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Rock Empire

Guard Guard II Gym
Guard Guard II Gym

Overview


Guard
(#1770)

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

Technical Details

I acquired my Rock Empire Guard from Climbing Terekpl in 2012.

The Rock Empire Guard is a belay tube. Mine is 46 mm. long, 55 mm. wide, 100 mm. high, and weighs 56 g. It is forged from aluminum alloy and soft anodized. It has two hourglass slots and a plastic-covered cable keeper. The slots are 36 mm. long and 16 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 13 mm. below the ends of the slots.

One side is screened with "Rock Empire®" and "N022/10."

Comments

The following are closely related, with the main difference being that some have cable keepers and others have solid rod keepers:

Image Device Keeper     Image Device Keeper     Image Device Keeper
Brasovia Lightweight Brasovia Lightweight Cable   Ellis Brigham Climb Ellis Brigham Climb Rod   Rock Empire Guard Rock Empire Guard Cable
Climb Axe Max Climb Axe Max Cable   GrandWall GrandWall Cable   Ocùn Tuber Ocùn Tuber Cable
Clog Flyer, Version A Clog Flyer, Version A Rod   Kailas Kailas Cable   Mad Rock Max Air Mad Rock Max Air Cable
Clog Flyer, Version B Clog Flyer, Version B Rod   Kong Chuy Kong Chuy Cable   Simond Tubik Simond Tubik Cable

These have several distinctive features, but overall, perform like most devices of this type. The rope slots are hour-glass shaped, but this does not appear to affect their performance. They are slightly asymmetrical with V-notches on one end and -U-notches on the other, giving two distinct riggings. One would expect a difference in friction for the two riggings, with more friction if the braking line runs over the shorter end; however, I do not notice much difference. The V-notches are not as tall and acute as those on the Trango Jaws and its equivalents, so they do not provide as much braking. The U-notches are too shallow to noticeably amplify braking.

I prefer the ones with the rigid rod keeper. For the others, the plastic-coated cable keeper is moderately flexible, but stiff enough that it tends to stay out from under the rope.


Guard II
(#1771)

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

Technical Details

I acquired my Rock Empire Guard II from Climbing Terekpl in 2012.

The Rock Empire Guard II is a notched belay tube. It is forged from aluminum alloy and soft anodized. Mine is 45 mm. long, 87 mm. wide, 98 mm. high, and weighs 62 g. The Guard II has two hourglass slots with ribbed V-grooves at one end. The slots are 35 mm. long and 14 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 12 mm. below the ends of the slots.

The Guard II has a release hole at one end, underneath the v-grooves, and a horizontal carabiner eye at the end opposite the slots. It also has a plastic-covered cable keeper.

One side has a printed Rock Empire logo. The other side is printed with "GUARD II," a rigging illustration, "N067/11," and "ø7.8-11mm."

Comments

The Rock Empire Guard II also has several distinctive features, but overall, performs like most devices of this type. The rope slots are hour-glass shaped, but this does not appear to affect their performance. Like the Guard, the Guard II is slightly asymmetrical, giving two distinct riggings. The plastic-coated cable keeper is moderately flexible, but stiff enough that it tends to stay out from under the rope.


Gym
(#2689)

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

Technical Details

I acquired my Rock Empire Gym from Falling Rocks in 2017.

The Rock Empire Gym is a notched belay tube. It is forged from aluminum alloy and soft anodized. Mine is 25 mm. long, 58 mm. wide, 103 mm. high, and weighs 53 g. The slot is31 mm. long and 15 mm. wide. The top of the Omega oval carabiner that I use for comparing belay tubes sits 26 mm. below the ends of the slot.

One side has a printed Rock Empire logo. The other side is printed with "N033/13," a rigging illustration, "Gym," and "ø8.9-11mm."

Comments

The Gym is designed for single ropes only.

The V-slots that provide additional friction for belaying. The Gym is rigged like with the V-slots on the brake hand end of the rope. Alternately, the Gym may be reversed to disable the V-slots. Each side of each groove has three V-shaped slots, giving the grooves "teeth" to grip the rope more effectively. The teeth do not have quite the narrow angle found on the Salewa Tubus, Singing Rock, or Trango Jaws, so they do not create the same wedging action. For this reason, I find the Gym to be somewhat less effective.

The name implies that it is designed for gym climbing, and if it is restricted to use in gyms, most of my remaining comments become moot. If you should consider taking this into the "real world," read on:

Designing for single ropes saves a tiny amount of weight, but the small weight savings does not compensate for losing the ability to do double-rope rappels.

The Gym has thick walls and considerable depth, which helps it stay cooler than it would have been if designed for minimum weight.

Although there is nothing "wrong" with the Gym, it is too specialized for my taste. I would rather carry a few more grams into the "real world" and have the capability to do double-rope rappels, and I prefer the additional grip provided by the Trango Jaws and its equivalents.