Disclaimer: This is a personal project that does not reflect anything of PETZL.

I wanted to expand on Petzl’s wiregate technology with the premiere of the ÉCHINE D.

This new carabiner utilizes a new lightweight steel spine to increase the pull factor of carabiner. PETZL recognized that the invention of the quickdraw became an extension of the human capabilities of rock climbing, and has celebrated this fact with this first new product in a line of climbing gear to highlight its mantra, “Access the Inaccessible”.

Although they differ dramatically in function, there is no distinct difference between their Sport Line and their Professional Line at PETZL. The only thing they do to differentiate the two categories is their use of color, pattern and subtle material choices. This makes it difficult for the consumer to feel the distinction between the practical needs of a professional, and the style coordination for their sport product line. This is where they are struggling to compete with other climbing sport equipment companies like Black Diamond, Mountain Hardware, Mammut, and Arc’teryx.

My proposal is not to try to capture the minimal aesthetics of companies like Black Diamond, but to differentiate the Sport category at PETZL from those other climbing equipment companies, and their own Professional category at PETZL.

Aesthetic Inspiration for the facilitation of New Human Capabilities
“Access the Inaccessible” is the official motto of the company. This feeling should extend into the product line. The Sport line should give the climbers the feeling that the tools they use are an extension of their body and capabilities. PETZL hardware should look and feel like it is not doing the work for the climber, but aiding the climber into achieving something entirely new as a human being. We can already see the advances in the soft good product aesthetic, but not yet in the hardware category of the the sport division. This new aesthetic pairs nicely with the attentiveness of functionality that currently exists in the sport product line.
Process of Sketch ideation and Competitor Sampling Reference.

I conducted simulated stress engineering on this design to guarantee the quality and strength that PETZL is known for. PETZL currently test every manufactured batch to meet the 22kilo-newton lateral pull force, 7kilo-newton longitunal force and 10kilo-newton open gate force. This carabiner is not lighter than its predecessor at 31.2 grams, but has performed better in stress testing than the Anges L.

Testing and manufacturing from an internal design critique

Following the technology guidelines from the original PETZL patent, the design utilizes the hidden gate spring of the wiregate design. Even though the Ange L carabiner was completely safe and structurally capable, users voiced concerns of the single wire gate. I responded to user concerns of a single wire gate by creating an enclosed double wired steel gate that outperforms in force testing than the original Ange L gates.

This is how I imagined the future of PETZL.

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