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DMM

Bug, Version A Bug, Version B Bug, Version C
Bug, Version A Bug, Version B Bug, Version C
Bugette, Version A Bugette, Version B
Bugette, Version A Bugette, Version B
Mantis Pivot V-Twin
Mantis Pivot V-Twin

Overview


Several vendors showed a different V-Twin in their catalogs or advertisements; however, I have yet to find one that actually has the alternate design. It may have never made it to production, but I've been told that several prototypes were distributed for testing.

If you can help me get one of the other versions, please email me.


Bug, Version A
(#687)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my DMM Bug, Version A from Exkursion in 1995.

The DMM Bug, Version A is forged from aluminum alloy and then clear anodized. Mine is 52 mm. long, 56 mm. wide, 107 mm. high, and weighs 71 g. The slots are 29 mm. long and 16 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 18 mm. below the ends of the slots. The slots on the Bug have a distinct curve. The keeper is a thin (3 mm.), flexible, plastic-covered cable.

One end of the bug is stamped with an insect logo, a rigging icon, and "DMM WALES." The other end is stamped "AAD."

Comments

The DMM Bug is much like the other tube devices. The curved slots do not appear to provide any particular advantage, but they do make the bug wide than it is long. The thick walls are nice, not only because they absorb heat but also because the unfinished aluminum will wear quickly. The cable keeper is longer than the keepers on other tubes, so it stays out of the way a bit better. The keeper holes open at the top of the Bug, and the crimps holding the keeper are visible through these holes.


Bug, Version B
(#846)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my DMM Bug, Version B from Northern Mountain Supply in 2007.

The DMM Bug, Version B is forged from aluminum alloy and then hard anodized. Mine is 52 mm. long, 56 mm. wide, 100 mm. high, and weighs 82 g. The slots are 28 mm. long and 15 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 17 mm. below the ends of the slots. The keeper is a moderately stiff, 4.4 mm., flexible, plastic-covered cable.

One end of the Bug is printed with "DMM," "WALES," "BUG," and a rigging icon. The other end is stamped "EAE."

Comments

Version B is makes several changes. First, it is hard anodized, so it should wear better. The keeper is thicker and more rigid, which should help protect it better and make it last longer. The keeper is now pinned in from the sides. The ribs on the side are less prominent than on Version A.


Bug, Version C
(#1787)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my DMM Bug, Version C from Fell and Mountain in 2012.

Version C is a plain belay tube. It is forged from aluminum alloy and soft anodized. It has 2 slots and a plastic-covered cable keeper. The slots are 28 mm. long and 15 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 11 mm. below the ends of the slots. Version C is 56 mm. long, 52 mm. wide, 89 mm. high, and weighs 75 g.

One side is screened with "BUG," a dragon logo, and "MADE IN WALES." The other side is screened with a book-with-an-"i" icon, "121170486M," and a rigging diagram. The top is screened with "DMM."

Comments

Version C introduces a new exterior shape that reduces weight somewhat.


Bugette
(#792)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my DMM Bugette from Shoreline Mountain Products in 2004.

The DMM Bugette is forged from aluminum alloy. Mine is 42 mm. long, 41 mm. wide, 77 mm. high, and weighs 24 g. The slots are 28 mm. long and 12 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 9 mm. below the ends of the slots. The Bugette has a distinct wedge shape. The slots are D-shaped rather than oval. The keeper is a moderately stiff plastic-covered wire.

The top of my Bugette is stamped "DMM."

Comments

The Bugette is a smaller tube belayer designed for use with 7.5 mm. to 9.5 mm. ropes. The D-shaped slots do not appear to provide any particular advantage. The walls are thinner than on the bug, so they heat and wear quickly. Note the wedge-shaped profile: theoretically, this allows rigging the Bugette for greater or lesser friction; however, I don't notice much difference between the two options.


Bugette, Version B
(#1825)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my DMM Bugette, Version B from GearX.com via Amazon.com in 2013.

Version B is forged from aluminum alloy. Mine is 41 mm. long, 42 mm. wide, 76 mm. high, and weighs 27 g. The slots are 28 mm. long and 12 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 9 mm. below the ends of the slots. The Bugette has a distinct wedge shape. The slots are D-shaped rather than oval. The keeper is a moderately stiff plastic-covered wire.

I acquired my DMM Bugette from Shoreline Mountain Products in 2004.

The top of my Bugette is stamped "DMM." The large end is screened with a rigging diagram.

Comments

The screened rigging diagram is the primary difference between Versions A and B.


