These Black Diamond pieces of equipment are more eye-catching than anything before. The Rope Dry 8.9 climbing rope, the Hotforge Hybrid express set, the Vapor helmet and the Crashpad Circuit come in bright pink. We have tested the gaudy climbing products and present them here.
Climbing ropes and carabiners are technical items of equipment and, above all, must be tear-proof and break-proof and fulfill their safety function. Most of the time it stays that way. Not so in the case of the following Black Diamond products. Because they look damn good too.
Low weight - high breaking load: Hotforge Hybrid express set
The Hotforge Hybrid is a combination of a black Keylock carabiner at the top and a Hotwire carabiner at the bottom of the quickdraw. Thanks to the keylock carabiner, which has no “nose”, the Exe can be easily attached and detached from the bolt. The Hotwire carabiner, for its part, saves weight and reduces the risk of unwanted opening.
All-rounder: suitable for sport climbing and alpine multi-pitch climbing
We could not yet test the rope in the alpine environment because there was still snow in many areas. In sport climbing, however, the exes convinced us very much. The upper black carabiner can be opened very easily and thus hung efficiently in the bolt. The hanging of the rope also goes smoothly.
Hazel Findlay climbs mega-edge (8b) in Leonidio
The loop of the Hotforge Exe is thicker than many other express sets and can therefore be held easily when bouldering on a route. However, the express set is not completely geared towards sport climbing, because then the sling would have been even wider.
This middle ground has the advantage that the Exe is also well suited for use in alpine terrain. The weight and the different lengths of the quickdraw sets (12cm and 18cm) also speak in favor of use in both disciplines.
Facts about the Hotforge Hybrid express set
- Breaking load lengthways: 24 kN
- Breaking load across: 8 kN
- Breaking load open: 8 kN
- Rope carabiner: breaking load lengthways: 24 kN
- Rope carabiner: breaking load across: 8 kN
- Rope carabiner: breaking load open: 8 kN
- Weight: 99 grams per express set
- Sling: 18 mm polyester dogbone and straitjacket
- Available lengths: 12cm and 18cm
- Gate opening: 22mm (top), 27mm (bottom)
High-performance rope for red dot tests
The second pink product that catches the eye is the 8.9 Rope Dry climbing rope. The Rope Dry is made for red dot attempts at your personal limit. Thanks to the small rope diameter of just 8.9 millimeters, the Rope Dry weighs just 52 grams per meter.
We really liked the Rope Dry in the practical test. It is smooth to handle and quickly paying out the rope is child's play.
However, due to its small diameter, caution is also advisable. Especially when using belay devices such as the ATC from Black Diamond or other tubers, an “experimental fall” should be made. Because the braking effect is significantly less than when using thicker and older ropes.
If there is also a large difference in weight between the person who is belaying and the person climbing, then caution is advised. This of course applies to all thin ropes on the market.
All good things come in threes
Despite or because of the small diameter, thanks to the triple certification (single rope, half rope, twin rope) and the impregnation, the Rope Dry is also an ideal companion on alpine multi-pitch routes.
Facts about the 8.9 Rope Dry from Black Diamond
- Impact force single rope: 8.7 kN
- Impact force double rope: 6.1 kN
- Impact force twin rope: 9.1 kN
- Standard falls single rope: 5.0
- Standard falls half rope: 16.0
- Standard falls twin rope: 29.0
- Weight per meter: 52 grams
- Impregnation: core and jacket
- Available lengths: 50m, 70m, 80m, 100m
- Triple certification: single, half, twin rope
Low weight - high breaking load: Vapor climbing helmet
The Vapor is also an all-rounder and loyal companion for sport climbing and multi-pitch climbing. Thanks to its low weight (188 grams), you can hardly feel the helmet on your head. In addition, thanks to a simple adjustment system, the Vapor holds it optimally on the head and does not wobble back and forth. The generous ventilation ensures a cool head even when worn for long periods of time, for example on multi-pitch routes.
Small but nice - Circuit Crashpad
If you don't feel like lugging a large crash pad or want to take a smaller crash pad with you as a supplement to bouldering, the Circuit is spot on. In the folded position, the boulder mat measures 89x20x60 centimeters, and when unfolded it measures 89x10x120 centimeters.
Thanks to its low weight of 3.78 kilograms and a comfortable carrying system with padded shoulder straps and a hip belt, the Circuit can easily be carried for long periods of time.
That might interest you
- The perfect companion for multi-pitch rides: The backpack Rock Blitz 15 by Black Diamond
- The climbing trousers Forged Denim by Black Diamond feel like leggings
- The best crash pads in the test
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Credits: Cover picture Andy Earl / Black Diamond