SAR Tech Tip: Sewn Prusiks

Sewn Prusiks

While it is common to hand tie prusiks, there is a case to be made for using, and potentially changing to sewn prusiks. The bend used in a hand tied prusik can be seen as a positive in regards to its ability to absorb some energy in the case of a dynamic event. However, a downside with hand tied prusiks can be the overall security and consistency with which they are tied, along with a general lack of traceability (date of manufacture).

Sewn prusiks have several key advantages: they are less bulky; stronger at the connection point; and contain compliance data generally protected under a see-through heat shrink wrapping. You also have the option of a normal open loop prusik or a bound loop prusik (BLP), like the Sterling Bound Loop Prusik. BLPs help keep the prusik orientated to load the spine of the carabiner and prevents the prusik from jumping over the becket of a pulley during a dynamic event. The other less obvious benefit of sewn prusiks is the overall general consistency in regards to prusik length, especially when used in team environments where kit is often shared.

Hollow Block prusiks have the distinct advantage of being able to grab on rope closer to its own diameter due to the flat profile it creates when placed on the host rope. These are a great option for those that find themselves using 7mm rope and upwards, and being made out of aramid fibre means they will handle heat and abrasion exceptionally well.

At SAR we recommend the CMC Sewn Loop Prusiks which come in 2 lengths (18 inch red, 25 inch green), or the Sterling HollowBlock Prusik made from 100% super durable & heat resistant aramid fibre and also available in 2 lengths (13.5 inches and 19 inches). These 2 length options from both CMC and Sterling are designed to compliment each other in the case of tandem prusik hitch/belay.

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