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.
Summary: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
Bonus ExtrasOnce 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
Petzl’s Complete Haul Systemcomplete 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 GoldGeeze, 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 SMCSMC 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
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.