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Discussion in 'Tech Tips and Gear' started by Bluu, May 21, 2015.
As per the instructions here, you can indeed flip it around for use left-handed.
Bluu - Do you have a photo of this devise next to another common devise to compare size? Looking at getting a few CRITR 2's but like to compare my options.
you mean, like this???
I am very interested to try this!
Mine arrived today and it looks awesome. I haven't actually taken it out into a canyon, but I played around with it using the clothes rack in my closet as an anchor, and I gotta say weaving the rope into and out of the tail holes is surprisingly simple and intuitive, at least it is in a controlled environment like my closet. The range of friction is pretty awesome; I like that on "simple" mode I can go from almost no friction to stationary despite all my weight, with a spectrum of friction modes between them, in a few seconds.
It's smaller than I expected; while it's an odd shape, it's really only an inch or two longer than a Pirana. The tail will ring if you tap it against something, but it's not nearly as bad as say, the totem.
EDIT: The only other thing worth noting is that it's not the most convenient device to carry, despite it being smaller than expected. It's a minor gripe; the things I like about this device, right now, far outweigh any cons I note, but I still feel I should note them. Using the recommended carrying positions/configurations, the whole setup doesn't necessarily lay flat or in a compact way against one's body. One of the positions involves simply hooking the tail onto a carabiner on your gear loop, but I found, at least with my anatomy, that this isn't secure at all; I can't take 4 steps without the tail unhooking, so clipping a biner through the throat is a lot more reliable. I have a feeling everybody will carry this device a bit differently because it is a little awkward to manage. I'm sure I'll find my ideal method of carry after a few canyons, but I can tell it will take some playing with. This might not be a good device for tight, A class canyons where low bulk is important (ATC's are so small, they carry like no other), at least, I wouldn't want to take it through a tight canyon right now, without playing with how it carries first, as it might be the kind of device I'm constantly taking on and off (which I generally don't like).
Thanks tom. I am looking to just use it for canyons with 200' plus raps and skinny ropes. So size looks good but as Aquaman said already looks a little awkward for tight canyons.
Very happy to see this out and available. Luke has put an immense amount of work into this thing.
I was given a tester last year and went from moderately curious, to full on siked. I've used most every device popular for canyoneering and this one is my favorite. By far. The ease of transitioning from multiple levels of friction is so much simpler (better) than anything on the market. How many times have we gotten on a big rap and bounced on the rope cause of awkward friction transitioning? Usually devices on big raps go from too little to way too much, there is no in between. With the Sqwurel, you have so many options very quickly available to you, its much easier to dial it in to the perfect or near perfect setting.
I didn't think I'd like it in tight/squirmmy canyons, but I was wrong. Awkward raps are less horrible when you can start with full friction and then pop down to lower friction when you are on finally beyond the nasty overhang or chockstone.
I used the Sqwurel for about 60 canyons, including going big (300ish feet) at least 6 times. Some of the canyons were wet and very sandy which will kill any device quickly. I could have been more careful and got a longer life out of it, but testing was the priority. So glad to have a new one in my hands.
Website bug: On the website, if your billing and shipping addresses are different, when the data is passed to PayPal they're both reset to the shipping address.
Thought I would chime in here. So the ear serves a minor function. It kinda catches the rope for you if the rope is in Tail Hole 1 and you thrust your hand in front of you to downclimb while on rappel. It will not catch it all the time but it is a little help in some situations. I have added videos to a www.BluuGnome.com page and this feature is covered in one of them. In the www.BG-Gear.com store go to the side bar and click the Sqwurel - Extra Info link to find a link to the page with the videos.
Also covered in the same video is the storage positions. On my frame and the harness I use the tail hook storage position is kinda tight and pretty secure. But yeah if your shape is different then clipping the Throat will be best.
Mike, I get orders that do indeed have different shipping and billing addresses. I don't have multiple addresses so I did not test that feature. But I assume others are not having the same issue as I get orders with different addresses quite frequently. Hmmmmmm. Not sure I know what to do to help here.
Tom, Thanks for posting a pic of devices side by side.
Super stoked to finally have this thing up and running!
I do not check forums as often as I should but will check back from time to time to answer questions and to see what people think of the Sqwurel after using it a while.
(I am assuming here that Luke's webstore and my webstore work much the same way.)
