CONCEPT FRIDAY - Alpine Box conversion for the Arbee harness

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CONCEPT FRIDAY - Alpine Box conversion for the Arbee harness

Postby Rick Brinkman » Feb 17, 2012 1:02 pm

CONCEPT FRIDAY 2/17/2012- Alpine Box conversion for the Arbee harness

After seeing the experimental conversion that I did for Jay Kennedy, Paul Siegel wondered if I would do the same for him. I said I would, thinking this will be an easy add on to the Arbee harness. THEN Paul told me he had a Fritzke Alpine Box. The Alpine Box is different than other chest boxes because it has a single, angled slot for the torso strap and shoulder strap. Other chest boxes have separate slots.

The torso strap was fairly straight foward. I just had go from the 1 1/2" webbing down to 1" for the box. I doubled the 1" webbing for added stiffness and durability.

I thought about just threading the shoulder straps through the slots, but I was worried that the "bunching" would make it difficult to go back to the Cinch-Tite system if Paul decided to go back to a dedicated Frog system. So, I built the add-on loops for attaching the shoulder straps. The loops are threaded "backwards"
for more friction and to keep the tails out of the way.

I do have one concern. Because the harness was designed as a one-size-fits-most for Frog system users, the shoulder straps might be too long for use with the Alpine box. I won't know until Paul has a chance to do some testing with it.

Special thanks to Garry Storrick for keeping the Vertical Devices website up and running. Without that site I would not have been able to make the pattern of the Alpine Box.

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Re: CONCEPT FRIDAY - Alpine Box conversion for the Arbee har

Postby polrbear » Feb 17, 2012 2:24 pm

Nice job on the 1.5" to 1" taper. Is that also a change between nylon and polypropylene webbing? If so, are there any troubles with the different materials' properties?
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Re: CONCEPT FRIDAY - Alpine Box conversion for the Arbee har

Postby Chads93GT » Feb 17, 2012 2:32 pm

No offense but I would never use a chest harness with plastic buckles and clips. They can shatter quite easily and then you will have a much more difficult time climbing without the ability to stay upright. Unless this is just a prototype of course, then nevermind.
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Re: CONCEPT FRIDAY - Alpine Box conversion for the Arbee har

Postby PaulSiegel86 » Feb 20, 2012 2:35 pm

I gave Rick free reign in creating a harness to my idea. I don't think plastic will be a problem, and if it does turn out to be I am sure Rick will upgrade/remake/change for a nominal fee. He has been more than accommodating in this process.

I'll be posting a review on both stages of the system (Frog and Mitchell/Ropewalker) to give people some idea of what its like.

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Re: CONCEPT FRIDAY - Alpine Box conversion for the Arbee har

Postby Cody JW » Feb 20, 2012 2:54 pm

Chads93GT wrote:No offense but I would never use a chest harness with plastic buckles and clips. They can shatter quite easily and then you will have a much more difficult time climbing without the ability to stay upright. Unless this is just a prototype of course, then nevermind.
I agree, I broke the plastic buckle on a Petzl Torse when I leaned back in it to get on rope. I re sewed it and replaced it with a small metal clip, works fine. A ropewalker chest harness takes more upper body weight than a Torse. I have a 48 inch chest, most "regular" cavers likely would not have the problem.
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Re: CONCEPT FRIDAY - Alpine Box conversion for the Arbee har

Postby Rick Brinkman » Feb 23, 2012 11:21 am

polrbear wrote:Nice job on the 1.5" to 1" taper. Is that also a change between nylon and polypropylene webbing? If so, are there any troubles with the different materials' properties?

Both webbing sizes are nylon. The 1" is labeled "light webbing" by the seller...so I also ordered the "light" 1.5". THAT is was showed up. I'll make sure what I'm ordering next time.

Yes, the harness uses plastic buckles. For the Arbee to be unusable for the Frog, multiple buckles would have to fail at the same time...which isn't likely.

As for "ropewalker" systems..... As Paul said, he requested it...so we'll give it a try. I don't use a ropewalker myself....so we'll see.


ANY piece of gear can fail. What is your plan if your ropewalker chest harness fails???? (Lots of options, although inefficient, with a Frog.)
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Re: CONCEPT FRIDAY - Alpine Box conversion for the Arbee har

Postby Chads93GT » Feb 23, 2012 2:48 pm

My rope walker harness has steel buckles. If anything fails it will be the 2" webbing. I'm just saying. Plastic is a poor choice from a safety standpoint but you gotta make what your customer wants I guess. Also my frogging harness can fail and it won't result in me flipping back. Interesting chest box.
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