We blogged about the Kong Futura Body in the past (first in July and then again in September following a tip from Scott Forrest (No.3 on the NZAA Top 20 climber rankings)) and now the device has finally arrived in stock.What is truly amazing, once you get the Kong Futura Body in your hand, is the size of the unit - it is very, very small! The whole device is not much bigger than the cam alone on the Petzl Croll - the current 'standard' in chest ascender hardware.
SRT (Single Rope Technique) for access is really taking off in tree climbing - see VTIO website for more details. If the Kong offering is anything to go by, devices will continue to get smaller and more compact as the market matures although, having said that, we are not sure you could make a chest ascender smaller than this unit.
Treetools has the Kong Futura Body being trialled over the next few weeks by New Zealand SRT guru, Drew Bristow - we'll keep you posted on how it performs.
PS. Treetools trialled the Kong Futura foot ascender, the missing link in the Kong SRT system, some months ago and we had an issue with the wear on the webbing. We found the 'finish' on the aluminum edges was too sharp so the webbing wore out in a couple of weeks - this was not up to standard in our opinion - apart from that problem, the Kong foot ascender was fantastic.
Apparently Kong have remedied the webbing wear problem so we'll probably give the Futura foot ascender another try. If it works out, the Futura system (hand ascender, chest ascender and foot ascender) will be the most compact SRT hardware available on the market - but it will not be the cheapest!