06 Jun NEW PRODUCT REVIEW: PETZL ASAP LOCK
Finally! The Petzl ASAP Lock
The much anticipated Petzl ASAP Lock has arrived. This new device is rich with new features and is sure to find a place on any technician’s kit.
The weight has gone down from 427g(350 +77) to 425 grams, which does not always happen when manufacturers add new features! Some bulk has been reduced, with the new unit being approximately 60% of the original’s size. The most obvious change is the means of connection to the device. You must choose a lanyard to semi-permanently attach to the fixed arm. With this new technique, the device stays tethered to your harness which eliminates the possibility to drop it, or have to connect a safety string.
The functionality of the device remains very similar to the original with the major difference being the added spring tension. The device now stays where you put it. This is a great improvement as now the fall factor can be kept ASAP (As Small As Possible). Even on a tensioned line the ASAP Lock stays right where you left it.
The new lock feature allows you to isolate the direction of travel so the device will go up only. The added advantage for this feature is when you are working in a high wind situation. A problem can occur when the wind could blows hard enough to push the rope out sideways. The ASAP original would trail downwards allowing rope to create a “slack belly”. The danger was the distance of freefall was higher that what the device would allow. With the new Lock function this hazard can be eliminated. It is much faster to flip the lock switch than tie a knot under the device. An audible ratcheting noise can be heard if you are ascending in the lock mode. Be sure to remember to switch back to self-trailing mode before you descend.
To load the device on the rope, Petzl used the mechanism similar to their handled ascenders and croll. Another additional advantage to the new ASAP Lock is the one hand functionality. It is tricky to learn but with a little practice it can be done. One trick to learning the one hand techniques is to wrap the rope around your leg to add a little tension.
Without a doubt, Petzl has once again set the bar very high. There isn’t another device on the market that can auto-trail both directions, handle a rescue load, and work on a tensioned line. The shortcomings of the previous version have been addressed and overcome in fine fashion. It now stays in place, can be locked to prevent slack bellys, and the crossload issues of the OK triact have been eliminated. The ASAP Lock should be on every at height jobsite.
Author: Brian Bourquin