ART Spiderjack Review

Updated: Aug 8, 2019

ART Spiderjack 3

The ART Spiderjack 3 was advertised as an elegant solution for doubled rope work. Used in conjunction with the rope guide pulley or rope guide twin line, it certainly has proven to be a very smooth, fast, and ergonomic solution, but often at the cost of setup time. I have found that the only time I employ this particular piece of gear is when I have a very large, wide spread canopy, with easy access to a high tie in point that can be isolated from the ground. The Ropeguide Twinline takes some time to set up, but does create an excellent canopy anchor with consistent retrievability and the added safety of a single line emergency access line. This is IF the anchor point can be isolated. There is a weird quirk with the Spiderjack which requires the device to be weighted quickly to engage the stopping mechanism. It can sometimes slip when the climber’s weight is eased into it slowly. This effect is especially apparent when it is not used with a pulley at the tie in point. It does not function well for natural crotch ascension techniques due to the tendency of the rope to just fall through the device when unweighted, so it works best as as system set from the ground rather than one that is advanced ahead of the climber as he/she ascends. This is less of an issue for some but would be difficult for a beginner to adapt to. Friction is modulated with the application of pressure by the thumb. This makes for very precise and controllable descents, but it has a significant learning curve to feel comfortable, and until then it feels like one might be easily sent into a near free-fall (not exactly confidence inspiring when learning). The price for these two pieces of equipment combined come to 700 dollars plus tax with the standard ropeguide or 780 for the twin line which can be set from the ground. So here’s the bottom line: After owning this system for nearly 3 years, I rarely pull it from the bag in normal use. If you find yourself frequently doing large clean outs or weight reduction in spread out canopies and aren’t comfortable with the single rope systems, this can be an excellent option which saves time and energy. Otherwise it would be a late addition to the tool kit at best.

Pros:

1. VERY smooth

2. Very fast and controllable

3. Slack tends effortlessly

4. Can be extra safe if using the Twinline

5. Rugged with replaceable wear parts

Cons:

Can be scary to use when learning due to sudden release and the need to VERY EXPENSIVEOnly functions well with a pulley at the TIP (Friction saver works OK) Slow to set upNOT mid-line attachable Wear parts wear out quickly


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