I have had this problem on my website too. But the problem is that the customer THINKS the addresses have been reset, when they have not. I think you (the customer) gets an email receipt from Paypal, which shows the PP addresses, which may be different than the addresses I get off my store.
Also of note, we don't really need your billing address, as the card is charged on Paypal and we never get or use or have access to your card information, including the billing address.
I have noticed one small quirk about this device. Let me reiterate that I think it's awesome overall, likely the best device I've used, so this is more of a comment than a complaint or dissatisfaction. Changing the friction settings via the tail is difficult to do one handed. As you wrap the rope, the belay loop and carabiner twist along with your movement, so you're "chasing" the tail around a bit, particularly for the 1st and 3rd tail holes (the second is exceptionally easy to get into). If you have a horizontal belay loop, this may be significantly less of an issue, however. In Luke's videos (great, btw, everything you need to know), he always stabilizes the sqwurel with his left hand when he's changing friction modes. However, this may not be a convenient method when on a long rappel, and the device is heating up (like all devices, it can get quite toasty). I also just don't like the idea of putting my hand that close to the device while on rappel, lest a finger get bitten, or worse. I have found that quick grabbing my belay loop to stabilize it makes the transitions pretty darn easy, and I don't have to occupy my left hand for long. The twisting motion is not a hard force to overcome, but it's enough to hinder the ease of friction setting changes quite a bit.
All this being said, it's not like the few devices out there that offer multiple friction settings while under load don't have similar issues with rotational stability, especially when extended away from one's harness. I just thought it was worth noting and thinking about.
Aqua, are you saying this is true when the device is fully loaded (i.e. you are rappelling), or more of an issue when setting up to rap?
I never seem to have an issue when setting up, probably because I'm already holing onto the device or carabiner while setting up. I'm referring to while I'm on rappel, weighting the anchor. It seems to be less of a problem when it's 100% weighted, like on a hanging rappel, but I only say that because I don't remember noticing it until I was doing some lower angle stuff. At the same time I could have just been focused on other things (the only hanging rappel I did with it was the first one, so I was getting used to the entirety of the device, not necessarily honing in on nuances). I'll report back when I get more time with it.
When I change friction while on rappel, I hold / pinch the rope up where it crosses the biner, to hold things static while making the adjustment. Yes, I think when flicking to a new position, getting it in there is not 100%... but I don't flick my way in, much.
can anyone compare this device to the CRITR who has used both? I find that with a CRITR, I can micro-adjust the friction the same way Luke does here with a minute change in my brake-hand position as it relates to the arms/legs of the device.
Also, have not seen a procedure to lock the Sqwurel off ?
looks like the tail of the Sqwurel acts similar to a rappel rack.
I've used both and find the Sqwurel works better for me to adjust friction on the fly than the CRITR, though I know many people who are happy with adjusting their CRITR friction on the fly. It's probably quite dependent on body weight, etc. If you happen to hit the CRITR sweet spot it works very well. If you are out of the sweet spot it's still better than most, but not as good as the Sqwurel. On long raps with the CRITR I hate to start out hooking one of the bottom horns because it's too much friction for me and I hate to fight the rope. But if I start out in normal setting until it starts to get too fast, the simple option is to come down through the upper right horn and it's very easy to do. That helps for a ways but eventually that's not enough friction. There is really no where to go from there with the brake side that doesn't require coming up with the brake hand. So the safe thing for me is stopping and trying to get a lower horn - which is not easy while weighted on the rope. With the Sqwurel I can start out in normal setting, get the first added slot when it starts to speed up, then add the second when necessary, etc. It's not a simple flick, but doing it as Tom describes is not difficult at all and is a lot easier than trying to hook a horn while weighted. With the Sqwurel I found myself basically having the same speed of descent throughout a long rappel and it was great not to have to either fight the rope at the top or hang on for dear life at the bottom. I own both and will continue to use both - they are excellent devices. As I mentioned, the choice is probably quite dependent on personal characteristics.
but can you lock it off?
Sure can. Take a look near the end of the instruction manual found here http://www.bg-gear.com/downloads_non-product/Instructions-SQWUREL__Size8-5X11.pdf
The 'sweet spots' seem to be a little wider (and the initial friction a little lower) on the CRITR2, which helps
to smooth out the steps between friction levels.
Desi and I think the SQWUREL is a GREAT device!
But now the CRITR2 is also a little better than the CRITR...