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Kong Duck v Petzl Mini Traxion Comparison

February 7, 2011

Never one to pass up the chance to buy a new piece of ski mountaineering kit I’ve picked up the Kong Duck rope blocking device. I’m trying to make a conscious effort this year to avoid buying redundant kit (unless it helps to lighten the load) and with a Petzl Mini Traxion and various prussik cords already in my bag it wasn’t like I desperately needed something new in my glacier travel kit.  It’s not like were falling in crevasses everyday and wearing the gear out. That being said the Kong is substantially smaller and lighter so I shelled out the 35EUR. I suppose once you factor in an axe, crampons, harness, rope, cord, carabiners etc the individual weight of each item really starts to matter. Does this mean I’m going to get rid of the Mini Traxion? Absolutely not, the Kong and Petzl will be interchangeable based on the group, route and equipment dynamics.  Here is a comparison breakdown from my initial thoughts after looking at the Kong Duck and doing some simple pull throughs with a climbing rope in the living room.

Kong Duck in the green, Petzl Mini Traxion in the red…

 

 

Petzl Mini Traxion

Pros

-Petzl easy explanation engravings (not foolproof but a great double check). Far better than the one cryptic drawing on the Kong Duck

-Operates as rope blocking device AND/OR a pulley (cam can be locked open) reducing friction in your hauling system

-Tried and trusted bombproof construction. Sharp teeth for penetration on even the iciest ropes.

Cons

-Weight (165g)

-Size is much bigger and pretty awkward when on a biner with other items.

 

 

Kong Duck

Pros

-Weight! At 70g it’s only a fraction heavier than 2meters of 5mm cord.

– Size. Easily fits on to a carabiner with other items, can be neatly shoved in a jacket pocket.

-Less aggressive angled teeth leave less rope wear.

-Works on flat slings as well as rope

Cons

-No pulley or spinning bearing means more friction in the hauling system.

-Design means that when used as the main blocking device in crevasse rescue haul it gets turned around and the rope rubs against the teeth (even though its not being blocked) again increasing friction.

-Only one directional marking making the quick double check harder.

 

 

So there is a bit of a dilemma there. The Mini Traxion is definitely the better device if you ignore weight however when you want to go light the Kong Duck is the choice. So looks like the decision between the two will be made on a trip by trip basis.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. -jha- permalink
    February 16, 2011 5:07 pm

    For me the kong duck was big disappointment:

    It is simply not blocking on soaking wet cord (new 10.5).
    A thing called “duck” which is not working when there’s water!

    In plus, if you shockload it attached on a wide (e.g HMS) carabiner, there’s a 50% chance that the rope will glide to the wrong side. Then it will probably open that side partly, causing the edge of the cam to cut the mantle of the cord.
    So: use this device ony on D-shaped carabiners and put the open-lever of the kong pinting to the “sharp corer”, opposite to the snapper.

    • February 16, 2011 6:49 pm

      Quality feedback, will definitely have to do some more field testing on this one before it becomes a permanent fixture in the bag.

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