Review: Fixe Dyneema 10mm Anchor System and Lotus Autolock

Author:
Publish date:
Pictured: FIXE's Lotus Autolock and Dyneema 10mm Anchor System (100 cm).

Pictured: FIXE's Lotus Autolock and Dyneema 10mm Anchor System (100 cm).

Multi-pitch climbing, especially when you’re rusty, can feel like a junkshow: all that pro hanging off your harness, short draws, long draws, cordelettes, biners, belay devices, water bottles, knives, anchor tethers…. I always forget how much the kit can weigh, and so wonder why I feel like I’m climbing with winter weight on the first pitch of the day until I get used to the load again. It’s thus been refreshing to test Fixe’s new Dyneema 10mm Anchor System, a personal tether for aid, big-wall, and multi-pitch climbing that offers five streamlined, easily clippable, full-strength (22 kN) loops but only weighs 3.1 ounces. That’s right, you heard correctly—not even a quarter pound, thanks to the lightweight Dyneema material, slender loops, and closely spaced, low-profile bartacking.

The Anchor System comes in two lengths—72 cm and 100 cm. I tested the shorter one, using it on Eldorado and Boulder canyon multi-pitch, as well as to help with anchor placement and rigging while bolting new sport climbs (to clip into directional gear, anchor bolts, etc.). It was a great companion throughout, only 10 mm wide so I barely noticed it clipped off to my front gear loop when it was girth-hitched between my tie-in points while climbing. It never hung up on my harness and only rarely on the rock, and was always easy to de-snag with a quick flick of the wrist thanks to the stiff construction. The last, fifth loop is extra long, with its bar tack in the middle, making for two handy clip-in points as well as a foot stirrup you can use in a pinch while climbing or to take weight off at a hanging belay—a nifty feature, and one I appreciated when I had “harness fatigue” during a marathon bolting/cleaning session and just wanted to get off my waist and onto my legs for a minute at a bolt I’d drilled. The 10mm Anchor System has become my go-to when the focus is on efficiency and weight savings—it’s a very good, very well-built tether.

Matt Samet testing the Fixe Dyneema 10mm Anchor System and Lotus Autolock carabiner on a fixed traverse line, Boulder, Colorado.

Matt Samet testing the Fixe Dyneema 10mm Anchor System and Lotus Autolock carabiner on a fixed traverse line, Boulder, Colorado.

I’ve also paired it up with the Lotus Autolock, which weighs just 4 ounces but offers a lot of heft and durability—and one of the snappiest autolocking (twist) gates I’ve ever seen—for its weight class. The Lotus has a very ample opening and basket and a smooth, rounded, hot-forged-aluminum body, with a major-axis rating of 25 kN, and 7 kN for the minor-axis and gate-open strengths. The keylock nose did away with snagging, and on-off action with the Lotus, whether it’s on your belay loop, an anchor masterpoint, or slings, is incredibly smooth. This is a good buy at $12, and the biner feels built to last forever—the only wear I’ve noticed is to the paint (but not metal) in the basket. It’s also an optimum shape for Münter hitching, should the need arise for a device-less belay or rappel. Paired up with the 10mm Anchor System, the total package only weighs 7 ounces—it will end up as one of the lightest items in your trad kit.

$29 (Anchor System) and $12 (Lotus), fixehardware.com