Price Paid: $29
Con: Can only be used with certain carabiners.
Pro: Because of snug carabiner fit, it is almost impossible for the 'biner to flip and become side-loaded.
I got one of these to keep in my tree climbing gear bag. I wish I could use it for rescue, but it doesn't have the NFPA's stamp of approval (yet). As with all gear, practice in a safe environment with this device before using it in the "real" world.
This is NOT just another figure 8 descending device. It is a multi-friction device originally designed for caving, but has found favor in almost any sport or profession that utilizes rope.
The best feature of this device is that friction can be added or subtracted while the device is in use. This is accomplished by wrapping the rope around various horns and/or bars. Additionally, there are 3 ways to rig the Piranha to match the weight of the user, size of rope, or compensate for extra weight such as a heavy pack or even another person during a rescue operation. For safety, it can be rigged without removing it from the harness - None of these things can be accomplished with with an ATC or an "8".
Where to Buy
Here's what other sites are saying:
The Pirana descender from Petzl offers multiple braking options and can be installed on the rope without removing it from the harness. Designed for use with canyoning descent techniques.
The Petzl Pirana Descender provides excellent rope control and a smooth lower when you're rapping long lines with heavy loads. Rappelling a 150ft single line with a heavy pack is no longer a guaranteed white-knuckle horror show; you won't even notice the weight when you use the Petzl Pirana Descender. Its two breaking spurs allow you to increase or decrease friction on the go and are used to secure the device, so you have both hands free to build the next anchor.
Petzl Pirana Descender DECENT FEATURES of the Petzl Pirana Descender Three different braking positions to select from before beginning a descent Two supplementary braking spurs allow friction to be varied during descent A carabiner with a cross section of 12 mm (e.g. ATTACHE) provides a tight fit in the small hole, creating a in.rigidin. carabiner / descender unit Stays securely attached to the harness during rope insertion, to help prevent loss Reduces the risk of leverage on the carabiner gate due to poor positioning The PIRANA helps prevent the formation of a lark's head hitch around the body and reduces rope twisting, without decreasing braking friction The SPECS of the Petzl Pirana Descender Weight: 90 g Rope Compatibility: For use with single ropes between 8 and 13 mm in diameter Can be used on double ropes, but certain braking positions may not be usable depending on the rope's diameter Hot forged aluminum body For use with a locking carabiner having a 12 mm cross-section (ATTACHE or WILLIAM) Case Quantity: 28 ALL CLIMBING SALES ARE FINAL.
Three breaking positions, two friction horns and a plastic guide for good positioning on a carabiner all make the Pirana Descender from Petzl a great Canyoneering descender.
- Mountain Gear