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Sterling Halo Escape System

Front Rear Left Right Hook, Left Hook, Right
Front Rear Left Right Hook, Left Hook, Right
Pouch, Front Pouch, Rear
Pouch, Front Pouch, Rear

Technical Details

I acquired my Sterling Halo Escape System from Joel Ankeny in 2017.

My Sterling Halo Escape System consists of a descender, a hook with about 15 m. of 10 mm. rope sewn to it, and a deployment bag.

The descender is 153 mm. tall, 32 mm. wide, 27 mm. thick, and weighs 211 g. The descender is milled from aluminum alloy and then hard anodized. It has a 10.4 mm.rope hole passing through the 13.5 mm. "thin" portion of the lever, a 14 mm. long, 10.4 mm. wide slot with a rotating cam inside, and a 19 mm slot for a 25 mm. webbing sling that is used to connect the core to one's harness. There is a stainless steel wear pin inside the top of the cam slot. The rope upward around the cam and then through the hole in an S-shaped path. The upper portion of the descender serves as a control lever. Pulling down on the lever rotates the body away from the cam, allowing descent. Releasing the lever stops the descent.

The left side of the descender is printed with the UL "Classified" logo, "4x00," "MEETS NFPA 1983 (2012 ED)," "MBS 13.5 kN," "7.5mm APPROVED ROPE ONLY," a rigging arrow labeled with "FROM" and a hand icon, a second rigging arrow labeled with "TO" and an anchor icon, "1848," and "PATENTED." The rear of the descender is printed with "XTREME RESCUE," "HALO SYSTEM," "USA", and "" One side of the hook is printed with "USA," "15342M," a book-with-an-"i" icon, and "STERLING ROPE." The other side is printed with "Meets NFPA 1983 (2012 ed.), "MBS 13.5kN E (Escape Use)", UL "Classified" logo, "1NF3," "LIGHTNING GT," and a lightning bolt icon.


I don't run into burning buildings to jump out the windows, but the Halo Escape System is designed for people who do. My comments are not relevant for that application, such people should form their own opinions and ignore mine. What I will say is that I do not take this device seriously for caving or climbing applications.

My Halo System came with 10 mm. rope; however, the descender is labeled "7.5 MM APPROVED ROPE ONLY."

My Halo was not pre-rigged on the rope. Rigging the halo requires feeding the full length of the rope through the descender, and stopping the proper distance from the hook. This is not convenient.

The hook may be fine for an emergency anchor when rappel safety is not consideration, but that situation seldom arises in normal caving or climbing.

The pouch has two belt loops that allow it to be worn on a belt or harness. It can be used to deploy the rope during descent, but like any system of this type, the rope is likely to tangle - care in packing can reduce but not fully eliminate this risk. The pouch has split front flaps and a rear flap equipped with Velcro® hooks that are obviously designed to cover the split front and large rear pocket respectively; however, there are no corresponding Velcro® pile closures in the obvious places. With this Velcro® arrangement, I see no way to effectively use the flaps to close the pouch.

I thought about classifying the Halo as a bobbin because of the S-shaped rope path, but decided that differences such as the lower cam and the overall construction were enough for me to place the Halo in the miscellaneous descender category.