WILD COUNTRY: REVO
Test of the first two-way WILD COUNTRY belayer18 November 2019
The new insurer REVO of the WILD COUNTRY presents itself as "the safest insurer on the market". We tested it with a day at the crag and then took it with us to the gym during a training session.
The first impression, when held for the first time, is that of a solid, well-made object. The metal gray color with a satin surface, in addition to improving the grip, gives it a modern and attractive design. Its weight of 245 g, slightly above average, confirms its robustness and solidity.
REVO works with a wide range of ropes, in fact accepting all those of type A with diameters ranging from 8.5 to 11.0 mm, it's an instrument compatible with the vast majority of ropes available on the market.
Its extreme ease of use and safety are what set it apart. Since it is bidirectional, it is not necessary to worry about which side the rope is inserted. Whenever the rope's running speed exceeds 4 m / s REVO blocks the sliding, automatically stopping the fall of the climbing partner. This feature is very important, both for the beginner and the more experienced climber, as it reduces the risk of making mistakes during the insurance phase both on the cliff and in the mountains, where there is often little time and inattention can make the difference between a beautiful and a bad adventure.
From the technical point of view the insurance of the companion takes place in a manner very similar to a common bucket, requiring a firm grip on the rope branch downstream of the insurer. In this phase REVO works as a braking device, thus making the partner's weight feel when it is resting on the tail. REVO is therefore also a valid educational tool, as it helps create the habit of the correct insurance technique. To this is then added the anti-panic mechanism, which automatically blocking the inertia cam every time the sliding speed is too high, guarantees complete safety during all phases of the climb.
We were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to give rope, thanks to the internal rotating pulley, we can forget about those annoying unintentional locks when the companion asks for rope quickly. The voluntary blocking of the companion, for example when working on a sports route, requires instead a minimum of practice, because it requires putting the rope upstream of the insurer under tension and at the same time activating the locking mechanism (fig 4 ed). Unlocking, on the other hand, is extremely simple, simply by pulling the rope downstream.
The descent is simple and not at all tiring. Thanks to the absence of the braking cam and relative release lever, the attention of the insurer is completely concentrated on the companion and on the speed of descent. This is regulated by tightening the string downstream of the device in a more or less energetic manner. The descent therefore is extremely agile and fast. Finally the absence of the braking cam eliminates the problem, common with many other devices, of the heating of the rope due to friction, thus helping to reduce rope wear and to prevent unpleasant pigtail-style twisting frequent when scaling a lot with the rope from above.
In conclusion this device, despite its slightly above average weight, is a complete and well-made object. The bidirectional operation and the distract-proof anti-panic mechanism allow to increase the level of safety both during training and while searching for performance on rock. Less suitable for those who love study, the continuous stops / unlocks requires experience to become a natural gesture.