05 Aug Product Review: TurboChest Ascender by Camp
You may not be familiar with CAMP USA, but you should be. This is the exclusive US importer and distributor of CAMP Technical Adventure Equipment, the 120 year-old Italian climbing and mountaineering brand. With offices near Boulder, CO they are making a stronger name for themselves throughout climbing, for both recreational and industrial applications.
Once in a while a product comes along that is truly better that the competition. The TurboChest by CAMP is, IMO, by far the best chest ascender on the market today. Available in both red and black, here is what I found after taking a close look at this device:
The major change in the design is the rollers that have replaced the aluminum front plate. The spot that has caused the most friction, and therefore the most frustration, has been upgraded. I have never had a rope flow so smoothly as it does through the TurboChest.
The rope diameter that the device will function with is 8mm to 13mm with the preferred range at 10mm to 13mm. This will accommodate minimalist Cavers working on 8mm to Arborists ascending on 13mm. The excess metal that holds the axle that the cam/cleat rotates on has also been minimized. Camp went with a cantilevered design which will reduce weight and make the unit easier to clean and lubricate.
To attach the device to the rope a pull cord was used instead of a thumb notch. The teeth on the cleat are not overly aggressive, which can lead to a shorter lifespan or damage the sheath of a rope.
The chest ascender can even be used as a pulley and capture progress device by hanging it upside down at an anchor. When used in this mode, the load is limited to 50kg and it is not intended to support human loads. No other chest ascender has a secondary function as cool as that!
There are many chest ascenders to choose from, and they fall into two categories, it is either the TurboChest or it is an ascender that wishes it was the TurboChest.