull cords all at the same time last year and kept my favorite. The Rap Line 2 was advertised prior to release at 25g/m. It was actually 31g/m and is now advertised as such. At that weight, it’s hard to justify against a 35g/m Flycatcher or 36g/m Beal Gully. I had planned to use the Rap Line 2 as my only rope for easy alpine climbing. Yeah I know that’s not how it is supposed to be used.

The 3rd cord I got at that time was an Esprit Alpine Personal Escape Rope, a special order item from Esprit. It’s designed to be super stiff so it is less likely to drape behind flakes or into cracks and get stuck. And it was. You could hold like 12-18 inches of the end of it sideways and it would stay straight. It made packing it very bulky.

I sold the Rap Line 2 and APER on here and kept the RAD Line. 

Just a heads up: Petzl's information on knots and the RAD line may be different than you're used to seeing. The flat-8 is significantly stronger than the flat-overhand, and the flat-8 does not roll, at least when tying RAD Line to RAD Line. Read the technical notices closely. https://www.petzl.com/INT/en/Sport/RAD-LINE-joining-knots?ProductName=RAD-SYSTEM

Derek DeBruin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 585
Gunkiemike wrote:

You really want a STATIC cord for glacier travel? Where a climber could fall with slack in the system??

Yes. Petzl has specifically tested this application (as has ENSA, I believe). Basically, a static line makes the initial catch somewhat more jarring. However, the static rope eliminates (or significantly reduces) rebound, which can be really challenging when holding the fall with a dynamic rope. Generally speaking, the rope sliding on the snow causes friction such that the catch on a static line is pretty manageable.

Karl Henize · · Boulder, CO · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 643

Beal has a 5.5mm Aramid cord at 21g/m called the Backup Line coming out this season that’s less than half the price.

Does anyone know what the expected release date is for the Beal Backup Line?  Based on limited info, it may be a better / more cost-effective option than the RAD line for use as a tag line.  

Karl Henize · · Boulder, CO · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 643

Just a heads up: Petzl's information on knots and the RAD line may be different than you're used to seeing. The flat-8 is significantly stronger than the flat-overhand, and the flat-8 does not roll, at least when tying RAD Line to RAD Line. Read the technical notices closely. https://www.petzl.com/INT/en/Sport/RAD-LINE-joining-knots?ProductName=RAD-SYSTEM

While interesting and unexpected that Petzl is advocating for the use of a flat-8 for RAD-to-RAD bends, my takeaway from the Petzl technical notice is that that you should continue to use the bends that you would normally consider best practice for joining other cordalettes and climbing ropes (i.e., flat-overhand bend for rappels).  Keep in mind that that most people will be more often joining the RAD line to dynamic nylon climbing ropes, which is not explicitly addressed in the technical notice.  

Key excerpts from the Petzl technical notice:  

- "The flat overhand bend is strong enough for the forces in a normal rappel"

- "All of the knots tested are strong enough for the loads recorded during the crevasse fall testing."

Brian Abram · · Celo, NC · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 478

Yep. FWIW, I have used mine with a Beal Opera 8.5, Mammut Serenity 8.7, and a Mammut Revelation 9.2, all with overhand EDKs, and never with any issue. I often rap on both strands, rather than using a block and just pulling the RAD. In spite of the warning by Petzl that there might not be enough friction, I haven't had any problems doing this with a DMM Pivot. I do almost always use a Sterling Hollow Block when rapping. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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