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SBCI

Amigo Bailout 8 Banditt Sidewinder
Amigo Bailout 8 Banditt Sidewinder

Overview


SBCI Amigo Bailout 8
(#586)

Front Rear
Front Rear

Technical Details

I acquired this eight from On Rope 1 in 2000.

The SBCI Amigo Bailout 8 is milled from aluminum alloy and then soft anodized. Mine is 120 mm. tall, 92 mm. wide, and 13 mm. thick. The rope hole is 37 mm. high and 55 mm. wide. The top center thickness is 13 mm. The shaft length and width are 35 mm. and 30 mm., respectively. The eye measures 21 mm. by 26 mm. The ears are 19.3 mm. long. My SBCI Amigo Bailout 8 weighs 143 g.

One side of the shaft is stamped "S. B. C. I."

Comments

The SBCI Amigo Bailout 8 is a typical example of a "mini" size figure eight with ears. SBCI calls the Amigo a "Bailout 8" as if it was only good for emergencies, but I disagree with that viewpoint. This is a full-size eight, not a tiny PED like the SMC. The rope hole is shorter than normal, so it may provide too much friction on stiff or muddy ropes. The Amigo is one of the very few figure eights with ears that have the ears positioned in a reasonable place, where they keep the rope running where it should without adding to the width of the device. If you like ears and use clean, flexible ropes, consider this eight.


SBCI Banditt
(#531)

Front Rear
Front Rear

Technical Details

I acquired this eight from John E. Weinel, Inc. in 1997.

The SBCI Banditt is milled from aluminum alloy plate and then soft anodized. Mine is 180 mm. tall, 173 mm. wide, and 13 mm. thick. The rope hole is 44 mm. high and 76 mm. wide. The top center thickness is 13 mm. The shaft length and width are 55 mm. and 51 mm., respectively. The auxiliary hole is 14.9 mm. high and 35.8 mm. wide. The eye measures 21 mm. by 30 mm. The ears are 32.7 mm. long. My SBCI Banditt weighs 321 g.

There are no markings on this eight.

Comments

The SBCI Banditt is another example of a milled aluminum rescue eight. Like all rescue eights, this one is too large and heavy for my taste. This one has a unique slot at the top of the main loop. Originally, I wrote the following:

This is an interesting variation on where to put the belay slot. I don't like this idea, since it forces the rope more toward the outside. If anything, this would increase the chance of the rope girth hitching. Perhaps this is why the ears are larger than necessary. The lightening hole serves no obvious function other than reducing weight by a small amount, but not enough to offset the extra weight added by placing the belay slot within the rope loop.

Peter at SBCI let me know that I completely missed the point of the upper slot. He corrected my oversight and provided the following information:

The slot in the main portion of the hole is not a belay slot it is a friction slot. The belay slot like always is the kidney shaped hole at the point of clip in. The friction slot is there to add increased control during descent with a litter rig.

I asked Peter for some additional information and he was gracious enough to elaborate:

To give you some information on the eight with the friction slot: we call it the "BANDITT." In normal use it would be rigged with the rope like any other eight (through the large hole and around the body or horn of the eight plate). If the rescuer knew he would be lowering a litter or wanted to slow his descent for more control he would first put the rope through the friction slot then through the main hole and then around the body of the eight. This would provide added friction to the rope and allow more control during the descent, but it is not intended for a high speed drop instead it is for a slow controlled descent. The middle hole allows the user to rig the unit without removing it from the harness and is not there to lighten the unit (in rescue we don't look at weight we look at strength). The kidney shaped hole on both our regular eight and the "Banditt" is and can be used as a belay slot, but most people use it as a clip in hole only.

Peter certainly has a new idea here! Now I don't like the idea of using figure eights to lower litters (why not use a rack or a whaletail?), but people do it anyhow and SBCI's friction slot innovation certainly helps add much-needed friction. If people continue to insist on using eights this way, they should certainly look at this one.

As for the middle hole, lots of manufacturer's put one here. Yes, someone can clip into this hole to keep from dropping the eight while rigging in, but they could also clip into the top hole just as easily, so my "no obvious function" comment retains some merit. I prefer the idea of putting in a belay slot instead of a round hole, like Russ Anderson did long ago.

One glance at the photo should convince people that the SBCI eight is strong. Peter sent me the number, lets just say that lots of donut-eaters could hang on this one without breaking it.

Smith Safety Products made a similar eight.


SBCI Sidewinder
(#902)

Front Rear
Front Rear

Technical Details

I acquired my Sidewinder from Barry Duncan at Luke's in 2001.

The SBCI Sidewinder is milled from aluminum alloy plate and then hard anodized. Mine is 194 mm. tall, 108 mm. wide, and 13 mm. thick. The rope hole is 75 mm. high and 49 mm. wide. The top center thickness is 13 mm. The shaft length and width are 23 mm. and 46 mm., respectively. The eye measures 66 mm. by 19 mm. The ears are 33.5 and 39 mm. long. My SBCI Sidewinder weighs 290 g.

The Sidewinder is stamped with "S.B.C.I." on one side.

Comments

This is another large SBCI eight, this time a T-side eight. The Sidewinder is massive and no one would question its strength, but the SBCI Sidewinder is too heavy for my taste.

The eye is too narrow to accept two full size locking carabiners side by side. The slotted eye might be usable for belaying, although I would prefer a shorter slot for that purpose. Perhaps Peter had something else in mind. The ears are on the side where they provide a convenient place to loop the rope for tie-offs. This is a nice place for the ears, since they can actually serve a useful function here. Several Russian Eights have similar ears on the side.

I have a similar, unmarked eight that I acquired in 2007. It has no markings so I do not know if S.B.C.I. made that one, but I would not be surprised if they had. The Blitz eight is another similar design.