Having recently helped back BackpackingLight’s Kickstarter Packrafting video series project (more to generally support BPL than from any personal experience or serious interest in packrafting) I’ve found myself perusing Kickstarter for other things of interest. The Bosavi headlamp that Ploss reviewed previously came to life thusly, as did the Backcountry Boiler which remains high on my wish list. Yesterday, I discovered something I truly didn’t need, but was sufficiently innovative to merit wanting: The LoopAlien “Rapid Cord Attachment.”
I’ve been using LiteLine LineLocks for years, and they work well and are generally useful for two big reasons: I’m impatient with knot tying, and I’m expedient when setting up my shelters. (Fine. I suck at
advanced general knot tying). They’re small, light, and can be left attached to the Dyneema Ironwire I use exclusively on my various tarps and shelters. (Tip: upgrade to Dyneema Ironwire). They’re also somewhat delicate and can be fussy to work with, particularly in the winter if I’m setting up something UL like a MLD Pro Solo cuben tarp, a SMD Gatewood Cape, or if I need to guy out a mountaineering shelter for wind resistance – all in gloves and/or mitts.
The LoopAlien, constructed from 6061-T6 aluminum weighing a mere 2.6 grams per attachment, appears capable of considerably increasing the speed with which I can pitch and adjust my shelters for a modest weight penalty of about .4 oz per 6 attachments vs. LineLocks. It’s a clever design that utilizes a relatively large loop opening within the 1.25″ x 0.9″ attachment itself that then hooks taught to an outer “peg” rather than the LineLock approach of having small plastic teeth grip the line directly.
While yes, I have committed ultralight sacrilege and have increased the weight of my kit perhaps unnecessarily, I’ve come to appreciate a reasonable trade-off particularly when improving my sleep comfort or, as is the case here, increasing the utility of my gear. The project appears to be a success: it’s currently within $233 of its $13,300 primary goal, with a $15,000 stretch goal to create stainless steel and perhaps larger sized varieties. Personally I’d be interested in a titanium iteration. With 19 days to go, by the time you read this you should be able to either get in on the Kickstarter campaign yourself, or hopefully find some online directly from the designer.
Go check it out and be sure to watch the video: I’d have embedded it here but our current
crappy budget-friendly WP(.com) blog is incapable of such reckless tomfoolery. (Aside: perhaps I should funnel some gear funds towards a blog upgrade. End of aside). I’m happy to have backed this project rather capriciously, hope you will as well and I’ll look forward to reviewing them properly, presumably, when my 6 LoopAliens arrive this summer.
Update: here’s a rad [#datedvernacular] video demonstrating the LoopAlien construction process. I can’t embed
dangerous ubiquitous <iframe> video such as one might find on Kickstarter here, but our crappy gear fund-friendly WP(.com) blog is adequately gratefully (somewhat) YouTube enabled. </fail>
KICKSTARTER.COM LOOPALIEN RAPID CORD ATTACHMENT. Various pledge points.