Climbers seldom pay attention to their sewn runners since they are rather low tech, inexpensive and, well, unglamorous. The new Mammut Contact slings, however, are tres cool and will get noticed.
What makes the Contact unique is the radically narrow width -- only 8 mm Dyneema versus about 15 mm for Spectra or nylon slings -- and the low profile connection. To achieve the latter, the last 3 inches of tubular webbing is woven to 12 mm width (computers change the loom to weave each sling) and the 8 mm other end is inserted into it before stitching them together; a sock-like label smoothes the edges of the wide end. While half the weight of a Spectra sling (16g versus 33g in 24-inch length), the Contact slings are rated at same 22 kN as others (more than an oval carabiner).
The Contact slings handle well (yes, there really is a difference between webbing) and are remarkably compact. Since they retail for about the same price as other Spectra runners, it's an easy choice to pick the Mammut. The Contact is a significant improvement in sling technology.
SNEWS Rating: 5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 representing the almost unheard of recognition in design and functional perfection.)
Suggested Retail: $6.50
For more information:www.climbhigh.com