Petzl Connect Adjust on harness photo

Personal Anchor System (PAS): It can also be referred to as a safety or cow’s tail. It is used when you are in a place where a fall could result in serious injury in a climbing, highlining, canyoning or other scenario that uses ropes and harnesses. They come in several forms: a daisy chain with 3kN loops, a 'daisy chain' with 12.7kN rated loops, an assortment of different sized slings and quickdraws and now, the Petzl Connect Adjust.

The Petzl Connect Adjust is a simply brilliant adjustable personal anchor system that uses a mechanical camming system not dissimilar to how a sticht plate creates an S-bend in a rope. The Petzl Connect Adjust comes with a dynamic climbing rope that has a sewn loop on one end and a stitched stopper on the other end, an aluminium cam that is fixed to this rope and a rubber stopper plug that is designed to go around a carabiner to help with correct orientation when it is stowed and weighted. (The Petzl Connect Adjust does not come with a carabiner and it is worth noting that you need to have a locking one that has a spine and bend thick enough in order for the cam to lock effectively.)

The loop of dynamic rope is girth-hitched around the belay loop, or equivalent, of your harness where it can then be stowed on a gear loop. The only annoyance is a little bit of tail that inevitably dangles with all stowed personal anchor systems.

So what’s the big deal? Daisy chains are adjustable and strong. Why the necessity to pay the $ for something you could get for half the price? Because it is adjustable while there is weight on it, and you can adjust it in literally one second, with one hand. I will do my best to emphasise how handy that function is. My background is in highlining – rigging, walking, bouncing and derigging. Almost every rigger that I have gone on missions with has a Petzl Connect Adjust on his or her harness and those who do not lust for one. It helps with positioning on precarious parts of the cliff while setting up anchors, abseils, pulling the line across, tensioning and tying into the leash, which is responsible for your life while out on the line. NOTE: This device is not to be used as a leash or any situation where cyclical dynamic loads are applied.

Petzl Connect Adjust handling photo

Petzl’s manual states that it is to be retired after it has been “subjected to a major load or fall”. That in mind, due to the Petzl Connect Adjust being made out of dynamic rope, it will be more friendly to your body if you were to accidentally take a fall onto it. Dynamic fall-arrests in Industrial Rope Access are the standard and it makes total sense to have the same principles in recreation. Speaking of which, there is also an industrial product by Petzl called the Petzl Progress Adjust, which offers a beefier cam with 10.5mm rope that complies with most rope access standards. It is a deluxe “cow’s tail” that is almost identical and hailed by those who use them, albeit at a premium.

This product makes sense for anyone who is involved in weighting their personal anchor system regularly and for longer than a minute or two. It is perfect for anything to do with highlines. It also makes total sense for sport climbing. I enjoy it for trad climbing, although it is extra bulk to carry along with you and a clove hitch on the climbing rope is the standard. I have used it canyoning where it got a bit sandy and I would not want to use it for caving due to even more gunk clogging the cam, which might jam it or accelerate the wear on the rope.

The biggest downsides to this product is that it is quite expensive for what it is, and that it is NOT redundant, meaning nothing in this system is backed up. It weighs in at 125g (without a carabiner) and is adjustable between 15cm to 95cm. If I was taller than 180cm, I would have enjoyed for this lanyard itself to be longer. You also have to be a little conscious not to load the stopper stitching at the very longest setting. It is not life-threatening, but loads the stitches in a way that is not desirable. The sewn loop that is girth-hitched around your belay loop can also lead to the belay loop feeling a little cluttered at times. Otherwise, this is a quickly adjustable personal anchor system that is relevant across several roped disciplines.

Disclaimer: Remember to read the Petzl manual for correct use.

Dan Sinanian,
Bogong Equipment

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