Mantis
(#1885)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my DMM Mantis from Absolute Snow in2016.

The DMM Mantis is a notched belay tube. It is forged from aluminum alloy and soft anodized. Mine is 38 mm. long, 53 mm. wide, 87 mm. high, and weighs 45 g. The slots are 34 mm. long and 14 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 15 mm. below the ends of the slots. The Mantis has two ribbed v-grooves ad a moderately stiff moderately stiff plastic-covered cable keeper.

One side is printed with the DMM logo, "DMM", "MANTIS," and a rigging illustration. The other side is printed with "①Ø 8.5-11 mm,"and "∞½Ø 7.3-9.2 mm" where the "∞" and "½" are in circles, another rigging illustration, the DMM logo, "DMM", "MANTIS," "161403507E," "B6 EN 15151-2," and a book-with-an-"i" icon.

Comments

The Mantis is one of the lightest notched belay tubes, but it has thin walls with a large surface area. Like all small belay devices, it will get quite hot on long rappels, but heating should not be a problem for standard belaying.


Pivot
(#1870)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my DMM Pivot from Backcountry Gear in 2015.

The DMM Pivot is a notched belay tube. It is forged from aluminum alloy and soft anodized. Mine is 46 mm. long, 78 mm. wide, 71 mm. high, and weighs 72 g. The Pivot two slots with ribbed V-grooves at one end. The slots are 34 mm. long and 14 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 22 mm. below the ends of the slots. The Pivot has a hinged eye that pivots on a 5 mm. stainless steel pin. It has a moderately stiff cable keeper.

One side is printed with a DMM logo, "DMM", "PIVOT," and a rigging illustration for standard belaying. The other side is printed with "①Ø 8.7÷11 mm,"and "∞½Ø 7.3÷9.2 mm" where the "∞" and "½" are in circles, a rigging illustration for guide mode belaying, "151411794A," "EPA141974958.4," "B6 EN 15151-2," and a book-with-an-"i" icon.

Comments

The pivoting eye gives the Pivot its name. It is used in guide-mode belaying. The illustrations suggest that it allows the pivot to rotate in the event of a fall, but of course, a fixed eye would rotate as well. The instructions warn, "The Pivot's Guide Mode braking may be disabled if… one of the two seconds is hanging on his rope." This ambiguous statement does not inspire confidence, but I suppose their lawyer made them write it.


V-Twin
(#888, 1684, 1685)

Front Rear Top
Front Rear Top
 
Left Right Bottom
Left Right Bottom

Technical Details

I acquired my DMM V-Twin from Backcountry Gear in 2008. I acquired two more in 2010, one from Mountain Gear and the other from Unique Outfitters.

The DMM V-Twin is a notched belay tube. It is made from investment cast stainless steel. Mine is 56 mm. long, 42 mm. wide, 100 mm. high, and weighs 89 g. The slots are 35 mm. long and 16 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 16 mm. below the ends of the slots.

The V-Twin has two slots with ribbed V-grooves at one end. It also has a moderately stiff, plastic-covered cable keeper.

Both sides of the V-Twin have plastic inserts marked with "DMM."

Comments

The V-Twin is and improved version of the ATC that has V-slots that provide additional friction for belaying or rappelling. Each side of each notch has three rounded ribs, giving the notches "teeth" to grip the rope more effectively. These ribs are vertical so they do NOT act to guide the rope deeper into the slot as the teeth on the ATC-XP do. The notches do not have the narrow angle found on the Trango Jaws and its equivalents, so they do not create the same wedging action. For these reasons, I find the V-Twin to be less effective. On the other hand, the teeth on the V-Twin provide a larger bearing area for the rope, which helps reduce localized heating.

The V-Twin is investment cast stainless steel which will make it more durable than its aluminum competitors, but according to DMM, the prime motivation was to reduce heating. Stainless steel has a lower coefficient of friction against nylon rope than aluminum does, especially if the rope is muddy. This means that the V-Twin should not heat as rapidly, and testing indicates that this may be true, but don't expect the V-Twin to remain cool after a long or fast rappel.

The logo on the side appears to be a thick plastic sticker. It does nothing, and may be removed. Some people tell me that this is there to keep from burning your fingers - you can easily guess my opinion about that. The V-Twin has a moderately stiff cable keeper that is quite adequate . The V-Twin is rigged like the ATC, with the V-slots on the brake hand end of the rope. Alternately, the V-Twin may be reversed to disable the V-slots.