An Honest Discussion on the Petzl Jag Traxion Pulley

Ask an Expert: Product Review


We recently tricked a lead instructor from Safety One into reviewing the Petzl Jag Traxion Pulley and giving us his honest opinion on this equipment. We were lucky enough to lure in Brian Bourquin. Winner of the rescue event in the past two SPRAT Olympics, Brian is an expert rope access technician and a Level 3 SPRAT certified rope technician. With years of experience in the entertainment rigging and hoisting world, as well as being the go-to man for great product reviews, Brian has seen his fair share of pulleys and gave us the low down on this particular one.

  • Front View of Petzl Jag Traxion Pulley
  • Open View of Petzl Jag Traxion Pulley
  • Side View of Petzl Jag Traxion Pulley
  • Back View of Petzl Jag Traxion Pulley
  • Compact and Simple
    • Progress Capture
      • Balanced Single or Double Pulley System
        • Highly Efficient
          • Easy to Defeat
            • Includes Becket
              • Doubles as a Hand Ascender
              • Does Not Work as a rope grab and pulley at the same time.
                • Only up to 11 mm Rope
                  • Complete Haul System From Petzl Only has a Three-Foot Lift
                    • More Complicated Release and Less Comfort than Ordinary Hand Ascenders

                    The Petzl Jag Traxion Pulley is a pulley of few words. Compact and small in appearance, this pulley does not give off a grand presence… but you know what they say, big things come in small packages. The Jag takes on many roles, able to replace a single pulley, double pulley, a pulley with a becket, and cherry on top, a hand ascender. It has menacing teeth for progress capture perfection and an inviting, simplistic defeat feature. It makes for an extremely efficient pulley and pitted against the SMC HX it comes out on top. It seems as though Petzl has yet again stepped up its game, creating a pulley that’s in it for the long haul.

                    Common Pulley Features

                    Let’s Chat about Progress Capture, Efficiency, & Double Pulleys

                    • Petzl Pulley Detail
                    • Petzl Pulley Detail 2:1
                    • Petzl Pulley Detail
                    Would you start by tellin’ us about those chompers on the Jag?

                    : “The cleated teeth lend themselves to a much higher yield than dragging a prusik. Since it is a spring loaded tooth cam device, it is significantly better than traditional prusik minding. In a rigging system, as I raise up the load, if something goes wrong with any part of the system, I’ve got a progress capture built right into the setup.”

                     How powerful is the Jag as a double pulley?

                    : “We can compound the Jag to have a higher efficiency yield because it has a double shieve setup on the same axel. It becomes easy to setup a 4:1 mechanical advantage, even in a short haul system, while still remaining highly efficient with the ability to easily defeat it. For example, when a load gets rigged up a tower, you’ll get to the top and the tag line becomes useless because you’re so close to the tower. The load could be a dish or an antenna and you would be trying to make those little micro-adjustments. For the last, say, 6 feet or so, it is often times better for the riggers on the tower to build a small system than to try and be controlled by a man with a little lever hundreds of feet down below.”

                    Bonus Extras

                    Once the normal stuff was out of the way, Brian eloquently described some of the ingredients that make this specific pulley a recipe for success.

                    Double As A Hand Ascender

                    • Compare the Jag to a Hand Acsender
                    • Hand Acsender on Edge
                    • Use of Jag as a Hand Acsender
                    • Use of Jag as a Hand Acsender Step 2
                     Tell us about the Jag’s split personality with its ability to act as a pulley by day and transform into a hand ascender by night.

                    : “The Jag was created as a pulley but can easily double as hand ascender. Because of its compact design, it eliminates many of the problems the handle ascender might have with edge loading and things of that nature. The smaller composition actually makes it safer in the long run.”

                     Edge loading is what again?

                    : “It is any time you’re negotiating an edge where you have to be either completely on the top or completely on the side. This can be a particularly dangerous spot for a traditional hand ascender because you have the long distance of the two arms between where the cleat is and where the carabineer connects, causing a weak spot for potential bending and breaking.

                     Okay, so how exactly do you make it work as a handle ascender?

                    : “As I am going to use the Jag as a hand ascender, I always make sure the teeth are in the downward facing position; then rotate it onto the rope, deploy the cleat and then I would simply clip right in, same as I ever would. If I need to defeat it downward, I would put my thumb against the cleat, pull down, and set it to where it needs to go. I can add my foot loop into this setup, just the same as it would be with an ordinary handle ascender. As I stand into it, rather than having a handle, I’ll use my carabineer that I deploy and up the rope I go. The change over is the same process as well. I’ll grab my descender, lock it in, stand up, remove the chest ascender, and sit back down. When I go to remove the Jag from the rope, I can use the becket to make sure I don’t drop it. Next I would rotate the pulley around, drop it from the device, attach it to my harness, and deploy down.”

                    Replacement Tool

                     Kick ass, the Jag can replace a handle ascender huh? Can it replace anything else?

                    : “Ya, it can replace much more than just a handle ascender. It can act as a single pulley, double pulley, a pulley with a becket, as well as a capture progress pulley. The ability to use it as a handle ascender in addition to that means realistically the Jag can easily replace four to five individual tools.”

                    Petzl’s Complete Haul System

                     Petzl uses the Jag in its complete haul system, is it makin’ strides in the trenches?

                    : “If you’re looking for a very short, rescue only setup, the complete jag haul system can be used in either a progress capture or a free-flowing system. Although you only get a three-foot throw distance, in the event of a true emergency, you won’t have to sort out your blocks because no matter how you have this rigged onto your harness, stuffed in a bolt bag or otherwise, the mesh bag around the hauling system keeps it from getting tangled.”

                    All that Glitters is not Gold

                     Geeze, big things really do come in small packages. Is there anything this pulley hasn’t mastered?

                    : “There were high hopes that you might be able to be on your descender and use the cleat to grab onto your rope and the secondary pulley to make a 3:1 while ascending on your descender but that it didn’t work well because you are ultimately pulling the rope in more than one direction. It twists the rope sideways causing too much friction on the side plates to work correctly.”

                    Jag vs SMC

                     Alright so head to head battle with the SMC HX, which pulley would come out victorious?

                    : “The Jag is slightly more efficient and compact. Not to say that the SMC is poorly designed, by any means, but the Jag is exceedingly friendly to operate. It is easy to defeat it, for example, by just manually triggering the gate with my finger, while the SMC has a plastic lever, in turn adding more components and bulk to the setup. The jag is as compact and simple as can be.”

                    All in All

                    The Petzl Jag Traxion Pulley

                    It seems as though Brian, and us at Rope and Rescue, are pickin up what Petzl is putting down. The Petzl Jag Traxion Pulley is not to be overlooked. Between its ability to replace other tools, to its compact stature, the Jag seems like a no brainer for us. We would like to give a huge thank you to Brian Bourquin of Safety One for so articulately talkin’ us through this pulley, you’re the man. We can’t get enough of the Safety One gang. We would also like to extend an offer to Petzl to shower Brian with Christmas cards this year. And Brian, if no other Christmas cards find their way to your mailbox, you’ve at least got one coming your way.

                    Amy LavinAn Honest Discussion on the Petzl Jag Traxion Pulley
                    Click on a tab to select how you'd like to leave your comment

                    Leave a Reply

                    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

                    Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.