DMM and the new Alpha Quickdraw
As I said on Facebook a few days ago I was off to DMM for a factory visit and to check out the new product. There is lots of great stuff in the pipeline but the big one for me in the arrival of the Alpha biners. These are already in some shops and the quickdraw will be along soon......hopefully. BUT me being a very lucky boy and a sponsered DMM athelete I managed to get my hands on a rock of prototype Alphas. These are full strength prototypes but will not be this colour in production, where they will be available in the classic DMM Grey with Yellow gates.
These purpose designed sport biners are definately a step forward, the feel in your hand at the top (bolt or wire end) is perfectly balanced and at the action end (clipping end) the rope almost seems to clip itself. Mine are on a 16mm 15cm long nylon tape, though in production they will have a tapered end sport draw, similar to what is available from Petzl on a Spirit, and be available in 12, 18 and 25cm lengths. Individual biners are a shade lighter than the Spirits at 44g each. Obviously they are not built for lightness the are built for clipping. Good old solid gate style, with an agressive bent gate make them a perfect draw. The Alpha clip end uses gates that are the first in the World to be totally hot forged. Including a deeper basket for the nose to lock in. The back of the biners are rippled to improove the grip when placing, clipping or just for more pleasure.
Nowadays it is common place to see people out with clipstcks and the most common one is the Beta Stick from Beta Climbing Designs. To be honest it is almost as if the Alphas where designed to be used with the Beta Stick. The fit and the security is amazing with the clip stick wires sitting perfectly in the grooves in the gate. No more quickdraw dropping just as you about to get it in the bolt!
Top put it simply these are the best QD's I have ever used and above all they even look a bit bling. A perfect addition to the DMM range in 2011......DMMs 30th aniversary year.