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SMC Personal Escape 8

Front Rear
Front Rear

 

Technical Details

I acquired this eight from On Rope 1 in 2000. I acquired a second one as part of a New England Ropes Micro Rappel System that I bought on eBay in 2007.

The first SMC Personal Escape 8 is milled from aluminum alloy and then soft anodized. Mine is 72 mm. tall, 70 mm. wide, and 10 mm. thick. The rope hole is 24 mm. high and 42 mm wide. The top center thickness is 10 mm. The shaft length and width are 16 mm. and 22 mm., respectively. The eye measures 17 mm. by 17 mm. The ears are 12.5 mm. long. My first SMC Personal Escape 8 weighs 48 g.

The front of my first Personal Escape 8 is stamped with the SMC logo, "MBS 2000 LBF," and "MLN 688." The rear is stamped "MEETS NFPA 1983 (95 Ed)" and "UND.LAB.INC.CLASS."

The second SMC Personal Escape 8 is essentially identical except for markings. It is now metric, with the front stamped with the SMC logo, "MBS 14 kN," and "MLN 2949," and the rear with "MEETS NFPA 1983 (2001ED)" and "UND.LAB.INC.CLASS E."

Comments

The SMC Personal Escape 8 is a typical example of a "micro size" figure eight with ears. The SMC Personal Escape 8 is intended for emergency use only. The instructions that came with my first Personal Escape Eight do not mention what size rope it is designed for, but the figures show what appears to be 9 mm rope. One might wonder why this eight is so small: it won't work well on standard 11 mm. rope, let alone the hawsers used by the "bigger is better" crowd, and if you are going to carry a 9 mm. rope, why not be willing to carry a regular rappel device as well? The New England Ropes Micro Rappel System addresses this by supplying 5 mm. "rope" with their kit.

The instructions that came with my first Personal Escape 8 (the one sold as a stand-alone device) show that the eight can be double-wrapped for more friction. My experience is that this will provide much more friction than necessary. To get less friction, follow the directions that come with the New England Ropes Micro Rappel System. By the way, he eye is too narrow to accept two full size locking carabiners, so just use one.

I would not choose this as my normal eight (which, to be fair, it wasn't designed to be). More to the point, in 2000 I spent three months living on the ninth floor of a Czech hotel, and luggage weight was a constraint on the flights. On that occasion, despite the extra weight, I chose to set a 9 mm. rope and a Trango Jaws on my windowsill.